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The White Bone: A Novel (1998)

av Barbara Gowdy

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7522321,905 (3.73)14
A thrilling journey into the minds of African elephants as they struggle to survive. If, as many recent nonfiction bestsellers have revealed, animals possess emotions and awareness, they must also have stories. In The White Bone, a novel imagined entirely from the perspective of African elephants, Barbara Gowdy creates a world whole and separate that yet illuminates our own. For years, young Mud and her family have roamed the high grasses, swamps, and deserts of the sub-Sahara. Now the earth is scorched by drought, and the mutilated bodies of family and friends lie scattered on the ground, shot down by ivory hunters. Nothing-not the once familiar terrain, or the age-old rhythms of life, or even memory itself-seems reliable anymore. Yet a slim prophecy of hope is passed on from water hole to water hole: the sacred white bone of legend will point the elephants toward the Safe Place. And so begins a quest through Africa's vast and perilous plains-until at last the survivors face a decisive trial of loyalty and courage. In The White Bone, Barbara Gowdy performs a feat of imagination virtually unparalleled in modern fiction. Plunged into an alien landscape, we orient ourselves in elephant time, elephant space, elephant consciousness and begin to feel, as Gowdy puts it, "what it would be like to be that big and gentle, to be that imperiled, and to have that prodigious memory."… (mer)
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» Se även 14 omnämnanden

engelska (20)  tyska (2)  danska (1)  Alla språk (23)
Visa 1-5 av 23 (nästa | visa alla)
The book was very imaginative and obviously well-researched. However, I couldn't relate to the characters and had trouble even remembering who was who. The best part was the writing about memory: "If you live long enough, your memory leaks right out of you." ( )
  LynnB | Oct 24, 2020 |
Beautiful language. The idea of people hunting elephants is appalling. After reading this book, I trust everyone will find it even more horrifying. Imaginative. Brilliant. Lovely. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Dec 15, 2019 |
Globe and Mail Book Club selection for May 2019, chosen by Margaret Atwood ( )
  bhowell | May 8, 2019 |
I don't normally like books with animal protagonists, but this is masterfully done. Gowdy avoids anthropomorphization and sentimentality and creates an entirely believable world as seen from the pov of elephants. Beautiful and heartbreaking. ( )
  JMLandels | Jan 11, 2019 |
Review: The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy.

It takes some time getting use to the writing style and keeping track of the different generations of elephants. I will say it was captivating but no where as good as Watership Down. Gowdy manages to convey a lot of dense sadness and depression throughout the book. The characters in the book are elephants and they are somewhat anthropomorphic they are definitely written as an alien creature with dreams, stories, and personalities of their own. The predicaments of the elephants are not a happy one and there are plenty of descriptions and events to remind the reader of this.

This was an interesting book narrated by an elephant known as She-Spurns which she rejects the name and rather be called Mud. She is an exceptional character that she starts out with mixed feelings about everything and is a loner. In most elephants herds this is unheard of. The elephants are capable to talk through their minds and different herds have their own naming system. This section was somewhat confusing but I managed to figure it out.

There is some repetition during the searching for their families in the story and the performance of imagination predictably outstanding to modern fiction. The reader plunges into an alien landscape and orients in elephant time , elephant space, elephant consciousness and begins to feel what it would be like to be that big and gentle, and to be that endangered, and to have a extraordinary memory, ( )
  Juan-banjo | Oct 20, 2018 |
Visa 1-5 av 23 (nästa | visa alla)
... Gowdy has created a landscape, a cosmology, and a community that are wholly surprising and believable. The White Bone is a singular and remarkable novel.
 
The novel is a tour de force.
tillagd av GYKM | ändraTimes Literary Supplement
 
The White Bone is a spectacular achievement.
tillagd av GYKM | ändraChicago Tribune
 
Comic, apocalyptic, faintly hopeful, The White Bone succeeds as a brave and captivating act of imagination.
tillagd av GYKM | ändraThe Globe and Mail
 

» Lägg till fler författare (5 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Barbara Gowdyprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Becker, UlrikeÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Jamarillo, RaquelOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Varrelmann, ClausÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Yet in the alert, warm animal there lies the pain and burden of an enormous sadness. For it too feels the presence of what often overwhelms us: a memory, as if the element we keep pressing toward was once more intimate, more true, and our communion infinitely tender.--from The Eighth Elegy, Duino Elegies, Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell
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For Chris Kirkwood and Rob Kirkwood and in memory of my father, Robert Gowdy
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If they live long enough they forget everything. (prologue)
All day there are glaring omens that go undetected. (Chapter 1)
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Thirty years of aligning his every move to what he believed was a world trembling with mystic revelation (p. 145)
The earth tilts to meet their footfalls (p. 216)
At the end of a long life you forget everything except who you are. But who is that? ...Now her hunch is that you are the sum of those incidents only you can testify to, whose existence, without you, would have no earthly acknowledgement. (271)
By what misguided arrangement were she-ones made swollen with memory rather than sleek with appetite? (p 320)
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A thrilling journey into the minds of African elephants as they struggle to survive. If, as many recent nonfiction bestsellers have revealed, animals possess emotions and awareness, they must also have stories. In The White Bone, a novel imagined entirely from the perspective of African elephants, Barbara Gowdy creates a world whole and separate that yet illuminates our own. For years, young Mud and her family have roamed the high grasses, swamps, and deserts of the sub-Sahara. Now the earth is scorched by drought, and the mutilated bodies of family and friends lie scattered on the ground, shot down by ivory hunters. Nothing-not the once familiar terrain, or the age-old rhythms of life, or even memory itself-seems reliable anymore. Yet a slim prophecy of hope is passed on from water hole to water hole: the sacred white bone of legend will point the elephants toward the Safe Place. And so begins a quest through Africa's vast and perilous plains-until at last the survivors face a decisive trial of loyalty and courage. In The White Bone, Barbara Gowdy performs a feat of imagination virtually unparalleled in modern fiction. Plunged into an alien landscape, we orient ourselves in elephant time, elephant space, elephant consciousness and begin to feel, as Gowdy puts it, "what it would be like to be that big and gentle, to be that imperiled, and to have that prodigious memory."

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