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Master by Colm Toibin

Master (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Colm Toibin

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2,401722,590 (3.86)316
Authors:Colm Toibin
Info:Picador (2005), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Henry James, Historical Fiction

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The Master by Colm Tóibín (2004)


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» See also 316 mentions

English (70)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  All (73)
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
Beautiful novel written in a magnificent style, highly recommended even if you haven't read anything of Henry James (neither have I). ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
I'm a fan of Toibin but I fear this is not his best work. It seems an idiosyncratic of specialization that only the author and few people are interested in. There is nothing new or inventive about the novel, just a suturing of parts. ( )
  hansel714 | Dec 30, 2016 |
This book brought me back to the love of reading. ( )
  siok | Dec 19, 2016 |
[The Master] is excellent biographical fiction about American author, Henry James, living and writing in Europe. Toibin focuses on the middle of James's career 1895-1899 including many flashbacks about his personal life and writing. During this time he settled in Rye, England, purchasing a house, and had already written Daisy Miller and The Portrait of a Lady. He was yet to write The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove, and the Golden Bowl.

Toibin seems to really capture James's personality in this book. Rather than a discovery of James through his known travels, correspondence, etc, Toibin uses these facts in the background to create a real character study. He subtly reveals James's habits of observation and how they were used to create his work. He also illuminates the personality traits of this fussy, particular, sensitive man in a way that made me feel fondness rather than annoyance, a great feat on Toibin's part as these are characteristics that drive me crazy!

Reading this book in tandem with [The Ambassadors] was a great experience for me. I really identified with Toibin's take on Henry James and could see how James's personality and writing style converged. This book may make me a bit more patient with James's wordiness (or not, but I hope so) and definitely will make me more appreciate the power of his characterization and observation. I do think James has a knack for creating seeming mundane situations that take on great importance in a character's life. I like that.

Toibin created excellent biographical fiction in which you can hear James's voice and witness his character all the way through the book, with no shift to an omniscient perspective or intrusion by the author. I thought it was a wise choice to present this book in third person limited. I got immersed in James without having to get too personal if it was in first person. Henry James does not seem to be the sort of person who could have given away his thoughts, even in his own head, so first person would have been too revealing.

Really excellent book. ( )
6 vote japaul22 | Aug 22, 2016 |
2004: Oscar Wilde
Henry James — master of psychological novel
loud large + Irish
Ink Blu
Pg 19 - Money grace - having/holding it set people apart

Pg 50
his childhood — dragged countries/cities/schools
knew both more + less than others
History, European cities
solitude, uncertainty standing alone

Pg 83 — Yearning openness of Americans readiness for experience, bright eyes with expectations + promise
By nature English experience — sure of place + ready for change
steeped is solid, social system — develop thousands of yrs w/o interruption

Pg 137
Vastation — visit from God

Pg 175
at Law School — to avoid war brother Wilky 54th mostly Bk regiment
Statue in Boston Common
Men of Letters/Avoiding War

Pg 202
good background, ideas sacred second only to manners pull to ordered community w/ new god + idealism — trust in spirit

Pg 278 — Deeply Private matters

Pg 208
important to be allied w/ someone who could offer her greater purpose/scope for all her flair + charm
Pg 257 — I have come as close as I could — as near as I dared — Henry talking to Charles' spirit

Pg 258 brave face, cover old wounds erase old scars

259 -
Bohemians in studies, knew had to give servants orders dilettantes here okay

Pg 269 -
Light/Beauty/views of places worth yrs in exile loss of native countries interest only

P 295 - No Past Failure — future triumph

298 — shriveled under warnings but would rebloom

P 321 - Burden idle + distressed presence
Spirit world — his brother was metaphysicalMother says he will be last + not alone

Lynn Pg 44 - observed world from window

Pg 216 Charlotte's world

Pg 235 — quiet men's own company
undisturbed life offense

2009: London, Venice, England
Pg 19 money good grace
having it set you apart
Pg 44 observing world — watcher from window
Pg 175 men of letters — brother w/ first Black Regiment 54th
avoiding war
Pg 257 Come as Close as I could / Near as I dared
Pg 235 Lived undisturbed life — neither gave nor took offense
Pg 269 Years in exile worth these places of Beauty / light — grand rooms — Body in spirit world — his mother with him not alone

Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America’s first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.
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  christinejoseph | Jul 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 70 (next | show all)
''The Master'' is sure to be greatly admired by James devotees; just as surely it will strike less ardent readers as the kind of book in which not much actually happens.
Whatever Toibin's literary-critical and ideological interest in James, ''The Master'' is unquestionably the work of a first-rate novelist -- one who has for the past decade been writing excellent novels about people cut off from their feelings or families or both.

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colm Tóibínprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bandini, DitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bandini, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hope, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Till Bairbre och Micheal Stack
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Sometimes in the night he dreamed about the dead--familiar faces and the others, half-forgotten ones, fleetingly summoned up.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743250419, Paperback)

Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of a man born into one of America's first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.

In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and the hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of this portrait is riveting.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:03 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 'The master', his brilliant and profoundly moving fifth novel, Colm To?ibi?n tells the story of Henry James, an American-born genius of the modern novel who became a connoisseur of exile, living among artists and aristocrats in Paris, Rome, Venice and London.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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