Waterland Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Mar 1998
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|Audio Cassette, Audiobook, Mar 1998||
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“Waterland appropriates the Fens as Moby-Dick did whaling or Wuthering Heights the moors—a beautiful, serious, and intelligent novel, admirably ambitious and original.” —The Observer
“A formidably intelligent book—animated by an impressive, angry pity at what human creatures are capable of doing to one another in the name of love and need.” —The New York Review of Books
“Swift spins a tale of empire-building, land reclamation, brewers and sluice-minders, bewhiskered Victorian patriarchs, insane and visionary relicts . . . A book of strange, insidious, unsettling power.” —Books and Bookmen
“Teems with energy, fertility, violence, madness . . . Demonstrates the irrepressible, wide-ranging talent of this young British writer.” —The Washington Post Book World
“Extraordinary . . . A personal book, a book that speaks to the innermost core of the reader . . . Waterland is history, it is exploration. Waterland is geography, lineage. It is commerce, decline and fall, the industrial revolution (the French one, too, with heads lopped off) and, like everything around us, it bears the scars of the two great wars of the twentieth century. It is family saga, family secrets, love, licit and otherwise; it is, above all, an exploration into what it is, this history thing, that affects us all, your history, mine, ours.”
—from the Introduction by Tim Binding
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.
"Waterland, like the Hardy novels, carries with all else a profound knowledge of a people, a place, and their interweaving.... Swift tells his tale with wonderful contemporary verve and verbal felicity.... A fine and original work."--"Los Angeles Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Crick, a high school history teacher, has veered from the syllabus and veered vigorously. A disintegrating marriage with a baby-snatching wife, and a student who questions the point of learning about the French Revolution (and starts a "fear club" that obsesses over nuclear holocaust) contribute to Crick's decision to abandon strait-laced, traditional, timeline history.
Instead, Crick attempts to answer the essential historical question (the "WhyWhyWhy?" of events) for his own life. This "problem," as Ricoeur would have it, takes us through centuries of Crick's ancestors (which turns out to be a thorough regional history), discourses on eels and holes, stories of the people who have figured in Crick's life, and his interpretation of these sundry yarns (each of which, incidentally, is a good story, i.e.--would go over well at a bar).
What emerges, in nuance and layers, is an amalgam of fiction, history, and time; a novel obsessed with the reasons people walk onto the stage of history, the nature of revolutions and the prospects of progress. In his development of these issues Swift has, among other things, written a philosophically fascinating novel. The over-all impact is that there is more to history than the subject is generally given credit; and (to fearfully evoke an old cliché) only through history can we hope to have a future different from the past.
The prose this point arrives in is both quirky and muscular, engaging and complex. Swift's written a big book and he's written it well.
Most recent customer reviews
This is probably in my top ten of books. It is beautifully written and utilizes such a perfect metaphor. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Anthony
And so it seems like everyone extracts something different from this book. I wasn't interested in the history as much as on the actual content, on the part that dealt with people. Read morePublished on March 31 2002
Now, I'm not going to try and pretend I can explain the different facets of just why I hold this novel so dear to my heart, because I can't. Read morePublished on March 26 2002
I read Waterland almost two decades ago when it first appeared and was nominated for the Booker Prize. Read morePublished on March 17 2002 by Norman Dale
This novel is really a story of "what might have been?" Everything was fine for the young lads for awhile; they secretly went off many times and made love, they didn't... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2001 by Dontlistentome
One exceptional book Waterland is a book about a history teacher being forced into early retirement, the teacher changes the subject of the French revolution into his own life and... Read morePublished on April 16 2000 by kim m benedict
History is more than the mere retelling of facts and occurrences. History is about people. It is about raw feelings and experiences, emotions and reactions. Read morePublished on March 13 2000 by Al Alven
"~Waterland was a novel that held me captive....I was unable to put it down without reading it in its entirety. Read morePublished on March 13 2000 by Kelly Anne Burns