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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°54.741 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.9 étoiles sur 5  59 commentaires
38 internautes sur 40 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.
28 internautes sur 31 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.
27 internautes sur 32 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.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 On the Margins 13 juin 2009
Par Roger Brunyate - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Fitzgerald's cast of characters in this Booker Prize novella are a motley group of people living in converted barges and small craft moored by the banks of the Thames, rising with the tide then sinking back into the mud. Their self-appointed chairman is a super-shipshape ex-Naval officer living on a converted minesweeper. At the other end of the scale are an aging artist and a gregarious male prostitute. Quite different from one another, they are nonetheless linked by a common suspicion of land-bound life, and by their willingness to share each other's problems. The central character, Nenna James, still longing for her absent husband, is the single mother of two precocious girls, who gain a richer education at the water's edge than in their occasional visits to school, where the nuns pray regularly for their father's return.

Page after page, this is a miraculous book, miraculous in its genial understanding of character, doubly miraculous in its powers of description. For example, the effect of the rising tide: "On every barge on the Reach a very faint ominous tap, no louder than the door of a cupboard shutting, would be followed by louder ones from every strake, timber and weatherboard, a fusillade of thunderous creaking, and even groans that seemed human. The crazy old vessels, riding high in the water without cargo, awaited their owners' return." Or the description of Stripey, the James children's mud-encrusted cat: "The ship's cat was in every way appropriate to the Reach. She habitually moved in a kind of nautical crawl, with her stomach close to the deck, as though close-furled and ready for dirty weather."

For a while, the closed community of oddball characters seems almost a set-up for an Agatha Christie mystery, and Fitzgerald's first novel, THE GOLDEN CHILD, was indeed a mystery. But her remaining eight books -- all short, all astonishingly different -- take a more subtle tack. Whether based on her own life (including OFFSHORE and her other Booker nomination, THE BOOKSHOP) or set in distant times and places (pre-Revolutionary Moscow in THE BEGINNING OF SPRING, Goethe's Germany in THE BLUE FLOWER), they all share a sense of slightly sad comedy. So it is with OFFSHORE. Miracle-worker though she is, Fitzgerald eschews the easy miracle of a neatly sewn-up ending. The reader is left to imagine a consequence in which each of these lives moves forward into a new phase, perhaps happy, perhaps less so. But the close community of the opening has broken up. Writing in 1979, Fitzgerald sets the book in 1962, during the brief flowering of "swinging London," after which everything would change. Though no more than a faint background presence, she is extraordinarily sensitive to the pathos of impermanence. And she paints these lives lived on the margins of the tides with both a smile and a tear for their inherent unstability.
10 internautes sur 12 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.
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