The Mookse and the Gripes discussion

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Booker Prize for Fiction > 1989 Shortlist: Restoration

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message 1: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments Restoration by Rose Tremain

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3589 comments Mod
I read this several years ago, and enjoyed it - a very entertaining historical picaresque comedy. Tremain returned to its hero more recently in the sequel Merivel: A Man of His Time, which I also enjoyed, though I don't think either of these books are her most profound work.

message 3: by Val (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val | 1016 comments Hugh wrote: "I read this several years ago, and enjoyed it - a very entertaining historical picaresque comedy..."
I agree and would add that the light-hearted, almost frivolous style fits the historical setting well.

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6975 comments I found it and Merivel extremely lightweight (which is a shame as I love historical novels from this period) and was mildly astonished when I later found out it was Booker short listed.

But unfortunately she is not an author I enjoy reading - 3 2 stars and 1 3 star from the four I have read.

WndyJW | 6576 comments I think both it and Merivel: A Man of His Time were fun books. I agree that they aren’t her best books. I haven’t read much by her, but The Gustav Sonata was particularly good.

I lost a friend over The Road Home. I was appalled that Tremain expected us to continue to care about the protagonist *** spoiler *** after he raped his girlfriend for breaking up with him. My then friend said that my no longer finding the main character a sympathetic character and nice guy ruined the book for her.

message 6: by Val (last edited May 19, 2018 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Val | 1016 comments I didn't like The Road Home either, partly because (like you) I lost all sympathy with the protagonist, but also because some of the foreign nationals were stereotypes. I did enjoy this one, Music & Silence and The Gustav Sonata.

message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert | 2261 comments I quite enjoyed the Road Home, although there have been better books on the subject, The Year of the Runaways comes to mind

I really like The Gustav Sonata though

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3589 comments Mod
Music & Silence was my favourite Tremain.

Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 6975 comments I was looking back at my Gustav review. I gave it three stars and was berated by Neil and Jonathan for my generosity; my on me excuse being that I was judging against the other others I had read and it was clearly stronger than those.

message 10: by Hugh (new) - rated it 5 stars

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3589 comments Mod
It is several years since I read The Road Home - I remember being very impressed by the first third or so. The comparison with Year of the Runaways is interesting - for me that was too long and too unremittingly bleak - I found Tremain's version more nuanced. Must admit I had forgotten about the rape but I did think the speed of his transformation into a successful chef was implausible.

message 11: by Neil (new)

Neil | 2063 comments I think I was agreeing with Johnathan’s summary, not berating you! It’s very unusual for me to tell someone their opinion of a book is wrong.

WndyJW | 6576 comments Music and Silence was the other book I really liked. I couldn't think of it.
I wish I had the chance to ask Tremain why she included that scene in the story and was she not aware that he was no longer a good man? She stated why the protagonist did what he did so there was no ambiguity about what happened.

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