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Mortals Paperback – July 13, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This novel is a story about obsessive love and jealousy, but it is also an adventure story and a political thriller. Rush seems to be interested in many philosophical and political matters, not to mention in literature and its effect on life. In the sections that interest you, you'll want more of this. In the sections that don't, you'll skim. Personally, I skimmed most of the parts about religion. Seemed interesting, but not necessary, in my opinion.
Mortals is worth reading for the prose style alone. It is amazing writing. The perceptions make you want to write things down so you won't forget them. But to me, the exploration of the relationship between a man and a woman was the most fascinating and memorable aspect of Mortals.
One other little thing that I enjoyed was the chapter devoted to "The Denoons" from Rush's previous novel, Mating.Read more ›
The word plays and turns of phrase that flood every page convinced me that the author has kept notebooks of arresting phrases he has heard or produced from his own imagination over the last forty years, and has poured two thirds of the contents of these notebooks into this novel, providing a language lover's feast.
The most subtle delight of the book is the author's sense of conversational idiom. Not only the dialog, but the narrative stretches are written the way people really talk. As a result, every few pages you encounter a narrative sentence you have to re-read once or twice to understand, because it's written exactly the way someone would say it (without the benefit of intonation that would make the sentence immediately transparent to a listener rather than a reader). As a result, you sit there and marvel at the complexity of how we talk.
All this makes the book a slow read for anyone who wants to zip through the story and a delightful experience for anyone who just plain loves language. Yes, it's a little too long...and I found myself wishing it were longer.
Yes, it helps to have a bachelor's degree (and thus some exposure to that old chestnut of Lit.One: Paradise Lost)and the willingness to slow down and give passages like the following some time to settle:
"Kerekang was unified with the suffering that had brought these men to his cause. It was more than a matter of pity, which was the limit of the usual feeling evoked by poverty and injustice. It was sympathy, but a different order of sympathy, it was embodied."
I won't give a synopsis of the plot or characters because other reviewers have done it well, though I want to add that I found this book laugh-out-loud and read-to-your-spouse funny, a good balance for the harrowing exploits and serious subject matter in some chapters.
Readers who are looking for a novel that gives great reward for close reading will be very pleased with Mortals.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A remarkable piece of writing: witty, learned and erotic!Published 18 months ago by firstname.lastname@example.org
Mortals is amazing. Norman Rush weaves together such a complex plot, and such anguishing but immediate situations. A bit dark, but excellent. Lorie HammondPublished 22 months ago by lorie hammond
The writing and sentence structure is a bit unnerving at first until one realizes that most of what is going on is inside Ray’s mind. And Ray is a compulsive analyzer of detail. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Albert
I thoroughly enjoyed Norman Rush's novel, Mating. To me Rush has a mature way of writing about mature relationships. Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by Sharon S.
I had no problem finishing the book, although with its 700+ pages of small print, it did take a while, but afterwards I'm just not sure that what I got out of it was worth the... Read morePublished on February 14, 2014 by Michael Warren
After falling madly in love with his novel Mating, I was disappointed with this one. The characters were unlikable. Read morePublished on January 14, 2014 by B. Mitchell-Dwyer
This seems to be the book I return to now and again. I feel like I'll finish it...maybe...before I die...
I absolutely loved the first 1/3. Read more
Norman Rush' Mating is an extraordinary book in a number of ways. Like the professional review says, Rush does have the ability to go into great detail about virtually anything. Read morePublished on October 7, 2007 by Adam Rust
After Mating and Whites I was ready for more Norman Rush. I love his prose and intellect. He is a master at character development. Read morePublished on April 10, 2007 by P. LoPinto