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Notes From An Exhibition (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juli 2008

3.8 von 5 Sternen 4 Kundenrezensionen

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'Poised and pitch-perfect throughout, this is an engrossing portrait of a troubled and remarkable character. A fine writer at the top of his game' Mail on Sunday 'This is an uplifting, immensely empathetic novel, and Gale's prose, as ever is as clear and bright as the Cornish light' Guardian 'It has the kind of quietly radiant intelligence, craft and integrity that bypasses superficial questions of originality. A novel with a variety and freshness that is all the more powerful and surprising for being discovering in such a circumscribed and very English milieu' Adam Lively, Sunday Times 'Skilfully constructed as a mosaic of different viewpoints that shift back and forwards in time. A warm, well-written novel about creativity and the perils of living with the creative spirit' Times Literary Supplement 'By the end I had laughed and cried and put all his other books on my wish list. This is dense, thought-provoking, sensitive, satisfying, humorous, humane - a real treat' Toby Clements, Telegraph 'Beautifully written, slowly unravelling tale...Patrick Gale's serene and carefully crafted prose conveys a profound understanding of the workings of human relationships and the torment that mental illness causes its sufferers and also those around them' Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail

Synopsis

The new novel from the bestselling Patrick Gale. Renowned Canadian artist Rachel Kelly -- now of Penzance -- has buried her past and married a gentle and loving Cornish man. Her life has been a sacrifice to both her extraordinary art and her debilitating manic depression. When troubled artist Rachel Kelly dies painting obsessively in her attic studio in Penzance, her saintly husband and adult children have more than the usual mess to clear up. She leaves behind an extraordinary and acclaimed body of work -- but she also leaves a legacy of secrets and emotional damage it will take months to unravel. A wondrous, monstrous creature, she exerts a power that outlives her. To her children she is both curse and blessing, though they all in one way or another reap her whirlwind, inheriting her waywardness, her power of loving -- and her demons. Only their father's Quaker gifts of stillness and resilience give them any chance of withstanding her destructive influence and the suspicion that they came a poor second to the creation of her art.

The reader becomes a detective, piecing together the clues of a life -- as artist, lover, mother, wife and patient -- which takes them from contemporary Penzance to 1960s Toronto to St Ives in the 1970s. What emerges is a story of enduring love, and of a family which weathers tragedy, mental illness and the intolerable strain of living with genius. Patrick Gale's latest novel shines with intelligence, humour and tenderness.

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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Zu Lebzeiten war die Malerin Rachel Kelly ein Mysterium - nicht nur als Künstlerin, sondern auch als Ehefrau und Mutter. Sie war manisch-depressiv, und ihre extremen Stimmungsumschwünge haben das Zusammenleben und die Kommunikation mit ihr oft sehr schwer gemacht. Keiner weiß, woher sie ursprünglich kam und wie und wo sie ihre Kindheit und Jugend verbracht hat. Als sie stirbt, macht sich ihr Mann Antony auf die Suche nach Antworten auf Fragen, die er und der Rest der Familie Rachel nie stellen durften.

Die Geschichte wechselt zwischen verschiedenen Orten und Phasen in Rachels Leben; dabei wird jedes Kapitel von einer "note from an exhibition" eingeleitet, also einem jener kleinen Zettel, die bei Ausstellungen immer neben dem Kunstwerk hängen und Informationen zu dem jeweiligen Werk liefern.

Diese Erzählstruktur hat mir ausgesprochen gut gefallen. Rachels Gemälde (die jeweils sehr detailliert beschrieben werden) und die Notizen (mit denen man als Leser zunächst nichts anfangen kann) bilden die Puzzleteile, aus denen sich nach und nach das Rätsel Rachel zusammensetzt. Ihre Geschichte geht unter die Haut; besonders die Beschreibung von Rachels psychischen Problemen und die Art und Weise, wie diese ihr Leben und später das ihrer gesamten Familie nachhaltig beinflussen, ist ausgesprochen gelungen.

Ich habe in den vergangenen Jahren etliche Romane von Patrick Gale gelesen und bin mittlerweile ein großer Fan von ihm. Er schreibt sehr gut und schafft es immer wieder, interessante Geschichten und glaubhafte Charaktere zu kreieren. Schade, dass ihn hierzulande kaum jemand kennt.

