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Cove av Cynan Jones
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Cove (urspr publ 2016; utgåvan 2018)

av Cynan Jones (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
978225,817 (3.84)15
From the Jerwood-award winning author of The Dig, here is a short, sharp punch of a book about a man and a boat in deep, uncertain waters out at sea, in a sudden storm, a man is struck by lightning. When he wakes, injured and adrift on a kayak, his memory of who he is and how he came to be there is all but shattered. Now he must pit himself against the pain and rely on his instincts to get back to shore, and to the woman he dimly senses waiting for his return. With its taut narrative and its wincingly visceral portrait of a man locked in an uneven struggle with the forces of nature, this is a powerful new work from one of the most distinctive voices in British fiction.… (mer)
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» Se även 15 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
Rating: 5* of five

Don't ever, ever think you're in a dark place again, is the primary message of this novella-cum-prose poem.
He is holding his hands in the water, rubbing the blood from them, when the hairs on his arms stand up. The sway briefly, like seaweed in the current. Then lie down again.

He looks up. A strange ruffle come across the surface.

The birds had lifted suddenly & gone away. As if there were some signal. They are flecks now, a hiatus disappearing against the light off the sea.

He is far enough out for the land to have paled in view.
Our nameless point-of-view man is busy preparing to take his kayak out of the cove near his home. With his experienced preparations, catching a fish for his supper and with the material goods he needs to make the short trip comfortable, there is a heaviness. The foreboding the above passage evokes in me is matched by the fact that he's there to scatter his father's ashes. But the world doesn't have time to mourn:
There was a piping of oystercatchers, a clap of water as a fish jumped. He saw it for a moment, a silver nail. A thing deliberately, for a brief astounding moment, broken from its element.
These passages make me think I live in Author Cynan's head. I see and hear them in realtime. I am deeply unsettled...what is coming must be difficult because these quotidian sensations are so powerful. The ashes, the small moments of daily reality going on despite the huge gaping hole of his father's death...going out of the shelter of this homely cove, noticing its real-world comforts...
...
...
...I've read your books before, Author Cynan, something terrible this way comes.

A moment truly as before-and-after as it is portrayed to be: A lightning strike.

While alone at sea. In a kayak. With a few hours' trip supplies.

Waking up alive, though after how long he doesn't know and with the arm that conducted the current dead (the fern-like pattern of Lichtenberg figures disfiguring his now-useless hand and arm), he inventories his few supplies and begins preparations to survive. It is grueling to read and almost reeks of experience, which I hope is second-hand:
He takes off the buoyancy aid & pulls on the thick sweater, useless arm first. The smell of the sweater triggers something, but it is like a piano key hitting strings that are gone.
That image is both terrifying to me, and gorgeous to read. What a superbly wrought way to describe the sensation of losing a piece of yourself, your experience. Where one expects resonant musical pleasure, there is the presence of silence and not just the absence of sound.

There is a miserable fight, with the good luck of an itchy sunfish rubbing against his kayak and beneficently steering it towards land; there is a moment of aesthetic joy as night luminescent seas trace the presence of his hand; there is so much work and so much pain:
If you disappear you will grow into a myth for them. You will exist only as an absence. If you get back, you will exist as a legend.
That's effective self-talk for a man who's been through some huge change. "They" are the woman pregnant with his child, and the unborn person itself. For, as the sea's many thefts (water, skin) bite ever deeper, he needs this goal to focus on, and needs also his dead father's ghost in his own head reminding him how to do this, how to survive.

An image of fatherhood that I am so unspeakably glad to see in fiction, littered as it is with cheating lying beating abusing men.

The ordeal continues. The night and the day and then there is land...land within sight...with lights...and he MacGyvers up a sail to speed his bonny boat...
...
...into a squall.
All of his life he's had a recurring dream: the car leaves the road. It is never the impact that terrifies him, wakes him. His fear comes the moment he feels the car go.

His life does not pass before his eyes. There is even a point he feels calm. But then he sees the faces of the people he loves. He sees their faces as they see him go.
Here is a man driven to Be There, never to leave, always support and defend, finally driven to his uttermost extreme in search of survival.

And that is where we end.

I close my remarks by noting that this is the book I wish The Old Man and the Sea had been, but was not. ( )
  richardderus | Jan 2, 2021 |
Epic. This is the perfect short novel. Disorienting and alive and vibrating with energy and also cinematic and heartfelt. It fully inhabits the main characters confusion and pain while struggling to survive in the aftermath of being hit by lightning on his boat. Also it is just beautifully written. You will be turning back and forth in this one to reread passages because they are so dang good and you will turn back and forth throughout to figure out whats going on. As the story goes on things clear up but its so good that I got impatient and went back and reread portions to try and figure it out ahead of the pages to come. Its beautiful and raw and everything a modern survival story should be. ( )
  modioperandi | Oct 6, 2020 |
This is the first book by Cynan Jones that I have read. It is easy to read in an evening, but taking your time with this book will ultimately be rewarded. I also want to give credits to the Koppernik publishers who have produced a nice looking book.

The book is about a man in a kayak who wants to scatter his father's ashes. However, it is not going according to plan because he is struck by lightning and remains wounded and unconscious in his kayak until he awakes wounded and disoriented.It then becomes a fight between him, the sea, and the bad weather conditions. This story reminded me of a novel by Ernest Hemingway with the name "The old man and the sea" where an old man is in a struggle with a big fish that he wants to catch. Both novels deal with rough conditions and survival.

Also striking is the writing style of the book. It is written in short paragraphs and blank lines. This makes the written sentences appear powerful and clear. This is certainly not the last book I have read from this author! ( )
  Zentasy72 | Mar 21, 2020 |
A man fishing at sea is struck by lightening. A woman standing on shore sees a floating doll.

The blurb said this book was about a man's survival at sea. It is that, but not in a realistic way. It was short, hallucinatory, and often confusing. There was nothing direct, straight-forward, or easily understandable about it. After I finished it, I went back and skimmed it through again, and I began to see connections, and understand it more, and I liked it much more than on first reading. (It's very short, not even a novel).

In a lot of ways, this reminded me of William Golding's Pincher Martin, but it is much shorter.

3 1/2 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Jun 19, 2018 |
One story, sparsely written yet very interesting. ( )
  SaraMSLIS | May 26, 2018 |
Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
De kleine roman van de Welsh schrijver Cynan Jones – Inham beschrijft het verhaal van een man die een strijd voert om te overleden. In een kano vaart een man de zee op om de as van zijn overleden vader uit te strooien. Als er een onweersbui op komt zetten, wordt hij getroffen door de bliksem en raakt buiten westen. Inmiddels is de kano midden op zee geraakt als de man bijkomt…lees verder >
 

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Hoek, JonaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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From the Jerwood-award winning author of The Dig, here is a short, sharp punch of a book about a man and a boat in deep, uncertain waters out at sea, in a sudden storm, a man is struck by lightning. When he wakes, injured and adrift on a kayak, his memory of who he is and how he came to be there is all but shattered. Now he must pit himself against the pain and rely on his instincts to get back to shore, and to the woman he dimly senses waiting for his return. With its taut narrative and its wincingly visceral portrait of a man locked in an uneven struggle with the forces of nature, this is a powerful new work from one of the most distinctive voices in British fiction.

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