- Taschenbuch: 304 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin (27. Januar 2011)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 067091844X
- ISBN-13: 978-0670918447
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1,8 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 128.750 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Caribou Island (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. Januar 2011
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Gets to places other novels can't touch (New York Times)
An extravagantly gifted and moving writer (Sunday Times)
Wields an unforgiving, elemental power that is breathtaking to read (Independent on Sunday)
Beautiful, richly atmospheric . . . deserves to consolidate Vann's position among America's literary high flyers (Evening Standard)
The prose here frequently achieves a quite astonishing beauty (Daily Telegraph)
A novel of fine artistry and stark emotional truth - full of our darkest currents and faintest sounds (The Times)
A writer to read and reread (Economist)
Beautifully written and bitterly funny (Financial Times)
Caribou Island is a scant 300 pages, and written in prose as pellucid as the rivers he used to fish as a boy. But it says so much: about men and women, about marriage, about the desperate gap between who we want to be and who we are (Observer)
On a small island in a glacier-fed lake on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, Gary and Irene’s marriage is unraveling. Following the outline of Gary’s old dream and trying to rebuild their life together, they are finally constructing the kind of cabin that drew them to Alaska in the first place. But the onset of an early winter and the overwhelming isolation of the prehistoric wilderness threaten their bond to the core.
Brilliantly drawn and fiercely honest, Caribou Island is a drama of bitter love and failed dreams—an unforgettable portrait of desolation, violence, and the darkness of the soul.-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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sure I can contribute anything substantial. All I can do is echo some of what others have
said - hopefully, a little of something new will surface.
If you've read other reviews (other than the one line types) you know Gary and Irene are retirees living in Alaska. As the weather begins turning between fall and winter, Gary has finally decided now's the time to get his "dream" cabin built, one he's been wanting to build for years, apparently. On the remote Caribou Island he and Irene begin. Gary has no plan, and is working off what he visualizes is the correct way to do things. Cold, rainy weather greets them on the first day, but Gary refuses to let it stop him from continuing to load logs on their boat. They both are soaked and freezing in short order, the result of which is a severe headache Irene contracts and which torments her for the entire novel.
Their lives together has been deteriorating over the passage of years. Irene's convinced Gary's using the act of building the cabin to drive her away, force a split. As readers, we are never quite sure she was correct in her assessment, but later in the novel, as we gain insight into Gary's mind, we discover she is.
What becomes clear is the closer the cabin is to completion, the worse things become between them and on the day Gary finishes, hammering on the last remaining piece of aluminum roof on what is undeniably no more than a miserable, tiny shack, things come to a head.
"Caribou Island" is not a pleasant read. That's not to say it isn't well written - for the most part it's beautifully constructed (though the frequent use of "so" in the early pages started to annoy) and draws the reader in with vivid descriptions of the changing weather, and the even more vivid descriptions of the characters thoughts as the book progresses.
There are other characters of course, including the daughter who's naivete in her beliefs that love will win the day, the son who just doesn't care, the daughter's fiance, a middle-aged dentist that has no real interest in marriage, Monique and Carl, two characters from the lower 48 visiting Alaska just for fun. Monique has an affair with the dentist while Carl ends up broke and returns to the states. After blackmailing the dentist, Monique also heads back. With the exception of the daughter, Rhoda, all of these other characters simply pale to nearly being pointless in the story compared to Gary and Irene's struggles.
The book disturbed me. I woke the next day with it on my mind. I thought about it off and on and even now, a week after finishing it, it will frequently enter my head, uninvited, almostlike a PTSD. In a way, I guess, it is. Right down to the final pages, when it became clear where the story was heading, you hope for a breakthrough, a reconciliation between the two tortured souls.
It doesn't come - and on retrospect, how could it? Any ending other than what there is would diminish the novel as a whole. You have to be able to read a novel such as this and savor the writing, the lyricism, the symbolism to gain enjoyment. If you need stories with hope or happiness, you'll have to look elsewhere.
Highly recommended, with certain reservations, therefore, 4 stars, though I can certainly understand those who have given it 5 stars, or even those who have given it less.
And yes, as others have said, it's a 'dark' story but I didn't find it excessively so. It seemed so human and so very real. I highly recommend this book.
The story revolves around a family, Gary and Irene who have been unfortunately married for thirty-plus years and their two adult children, all living in the bleakest of bleakest settings. No wonder Irene is as emotionally fragile as she is, a woman who taught school for thirty-three years and is now dealing with a husband who insists that they build a horrid camp-like structure on an island that no one else would ever build on.
Their children are, on the whole, more emotionally stable. But so hemmed in by the environment--and, of course, dysfunctional relationships.
There is a scene in a fish canning factory where a very pathetic Carl has taken a job--it will not last a day--where he is part of a crew that cleans salmon. It is such a brilliantly written scene, one in which the reader can feel the weather, the nastiness of the job, the bitterness of the people who work there.
And then the scenes on the totally bleak island where Irene and Gary are building a truly awful cabin. There is a scene where Gary, in bitter, bitter weather, has a fantasy about raping a warrior-type woman that will send chills up your spin.
And you will never, never, never forget the ending of this amazing novel.
And you will undoubtedly decide that Alaska is the absolutely last place on the earth you wish to live!
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