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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Game: A Novel Paperback – November 10, 1992

3.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Vintage continues to reprint works by Byatt, the acclaimed author of Possession : this season brings a novel about two estranged sisters, The Game , and the collection Sugar and Other Stories .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

''Byatt is a gifted observer, able to discern the exact details that bring whole worlds into being.'' --New York Times Book Review

''Byatt is the most formidably equipped of contemporary novelists . . .The great merit of [her] writing . . . is that it continually engages the reader's mind.'' --Daily Telegraph (London)

''Nadia May's expert narration adds to the drama of this complex and satisfying work. Recommended.'' --Library Journal --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (November 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679742565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679742562
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #976,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sesho on September 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
Julia, a writer, and Cassandra, an Oxford professor, are two sisters pushing into their 40s that have been estranged for 20 years ever since a man named Simon Moffit came between them and then disappeared from their lives. One day as they are watching television they learn that Simon has now become a naturalist similar to the Crocodile Hunter who likes to get close to dangerous animals in their native habitat. Simon is also coming back to England after being away filming his documentaries and back into the two sister's lives. Julia has gotten married in the meantime and has a child that looks suspiciously like Simon while Cassandra has tried to distance herself from reality, shying from human interaction, cocooned in her office at Oxford. Simon's return will force both of the sisters to examine the loss of their childhood bond when they played an imaginary game, a la the Bronte sisters, in which they chronicled the exploits of knights and ladies to make the time go by. They will also have to figure out their feelings for Simon after spending half their life pining for what has become a man they know now only through tv images and imagination and memories.
This was A.S. Byatt's second novel, published in 1967, the summer of love and all that business. It is a masterful work. Julia runs into trouble when she writes a book about Simon and Cassandra and all the mess they went through. Both sisters begin to question whether their lives have become fiction or whether the fictions they made up as kids have become their lives. It is an interesting question for a writer's second work and one which I've seen taken up by Dostoyevsky. The Game is really about whether other people's perceptions of us is stronger than our own self-image.
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Format: Paperback
This earlier novel deals with many of Byatt's favorite themes: the relationships between sisters, the creative process, literary criticism, the academic world, the struggle of married women to retain their intellectual and personal identity within a circumscribing institution. The game of the title is an Arthurian fantasy devised in childhood by two intense, competitive, and willful sisters, now estranged. To the sisters, the game retains even in adulthood a vibrance and power to which real life cannot compare. To the reader, however, the game is frustratingly vague. In later works, Byatt would have articulated the game as an alternative and interwoven narrative, but here Byatt refuses readers access to the tantalizing imaginative world of her characters. Thus, the characters remain slightly repellent ciphers and the novel seems merely a earlier draft for the richer novels Byatt had not yet written. This books seems to be more closely autobiographical than some later works on the same themes, and perhaps for this reason she feels compelled to keep the reader at arm's length.

An unsatisfying exercise interesting only in the context of Byatt's later writings.
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Format: Paperback
Like [others], I, too was disappointed somewhat with The Game. In Byatt's other work, her characters seem more fully developed and their problems seem more real. In this work, Julia and Cassandra are superficial actors of a cerebral plot, and because of this I found it difficult to care about what happened to either of them. I thought Byatt's plot had the potential to be quite intriguing; however, it was difficult to understand at times the interplay between what was actually happening in the lives of Julia and Cassandra and how they made those occurrences "real" for one another. I rate this book a 3 because it fades considerably when compared to Byatt's other work, most notably Possession. This is not to say that it is poorly written -- Byatt has a familiar style that carries the reader along quite nicely. The flaws here are a plot that fails to truly engage the reader and characters who do not demand the reader's sympathy.
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By A Customer on October 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
Although it's some years since I read this excellent book, the reviews thus far in my view, do not do it justice. Many people know of Byatt's writing through her book "Possession" but although this is a fine example of her work, all her writing demonstrates a wonderful story-telling ability, embroidered throughout by her extensive literary and historic knowledge. "The Game" is a very "readable" novel, drawing the reader in as the tale evolves. To over analyze "The Game" is to miss the beauty of the mystery and intrigue; to miss the interplay between the main characters and the complexities of family emotions. "The Game" is a wonderful book for any mystery-loving reader and for anyone who has not already been drawn in by Byatt's writing is an excellent place to begin a reading relationship with her work.
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Format: Paperback
I think the Ingram reviewer above was on something when he wrote of the "danger" that grew from the sisters' game, and of the "evil man determined to control their thoughts". I didn't get any of that out of _The Game_.
_The Game_ is basically the story of two sisters: Julia, a sociable but shallow novelist who writes about the boredom of domestic life; and Cassandra, a nunlike scholar who hides away from real life in the cloistered world of high academia. The "game" referred to in the title is an imaginary Arthurian world invented by the sisters when they were children, but it has little bearing on the rest of the novel, except in that Cassandra went on to become an Arthurian scholar, and Julia uses it as an example of Cassandra's condescension. It could have been dropped from the plot without much effect, which is sad for me, since the Arthurian element is the biggest reason I wanted to read the book in the first place.
Leaving out Arthur, who is mostly irrelevant anyway, we have Julia and Cassandra, who are just repairing their estranged relationship, when Simon Moffat comes back into their life. Simon was both women's first love; Cassandra adored him from a distance, while Julia slept with him. This triangle was the reason for their estrangement. When he reappears, so do the tensions between the sisters.
_The Game_ failed to engage me; most of the characters were pretty one-dimensional and cold. Cassandra had a few moments of stunning dignity, but she didn't seem real either. A.S. Byatt has gotten much better since.
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