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Five Photos of My Wife [Copertina flessibile]

Agnes Desarthe

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Descrizione del libro

giugno 2008
The English debut of a bestselling novelist, kin to Penelope Fitzgerald and Louis Begley in style and subtlety. At eighty, Max Opass is still reeling from the death of his wife a year earlier. His two grown-up children live abroad with their own families, his son in Bolivia, his daughter in Japan: he writes awkwardly to his daughter with the news of his humdrum activities and tells her that he's decided to have his wife's portrait committed to paper or canvas, permanently and posthumously. So, he looks up 'Artists' in the Yellow Pages, picks a few for arbitrary reasons, and calls them up. He asks each if they will paint a portrait of his wife, using his five favourite photographs of her for their sole visual reference. One artist - successful and modish - intimidates him; another - an amateur raising kids by herself - prompts him to pity; a pair of art students baffle him; and a bridge-playing acquaintance turns out to have elderly hots for him. Each encounter, each portrait, is both comic and moving, like Max. As these accumulate, the reader comes to realise that Max's grasp on who his wife really was is not so sure after all. The book oscillates calmly between being amusing and being reflective, and delivers a powerful slow punch at its close. Agnes Desarthe began her writing life as a children's writer, and it shows here: as in Gretta Mulrooney's 'Araby', not a word is wasted and the pace is even and sure. In its sympathetic but unsentimental portrayal of a deluded old man, the book is reminiscent of Louis Begley's work. And in her dry wit, exquisite ear for conversation and reverberating sense of more being meant than at first seems apparent, there are echoes of Penelope Fitzgerald or Hilary Mantel.

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Amazon.com: 3.0 su 5 stelle  2 recensioni
4.0 su 5 stelle A widower's story 19 agosto 2013
Di Shalom Freedman - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This story of an aging widower's contending with his loss reminded me a bit of the work of Anita Brookner. The characters are not - very- Jewish Jews, people who were born as Jews but who have no real Jewish communal or religious connection. They do however have memories of relatives lost in the Shoah, and connections with other 'survivors' who did not know the worst horrors. They are mildly successful middle- class people who are in a way quite ordinary. Great intellectual matters, passionate causes are not at the heart of their lives. Their private stories are complicated and difficult, with there always being some kind of unsatisfactory element involved. Here the hero has two children who live far away whom he is in touch with by letter. His decision to have the portrait of his wife made photos he has of her brings him into contact with an odd cast of characters. Their description is of mild interest and the whole story has to my mind a certain lukewarm feeling.
I somehow did not have a sense of the kind of caring for the characters which Literature can inspire. On the other hand I found this work , competent, interesting, amusing.
0 di 1 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
2.0 su 5 stelle Boring 22 luglio 2010
Di J4haw - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This book was a difficult page turner that seriously lacked in the entertaining department for me.
I found the author's "dryness" to be plainly and simply "dull"
It all just seemed to be a little far fetched, thrown together with no real emphasis on scene setting nor ending.

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