"Notes from an Exhibition" ist ein wirklich gutes Drama, das leider viel zu schnell zu Ende ist.
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Das Thema verlockte mich, diesen Roman von Patrick Gale zu lesen. Wie lebt eine Familie, deren Tageslauf von den kreatven Phasen und manischen Depressionen einer Kuenstlerin beeinflusst wird? Mit grossartiger Leichtigkeit und in einer brillianten Sprache geschrieben setzt sich wie ein Puzzle, Stueck fuer Stueck, die Geschichte dieser Familie zusammen, in unterschiedlicher Reihenfolge und in unterschiedlichen Zeiten.
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Tolle Geschichte, da man immer aufpassen muss, sonst verpasst man was! Liest sich sehr gut! Die Sprache ist auch nicht zu schwer!
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Difficult to write something about this book. Somehow it hasn't really grabbed me and did take me some time to finish. It's not that it is badly writt...en but I found it slightly confusing, mainly because it doesn't have a clear timeline. I was also disappointed about the end. It simply stops once all the questions that arose because it's not written chronologically are answered and just doesn't head anywhere. The book is basically telling the story of this woman, a painter and her family and I wonder how much story there would be if it hadn't been cut up and pieced together again to keep the attention of the reader. I may try another of Gale's novels some day but I don't think I'll become a fan.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen 25 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gale at his Best 10. Februar 2010
Von Harold S. Levine - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I've been reading Gale's books since his debut 20 years ago, and this is one of his best. I ordered it from Amazon.co.uk and it was well worth it, even though the shipping is more than the cost of the book. Told in a non-linear fashion, with each chapter headed by a descriptive label from the main character's posthumous exhibition, it weaves back and forth through time, slowly painting a picture of a family made up of six very independent people, all defined by their relationship to "Rachel Kelly," the manic-depressive artist whose life seems to have begun at age 20. Once more Gale evokes the beauty of the far West of England's Cornwall, and once again he creates a cast of fully-rounded individuals, some of whom I suspect will be with me for a long time. Not to be missed are two wonderful short sections where Gale re-imagines Dame Barbara Hepworth as a character of almost mythic presence. If you're a fan of Gale's, this is a must; if you're looking for an introduction to his work, this is as good a place to start as any.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen all becomes clear - gradually 6. Mai 2014
Von Mr. D. P. Jay - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Bipolar disorder and suicide are rife in my family so this book gave me plenty to reflect upon. Their effects ricochet down the family tree in all sorts of ways that the person concerned could never have envisaged or, if they did, they simply just didn’t care, maybe because there unable to see clearly. The Author compares himself to Iris Murdoch: suicides stir up cycles of guilt, family deaths are like Russian dolls, each new pain encasing the shape of ones that have gone before

Rachel bequeaths paintings of genius, done when she was off medication. But she also bequeaths secrets and emotional damage.

Rachel Kelly took lithium or valproate since she was a girl. Lithium is more time-specific so a missed dose is dangerous and she once forgot to take it on holiday and needed an emergency prescription but hid the pills and started self-harming. The anti-depressants prescribed at the Radcliffe Hospital led to suicidal behaviour yet she ended up having a heart attack like a ‘normal’ person

Her Presbyterian childhood meant that she was miserable, hooked on sin. She could only become absorbed when playing and working, which is why her medication was such a handicap and why not taking it was like a holiday with the cost being well worthwhile, at least for her, if not those around her.

Those of us who have visited ‘mental wards’ will recognise the description of the hospital whose records are missing, where visitors are limited to 2-4pm, the built-in coat hangers to stop self-harming, Monday’s ECT, before which she would get wound up on Sunday night. Other patients regarded her as a stuck-up bitch and were afraid to talk to her. The Gideon’s bible with her insane annotations is also par for the course.

The Doctor is unconcerned as to whether nature or nurture causes mental illness and believes that people will get their sweets (pills) elsewhere if he doesn’t prescribe them

At her funeral, a cardboard coffin and the throwing of rosemary springs was thought to be less brutal than earth but the mechanical digger comes along anyway. People were embarrassed for want of a priest and at the reception all earlier unsaid things bubble up

It took someone with a solid, Quaker spirituality like Antony to cope with her and to take charge of her medication. He was shocked at how few possessions Rachel had and how she could throw paper back books away.

His M.Phil was in Smollet. He took on a badly paid teaching position. Because faculties were mixed, different combinations of students attended his lectures. A Quaker and a virgin, he fount it hard to make friends so the Quakers provided a ready-made community, Quakers are more exuberant (and more overtly Christian) in Africa, which helped his personal development. (In the UK, some meetings regard themselves as superior if people rarely speak – they blame Oprah Witney shows for the current trend wherein people talk self-indulgently and endlessly about themselves.

He is not the only eccentric (or maybe he is one oft he few sane people) who refuses to have a mobile. And what’s wrong with pissed in the bedroom sink? It all ends up in the same place and it saves water.

The depiction of his Adult literacy classes is accurate. They are spreading to numeracy and computers and are full of the same hopeless learners who return every year and start to use spell checkers – so they will never learn how to spell by themselves.

