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Gerontius [Paperback]

James Hamilton-Paterson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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In this delightful novel, which won a Whitbread Prize in 1989, James Hamilton-Paterson joins celebrated British composer Edward Elgar on a cruise on the Amazon River and imagines what artists of the time may have pondered. "Oh Edward what a stupid doltish ass you've been to waste your life on the idea that art--in its small way--can make the least difference to things," he imagines Elgar as commenting. The book isn't merely a collection of questioning ruminations; the cruise is filled with a variety of comical and interesting passengers and crew members.

From Publishers Weekly

This brillant winner of England's Whitbread Prize fictionalizes a documented but uncharacteristic Amazon cruise taken by celebrated British composer Edward Elgar.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerontius May 15 2001
Format:Paperback
Wistful, poignant and beautifully written, this is a touching and elegaic novel. Blending fact with imaginary events, Hamilton Paterson takes an extraordinary, but true, event from Elgar's life and constructs around it a simple but fabulous narrative about a man at a creative crisis. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nuance and compassion in imaginary Elgar biography July 25 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Music lovers as well as those who enjoy fine writing will find Hamilton-Paterson's imaginary account of a voyage up the Amazon by Edward Elgar not only entertaining and thought-provoking, but also ultimately very revealing of the contradictions and conflicts in Elgar's character. Hamilton-Paterson's research has been as thorough as his sympathy for his protagonist is obviously deep. This novel won the Whitbread prize for best first fiction
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gerontius May 15 2001
By Bernard Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Wistful, poignant and beautifully written, this is a touching and elegaic novel. Blending fact with imaginary events, Hamilton Paterson takes an extraordinary, but true, event from Elgar's life and constructs around it a simple but fabulous narrative about a man at a creative crisis. Thoroughly enjoyable.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skip first 13 pages Feb. 20 2005
By CXC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The initial section of this book has nothing to do with the plot and is very portentious and incomprehensible. Both I and my wife found it off-puting. However, starting on page 13, this is a superb, beautiful, and thought-provoking novel that I recommend unhesitatingly.
2.0 out of 5 stars Uh uh Oct. 17 2014
By Michael E. Nader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
See my other reviews of serious works by this gifted comic writer. Instead, buy the hilarious "Cooking With Fernet Branca." Don't know who or what Fernet Branca is? It's a sort of bad-tasting liqueur made from some rather strange herbs and stuff. Drinking it straight is bad enough, but cooking with it? actually putting it in with other food? Oy!
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