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Beside the Ocean of Time [Anglais] [Broché]

George Mackay Brown

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Description de l'ouvrage

7 août 1995
In this novel set on the fictitious island of Norday in the Orkneys, George Mackay Brown beckons us into the imaginary world of the young Thorfinn Ragnarson, the son of a crofter. In his day-dreams he relives the history of this island people, travelling back in time to join Viking adventurers at the court of the Byzantine Emperor in Constantinople, then accompanying a Falstaffian knight to the battle of Bannockburn.;Thorfinn wakes to the twentieth century and a community whose way of life, steeped in legend and tradition, has remained unchanged for centuries. But as the boy grows up - and falls in love with a vivacious and mysterious stranger - the transforming effect of modern civilization brings momentous and irreversible changes to the island. During the Second World War Thorfinn finds himself in a German prisoner-of-war camp, and it is here that he discovers his gifts as a writer. Long afterwards he returns, now a successful novelist, to a deserted and battle-scarred island. Searching for the peace and freedom of mind he had in abundance as a child, he finds instead something he didn't even know he was looking for.;George Mackay Brown intertwines myth and reality to create a novel of deceptive simplicity. The story of Thorfinn and the island of Norday is a universal and profound one, rooted in the timeless landscape of the Orkneys, the inspiration of all his writing.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 a worthy finalist for the 1994 Booker Prize 24 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur
George Mackay Brown placed an "idle, worthless child" in a boat to look at Time and mold and meld it with his young eyes. Thorfinn Ragnarson is the boy that sails in and out of his own world of Norday in the Orkney Islands of the 1930's. He takes the people of Norday and travels with them into ancestral pasts that far outstrip their solid, predictable day to day lives. When old Jacob Olafson dies, Thorfinn stops at the kirkyard on his way home from school. The Old Testament words, heard just the day before, ring with the gravediggers spade: "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." and Thorfinn builds a life for this old man. He brings baby Jacob across the sea to Norday, sees Jacob the young man board the Hudson's Bay ship, Windward, to journey to the "land of Eskimos and Indians" and return in ten years with an Indian wife. Real time runs its thread of laughter, solid Orkney logic and unexpected colour in the persons of Isa Esquoy, the small, constantly squeaking postmistress-storekeeper, Albert Laird, the joiner who crafts cradles and coffins, Mr. Simon, the droning, long-suffering schoolmaster and the Reverend Hector Drummond, a somewhat muddled minister whose mystery visitor, Sophie, appears in the homes of solitary folks and leaves a trail of laughter and love. Thorfinn, the adolescent, is stricken with an un-dying love for Sophie which surfaces only after the fields, barns and livlihoods of Norday are smothered under the necessary adjustments of war. Before that war, Thorfinn, the young man, still a solitary creature, had conjured the seal-people and spun love, marriage and dream-children from the sounds and silences of the sea. We thank you, George Mackay Brown, for those brief voyages that are the lives of men and for the whispers of melody from that "music that goes on and on, all the way from before the beginning till after the end."
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Okay, but not exciting 14 juin 2014
Par Nicholas Rega - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book was hard to get into, mainly because the story took the form of mini-stories, but not until the end did I learn the meaning. The whole beginning is used to make a point that technology can be harmful and that old generations need to get used to things slowly. A dreamer, Thorfinn becomes a very stable, though poor, man who writes what he dreams. A point that becomes apparent with each new tale is that nothing will last, all is but a memory and will soon be forgotten. This hard reality is made when Thorfinn is unable to write his last book; he is unable to dream like when he was young. You are not a child forever
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Broad sweeping poetic epic 26 avril 2014
Par Richard Druitt - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This is a beautiful book. George Mackay Brown reminds us that dreaming lads, far from being idle, may in fact be conjuring poetic epics. As we follow them we learn a great deal about the Orkneys, the history of Scotland, and ourselves. It has a haunting signature that carries the winds of simple truth in its sails. I advise you to read it.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Masterpiece 6 janvier 2014
Par a reader - Publié sur
George Mackay Brown, poet and storyteller, was an absolutely brilliant writer. Here he brings readers into a magical world, where past and present mingle in the mind of a young boy. This is not "historical fiction," nor is it an adventure story; and readers who demand fast-moving plot will be disappointed. Instead, the book moves at the leisurely pace of life in the Orkney islands in the early twentieth century, where the story is set. If you are willing to surrender your imagination to a writer whose skill with words is equalled by his mastery of the art of storytelling--and by storytelling, I mean oral storytelling, not the techniques of contemporary fiction--then you're in for a real treat.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Beside the Ocean of Time 30 janvier 2012
Par Erling Aspelund - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Simply an oustanding book by George Mckay Brown just like his other books Magnus, Viking and Greenvoe. It is amazing e.g. how he spins a story around the old folktale "Woman and the sealskin". The best one of his collection and among the best I have read for a long time. Brown's love of Orkney shines though all his writings.
Erling Aspelund
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