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Impossible Object (British Literature Series) Hardcover – November 1, 1985


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Mosley is one of the most interesting and gifted English novelists writing today." --New Statesman

"Mosley's very special talent is for describing the sensations experienced within a cocoon of dismay and terror." --Sunday Times (London)

"This is black art . . . tricky, brilliant. . . . I admire this novel very much." --John Leonard, New York Times

About the Author

Nicholas Mosley was born in London on June 25, 1923 and was educated at Eton and Oxford. He served in Italy during World War II, and published his first novel, Spaces of the Dark, in 1951. His book Hopeful Monsters won the 1990 Whitbread Award.

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Product Details

  • Series: British Literature Series
  • Hardcover: 219 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 3rd edition (November 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564784657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564784650
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,824,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lbulgrin@popmail.colum.edu on January 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mosely writes in the end of Impossible Object, "But you always read books more for form than for content," giving away, I believe, an epiphany that mostly comes to those who have read many, many books. Mosely's form in Impossible Object is extremely interesting because of how intertwined the stories are--characters reappear, images recur, and narrators are constantly positing on what exactly constitutes love. When you're finished reading the book you could very well wonder if it is really a short story collection or a loosely-stitched novel. You can decide. Whatever it is, I really enjoyed the book and think that Mosley is a fine writer who deserves a larger audience. Sometimes the characters are a bit on the undercharacterized side--making them a little vague and mildly uninteresting--but Mosley's prose makes up for that easily. The first line of his short story, "Life After Death" is a good example of the unique vision Mosley captures in his text, "Walking through streets late at night I saw a crack in the sky and a red arm coming through with the fist clenched like a foetus." It's pretty hard to walk away from a line like that--not exactly your usual sunrise. Very refreshing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 11, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I was left with a sense of confusion after reading this book. There is so much interpretation that needs to be done after reading this, that a reader needs to back and re-read many times. A handful of stories were very interesting, and the rest, well, I can't comment on them because I didn't fully understand the book. Anyone who is up for a challenge,and good at interpretation of books on many levels, would enjoy this, and those who undersand it..e-mail me and tell me what you thought it was about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ScrawnyPunk on February 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Like "Accident," "Impossible Object" is another example of an excellent 1960's novel which pushed literary boundaries at the time but is somewhat neglected now. Although advertised as a novel (and it IS a novel) it reads as a collection of short stories. Connected, yet so unique in style and substance they are initially recognizable as a narrative theme rather than a cohesive story, it is only in the end that the characters and storylines are shown to be the same throughout the work. This is a novel of multiple episodes, captured by multiple narrators, all attempting to come to terms with the impossibility of idealized, romantic love.

The narrative follows the arc of romantic love experienced by someone who initially thinks he has lost it: a man envies the idealized love his older son seems to have for a village girl; a couple's marriage slides into battle and guilt as their romance evolves into routine; a couple's apathy towards one another paves the way for infidelity; an outsider gives a sympathetic view of an affair from start to apparent finish; an impromptu love/lust is quickly distilled to base elements of jealousy, control, and selfishness; a man contemplates suicide after losing both his wife and his "true" love; a man takes a coward's approach to the aftermath of his adultery; and an affair rekindled by an illegitimate birth ends tragically.

This is not an easy read: multiple narrative voices are (intentionally?
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Spencer Tad on June 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you read my other reviews, you'll see I'm an absolute snob. Just take my word for it. Beckett, Chekhov...Wallace Stevens, that kind of thing. I'm always skeptical when someone recommends to me a book by an author I have never heard of, especially one more or less recent. I won't summarize the book for you, just say that I hope you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I was. The form, the content...WEIRD and very difficult even to explain. I'm normally not a fan of the "interweaving" thing with literature or movies, but something about the first person narrators makes it work in a very interesting way in this book.

The book also has some kind of meta-fictional effects going on, but nothing too self-conscious as one would see in a postmodern novel.

I recommend this to my fellow lit. snobs.
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