Ollie's Reviews > The Charioteer

The Charioteer by Mary Renault
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's review
Nov 26, 2007

it was amazing
Recommended for: everyone

Nobody has written better about gay love than Mary Renault. This novel is her masterpiece. It tells the story of Laurie, a young soldier who finds himself confined in a hospital during the 2nd World War, after nearly dying in battle. While convalescing, he meets and falls in love with a young man, Andrew, who refused to fight because of his faith; but he also runs into a man from his past - someone he looked up to when he went to boarding school. The novel explores the division that occurs in Laurie's heart, as well as the secret society that gay men had to live in during the 1940s.

Honestly, if you are gay, or a sympathiser, you MUST read this book. Everything about the story, the characters, the setting, is so thoughtfully portrayed that you can't help, by the end, feeling terribly sad that the story has come to an end. In my case, I ended up reading the last paragraph over and over again, moved by how much beauty was suggested by so few words.
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message 1: by Ollie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ollie That's great that you and your husband took so much from it. Once I finished it, I told my boyfriend that he must read it as soon as possible. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did... actually I know he will!

Skip One of my favorite passages from the story is when Laurie describes Andrew as "solid." He says something like if you chip the surface you won't find rubbish beneath.
It's such a great description of this kind and compassionate young man.
"The Charioteer" is definitely one the best novels I've read all year. I finished it today – and yes, I read the final paragraph several times – and now, I'm very sad.
I want to keep Laurie, Andrew, Ralph and Mervyn in my life....

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