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The Snail's Castle Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This is story with very flawed, sometimes dark, human characters. Characters whose lives intersect throughout the book, leading to interesting situations. I lost sleep wanting see what happens(just one more page!). That's a sign of a great book for me!
The novel really captured the feel of the time period (1960's). Set in Montreal, you find yourself there, living alongside the characters.
Gordon is a talented, poetic writer who is very good at creating sharp imagery and strong characters..and love or hate them, either way, you will be drawn in to their lives. You may even see some things of your own mind in them.
If you're looking for a character driven story that will stay with you long after reading it, do yourself a favor and check this book out.
This is literary fiction to me. Others may disagree, but I will stand firm on the arguable position that this is, indeed, literary fiction. This novel needs to be read more than once to fully soak int all its meaning and subtleties. I must admit that I have only read it once, though I intend to read it again to gain more insight into its more subtle meanings.
Let the Subtleties Begin
I found a couple of themes in the novel. The first of which is choices. The Snail’s Castle brilliantly looks at choices from a fresh angle. We all have choices in life and the author reveals in the novel what happens when we fail to choose or to make a choice. People are often cautioned about making the “wrong” choice, but the author is making an argument that not making a choice at all can be far worse.
He makes this argument through one of the supporting characters. The author does this without sharing one inner thought of this character. Yes, all through showing. The author skillfully leads the reader along the journey showing through action, interaction, and observation the supporting character's struggle with making a single choice. We see the results of indecision as clearly as the sun on a cloudless day, all without the author writing from this character’s point of view at all. Impressive and brilliantly executed.
The next theme I noted was dreams as in goals. The author certainly covers his share of dreams in the novel which may add to the confusion a bit here, but I believe the theme is a person’s aspirations or goals in life and if these dreams or aspirations are really what we need. How many of the aspirations and dreams that we had when we were younger actually came to fruition? How many of the dreams that did not come true are you now glad did not come true?
The author again shows us that not everything that we want out of life is something that we need or that is best for us. He shows us through the main character that holding on too tightly to a dream or aspiration just because that is all you’ve ever wanted is foolish and can be dangerous. The author also shows the reader that holding on to anything to the point of strangulation is also equally dangerous and often doesn’t work out, but perhaps for the best.
And here Mark Gordon leaves us with an impossible question, to which he alludes to in his book, which is better (or worse)--not making a choice through constant indecision or holding on to a choice that had previously been made for far too long. That is the dilemma or the impossible question the reader is left with. I cannot answer this question and Mark Gordon leaves this answer up to the reader to answer for him or herself.
Book Within a Book
I cannot write a book review without mentioning the book within the book. The most surreal part of reading this book was that it was about a book called The Snail’s Castle. The book in the book was a wonderful stream of consciousness or subconscious dream outlining one of the character’s inner conflicts. A brilliant idea flawless in execution. To discuss this book anymore in this review would most certainly be spoilers! So I will take head from River Song and shout "Spoilers" before running away.
As You Read The Snail’s Castle
Along your journey into the lives of these characters, and in some cases into their subconscious, the writing is a beautiful prose reminiscent of poetry. He has a unique voice that is both easy to read and follow and his descriptions of characters and the world they live in is vivid and encompassing. His descriptions are so vivid that I feel as if I am present in the story smelling history, tasting the air, feeling the cold deep in my bones, and seeing the character’s faces in exquisite detail.
I Highly Recommend this Novel for Anyone who…
--Loves discovering the underlying themes in novels such as Withering Heights or To Kill a Mockingbird.
--Loves reading well written novels with beautiful prose and descriptions which are poetic
--Wants to read how an author implemented Jungian philosophy well into a novel
--Enjoys literary fiction.
Most recent customer reviews
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