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The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories by…
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The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories

by Valerie Martin

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The most striking and memorable tale in this collection is the title one, 'The Unfinished Novel', which reads more like a novella than a short story and is unusually powerful and haunting. My reason for giving this book only three stars is that the other stories are, especially by contrast, much less memorable, although still of a very high quality. I would definitely recommend reading this book, but mainly for the title story, a devastating tale of failed ambitions and lives gone awry. ( )
  1Owlette | Feb 21, 2011 |
Martin's collection of five longish short stories focuses on artists and their relationships--an intriguing premise, but I wasn't charmed with the results. The overall picture of artists that she presents is cliche: they are self-centered, vain, promiscuous, jealous, attention-seeking, . . . well, you get the picture. Of course, the non-artists among us also sometimes share those characteristics, but fortunately, there is more to even the most average Joe. Most of the stories deal with the pain these artists cause the ones who love them--not for the sake of their art, but just because they are cruel and selfish. I give Martin points for her usual strong writing style and an original idea, but she can do and certainly has done better. ( )
  Cariola | Jul 7, 2008 |
In captivating, precise, and sometimes lush prose, Martin examines the intersection of creative endeavors (poetry, painting, dancing, writing) with human relationships. Entirely entertaining and very insightful. Martin clearly speaks from experience. This is the best short story collection I've read in a long time. The first three stories in the collection are the best. ( )
  gwendolyndawson | Mar 26, 2008 |
I loved the first story in this collection/ ( )
  Maag | Jul 1, 2007 |
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"In this vital and heartbreaking collection of stories, Valerie Martin, the bestselling author of Mary Reilly and the internationally acclaimed Property, turns an unflinching eye upon artists - driven and blocked, desired and detested, infamous and sublime - as they struggle beneath the tyranny of Art to reconcile their audience with their muse." "A painter who owes his small success to a man he despises discovers that his passivity has cost him the love that might have set him free. A writer of modest talent encounters an old love who once betrayed him; now she repels him, yet the unfinished novel she leaves in his hands may surpass anything he could ever produce himself. An American poet in Rome finds herself forced to choose between her lover and a world so alien it takes her voice away. A printmaker, who has reached a certain age, enters so deeply into the magical world of her imagination that she can never find her way back."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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