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Offshore [Format Kindle]

Penelope Fitzgerald , Alan Hollinghurst

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Winner of the Booker Prize
“Dazzling. The novelistic equivalent of a Turner watercolor.” — Washington Post

Présentation de l'éditeur

This Booker Prize-winning novel from the author of ‘The Blue Flower’ is set among the houseboat community of the Thames.

‘Offshore’ is a dry, genuinely funny novel, set among the houseboat community who rise and fall with the tide of the Thames on Battersea Reach. Living between land and water, they feel as if they belong to neither…

Maurice, a male prostitute, is the sympathetic friend to whom all the others turn. Nenna loves her husband but can’t get him back; her children run wild on the muddy foreshore. She feels drawn to Richard, the ex-RNVR city man whose converted minesweeper dominates the Reach. Is he sexually attractive because he can fold maps the right way? With this and other questions waiting to be answered, ‘Offshore’ offers a delightful glimpse of the workings of an eccentric community.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 557 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 209 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0007320965
  • Editeur : Fourth Estate (28 mars 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00BKQ029M
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°34.539 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.8 étoiles sur 5  44 commentaires
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A haiku of a novel 15 février 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur
The first from a writer who believes less is more. Her work does more with the nuance of a sentence than most writers accomplish in a chapter. A review below complains that she's no A. S. Byatt, and it's true. If you like a lot of exposition and dense writing, this is not for you. But the beautifully described world of the waterfront, and the wafting lives that intersect there made this an enduring work in my imagination.
22 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 This should have been one Booker Award amongst many 24 octobre 2000
Par taking a rest - Publié sur
The novels have all been read, but the stories continue. This was the last of Ms. Fitzgerald's novels that I had yet to read, and was also the only work of hers than won the prestigious Booker Award. Her other works that were short listed for the award were "The Bookshop", "The Gate Of Angels", and "The Beginning Of Spring". In a writing career that produced 9 works of fiction, to have placed 4 of the 9 as finalists, and to win once is extraordinary. These novels, 3 works of non-fiction, and a collection of short stories, were all published in a span of time of just 15 years. It is certainly selfish, but I wish she began sharing her work before she was 69, in the end it does not matter, as the body of work she did produce will keep her in print for many lifetimes to come.
Ms. Fitzgerald wrote short novels; in "Offshore" she has compressed the story into a space that is at once confining and colorful as her books. The majority of the book takes place on boats, boats that never move. Boats that would normally form there own tiny area of culture, but this is Ms. Fitzgerald, so as is normally the case conventional measurement has nothing to do with the scope of the story. This time out she seems to test just how far she can compress the space, the number of people and their stories.
This sometimes-floating living location is a raving contradiction in space. Boats and barges meant to be mobile are not, nature can use the tide of the Thames to raise and then settle them down once again, but any motion more abrupt and the small fragile world is put in peril. A motionless boat is a contradiction in terms. A boat is inanimate, but "it" knows that being chained in place is unnatural, or perhaps all the life that clings to the sides of these vessels are nature's disaffected elements, determined to find a way to undo what should not have been done.
"I never do anything deliberately" is spoken by one character, but is appropriate for several. This group of eclectic eccentrics may possibly be the greatest menagerie the writer ever conjured for one tale.
I cannot begin to pick a favorite from her novels; she is as excellent as she is consistent. I do know this, that unlike her characters, Ms. Fitzgerald chose every word deliberately, built every sentence with her exactitude, and delivered works that are absolutely complete.
The Booker Judges deemed this work "flawless", they were correct.
15 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Not what I was expecting 9 novembre 2000
Par shannu - Publié sur
I must start off by saying that the late Penelope Fitzgerald deserved the literary accolades showered upon her. This is the first book that I have read by Fitzgerald and I must admit that it was not what I was expecting. Knowing that this book had won the distinguished Booker Prize, I settled into it with high expectations. I must warn readers that they should not expect a plot-driven novel in Offshore. The strength of Fitzgerald's book is the character development. She has a knack for the subtleties of human emotion and the strong bond that exists among the residents of Battersea. The main theme of the novel is original: this group of outcasts lives somewhere in between land and sea and have formed their own little community. The book has its moments: the characters of Martha and Tildie are particularly intriguing. However, in my opinion, the book is a disappointment. I must admit that I have little patience for a book with so little momentum when the characters do not generally appeal to me. The shortness of the novel may appeal to some readers: personally, I prefer the larger opus that moves the story along. A terrific book in its own right but simply not my cup of tea.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A book not to be forgotten 8 septembre 2013
Par Tony Covatta - Publié sur
Penelope Fitzgerald was in vogue in the years before her death in 2000. She started writing well into her sixties and produced a brace of novels and some other books, being nominated for the Booker four times and winning it for Offshore.

Deservedly so. Offshore is her masterpiece and a terrific piece on a standalone basis. The plot and characters are familiar to all. An assortment of misfits, not suited for life in the swinging London of the early sixties take refuge on various crafts, mostly barges, at Battersea Reach on the Thames. They are "offshore" in more ways than one, ill accustomed not only to the provenance of swinging London but to life itself, personified in the wearing action of time and tide in the metaphoric Thames.

One would hope that time will not have the same eroding effect on Fitzgerald's readership. She should not be forgotten and she should be valued for her significant accomplishment in all her works, but especially here.

To call Fitzgerald a miniaturist is to belittle her art and her achievement. This work may be short but it is a big book, as the Booker Jury realized, depicting the struggle to survive and even to give identity to one's life as Richard, Maurice, Willis and Nenna and her amazing girls and "sagacious brute" of a cat, Stripey, attempt to do.

That they fail is not a subject of criticism, but is described with wit and charm and even love. Offshore's characters are eccentric but very recognizably human, and their shortcomings are ones we have all experienced. The Thames, a symbol here of the flow of life itself, eventually defeats them, but then whom does life not?

For me, the yearning and earthy Nenna, sums it all up when she plaintively asks her cold hearted and unworthy husband, "Forgive!" We do, even if he does not. As the mismatched band on the river breaks up we empathize with them all, wish them more success on dry land than they had offshore. For Nenna and her perhaps too intelligent girls, this will be in Canada--might as well be Siberia. Will they achieve it? Probably not, but then they are only characters. As readers, we can see more clearly than they, learn something deep and lasting from this nearly perfect book.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautifully written, less novel than literary sketchbook 4 janvier 1999
Par - Publié sur
Well written novels are often a chore to read; many authors seem determined to prove that they can write, and produce mounds of lovely prose which has to be shoveled aside like so much heavy snow to get purchase on the story underneath. Not so with Penelope Fitzgerald. "Offshore" is a masterpiece of brevity. The quirky tale of a collection of misfits living on houseboats in 60's London, the book is something of a literary sketchbook, each character drawn with a few deft strokes. There is Willis, for example: "[H]is moral standards were much the same as Richard's; only he did not feel he was well enough off to apply them as often, and in such a wide range of conditions..." Then there is Tilda: "She was known to be one of the little ones who had filled in their colouring books irreverently, making our Lord's beard purple, or even green, largely, to be sure, because she never bothered to get hold of the best crayons first." All of this is a delight to read. My only complaint is the somewhat framentary nature of the narrative; all the parts are well made, but they don't make a particularly coherent whole. Definitely a book worth reading, though.
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