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Fugitive Pieces [Hardcover]

3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the weight and lightness of being Sept. 2 2001
When poets try to write novels, they sometimes fail, since the ability of poets to find deep meaning in words and phrases cannot always be sustained for greater length of novels. When they succeed, the result can be utterly engrossing. Michaels writes of a possible situation--a Greek poet who rescues Jakob, a Jewish boy, hiding in Poland during World War II after his parents and older sister were taken by the Nazis--and a possible place, the Greek poet's island home where the boy grows up and the poet grows old. Jakob himself becomes a poet, and moves to Canada. The book traces a second story as well, one of Jakob's readers, who meets Jakob and eventually travels to the island.
Woven into the story are reflections on memory and knowledge: and many concrete references. Perhaps that is the great link between poetry and the novel, that both can turn to concrete things--lemons on a Greek island, a river in Canada in flood, objects that are real in themselves, that can be metaphors, and that reveal the fragile precious quality of human existence and human connection. And this concreteness, like the immediacy of Jakob and the poet and the other characters, has remained with me since I've read this book, making me in some small but significant way more tender and appreciative, more alive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fugitive Pieces Jan. 20 2000
This is a complex and poetic novel, about a young boy, who witnesses the murder of his Jewish family by Nazi's during the holocaust. He is taken to Zakynthos by a Greek geologist. The boy, Jakob, then tells his story through diary entries. The pair migrate to Toronto, and his life story is told. The story is then continued past Jakob's death by Ben, a man so inspired by the philosophy of Jakob, that he journeys to Greece to recount the footsteps of his idol. The author, Anne Michaels is a poet - this is her first attempt at a novel - and consequently the book is full of poetic similes and metaphors. The style of the book is also quite spiritual, as the main character is so haunted by his past that he imagines his dead sister with him, as he remembers her when they were together. This past keeps interrupting his present, as though Jakob is reluctant to let go of it, and live his own life. This book is very calm, even the horrific murder of Jakob's parents and sister is written about in a dream like fashion. It also has a gentle, almost anti climatic ending. This is one of my criticisms of the book, as it seems to have little in the way of a conclusion. The style means that Fugitive Pieces is quite a difficult book to read, and you have to concentrate on the book's story to fully understand and appreciate it. However the story does come through with perseverance, and the novel comes together at the end.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars something to think about Dec 1 2003
By alexa
Format:Audio CD
I am a teenager and I understand this book so I'm sure the people that call it boring or "flawed" didn't really think about it very hard. I have heard many accusations that this book was flawed or sloppy in the plotline. First of all, how can a book, especially one so poetic and deep, be flawed? It's like saying Picasso made a mistake in one of his paintings. If you see the plotline as being broken then you missed the point of the book. It takes you beyond the story, or at least it is supposed to in my opinion. The poetry of the book is a window to the deep meanings of the book. For example, the relationship between death and memory. The characters and storyline are only there to display the meaning. If you read this book, it is for the meaning, not the story, though the story is very moving. The best thing about Fugitive Pieces is that it is NOT TYPICAL. It's creative, emotional, and original; the ingredients for a true classic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Read Nov. 27 2013
Fugitive Pieces, by Anne Michaels, is a very poetic piece. Although written as a novel, it was like reading a very long poem in which the words were beautifully crafted together and even rhymed at times. Throughout this “poem”, Anne obviously chose her words carefully.

Although Fugitive Pieces generally moved at a nice pace, the story did move slowly at times. I found myself unable to read it in one sitting. I often had to stop and do something more stimulating then returned to it after some time. At one point, after a long day, I even fell asleep while reading, something I very seldom do.

Having a slow-moving story does not mean that it was a bad one. It can quite often be the opposite. This novel told a wonderful story of trying to find yourself and moving on after life-changing events, such as the death of a loved one, and moving halfway around the world to a new place where you can’t even speak the language.

Overall, Fugitive Pieces had a great lesson to it: life goes on and no matter how hard things may seem at times, it will always get better. It also reminds people not to worry about the small things,. That those will also pass by. This is something many people come to forget as they go about their daily life – always complaining about small thing like running out of coffee at work – and forgetting to look at the big picture. Sometimes it takes reading a novel like this one to remember that what may seem like a big issue now, will later seem like something much less important.

If you read this novel, which I suggest you should, use it to put your life into perspective as you see what others must endure.Fugitive Pieces
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange, Irresistable Read
Most of this book likely went over my head, but the writing is so achingly beautiful it doesn't even matter. Read more
Published 11 months ago by R. A. Kerr
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, Great Condition, Great service
I definitely had a great experience purchasing this item from Amazon.ca.
The product arrived on time (despite the fact that it came from overseas), and it was in stellar... Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2011 by rmj375
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Amazing Book I've Ever Read
Anne Michael's beautifully written Fugitive Pieces is in a class all by itself. I drank it in, like an elixir. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2009 by Clyo Beck
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a Little Too Poetic for This Reader's Taste
The book opens with Jakob Beer as a seven-year-old child hiding in the bog in order to escape the Nazis. His family did not escape and were killed. Read more
Published on June 12 2008 by Teddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Novels Like this are Rare
The imagery in this book is in a league of its own. I'm not the least bit surprised to see that the author is a poet as well. Read more
Published on Nov. 22 2007 by Richard de Almeida
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Through War
This entertaining page-turner was a pure joy to experience. Rarely does a novel come along that perfectly incorporates history with fiction to produce a piece of literature that... Read more
Published on March 21 2003 by Tom Kapsimalis
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully Moving Poetry in Prose
This book will be a classic. Anne Michaels has written the best book I have ever read! Read it!
It is amazing.
The diction, literary devises, etc. are wonderful. Read more
Published on Nov. 21 2002 by J Bruner
1.0 out of 5 stars A 13 year-old's point of view
The beginning of this book was greatly written, but throughout the rest of the book I was lost. It kept switching from different perspectives and to different times. Read more
Published on March 18 2002 by Cindy Willson
5.0 out of 5 stars Altering
This is one of the most powerful books I've ever read. The power of her poetry, her words, is astounding. It was like waking from a dream...
Published on Feb. 10 2002 by Marc J. Fine
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful prose, lousy novel
Fugitive Pieces is filled with stunningly written prose that makes you stop and ponder. Although I appreciate the prose, the book lacks any type of plot, and the characters are so... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2002
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