Garfield, Rachel’s oldest, poured all the drugs down the loo and temporarily blocked it. He fears to have a child for fear of passing on the mental illness gene. Sulky, he doesn’t go into much detail about his mother as people are liable to be shocked

Morwenna, Rachel’s second daughter, diagnosed herself bipolar. Her mother makes Morwenna more self-conscious instructing her how to hold pencil, techniques, and makes here play into work and expects ‘right answer’ from her. She asks her small talk questions even though they see each other every day. She tells someone that Morwenna is admiring her lovely vulvas and Morwenna ia not sure what it means but that it is rude

Hedley, her third child, is still a virgin at 19, read Maurice in his gap year but had no courage to go into gay bars though his feet bled from museums. He became C of E, got confirmed, and was shocked at hearing a priest preach against homosexuality. There was some confusion as to whether a church was Roman or Anglo-Catholic – St. James’ Piccadilly is neither, being liberal and very inclusive where homosexuality is concerned.

Despite her bohemian credentials, Rachel thinks her son to be less of a man for being gay. He checked his mother’s packing behind her back

He admires Petroc’s ease with his body, is shy like a typical school master’s son but is relaxed when in role e.g. cinema He kisses Troy but goes no further, goers to an art exhibition specialising in homoerotic works and keeps checking to see if Oliver had left a message – he hadn’t

Oliver, his boyfriend, is fed up with phone calls from Rachel and calls her a talentless bitch during the last 40 minutes of her life, with unforeseen consequences

Petroc is self-contained like Antony. During his birthday outing to the beach I was expecting the worst, as the tide and overhanging rocks were mentioned. His death when it came was curiously peaceful as he was so happy.

Kelly’s obsessive sketching of planes and autistic precision painting bricks is well-portrayed.

Winnie longed for a sibling to spread the pressure upon her. She starts top attend , weekday Holy Communion but her faith went under the train wheels with Joanne, who had run wild, stopped going to church, taken up smoking reefers out of the window, included, nudes in her portfolio and was pushed in front of a train
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Gale goes where many fear to tread 15. März 2013
Von Allie - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Patrick Gale goes where many fear to tread and with this novel he broaches the delicate ground of mental illness. So often - so sadly - taboo in society, I am struggling to think of an author who has tackled this subject within anything other than a gothic, science fiction or fantasy genre. Only Mark Haddon's 'Curious Incident' comes to mind.
But Gale's footsteps are light across this fragile landscape. He uses this novel to explore the effects of mental illness on his protagonist Rachel and in particular its relationship to her art, as well as the ways in which it impacts her family.
For Rachel, art is both a manifestation of and a coping mechanism for her bi-polarism. When uncontrolled by medication her creative skill is nothing short of genius, all-absorbing, it possesses her to the detriment of any claims her husband or children might make. But it subjects her, too, to dizzying downwards spirals of abject depression. At these times, recovering from suicide attempts and doped up in secure hospitals, the repetitive re-rendering of the same bed rumpled a hundred different ways or a bare, high window in a plain white room are her only means of self-expression when the will and energy to speak is gone and words, anyway, are worse than useless.
Gale's understanding and description of mania and depression, not to mention the totally engrossing, almost spiritually transporting process of artistic creation, are admirably rendered.
But it is his use of complex narrative structures which has most impressed me in this novel. First of all, the story is told from the points of view of all six family members. The result is a shifting, multi-layered, beautifully textured portrait of not-quite ordinary family life. The effect is a bit like being in a hall of mirrors; the perspectives move in and out of focus, and are distorted necessarily by the various characters' individual situations and traits, but there is nowhere to hide. We end up with a 360 degree view of the Middleton family in all their angst and resilience, their loyalty and disaffections. They are damaged but surprisingly stoical.
Secondly, Gale relates events non-chronologically. The story moves backwards and forwards through time, contrasting a child's-eye view of early events with its later, more mature, or an alternative, counterpoint, both beguiling the reader and adding layers of history which do not resolve until the last chapter takes us back to the beginning. Once I'd finished it I had to resist the urge to tear the pages out and reassemble them in time-order but if they'd been written that way, so much would have been lost.
Last of all, Gale uses the intriguing framing device of a posthumous exhibition of Rachel's works and various personal artefacts to introduce each chapter. Sometimes obvious but usually very subtle connections link the exhibit to the chapter's content. The reader is invited to take a casual meander through the hall of exhibits. These curious but retrospective juxtapositions of time and voice and artefact make both the shocking tragedy and the extraordinary blessing of Rachel's condition easier to understand.
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen " There are sad moments when a traditional birthday celebration with Rachel and ... 3. Juni 2016
Von Angela - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
At first I wondered if this novel was going to be just another telling of a dysfunctional family where the children return home after the death of a parent and make peace with their past and each other . But this was different - it was definitely not predictable. The center of the story is Rachel Kelly, an artist who is bipolar. The narrative moves back and forth in time, not in chronological order, from multiple points of view - Rachel , her husband Anthony, a stoic and devout Quaker , their four children , and others , each beginning with a description of one of her works.

