Cadiva's Reviews > A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat

A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat by Roe Horvat
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

Full review when I'm at my laptop tomorrow because I need all the words to make sense when it comes to this amazing piece of work.

ETA Dec 7th: Right at the laptop now so this book. I'm not sure really what I want to say about it because - on the face of it - there's no one real single point of focus. It's a story which needs to be read to be experienced.

Not everyone is going to like it. I suspect it may be a marmite book because I honestly don't think you could be indifferent to it. It stirs passions. At times Simon infuriated me so much I could hardly think, at others I just wanted to pour all my love into his heart and stop him hurting.

This is also a very European book. It oozes out of every word. This is Prague in all her ancient and medieval glory, a city of contrasts, a city where a father could be a threatening violent alcoholic and it would pass under the water.

It's also a book about words, about emotions, about how the mind works. It's a book which touches on the life of one of my favourite poets Arthur Rimbaud and his crazy life with fellow poet Paul Verlaine and includes lines from one of my absolute favourite pieces of poetry A Season in Hell

Once, if I remember rightly, my life was a feast where all hearts opened, and all wines flowed.
One evening I sat Beauty on my knees – And I found her bitter – And I reviled her.


(Find out more about him here.)

Rimbaud's relationship with Verlaine mirrors how Simon sees his with his young student Matej Chrs. He is left in limbo, all colour leached out of the world, relying only on his strength of will not to crumble.

Oh, I could go on about the symbolism, the beautiful use of words and imagery, I could tell you about how Simon slowly, oh so slowly, changed in my perception from a cold, locked off shell of a man into one who I just wanted to put in bubble wrap and protect from the ravages of his own staggering intellect.

And Matej. He's almost an enigma. For much of the book we only have Simon's remembrances and recollections. He seems flighty, willing to turn loose and perhaps unwittingly, inflict pain on those he professes to love the most.
But he's so much more than that and when he returns to the narrative in his own right, all the colours come flooding back, including the angry ones.

Roe Horvat is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. Their use of the English language to evoke emotions and inspire feelings really is genius.

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review
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Reading Progress

December 1, 2017 – Shelved
December 1, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
December 4, 2017 – Started Reading
December 5, 2017 –
25.0% "Oh Simon, I can't decide if I love you to death or if you're just a complete emotionless arse! As this is from Roe, I'm expecting it'll end up being the former though ;)"
December 5, 2017 –
25.0% "Okay, heads up for the Arthur Rimbaud reference, Seasons in Hell is one of my most adored pieces of poetry."
December 5, 2017 –
32.0% "Damn, I'd just started to really feel for Simon but he's just come out wearing a Radiohead T-shirt (long story involving the ex-husband, best not to ask) ;)"
December 6, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 28, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Judith I'm so excited,I've just got this one! How are you liking it?


Cadiva Judith wrote: "I'm so excited,I've just got this one! How are you liking it?"

I've only just started but so far, so good!


Judith Yay! Loving the 5 Stars.I've just started it and already can't put it down.


Cadiva Judith wrote: "Yay! Loving the 5 Stars.I've just started it and already can't put it down."

Oh it's just so good but I have absolutely NO idea how I'm going to review it other than by telling people to read it!


message 5: by Anja (new) - added it

Anja Beautiful, Cadiva! :)


Cadiva Thanks Anja!


message 7: by Christelle (new) - added it

Christelle Sold !! And I really like the idea of a book taking place in Pragues :-)


Cadiva Christelle wrote: "Sold !! And I really like the idea of a book taking place in Pragues :-)"

I adored this book Christelle. It's just so different than the norm!


message 9: by Christelle (new) - added it

Christelle Cadiva wrote: "Christelle wrote: "Sold !! And I really like the idea of a book taking place in Pragues :-)"

I adored this book Christelle. It's just so different than the norm!"


I like your enthusiasm. Her first book was really great for me. Not sure if it's due to the "European" vibe you mentioned, but it worked. Eager to try this one !!


Judith What a beautiful review,darling.I'm nearly finished and have no clue how to review it!


message 11: by Christelle (new) - added it

Christelle Judith wrote: "I'm nearly finished and have no clue how to review it!"

