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The Master: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
James through Toibin has poignant observations about life and death.Read more ›
I love books where "nothing really happens", but in this case, it really felt like nothing was happening, in the book or in the reader's mind. I could appreciate the book on all sorts of intellectual levels: it is beautifully written in many places, the structure (an episodic tour of James' relationships that never became relationships) is well-paced and well-balanced, Toibin himself is a "master" at the small, quiet scenes of character and poignant action (or inaction). And I like the whole setup of revealing a man's character through a web of interactions with others, especially one whose interactions are so passive. But emotionally the book never had an impact. And the story never grabbed me, or even tugged at the sleeve. It was, admittedly, a struggle to finish it and I read several other books while doing so.
One needn't have read James' to follow the book, though certainly it adds a richness to the text if one has some familiarity. For those who do not, Toibin does a decent job of giving thumbnail sketches of stories and novels, though sometimes it feels a bit clumsy, especially in the repetitive pattern of James seeing something, than telling himself, "I will write a story about . . . " and the reader plays "I can guess that story in X words." There is also something a bit too mechanical and clinical in how James' creative process is presented.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Master is a captivating imagined portrayal of Henry James' interior life presented through disparate episodes, experiences and relationships. Read morePublished 10 days ago by John Mccarthy
A moving and beautifully written fictional treatment of Henry James' life both public and private. Based on history and on his writings, this book kept me entranced--I didn't want... Read morePublished 17 days ago by gary r. ljungquist
The Master evokes the life and spirit of Henry James as he travels throughout America, England, Ireland, France and Italy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nancy R.
A beautiful but gloomy story throughout full of loss, heartache and regret. however, so well written I almost