Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Mortals Hardcover – May 27, 2003
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Pre-order today
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Surely someone has already pointed out the irony of the surname Rush for a writer who can devote a long paragraph to uneven paving tiles. Mortals--the follow-up to Norman Rush's National Book Award-winning Mating--is a complex, unhurried tour de force; the beautifully rendered story of the end of a marriage. Ray and Iris Finch are white American expatriates in Botswana. A school principal and Milton scholar, Ray is also a contract agent for the CIA. But Ray's new boss doesn't want to see the gorgeous reports into which Finch has channeled all the talent and ambition that might otherwise have gone into poetry. He is asked to submit only his notes. This is clearly a demotion, and it occurs at the same moment that Ray's adored wife begins to develop feelings for her doctor, a charismatic black American with dangerous political ideas. Like many brilliant novels, Mortals has an Achilles heel. The book is too long by as much as 200 pages. Those pages aren't without interest, and if--like the author--you find the narrative voice of this novel compelling in itself, you will not mind the lengthy anecdotes, hair-splitting, and digressions that Rush indulges in. Other readers may do a little judicious skimming in the second half of the book and still experience the pleasures of this masterful and psychologically acute novel. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
From the beginning, the tone of Rush's eagerly awaited new novel is edgy and febrile-a harbinger of the unsettling events that will ensue. Ray Finch, a Milton scholar who teaches in a small secondary school in Botswana during the 1990s, is having an identity crisis. After many years as an undercover CIA agent, he has lost his emotional equilibrium, and he's strung out with suspicion and fear. Is his adored wife, Iris, on the verge of an affair? What's with Iris's warm relationship with the brother Ray despises-gay, witty Rex? How long can Ray suppress his growing disillusionment with the agency's arrogant and ruthless methods? When Ray's chief sends him into the interior to hunt down the idealistic leader of a fledgling rebellion, Ray's fears transmogrify into living nightmares, and the novel, already a textured, erotic portrait of a disintegrating marriage and a society in flux, becomes a political thriller infused with violence. Ray is acutely aware of the cultural dissonance introduced by Western society. According to Iris's lover, a black American doctor, Christianity has wrecked Africa; the AIDS epidemic threatens another kind of destruction; and idealistic attempts at reform are doomed to failure (the Denoons, from Rush's prize-winning novel, Mating, show up here, their crusading ardor much diminished). The decadent excesses of rich Americans compared with the disciplined simplicity of life in Botswana add an element of satire. Rush's attempts to meld political reality with domestic tragicomedy occasionally make the narrative unwieldy, and suspense is sometimes fractured during the action sequences in the desert as Ray's inner turmoil spins into tortured mental riffs. Still, the richness of Rush's vision, and its stringent moral clarity, sweep the reader into his brilliantly observed world.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This novel, however, tries my patience. He goes off on so many long tangents.It's like being at a party with people I enjoy being with. And then someone, who I respect, begins a lecture on a subject he knows much about. This lecture interrupts the flow of the party, but I'll go along with it because I like this person and because this lecture has interests. But then it goes on. And I'm starting to feel drained by this unnecessary information. And I'm missing the far more interesting interaction between the men and women.
And I want to move away from this person.
That's where I am with this novel right now. I've stopped reading it. I will return. But I needed to refresh myself before resuming. I don't want my annoyance to take away from his writing.
For the reader who loved “Matings”, change your expectations and you will enjoy the ride all the way to the hopeful new beginnings at the conclusion of the book.
The word plays and turns of phrase that flood every page convinced me that the author has kept notebooks of arresting phrases he has heard or produced from his own imagination over the last forty years, and has poured two thirds of the contents of these notebooks into this novel, providing a language lover's feast.
The most subtle delight of the book is the author's sense of conversational idiom. Not only the dialog, but the narrative stretches are written the way people really talk. As a result, every few pages you encounter a narrative sentence you have to re-read once or twice to understand, because it's written exactly the way someone would say it (without the benefit of intonation that would make the sentence immediately transparent to a listener rather than a reader). As a result, you sit there and marvel at the complexity of how we talk.
All this makes the book a slow read for anyone who wants to zip through the story and a delightful experience for anyone who just plain loves language. Yes, it's a little too long...and I found myself wishing it were longer.
Most recent customer reviews
I absolutely loved the first 1/3.Read more