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
Ocean Sea Paperback – June 27, 2000
This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In Alessandro Baricco's celebrated debut, it was silk that exerted a fatal attraction. This time it's the ocean, whose watery charms cause an entire cast of characters to convene at the isolated Almayer Inn. The guests include a seductress, an eccentric professor, and a painter with a pronounced penchant for metaphysics. They're soon joined by the beautiful young daughter of a local aristocrat, who's been stricken with a mysterious illness. In a sense, however, all these characters are suffering from maladies--psychological, existential, erotic--which makes the Almayer Inn a kind of Magic Mountain with beachfront footage.
The author is a renowned opera critic in his native Italy. Perhaps this accounts for his love of linguistic arias, which can overpower the plot of Ocean Sea. When Baricco gets rolling, of course, his intricately worked prose is a delight. Even the inn itself, situated alone on a promontory, gets the red carpet treatment: "So alone it was there, it seemed a thing forgotten. It was almost as if a procession of inns, of every kind and vintage, had passed by there one day, skirting the coast, when, out of tiredness, one had detached itself from the rest, and, as its travelling companions filed past, it decided to stop on that slight rise, yielding to its own weakness, bowing its head and waiting for the end." At his best, Baricco recalls Italo Calvino--there's the same pleasure in elegant riddles and rococo storytelling. Here and there the narrative of Ocean Sea vanishes down a dead end, and the author's weakness for typographical trickery doesn't help. Still, Baricco's novel remains a refreshing dunk in what Christina Stead called "the ocean of story"--and a brainy exploration of the littoral truth. --Bob Brandeis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Italian writer Baricco, who wrote this novel before the highly regarded Silk, again delivers a work whose spare, lyrical language and enigmatic episodes culminate in a tale of love and revenge. This story of obsession is a meditation on the sea?its seductive surface and erotic depths with the power to heal or destroy. Mirroring the ebb and flow of the ocean, Baricco's cast of characters complement each other. In 19th-century France, six people are drawn, each for distinct reasons, to a seaside hotel?inhabited only by four precocious, spiritlike children. Researching his scientific book, An Encyclopedia of Limits, Professor Bartleboom seeks the point at which the sea ends; painter Plasson is determined to find where the sea begins. Ann Deveria has been sent by her husband to repent her adulturous ways, while Elisewin, a young, sickly girl, experiences her first love and finds her health restored. Father Pluche, the priest who accompanies Elisewin, discovers the meaning of life; a secretive sailor, Adams, searches for death. For each person, the "sea is a place where you take leave of yourself" in search of his or her mystery; yet each character's story of love, betrayal, murder or redemption is revealed to be inexorably entangled with the others' while the sea bears silent witness to their destinies. It is only through the ripples of Adams's vengeful act that each person realizes his or her destiny. Baricco's prose stylistically echoes his central metaphor: his sentences undulating, breaking and subsiding, a mood that translator McEwan maneuvers beautifully. At times this feat is accomplished masterfully; at others the author's hand is all too apparent, eclipsing the delicate mingling of his intriguing characters with their vengeful and poetic twists of fate.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
The structure of the book is a difficult one but one Baricco has fashioned into the absolutely correct form for his story. The prose ranges from very lush, descriptive prose to very taciturn conversation, from art catalogue entries to poetic prayers. Occasionally a sentence or two will misfire, but Baricco has exquisite control over his medium.
This book belongs on any must read list.