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Still Life Paperback – Jun 24 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books (June 24 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099479915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099479918
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 422 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #204,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Still Life is the second volume of a te tralogy. The three Potter children, Stephanie, Frederika and Marcus, in troduced in The Virgin in the Garden ( LJ 2/15/79), continue in conflict with their Yorkshire roots. To them, and to the author, intellectual passions are as all-encompassing as emotional ties, and always at war with them. Frederika, whose novel this really is, escapes to Cambridge and the life of the mind, al beit not without constant struggle. Mar cus, after a long breakdown, manages to stay and function in Yorkshire. Stephanie, having opted for small-town family life, loses her fight to retain an independent intellectual existence and is horribly vanquished by the material world in the book's one tragic moment. This is an opaque, challenging, and re warding novel . While its intellectual preoccupations and allusions will not be readily accessible to a broad reading public, it belongs in major fiction col lections. Diana Vincent-Davis, New York Univ. Sch . of Law Lib.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“A major novel…a marvellous and most unusual work.” -- Iris Murdoch

“Affords enormous and continuous pleasure.” -- Anita Brookner

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Still Life is the second of A.S. Byatt's sequenced novels that begin with The Virgin In the Garden. The novel continues to chronicle the Potter clan in the late 1950s. Can you dive into the second without having read the first? Probably. In the early part of Still Life, Byatt provides just enough background to situate the characters. Of course, "just enough" will never be the same as reading the first novel.
Still Life reads differently from The Virgin in the Garden, the author less obssessed with moment-to-moment reporting through painstakingly-gathered details. It is more sprawling, emphasizing characters' growth over a wider span of time (relatively speaking). What hasn't changed is Byatt's love for and mastery of language, and concern for the life of the mind. The novel contains many passages where Byatt boldly, and almost intrusively, airs her provocative views on everything from writing, visual perception, love, to politics (i.e. delivered in the authorial first person instead of through a character's mouth or mind). But she is also an astute observer of the ordinary, whether depicting childbirth, adultery, or domestic vignettes. There's something for everyone here. The final section is a shocker. I finished the book not quite convinced that a freak accident belongs in a literary novel. All the same, be prepared to read some moving passages on grieving.
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Format: Paperback
One thing I have to say about Byatt's books is that while I'm reading them, I do nothing else. Both this book and Possession were all-nighters for me. Still Life was fun for me because of the Van Gogh connection and seeing one of the characters fall hopelessly in love with a Cambridge don. But when it was all over, I felt empty. The ending is eerily sad, my favorite character remains ungrounded, other characters end up hanging out in strange places, and I ask myself, why bother? Having said all this, I don't hesitate recommending it to any past Byatt reader who wants more tale telling.
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Format: Paperback
I must disagree with the reviewer who found it ultimately "empty," perhaps because my favorite character is different. Yes, it is sad. One of the main characters dies. I knew this was going to happen, but I still mourned for her; the death affected me more than any fictional character since Alcott's Beth. Odd, since there is nothing sentimental or cloying about Byatt's writing. I would recommend this book highly, although I think readers should start with the first in the series, _The Virgin in the Garden._
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