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The Hearing Trumpet Paperback – February 2, 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This book is so inspiring...I love its freedom, its humour and how it invents its own laws. What specifically do I take from her? Her wig -- Bjork --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Leonora Carrington is a British born Surrealist painter and writer now living in Mexico city who has been described, alongside people such as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, as one of the leading lights of the Surrealist movement. Born in Lancashire in 1917 to a strict Catholic family she first came into contact with surrealism through her lover, Surrealist painter Max Ernst, before moving to Mexico in 1942. The Hearing Trumpet, her most famous piece of writing, was first published in France in 1974. Ali Smith was born in Inverness in 1962 and she lives in Cambridge. She is the author of Free Love and Other Stories, Like,Other Stories and Other Stories, Hotel World, The Whole Story and Other Stories, The Accidental,Girl Meets Boy, The First Person and Other Stories, There but for the, Artful, How to be both, and Public library and other stories. Hotel World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and The Accidental was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Orange Prize. How to be both won the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and the Folio Prize. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Exact Change; 1ST edition (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878972197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878972194
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Hearing Trumpet is deliciously funny and irreverent; Surrealist painter/author Leonora Carrington's apocalyptic tale is filled with gems such as "Darling, don't be philosophical, it doesn't suit you, it makes your nose red." Filtered through the eyes and ears of Marian Leatherby, a 92 year-old inmate of a Spanish old folk's home (run by the cultlike Well of Light Brotherhood), the tongue-in-cheek tone and hilarious chracters make this book a refreshing surprise. Every copy I've ever owned has been stolen! From the first paragraph, the reader will see that Marian Leatherby and her friends are NOT LOL's (Little Old Ladies), and Leonora Carrington is not your average author. (She's truly hilarious, for one!) Read this book for its wacky imagery (a trompe l'oeil "furnished" tower, a pair of murdering religious quacks, termite engineering, wigs, marijuana-stuffed needlepoint pillows, and a 92 year-old lady swarming down ten stories of rope, for starters), then hide your copy from your well-read friends...or buy them their own!
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By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Since JRR Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings, I don't think I've come across another work that has so enraptured me. It is truly a modern fairy tale, and one that can easily be re-read a hundred times over. (It's been awhile since I read this and I don't have my book with me, but I'll try to be as accurate as I can with the names of the characters.) You can tell from the start that this isn't your conventional fantasy romp: the heroine Marian Leatherby isn't a youthful, beautiful princess but an old lady with family problems. She doesn't journey to distant lands to find magic and adventure; instead, all the action takes place in an old folks home. Along the way Leonora Carrington slyly pokes fun at patriarchal myths and traditions. 'Galahad', a name familiar to us from Arthurian legends, reappears in THT not as some dashing, valiant do-gooder but, if my memory serves me correctly, as Marian's ineffectual, unpleasant son. So much for modern chivalry, Carrington seems to say. Yet while she debunks these old legends, she creates new ones, drawing upon mythology and fantasy alike to people her story with strong female characters and ancient Goddesses. Whimsical, magical, entertaining, thought-provoking. I won't say much more, you'll have to read it for yourself to find out just how excellent it is. And yes, do put your own copy under lock and key!!
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Format: Paperback
Leonora Carrington's dream like tale of Marian, a plucky ninety-five year old, straddles the boundary between mad fantasy and insightful social commentary. Far from being a dry philosophical tome, it is a quick and thoroughly pleasurable read, yet it addresses issues of female identity with imagery that has become part of a sort of neofeminist canon. The image of the wolf sister and particularly the discovery of the Queen Bee will resonate with anyone who is interested in women's spirituality or related studies. The best thing about this book, however, is that it is so fantastically engaging that people of many ages and backgrounds will enjoy it thoroughly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i have loved leonora carrington's paintings for a long time, and only recently got a chance to read this book. i finished it quickly.
what struck me was how fast it moves, which for someone taking it at face value might ruin the whole thing - - but for one looking at the story running through it that ISN'T in the book, it becomes haunting, dark, disturbing and profoundly sorrowful even as the story itself soars to the heights of fantasy. i can't say too much more without ruining the book, but if you understand what i believe she's trying to say happened, then you will agree with me about the haunting-dark-disturbing thing.
on the surface it still has a lot to please - - witchcraft, goddesses, the kabbalah, mysteries both domestic and occult, black comedy and sweeping adventure. the main character is as loveable and charming as she is eccentric, and she's a whole lot of eccentric. i think this may be an overlooked classic.
and the line drawings by carrington's son (i think?) are killer! i'm getting a tattoo of one of the frontispiece, marian with her trumpet.
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Format: Paperback
I was first given an old tattered copy of the original purple paperback decades ago. I absolutely adore Carrington's humour! She presents a story which on the surface would sound like an all too familiar tragedy of industrialized society--zero tolerance for the aged, by society and family members alike. But in Carrington's words, the argument for perspective being the source of all realities rings through with charm and hilarity. This story is definitely "out there", especially the resolution and I laughed the whole way to it. There is absolutely no question that our heroine, Marion Leatherby, and her friends--Carmela, who plots to bake a file-containing cake as means of escape and a number of other sharp and sassy "inmates"--are very capable of creating their realities to suit them most quirkily. The back cover of the current reprint carries an endorsement by surrealist filmmaker, Luis Buñuel, "Reading 'The Hearing Trumpet' liberates us from the miserable reality of our days." I'll say it gives me a lift and over the decades since I first read between those well loved purple covers, I've probably bought and given away more copies of this book than most in my crazily vast library.
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