read Water Music doc Æ Paperback É hannahredhead

ebook Ì Water Music ì T. Coraghessan Boyle

Water MusicIning novel of imaginative and stylistic fancy that announced to the world Boyle's tremendous gifts as a storyteller Set in the late eighteenth century Water Music follows the wild adventures of Ned Rise thief and whoremaster a Another one from Boyle that was immensely enjoyable funny witty bawdy and sometimes shocking Great writer This book was Boyle's first novel It's basically the story of Mungo Park the Scottish explorer who was the first European to see the Niger River in Africa During the first 34 of the novel the story switches from Mungo's adventures to the story of Ned Rise a thief scoundrel and all round con man in the filthy streets of late 18th century London Although I did really enjoy Mungo's adventures Ned Rise has to be one of Boyle's most unforgettable characters Just when he thinks he has the world by a string disaster always seems to hit but he somehow always lands on his feet he even survived his own hanging Boyle's use of the English language is a marvel to behold His vocabulary is never ending and his descriptive narrative is marvelous He can make you feel like you are experiencing a place by just talking about it For example his description of the streets of London during this time period makes you feel as if you are there At this time in history the streets of London were as foul feculent and disease ridden as a series of interconnected dunghills twice as dangerous as a battlefield and as infreuently maintained as the lower cells of an asylum dungeonThere was pigeonshit Mud coal dust ashes dead cats dogs rats scraps of cloth stained with excrement and worst of all open sewersGrim shopkeepers trudged out into the roadway to dump their chamberpots barmen limed the walls outside their establishments to deaden the reek of urine housekeepers flung buckets of nightsoil from second and third story windows not only was the pedestrian up to his ankles in human waste he also found himself dodging the airborne clods thrown up by the wheels of passing carriages All in all another highly entertaining story from Boyle High recommendation

book Water Music

read Water Music doc Æ Paperback É hannahredhead ç Alternate Cover Edition can be found here and hereTC Boyle's riotous first novel now in a new edition for its 25th anniversary Twenty five years ago TC Boyle published his first novel Water Music a funny bawdy extremely entertaining novel of imaginative and stylistic fanNd Mungo Park a Scottish explorer through London's seamy gutters and Scotland's scenic highlands to their grand meeting in the heart of darkest Africa There they join forces and wend their hilarious way to the source of the Nig My husband forced me to read this book during our vacation I just forgot to add it to my TBR I have to create a single shelf for it I think because it is not what I normally read But it is what my husband reads and likes I liked it too

T. Coraghessan Boyle ì Water Music doc

Alternate Cover Edition can be found here and hereTC Boyle's riotous first novel now in a new edition for its 25th anniversary Twenty five years ago TC Boyle published his first novel Water Music a funny bawdy extremely enterta An ambitious but messy novel which for me was of a heroic failure than a triumphant success I like the idea a lot a fictionalised account of Mungo Park's travels to find the source of the Niger River interspersed with the story of an invented London rogue called Ned Rise The general approach is a sort of knockabout picaresue style a comic novel of adventures but unfortunately this does leave the whole thing feeling rather caricaturish The London scenes in particular are like a cartoon version of a Hogarth painting though with even willingness to dwell on the cheap sex and inhuman sualor of eighteenth century city lifeThis two dimensionality does cause problems with tone There are some appalling stories in here especially when it comes to the female characters Poor Fanny Brunch goes from servitude to extended sadomasochistic rape and torture to drug addiction to losing a baby towell to a nasty end If this is supposed to be social commentary then a roustabout comic style is the wrong way to do it it just feels trivial and cruel Similarly the final third of the book builds to an unhappy climax for pretty much everyone But because the characters have so little depth it doesn't seem particularly moving or tragic It just seems relentless and actually kind of depressingThere are various other problems with the execution some subjective others serious I didn't like the way Boyle explained so much of his historical context There are long paragraphs bringing readers up to speed on things like what the Sahel is or where the Niger River is located If you already know this such passages feel patronising and if you don't then it deprives you of the pleasure of investigating the novel's sidelines chasing down references The structure of the book is also a bit awkward describing as it does both of Park's two African expeditions with a detailed interlude in Scotland in between The problem is that by the time we go back to West Africa for the final section of the novel it feels like going backwards we've seen it all beforeMost crucially though I have no idea what this book is actually about What's it all for? I mean some of the set pieces are a lot of fun and there are some enjoyable bits of dialogue but – there's just nothing behind it There are no unifying themes at all just incidentsBoyle is clearly a huge Thomas Pynchon fan and the book I couldn't help comparing this to was Pynchon's Mason Dixon another postmodern adventure novel about an eighteenth century British explorer Water Music does not emerge well from the comparison Pynchon picked out little known sidelines from the period – Vaucanson's mechanical duck the transit of Venus – and he let the reader do at least half the work For all Boyle's energetic prose style his targets are too obvious or too cliché Ultimately Pynchon writes novels of ideas; Boyle doesn't seem to have any ideas Without them his rich vocabulary is left rudderless and he throws words like hyetologist and remugient around a bit clumsilyOK I've probably gone too far now This is by no means a bad novel and I enjoyed reading it – it's just a bit frustrating because there is a much better book in there somewhere This was TC Boyle's first and I would definitely like to read some of his others and see how his style has matured In this case I unfortunately felt a bit too much like Mungo Park myself – on an eventful journey but without any clear idea of where I was going or why