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Paul Murray (1) (1975–)

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5+ verk 3,336 medlemmar 170 recensioner 6 favoritmärkta

Verk av Paul Murray

Skippy Dies (2010) 2,221 exemplar
The Bee Sting (2023) 544 exemplar
An Evening of Long Goodbyes (2003) 347 exemplar
The Mark and the Void (2015) 220 exemplar

Associerade verk

Granta 82: Life's Like That (2003) — Bidragsgivare — 145 exemplar

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Oh this book is a proper saga. A personal “look-into” the car crash that is the Barnes family. It is a derailed train, and you get a front row seat to see it all happen.
This book will make you laugh and cry at the same time. It is such a well told story, that even at its 600+ pages, you just don’t want it to end. And what an ending!!!
We get to experience the Barnes family through the years in the viewpoint of each member. We learn their personal story and their combined stories as well. How one (or many) little action and decision can shape, and utterly alter not just one life, but several.
I truly don’t want to say much more to avoid giving anything away, but please, PLEASE! read this one. The pacing, the build up, the heartache and the heartbreak are too good to let it pass you by.
Then you get to the ending. I am still reeling it all in.
… (mer)
 
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AleAleta | 25 andra recensioner | Mar 1, 2024 |
“So many of the bad things that happen in the world come from people pretending to be something they’re not.”

From the publisher:
“The Barnes family are in trouble. Until recently they ran the biggest business in town, now they’re teetering on the brink of bankruptcy – and that’s just the start of their problems. Dickie and Imelda’s marriage is hanging by a thread; straight-A student Cass is careening off the rails; PJ is hopelessly in debt to the school bully. Meanwhile the ghosts of old mistakes are rising out of the past to meet them, but everyone’s too wrapped up in the present to see the danger looming . . .”

I have extremely mixed feelings about this book. I thought parts of it were very good and I thought other parts were a total slog. I honestly think if it had been edited down by about 150 pages or more I would have liked it better. I never considered abandoning it because I wanted to fine out where all the threads of differing viewpoints were going to lead. They led to an increasing spiral of an ending that turned out to be a bit of a mess.

I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either. It was good but it could have been so much better.
… (mer)
 
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SuziQoregon | 25 andra recensioner | Feb 29, 2024 |
I read this as Paul Murray condemning the reader for enjoying his novelistic entertainment while the Anthropocene era crashes down around us in a self-immolating death spiral. Or if that’s a mite too strong and perhaps it is, at least urging the reader to Wake Up. It’s a work of deep eco-pessimism at its core, surrounded by heaping amounts of melodrama (oh the melodrama!) that we humans love to entertain ourselves with.

The core is represented explicitly in a speech that appears about 450 pages in, a speech that is given by a character who has unexpectedly popped back up in quite a remarkable coincidence (one of many in the final quarter as the melodrama reaches its impressive heights). It’s a speech given at Trinity College Dublin by an opposition politician on climate change. It’s of pretty good length. It’s not otherwise necessary to the plot. It contains some insightful remarks on human nature while operating from a presumption of looming civilizational collapse and human extinction due to climate change. Some important excerpts:
We know about the billions of plants and animals that have already been killed by pollution and habitat destruction, the rising seas, the melting ice, desertification - we know all that. And yet we continue not to do anything to stop it, because the things that are causing it, the things we’re doing that are making it worse - building buildings, taking planes, driving cars, eating meat, buying stuff, having children! - these are the very things that make us us. So we seem to be faced with an impossible dilemma: if we don’t want to be killed by climate change, we have to stop being ourselves.

We’re at a moment where either we make a serious change to the way we live, or we destroy ourselves. The science is not ambiguous. If we don’t face up to reality, we’re not going to make it.

Once you take off your mask, it’s like all the other masks become transparent, and you can see that beneath our individual quirks and weirdnesses, we’re the same. We are the same in being different, in feeling bad about being different. Or to put it another way, we are all different expressions of the same vulnerability and need. That’s what binds us together.

Division will do no good. You may gain some attention for your particular subgroup, there may even be minor accommodations made. But you are moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship, diversity deck chairs. Global apocalypse is not interested in your identity politics or who you pray to or what side of the border you live on. Cis, trans, black, white, scientist, artist, basketball player, priest - every stripe of person, every colour and creed, we are all going to be hit by this hammer. And that is another fact that unites us. We are all alive together in this sliver of time in which the human race decides whether or not it will come to an end.


Murray then sticks the boot in to the reader, whether the reader is aware of it or not, at the 86% mark, according to my Kindle, through a brief snippet of a literature class lecture, the only such snippet in the book… must be important then to be included:

Today, in the developed world, the great threat to political order is that people will pay attention to their surroundings. Thus, even slaves have access to entertainment. You could even say we are paid in entertainment. The novel was the first instance of what in the twenty-first century has become a vast and proliferating entertainment industry, an almost infinite machine designed to distract us and disempower us. We are presented with a virtual world powered, literally, by the incineration of the real.


Why are you reading novels when we’re destroying ourselves, eh? At least that is what I’m reading this saying to us. I mean, the novel opens with the story of a man killing his family and then himself, and there’s the somewhat ambiguous ending… not a stretch to read this as an accusation of us unwittingly (or wittingly) killing ourselves while gorging on bread and circuses (or novels).

The deep fundamental pessimism about humanity and its future at core here is not an outlook I share, and the amazing melodrama Murray surrounds that core with, be it for straightforward or ironic purposes, is entertaining to some degree but obviously over the top, so I can’t really get very behind this novel. I’m impressed with Murray’s talent but not as much with what he’s used his talent to produce.
… (mer)
 
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lelandleslie | 25 andra recensioner | Feb 24, 2024 |
I listened to this book on Audible.

Wow, what a fantastic novel! The book has four different members of a rural Irish family each relate their story in turn, picking up where the last one left off. Each character seems as first to be fairly worthless and making terrible decisions. As their background is presented though, the reader begins to feel empathy with their predicaments. The whole family is on a downward spiral personally and as a family unit. Since the reader knows more than any one characters we can see the metaphorical train wreck happening but they cannot. The structure of the book, the characterizations, and the plot development are all brilliant. The ending is everything. No spoilers here, but it was worth reading several analyses upon completing the book.… (mer)
 
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technodiabla | 25 andra recensioner | Feb 21, 2024 |

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Statistik

Verk
5
Även av
1
Medlemmar
3,336
Popularitet
#7,660
Betyg
3.8
Recensioner
170
ISBN
131
Språk
9
Favoritmärkt
6

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