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I looked at my watch and realized that he had been silently reading for thirty-five minutes. By this time he could have had one or two of Heine's poems off by heart. Either that or he was translating them. Perhaps he too was a man of letters. But he looked too ineffable, and also too unhappy, for that. I altered my estimate of him. He was a dilettante, a caste I had always admired.Soon, Claire's desire to be part of the story she tells herself about Martin's probable life leads her to provoke the quiet crisis so indicative of a Brookner dénouement.
This gifted author, who is seen by some critics as the embodiment of Jamesian exactitude, is really quite the opposite. An almost pathological writer, Brookner returns again and again to her notion of the inability of women to think of marriage as something that will rescue them--and yet they are pulled toward the ideal (one they easily deconstruct) of a romantic savior. A particular, melancholic despondence saturates her work, and disappointment dominates, despite the humor, erudition, and classical elegance of her prose. Brookner is a modern, bitter writer. Few novelists have the ability to create such complete characters and then dissect their motives so clearly. Even fewer have the skill to delineate the emotional complexity of the domesticated manners that mark our inability to communicate with one other. Undue Influence is another triumph of profound psychological investigation--and perception--from one of England's finest writers. --Mark Thwaite
We have the stereotypical lonely female book store clerk surrounded by old ladies - her widowed mother and the two elderly spinsters she works for. Read morePublished on December 30, 2012 by James W. Fonseca
Liked this book in general but sometimes hard to follow. I do love the older language where it makes you think of what words mean. If all else fails, use a dictionary lol. Read morePublished on December 17, 2012 by dkr
At first I liked this story about a sad, lonely woman. It reminded me a bit of Vilette, by Charlotte Bronte (which I love). Read morePublished on November 5, 2007 by Fiction Reader
While the book was beautifully written, all the main characters speak and act like characters out of the early 20th century. Read morePublished on July 25, 2004 by M A Maskell
this a is a strange novel that seems to have been caught up in authroial intrusion of its main character. Read morePublished on February 26, 2003 by gm
this is a strange novel that seems to have been caught up in authorial inntrusion of its main character. Read morePublished on February 26, 2003 by gm
I am not sure why everyone else loves this book but I certainly do not belong in that camp. It was quite tedious to read the book. Read morePublished on March 26, 2001
It is difficult for me to deconstruct a novel by the great Anita Brookner, especially as I have finally gotten around to reading something by her. Read morePublished on February 17, 2001 by Lynn Adler
I've read the other reviews here and I can not understand how anyone would rate UNDUE INFUENCE one star and complain it was boring. Read morePublished on January 18, 2001 by Ronald Lewis