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The Pen Friend Hardcover – May 24, 2010
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Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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Carson's prose works collectively reveal a mind at work, a mond that is well worth attending to as it begins to make sense of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. --World Literature Today
This is unmistakably a novel written by a poet whose sense of the porousness of language speaks to both a post-modern sensibility and the acute ear of a bilingual writer. --Irish Literary Supplement
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Top Customer Reviews
Poignant, subtle, disturbing, painful, amusing the letters are all those things and more. The writing is exquisite and conjures up many pictures for the reader. It is an excursion into the power of memory - an examination of the way sights, sounds and smells can trigger memories and open up whole new networks of association. The subjects touched upon range from eBay - an excellent source for pen collectors - to perfumes, Irish history, clothes, language, relationships and the universal language Esperanto on which Gabriel is writing a book.
This is a novel which can be read on so many levels and which will repay re-reading. I'm sure it will be one of those books which I find something new in every time I read it. The relationship which is central to the novel is well drawn and believable with all its misunderstandings and misapprehensions. I liked the characters and I wanted to see Nina herself in her own words as well as just seeing her through Gabriel's eyes. As well as marvellous writing this book is well designed and a pleasure to hold and read with its smooth creamy paper, clear type and the ribbon bookmark.
I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book but I shall be buying some more copies to give to friends as Christmas presents - it is too good to just keep to myself. The author deserves to be more widely known.
This is the first book I've ever read that had a blue marker ribbon. What a surprise, every book should have one.
Besides this little added tid-bit of ingenuity, the book The Pen Friend written by Ciaran Carson was a delight to read.
In the story Gabriel Conway receives a letter from his ex. A post card.
He sits down to write her back. Once past the first chapter you realize this guy is anal. A detailist! A collector of fine things as you will see.
I have had some experience with fountain pens myself so I can relate, once owning an antique store. I know there is much more to a fountain pen than meets the eye. At one time a very collectable item and probably still is. A pen collector the most die hard of all collectors, right up there with stamp and coin collecting.
The book gets a little tiring with so much minute detail, you will need that blue ribbon page marker. Reading a double page a sitting is all I could muster. That blue ribbon had it's workout.
I give this book five stars, if it were any longer maybe I'd drop it to four.