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Download Offshore (Curley Large Print Books) eBook

by Penelope Fitzgerald

Download Offshore (Curley Large Print Books) eBook
ISBN:
079272027X
Author:
Penelope Fitzgerald
Category:
Contemporary
Language:
English
Publisher:
John Curley & Assoc; Large Print edition (July 1, 1994)
Pages:
183 pages
EPUB book:
1692 kb
FB2 book:
1178 kb
DJVU:
1603 kb
Other formats
rtf mobi lrf docx
Rating:
4.9
Votes:
225


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One of the most admired of all Penelope Fitzgerald's books, The Blue Flower was chosen as Book of the Year more than any other in 1995.

Set in Germany at the very end of the eighteenth century, The Blue Flower is the story of the brilliant Fritz von Hardenberg, a graduate of the Universities of Jena, Leipzig and Wittenberg, learned in Dialectics and Mathematics, who later became the great romantic poet and philosopher Novalis. One of the most admired of all Penelope Fitzgerald's books, The Blue Flower was chosen as Book of the Year more than any other in 1995.

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Read Offshore, by Penelope Fitzgerald online on Bookmate – This Booker Prize-winning novel from the author of. .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

Read Offshore, by Penelope Fitzgerald online on Bookmate – 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 neithe. aurice, a male prostitute, is the sympathetic friend to whom all the others turn.

Offshore possesses perfect, very odd pitch. Penelope Fitzgerald's work is not about length. Her mastry lies in her ability to be as nuanced and profound as she in such few words.

Find nearly any book by Penelope Fitzgerald (page 3). Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 . Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 booksellers. Learn More at LibraryThing. Penelope Fitzgerald at LibraryThing.

graph among them, her address book, almost the whole sum of her identity. After all, she thought, if she did go away, how much difference would it make? In a sense, Halifax was no further away than 42b Milvain Street, Stoke Newington. All distances are the same to those who don’t meet.

Not Printed On Demand. Published by Mariner Books. Free US Shipping (94). ISBN 10: 0395478049 ISBN 13: 9780395478042.

Penelope Fitzgerald has been compared variously to DH Lawrence, Evelyn Waugh and Martin Amis

Penelope Fitzgerald has been compared variously to DH Lawrence, Evelyn Waugh and Martin Amis. Her admirers are drawn to Fitzgerald's sparseness of expression and her ability to trace the subtle social interactions between disparate characters, who often work or live together in small, offbeat communities. Offshore, which won the Booker prize in 1979, showcases her talent as a miniaturist. Fitzgerald is adept at evoking the atmosphere of late 1960s London with rich period detail but beyond this the book feels slight and inconclusive, meandering along with only the sketchiest plot.

  • Muniath
"Offshore" is a slender, accessible novel that some readers might think, as some critics did when it was first published and as I did on first reading it, a bit of a lark--quirky, often very funny, but ultimately insubstantial. When I finished it nearly a year ago, I didn't review it here; I'd thought it slight in comparison to some of Fitzgerald's other novels (each of which I have loved) and just wasn't sure what to make of it. But this little "tragi-farce"--the author's word, actually--has grown on me; I've repeatedly referred back to my copy and on a recent weekend found myself reading the whole thing over again.

What resonates on each subsequent skimming or reading is the subtle, brilliant way Fitzgerald portrays the novel's tight-knit community as, fundamentally, an unorthodox family. Set in the early 1960s, the story is surprisingly autobiographical (something I didn't know when I'd first read it); Fitzgerald, too, lived on an old barge on the Thames for two years with her three children. Although her heroine, Nenna, is a decade younger than the author had been during her river years, and here there are two children rather than three, it can be disarming to understand that this truly odd assortment of characters has been transformed from real life.

At times, the two girls (as precocious as children are in all of Fitzgerald's novels) steal the show. Their quips are frequently childish and clever all at once: "I hate very old toys," retorts six-year-old Tilda. "They may have been alright for very old children." Observant and acrobatic river rats, both girls are religiously absent from school and instead get their "education" from their surroundings, exhibiting a maturity often lacking in the neighbors. Among the adults is a rentboy named Maurice, whose illicit, "professional" activities are complicated by his allowing his boat to be used for the transfer of stolen goods. Sam, an elderly painter, is trying to sell his boat and would appreciate it, thank you very much, if his neighbors wouldn't mention the leak to prospective buyers. Richard, the unofficial leader of the bunch, owns the only shipshape vessel and lives apart from his wife, who detests life on the river. Richard's situation mirrors that of Nenna, whose inept, unemployable husband also lives apart from his family and who wants her to sell the damn boat and end this bizarre display of independence: "It's not for me to come for you, it's for you to get rid of it. I'm not quarreling about money. If you don't want to sell it, why can't you rent it out?"

There is in fact a plot, and all the pieces come together, almost tragically and yet entertainingly in a madcap climax. But the real focuses of the book are the erstwhile network of friends that forms on the river and the assertion of responsibility (or, in some cases, the lack of it) by each of the main characters. This is a book that pays rereading; it's both funnier and more heartrending the second time out.
  • Lli
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.
  • Shaktiktilar
I read this at the same time I was reading Penelope Fitzgerald's biography by Hermione Lee. It made the novel far more interesting than I might have found it reading it without that context. On its own, I'd describe it as a slim, elegant little book that in its presentation mirrors the disjointed and confused circumstances of Nenna, a woman separated from her husband, who has fallen on hard times and ended up on a leaky barge on a dank and polluted tidal river, with two children who are far more resourceful than she is. That this is based on a low point in Fitzgerald's own life is what makes it much more interesting. It is a novel and not a memoir, so I suppose one can't read too much into it, but while peopled by quirky characters and a kind of camaraderie, it sounds like it was pretty grim...an experience that couldn't really be prettied up.