I have my doubt on that statement ;)


message 12: by Line (new) - rated it 4 stars

Line Amazing review C<3 Would you mind doing a spoiler (maybe in a PM) on the status HFN/HEA/other in the end? Just want to somewhat know what I need to prepare myself for if I'm gonna give this a go:-) Beautiful:-*


message 13: by Cadiva (last edited Dec 08, 2017 07:04AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cadiva Judith wrote: "What a beautiful review,darling.I'm nearly finished and have no clue how to review it!"

I know, I really just wanted to put - READ THIS BOOK! but figured I best try elaborate :)
I look forward to yours very much.

@Line sure hon (view spoiler)


message 14: by Line (new) - rated it 4 stars

Line Cadiva wrote: "Judith wrote: "What a beautiful review,darling.I'm nearly finished and have no clue how to review it!"

I know, I really just wanted to put - READ THIS BOOK! but figured I best try elaborate :)
I l..."


(view spoiler) Thank you C, effing wonderful<3<3<3


Beth doesn't write  enough reviews Intriguing review Cadiva. I'm still unsure though.

I love stories that take place outside of the US but, will I need to use Google Translate (or some variation) often?

Is Prague accurately described or just a backdrop?

One last question, you mention an abusive alcoholic father, would that be a trigger problem for some? PM or spoiler tags are fine. I don't want to ruin anyone else's enjoyment of the story.


Cadiva Thanks Beth, no don't worry about the language, it's all perfectly readable and understandable :)


Beth doesn't write  enough reviews Line wrote: "Cadiva wrote: "Judith wrote: "What a beautiful review,darling.I'm nearly finished and have no clue how to review it!"

I know, I really just wanted to put - READ THIS BOOK! but figured I best try e..."


Line, I might wait for your review.

Roe is apparently taking the world by storm but not sure they are for me even though I see amazing reviews everywhere.


Beth doesn't write  enough reviews Cadiva wrote: "Thanks Beth, no don't worry about the language, it's all perfectly readable and understandable :)"

Thanks. As an American I struggle enough with the English language. LOL!!


message 19: by Cadiva (last edited Dec 09, 2017 10:27AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cadiva Beth doesn't write wrote: "Intriguing review Cadiva. I'm still unsure though.

I love stories that take place outside of the US but, will I need to use Google Translate (or some variation) often?

Is Prague accurately desc..."


Apologies Beth, I missed the rest of this on the app version of Goodreads and have only just spotted it on the laptop now.

Prague acts as the backdrop, a sort of shadow figure rather than a character in her own right so it's more a case of references to areas of the city, bars and locations etc.

And for the other, (view spoiler)


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ GORGEOUS review, Cadiva. I love Rimbaud's work; that quote is perfection. I also adore the marmite analogy (I happen to really like marmite). I didn't request the ARC of this book because it just doesn't sound like a romance.


Cadiva It's definitely not a traditional romance by antsy stretch nope.

Rimbaud is one of my faves, such a fascinating life!


Cadiva Did I say how much I hate the Goodreads app yet?! Any stretch although this probably would make you antsy :)


~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ LOL I like "antsy stretch" actually. It's visceral. :)


Cadiva ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~ wrote: "LOL I like "antsy stretch" actually. It's visceral. :)"

It actually quite accurately describes this book! There is what I consider to be an exceedingly good HEA but there's lots of struggle along the way and there's absolutely a lack of the "traditional" romance you'd want I think.

But, saying that, I think you'd appreciate the intelligence of the book, and that sounds really snooty but it is a very clever book with lots of beautiful symbolism so if you went in eyes open, you would appreciate that I'm sure.


message 25: by Ky (new) - added it

Ky Amazing review, Cadiva! I read it two times ;-)


Beth doesn't write  enough reviews Ok, between the amazing review and the comments I’m sold. Sounds like a great way to start the new year.


Cadiva Ky wrote: "Amazing review, Cadiva! I read it two times ;-)"

Aww thank you hon!

Beth doesn't write wrote: "Ok, between the amazing review and the comments I’m sold. Sounds like a great way to start the new year."

Yay, I hope you enjoy it Beth!


Cadiva Heather K (dentist in my spare time) wrote: "Agreed!"

😁💕


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