Remember Me... Audio CD – Audiobook, Apr 3 2008
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|Audio CD, Audiobook, Apr 3 2008||
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'Unsentimental, truthful and wonderful' -- Beryl Bainbridge, Sunday Times on THE SOLDIER'S RETURN 'Sympathetic, touching, infinitely believable' -- D.J. Taylor, Literary Review on THE SOLDIER'S RETURN 'Utterly credible, utterly compellling, and very enjoyable' -- Allan Massie, Scotsman on THE SOLDIER'S RETURN 'The series is so good that the eventual run of novels is destined to become a genuine turn-of-the-century landmark.' -- James Naughtie, Books of the Year, Sunday Herald on A SON OF WAR 'A novel of remarkable power and grace...his authenticity is astounding' -- Roy Hattersley, The Times on A SON OF WAR 'Deeply humane and acutely truthful' -- Peter Kemp, Sunday Times on A SON OF WAR 'I was bowled over by it ... an enormously important piece of literature about post-war Britain.' -- A.C. Grayling, Guardian on CROSSING THE LINES 'Richly detailed and extraordinarily poignant' -- David Robson, Sunday Telegraph on CROSSING THE LINES
About the Author
Melvyn Bragg's first novel, FOR WANT OF A NAIL, was published in 1965 and since then his novels have included THE HIRED MAN, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, WITHOUT A CITY WALL, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, THE SOLDIER'S RETURN, which won the WHSmith Literary Award, and A SON OF WAR and CROSSING THE LINES, both of which were longlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of non-fiction including THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH and 12 BOOKS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is presented as a novel, yet the autobiographical content is only thinly veiled, and this ambiguity is problematic. Documenting a tragic love-affair, from its naively romantic beginning to its exhausted and tragic end, the narrator tells us in the first pages that Natasha has died and that he's now telling their story to their adult daughter; and that he'll find that painful.
But this narrative perspective is inconstant. Much of the story is told as though, like the omniscient narrator of fiction, he were standing outside the events ; he's privy, for instance (as in real life he could not have been), to Natasha's unspoken thoughts, and to conversations between third parties, but it's his own part in the story, his own perspective, that will dominate. Tracing the descent from passion to alienation and his own infidelity, he feels compelled to chronicle their married life in minute detail; guilt and self-exculpation lead to prolixity; he protests too much.
Not only are plot and structure unsatisfactory, but the writing is often banal, sentimental, hackneyed. The reader who will soon enough recognise that Natasha is neurotic, enigmatic (and barely plausible) will from the start be discomfited by Joe's impressionability:'He was attracted across the quietly convivial room ... by the sadness of her isolation'; 'she was and in ways remained as unknown as an undiscovered planet'. A fateful encounter, an involvement without relief.
What a mistake. Do not buy this book, unless you've either been to France (I haven't) or have read previous Melvyn Bragg books. I managed to read 300 pages, and still couldn't manage to keep reading. There's so much editing to be done to it, and I bet that was the final draft.
The story is about a French woman and an English man, who meet, kinda fall in love (he seemed to be doing all the chasing in my opinion) get married, and have a child. But my main problem from the beginning of the book is that the author doesn't even attempt to hide the fact that the man is telling "their" story to their daughter, and even goes as far to talk about his wife in the past tense, and then it's confirmed she's dead. Er, hello? Way to ruin the entire story!!! But there's also way too much description. I'm all for description, don't get me wrong, but the description does go on for paragraphs. And I mean LONG paragraphs. It`s just too much. And I couldn't get my head around the characters. I hated the two main characters, I thought the woman was too cold hearted, and kept her lover at arm's length most of the time it felt like.
I don't know what happens at the end, apart from what the author tells the reader (still a big mistake), and I don't particularly care either. Apologies to all the Melvyn Bragg avid readers out there, but I don't particularly care for his style of writing, and will be avoiding his books from now on.