There are poignant moments when her youngest son carries home from the beach stones representing each of the family members and doesn't want to leave any behind even the heavier ones because "it's us." There are sad moments when a traditional birthday celebration with Rachel and each of her children turn out not as happy as we would have hoped . There are learning moments as I knew very little about Quakerism. Their individual stories unfold slowly through their chapters as well as those of their siblings and parents ,and reveal how they have been affected by their mother , their wife and how they were inevitably affected by her mental illness, by her art and creatively. It is just as much their story as it is Rachel's.

There are things we don't know for a while. We know little about Rachel's past and neither does her family until more than halfway through. We don't know until close to the end what happened to Petroc and for most of the book we know little about her daughter Morwenna, who has inherited her mother's talent as well as her illness. This was a compelling read for me because from the beginning I wanted to know these things and to understand these characters. It's not an easy subject matter to portray, but Gale has elegantly done so. This is the first book I have read by Gale and I will almost certainly read more.

Thanks to Open Road Media for making available this previously published novel , which I may not have found if it were not made available on NetGalley.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Notes From An Exhibition By Patrick Gale 24. Juni 2014
Von The Mother Booker - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
NOTES FROM AN EXHIBITION
BY PATRICK GALE

This novel is an excellent read and gives the reader great insight in to how one person within a family who is suffering from depression, can impact so profoundly on all the others. It gives a graphic surprisingly honest account of one family’s desperate struggle to cope with depression. A heart breaking story of just how fine a line there is between genius and madness. A harrowing brutal description of how, in Rachael’s case; her own mother misunderstood her rebellious gifted daughter and had her put away and medicated for nothing other than Rachael endeavouring to pursue her gift as an artist.

The fall out from Rachel’s depression throughout her life and how it devastates those she loves the most is well highlighted by the author; an example of this is when Hedley gently asks his father following Rachel’s death about how different his life might now be:

(Was the absence of Her not like the calm after days of Violent Weather?)

It is clear from the heart breaking revelations from each of her children, how they have been conditioned to accept Rachel’s irrational behaviour as normal in their turbulent lives. The special treat of having their mum for one day a year all to themselves is illuminating.

Antony’s devotion to Rachael is a wonderful lesson of unconditional Love. From the very beginning the author highlights his extreme sensitivity towards Rachael. The outpouring of grief Antony witnesses from Rachel in the car is a clear indication to the reader just how deeply understanding this wonderful man is with Rachael;

( Her grief was hardly discreet but as persistent and almost as silent as bleeding from an unstitched wound!)

The author while describing Antony’s unwavering strength, tells the reader time and time again of his vital role in Rachael’s life;

(Antony was normally very serious and calm. You didn’t really notice his moods because he didn’t have any. He was always the same, the unchanging pavement under Rachael’s Weather!)

Garfield, the eldest child probably has the most difficult time. He does not learn about his true parentage until after his mother’s death and when he finally pursues his natural father he is once again disappointed.

Hedley’s love for Oliver is well written into the novel, Hedley does not have great confidence, and the reader is led to believe that perhaps Oliver calls all the shots. The author explains Hedley’s precarious disposition brilliantly:

(Hedley felt like he had become lightweight by default)

Once Hedley stops working and remains at home taking care of all the domestic dilemmas for himself and Oliver, he begins to lose the essence of himself. He never truly loves Rachael and appears to be afraid of her mood swings, he is a great help to Antony and so very gentle in his ways as he goes about the house unobtrusively carrying out all the petty tasks without bothering anyone.

Morwenna’s troubled life is heart breaking. Her bouts of depression and drifting indicate that she has probably inherited the depression from her mum. She is also a gifted artist and recognises the importance of colour and of brush stroke in her mother’s work. She understands how it is directly linked to the mood swings and the trials and tribulations of life. Medication is the incarcerator of her art.

Petroc, Rachael’s youngest child, experiences the least episodes of her depression and even after his birth, Rachel remains reasonably on track. As the youngest member of the family he receives all the support of the others. His tragic death and his brief brush with drugs and debauchery is questionable given he is only 15 at the time. Like all Rachel’s children he seems to be adrift with no real direction. The family’s firm focus is consistently following Rachael’s weather!

Despite the sombre subject matter of this book, I did enjoy reading it and consider it to be a very important book and I would readily recommend this as an ideal Book Club read with so many interesting and challenging topics to be considered.

I would score this book 8 out of a possible 10

Reviewed by The Mother Booker (Dublin) 2014
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