This is a beautiful book. If you want to read something that has the same effect as gazing at a vast and perfect ink-wash painting, calming and yet utterly absorbing, reach for this. Like the tiniest haze of seeping ink will be skillful enough to convey a distant village nestling in the hills, or the flight of a crane; there is not a word misplaced in this small and lovely work. Its theme is poetry, and indeed the exquisite style does full justice to the subject.
Somewhere toward the end of this inventive and imaginative novel, peasant nature poet John Clare muses about “the maze of a life with no way out, paths taken, places been.”
In reality — and much of this book IS based on reality — each of the characters within these pages will enter into a maze — figuratively, through the twists and turns of diseased minds, and literally, through the winding paths of the nearby forest. Some will escape unscathed and others will never emerge. But all will be altered.
June 28, 2010
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Identity, Lord Byron, Mental Health/Illness, poetry, Real Event Fiction, Real People Fiction Â· Posted in: 2010 Favorites, Facing History, Man Booker Nominee, United Kingdom, y Award Winning Author
Poetry lovers rejoice! Here comes a book for those who exult in word play and delight in the beauty of phrases that trip off the tongue. Here is a volume that savors and celebrates verse as a many-splendored thing: “For instance, ‘They flee from me that sometimes did me seek.’ Or ‘I had no human fears.’ Or ‘Ye littles, lie more close.’ Or ‘The restless pulse of care.’ Or ‘Give me my scallop-shell of quiet.’ “