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The Weekend: A Novel Paperback – March 31, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312428707
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312428709
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vapid dialogue and a uniformly languid cast of characters doom this sporadically insightful novella that explores themes of bereavement, change, love, loneliness and the quest for connection. A year after the AIDS death of a loved one, three friends are reunited for a weekend at the upstate New York country house where they used to convene in summers past. John and Marian, half-brother and sister-in-law of the late Tony, have permanently fled Manhattan for a life of leisure in this idyllic riverfront home. Tony's lover, Lyle, an art critic and lecturer, pays his first visit since Tony's death, bringing along his new young paramour, Robert, an aspiring painter. Stymied by insurmountable tensions and inner conflicts, this mildly neurotic group fails miserably to resuscitate past contentments. Aging Europhile neighbor Laura Ponti, whom Marian invites to dinner, faces similar disappointment in her efforts to invigorate ties with her daughter. Cameron ( Leap Year ) interposes vignettes from Tony's lifetime between pieces of the currently developing plot and, through frequent shifts in point of view, takes the reader into the listless mind of each of his characters. The contrast between his rather elegant prose and their insipid, unconvincing speech, however, contributes to an unfortunate emphasis on explication at the expense of illustration, leaving the reader with little attachment to this sorrowful group of survivors.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Poor Robert. A young painter, he's invited to the country by his new love, Lyle, a middle-aged art critic and a bit of a prig. They are off to stay with the useless John and the unappealing Marian, a rich married couple and Lyle's best friends. Their house is also where Lyle's lover Tony died, exactly one year ago, as we creepily learn. And not only was Tony Lyle's lover, he was also John's half-brother. Get off the train!, you want to yell to Robert. But by the time all the pieces are in place it's too late, and the beautifully controlled horror of the novel has begun. Tensions develop rapidly on all fronts: between the generations, between the new lovers, between the past and the present, between those with hope and those without. And just when you think that the story of this weekend is all memory and conversation, things start to happen. This brief novel confirms what readers of Far-Flung Stories (LJ 9/15/91) and Leap Year (LJ 3/1/90) have long suspected: Cameron is one of our very best writers. For all fiction collections.
Brian Kenney, Brooklyn P.L.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

And, after it's all said and done, you kinda feel like hugging the book.
T. Gabrielli
The language is so beautiful.... Syntax, words, pause, everything is beautiful.
BOOK READER
I read this book a few years back and decided to read it again recently.
"jagoco"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Coyle on August 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Peter Cameron's gifts as a writer are plainly on display in this beautiful novella of friendship, grief, hope, and honesty. The language is gorgeous (his background as a poet puts him many levels above most writers of the time) and his characterizations are realistic, almost painfully so at times. It's a shame that more people haven't discovered this extremely talented writer. He's right up there with Michael Cunningham, whose book "The Hours" has a similar calm and introspective tone. That isn't to say the two books are the same--just that they handle some rather deep and philosophical ideas without becoming indulgent or heavy-handed. "The Weekend" is a deceptively easy read, but it will leave you thinking and wondering long after the last page is turned.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I wish I could write like Peter Cameron. Such economy of language, such insightful observations. His writing is exquisitely simple and clean, his voice assured. He is a world-class writer and it's hard to imagine how his beautiful new novel, The Weekend, could be any better.

On a warm-weather holiday, in a country house in upstate New York, three old friends--art critic Lyle, wealthy young couple Marian and John--gather on the anniversary of the death of Tony, a gay man with AIDS who was John's brother, Lyle's lover, Marian's friend. As Lyle has invited Robert, a young artist/waiter in whom he has taken an interest, Marian invites her summer neighbor, the older Laura, because...well, because Laura speaks with an Italian accent. The introduction of these two outsiders--along with the lurking memory of the departed Tony--charges everything with a shifting tension that darts between jealousy and longing, nostalgia and recrimination. Each indolent activity--a swim in the river, a nap in a shadowed guestroom, a walk in the woods, a dinner al fresco--shivers with the recollection of happier times now lost. Cameron's light touch transforms this tense midsummer scene into a provocative social comedy worthy of Chekhov.

When Robert overhears Marian tell John that she resents his being at their "family" gathering, what can he do? Continue the weekend charade as if he hadn't heard himself dished? Acknowledge and act upon this new information? The incident jacks the anxiety level up several notches, not only for Robert but for the reader as well: we now know whose secret cards are on what whispered table.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "blissengine" on July 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
One summer weekend in upstate New York, three friends gather on the anniversary of the death of the man who was their centerpiece. The widowed boyfriend's new lover and a surprising dinner guest disrupt the memories and push the tension of the trio into clarity for each as they struggle to regain something lost. Cameron's exquisitely written novel weaves flashbacks into the story, giving the whole an almost lazy summer day atmosphere, just like what the weekend was supposed to be for the characters. Not only is the story beautifully told, but the personal epiphanies of the characters are almost startling in context of the tale, and the human truths about loss and perception are quite universal and sharply rendered. This is a book to treasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "jagoco" on August 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I read this book a few years back and decided to read it again recently. I remembered loving this book when I first read it and my second read confirmed why I loved it so much. It's just that Peter Cameron has an amazing way with words. In this book, he makes you understand each character by digging deep into their emotions and thoughts. This story feels so real and beautiful, even though this book's characters experience loss and discover the worst things about themselves. This truly is a great book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Gabrielli on October 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very strange, quiet and unsettling book that I would recommend reading. It's like reading a foreign film: minimal plot, GREAT character development and lines that seem to jump off the page at you. And, after it's all said and done, you kinda feel like hugging the book. A definite read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BOOK READER on December 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
The best book I have ever read in my life.The language is so beautiful.... Syntax, words, pause, everything is beautiful. It is such a heart-healing book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up in hardcover and started reading it as soon as I got home. Cameron drew me into the weekend and this small masterpiece stayed with me for months afterwards. I would find myself remembering a particular line or a scene; he has a real gift for creating lasting images in the reader's mind.
I'd recommend it without reservations; I have "Andorra" but have not yet read it, and am halfway through "Leap Year", which I think is quite good, too.
I know that some readers don't care for this author, but I enjoy his work and look forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary on January 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Favorite Peter Cameron book. After treading this I bought everything else he has written. The characters are unforgettable. He has a great talent for understanding and depicting the unspoken.
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