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Beside the Ocean of Time (Anglais) Broché – 7 août 1995


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Broché, 7 août 1995
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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. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.


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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a worthy finalist for the 1994 Booker Prize 24 janvier 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
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."
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beside the Ocean of Time 30 janvier 2012
Par Erling Aspelund - Publié sur Amazon.com
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
Good concept but thin plot 2 août 2005
Par Matthew S. LaBar - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Brown clearly set out with a purpose in mind with this novel, and accomplished it brilliantly. The representation of how life in the Orkneys remained unchanged for centuries until suddenly being completely uprooted was very well done. Even having no knowledge of the islands beforehand, I was able to picture them through Brown's descriptions. The masterly of the language is excellent, especially with a little flair of local dialects. Vnfortunately, the nature of Brown's purpose makes it difficult for a good plot to surround it, and the story is rather unrewarding. Early on there is an interest in what's going to happen, but as it unfolds it becomes somewhat "hmm," and no more. For this I gave it a tough rating, but I do recommend that people read it, regardless of personal interests because it does show an interesting aspect of life.

If you are like me and were drawn to this book because you heard that Thorfinn is FPP (has a fantasy prone personality), it may not be what you're looking for. The idea of Thorfinn being FPP seemed to be more to move the story and goal along, and I'm not sure if Brown actually had experience with the condition. It's possible that Thorfinn is not FPP but a kid who fantasizes a lot and outgrows it.
A Look into the Imagination of an "Idle, Useless Boy" 21 janvier 2000
Par Lauryn Angel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
The first half of this novel is completely engrossing. Young Thorfinn Ragnar takes occurences from his everyday life and from these common threads weaves beautiful stories in his imagination. Of course, no one in the real world realizes the importance of these dreams, or how gifted Thorfinn is at weaving tales, and therefore he is dismissed as an "idle, useless boy." In the second half of the book, the story takes place in the real world, abandoning the accounts of Thorfinn's imaginary worlds, and it is here that the novel loses a bit of its charm. The novel is still a beautifully-written novel, and I'm very glad I had the chance to read it.
Here GMB Fails 24 août 2014
Par Scáth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Brown is a favorite author of mine. His short stories are nothing less than excellent, and poetic, and truly brilliant in their simplicity and, yet, their profundity. However, Beside the Ocean of Time is a huge disappointment for me because Brown overwrites his characters. I happen to be a professional editor as well as a writer, and one of the things editors look for is believable dialogue. Sadly, Brown has his shepherds and crofters saying things that no country folk the world over would say--he has them speaking like loquacious poets. And that is simply not the reality of life anywhere one may travel.
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