- Taschenbuch: 288 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing; Auflage: 1., Aufl. (18. Juni 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0747590206
- ISBN-13: 978-0747590200
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,1 x 14,5 x 2,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.524.606 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
After This (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 18. Juni 2007
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'McDermott's elegant, understated prose slips down like a cool, refreshing drink' Sunday Telegraph 'McDermott is a genius of quiet observation. Her antenna is perpetually raised and turning, humming and warm with reception ... one of our finest novelists at work today' Los Angeles Times 'McDermott never wastes a detail and her sentences have an undertow of significance. They seem to swell, as if the language itself were corseted ... Immaculate' New York Times Book Review 'There's no one like McDermott ... her touch is light as a feather, her perceptions purely accurate' Elle
Alice McDermott's masterful novel is a portrait of a working-class American family living through the tumultuous middle decades of the twentieth century. While Michael and Annie Keane taste the alternately intoxicating and bitter fruits of the sexual revolution, their older brother, Jacob, finds himself on the way to Vietnam. Clare, the youngest child, seeks to maintain an almost saintly innocence. As their parents, John and Mary, struggle to uphold the family's framework, the four siblings are destined to experience the challenges and liberties born in the crucible of the 1960s. With McDermott's inimitable understanding and grace, "After This" captures the joy, sorrow, anger and love that underpin, and undermine, what it is to be a family.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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A very good story about the lives of Mary Keane, her husband John, and their kids Jacob, Michael, Annie, and Clare. As in her novel Someone, Annie McDermott follows lives through many years; here we start just after World War II and go into the 1970s. We watch Mary and John meet (just when Mary was afraid she would be a spinster) fall in love, have kids and grow old together.
McDermott does a wonderful job in laying out the hopes and fears that grip us all. When Mary is pregnant with Clare, their youngest, John takes inventory of his family "His love for his children bore down on his heart with the weight of three heavy stones. There were all his unnamed fears for them, and hopes for them. There was all he was powerless to change, including who they were - one too mild, one too easily tempted to be cruel, and the little girl (it was the weight of a heavy stone agains his heart) a mystery to him, impossible to say what she, through her life would need. And soon one more." (p35)
In describing the pivotal events, McDermott does a masterful job of leading us to them and showing us just a glimpse - a little bit from the side and then stopping; walking on to the next event; leaving us to piece together details later on.
Some of the sections were difficult to follow and were dragged a bit. I would have given this book 3 stars instead of 4 except for a few riveting scenes - especially Annie's friend Susan at the doctor's office. Describing Annie she writes "She had studied her own young face, blotched with weeping, in the bathroom mirror. Terrible things were ahead of her: Jacob would go to Vietnam. Her father's surgery had made him an old man. And how would she bear the empty world without her mother in it? There was college to look forward to, boyfriends, marriage, maybe children of her own, but terrible things, too, were attached to any future. What you needed, she thought, was Susan's ability, her courage, to fix your eyes on the point oat which the worst things would be over, gotten through. But what an effort that took." (p164)
This novel has its merits; but, If you are going to read one Alice McDermott book, read Someone.
She starts out with some excellent character development but then abandons them to branch off in about 5 different and poorly developed subplots around the family members. All of a sudden, one is a longtime depressive alcoholic, another good girl gone afoul with no explanation but that it happened. There is no elaboration on the dutiful son who just goes to Vietnam and then disappears and little of the familial repercussions.
It is as though no one in this family ever knew each other but for the fact they lived in the same house. Maybe that is true often, but it does not make for an intesting novel this time.
Nothing ever ties together again, except to basically scold that "life is always sacred". The whole book was based upon the marriage of the Keane's but that was never fully explained: either the beginning of the relationship as some pathetic encounter at a lunch counter or the glue that supposedly held it together. She needed to focus this around one character that could yield insight to the others throughout time. But she chose to insert these little bits about each (except the ones that actually could have been of real interest), instead of letting us discover the whole family through the eyes of one. Made for a very disjointed novel. The "loyalty" to Pauline was hypocritical and pathetic--it should have been more complex than the fact that she watched the kids while the fourth baby was born.
Basically a lot of interesting snippets but the second half of the book, I was just trying to see where it went with little enthusiasm. Not bad, but nothing to really recommend here.
Also, did not appreciate the moral fingers pointed towards abortion vs. adoption, etc. There was a decidedly very Catholic, pro-life stance here under the guise of a "tumultuous progressive 50's-70's family story". Enjoyed her other two novels a lot more.
Yes, the woman can write but I don't know what happened here. This is really a sub par effort. Maybe charting two generations of an Irish Catholic family on Long Island from the post WW II era through the turbulent 60s and 70s in 280 pages was overly ambitious. The first 100 pages I found relatively uninteresting but I persevered based on her reputation. The middle section was the best but once I realized that she was just going to finish out the novel with set pieces about each child (with their eventual future telescoped parenthetically), my interest waned and disappointment set in. As other reviewers have noted, this really isn't a novel. Its also not a bad effort. More like something from Oprahs book club that will be made into a movie for the Oxygen network. The real problem is the abundance of good writers competing for readers' diminishing free time. After This, Ms. McDermott just dropped down on my priority list.