- Taschenbuch: 337 Seiten
- Verlag: Hopeace Pr (1. Juni 2007)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0973400722
- ISBN-13: 978-0973400724
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.910.891 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The Pale Surface of Things (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juni 2007
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A fast moving novel in a Cretan village kidnappings and killings, prayers and healing, ethics and ritual and a darn good tale.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Janey Bennetts research for this novel, led her into the study of classical Greek, Byzantine icon painting, geology, botany, the vernacular architecture and sociology of Greek villages, Minoan culture and art, the science of archaeology, World War II on Crete, and criminal law in Greece.. Bennett has enjoyed colorful and varied careers including radio announcer, horse trainer, drama critic, teacher to Buddhist nuns in Thailand. Her writings on architecture have been published in the United States and Finland, where she held a Fulbright research fellowship. A cellist, freelance editor, and author, Bennett divides her time between Bellingham, WA and Hornby Island, BC.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com
Evi Rick. San Diego
Bennett wisely places American characters with Cretan peoples and inserts as a common ground the presence of a priest who was born on Crete and studied in the US: the result is a flawless mix of language and concepts from both the familiar with the unfamiliar. Douglas is a young man without self direction who goes to Crete at the expense of his adopted family, the Hansons, to study Minoan Archeology and to marry the Hanson's daughter Denise. In a brilliant opening chapter Douglas is fleeing the wedding day ritual and beginning an Odyssey that will change his life. As an 'ex-patriot' of sorts Douglas encounters the friendship of Father Dimitrios who lives a celibate life tending to his villagers and restoring a war-damaged wall of art in his church, meets a young lad Aleko whose warmth and familial invitations stun the now penniless Douglas, and enters the `interior' of Crete on a fascinating journey. In a series of events so rapid fire they feel like explosions, Douglas and Aleko share experiences that test the durability of family codes and tragedies, place Douglas in jeopardy, and ultimately lead him (with the guidance of Father Dimitrios) to an understanding of himself and an acceptance of his place in the universe. '...what people take for being good is just being brave and doing it alone.'
Bennett offers many subplots that explore the presence of the Nazis on Crete in WW II, the history of a family that has been challenged by misunderstandings and vendettas, the manner in which the Hanson family finds greater happiness and worth because of the daring ending of a haughty wedding ceremony, the ways in which youth of Crete learn maturity, and copious sidebars regarding archeology, history, art restoration, Cretan foods and traditions, and the beauty of the simplicity of life on an isolated island. Crete, in so many ways, is the main character in the novel, and Bennett knows her way around her stage as well as anyone who writes. THE PALE SURFACE OF THINGS is a solid, intoxicating novel that gently reminds the reader of the importance of philosophical issues and the way they mold lives. It is a smart, entertaining, superb novel! Grady Harp, August 07
The story begins with two main characters, both Americans. One is a Greek Orthodox priest who's returned to his ancestral home to be the village priest, the other an archaeological student who's working on a dig of Minoan artifacts, and at the same time is supposed to marry what amounts to the boss's daughter, and take his place as the head of a clothing empire back in America. When the prospective bridegroom is late for his wedding, she throws a tantrum, he flees, and the fun begins. He winds up in the priest's village, and various other characters mix into the story.
The author has an interesting writing style in terms of the way the narrative is constructed. The book is separated into chapters, and each one follows a different main or subsidiary character for 5 or 10 pages. This gives it the feel of one of those disaster novels from thirty years ago, something Arthur Haley would have written, or perhaps Irving Wallace. There's nothing disastrous about the events here, of course, other than the bridegroom's disappointment, but the feel of the book is similar. If it's a bit old-fashioned, it works.
I enjoyed this book a great deal, and would recommend it.
Begins slowly as the scene is set with exacting architectural and cultural details about the island of Crete. If you've never been to Crete (neither have I), try not to get bogged down in the details. Keep reading. You'll be rewarded. Bennett speeds up the action and all you want to do is turn the next page to find out what happens next without getting a paper cut. (I'm surprised I am writing this! Each month my book club gently persuades me to leave my bookshelves filled with nonfiction books to enjoy a book of fiction from time to time. I'm glad I chose to read The Pale Surface of Things.)
Each chapter alternates among key characters--Douglas, a young man, who runs away from his wedding and learns about living after nearly dying; Fr. Dimitrios, a third-generation priest, who gently provides guidance to the villagers while coming to terms with his own love lost, a young boy, Aleko, who keeps his integrity while others compromise theirs, Aleko's evil uncle, and more.
Bennett skillfully weaves lessons of life in her debut novel. After Douglas relinquishes his passport while waiting to appear in court, he settles into the day-to-day activities of Crete-- learning the value of simplicity of presence in a land he has temporarily adopted. While he helps others and works to earn his keep, he learns life lessons (and so do we).