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Swimming Home

Swimming Home (2011)

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5673917,547 (3.34)2 / 118
Title:Swimming Home
Info:Faber & Faber, Paperback

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Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (2011)



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English (38)  German (1)  All (39)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
it might be useful to have a status of "didn't finish because I couldn't read anymore". Very rarely do I put down a book unfinished but I just couldn't go on with this one, partly because it felt so ominous and doom laden, partly because I simply could not get "The Swimming Pool" film out of my head - which was sad and doom laden and also set in a holiday home in France, and partly because I just didn't care abot the story or the characters. I'm fairly certain all of this was not the fault of the book, so please don't take my review as the last word. Do give it a try - others in my bookclub were much more positive.
I just wanted to get this off my "Reading" list on GR! ( )
  Deborahrs | Apr 15, 2017 |
What a fantastic work of prose! I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and this finely crafted story has given me the proverbial 'kick in the pants' to realize reading can still be a pleasure not a chore.
A short novel but one that packs a powerful punch, this story of a family's vacation in the south of France and their encounter with a less than stable young woman they find swimming nude in their rented villa's pool, is worthy of it's place on the shortlist of the Man Booker Prize. ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
A funny little book. My sister-in-law raved about it last year but I was turned off until about the middle when I started to love it and then, it was over. There is something absurdly familiar about all the components but it really doesn't add up to the predicted ending. Very interesting novel. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
The characters were flat, undifferentiated. They were faceless to me, doing nothing, being nothing, but somehow permeating the book with their unspoken whining. Intensely irritating. They all melted together as an amorphous mass of indecipherable...nothingness. I am so done with this book. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
A short sharp shock of a story - complicated characters having complicated and slightly obscure interactions. There's something dreamlike about the way things unfold, and the book has a pervasive atmosphere of uneasiness. I felt like I missed some of the symbolism and references, and there were a few too many characters to juggle in such a short novel, but the ending is powerful and memorable. ( )
  mjlivi | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader: we recognise the centipede as the thing of darkness in us all. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast.
added by geocroc | editThe Telegraph, Philip Womack (Aug 7, 2012)
Swimming Home reminded me of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. Although a short work, it has an epic quality. This is a prizewinner.
added by geocroc | editThe Independent, Julia Pascal (Oct 21, 2011)
With her first novel in 15 years, Deborah Levy has taken worn structures and made something strange and new...

...and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved
added by peterbrown | editThe Guardian, John Self (Oct 7, 2011)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Levyprimary authorall editionscalculated
McCarthy, TomIntroductionmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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‘Each morning in every family, men, women and children, if they have nothing better to do, tell each other their dreams. We are all at the mercy of the dream and we owe it to ourselves to submit its power to the waking state.’
– La Révolution surréaliste, No. 1, December 1924
To Sadie and Leila, so dear, always
First words
When Kitty Finch took her hand off the steering wheel and told him she loved him, he no longer knew if she was threatening him or having a conversation.
Her gaze, the adrenalin of it, was a stain, the etcs in her poem a bright light, a high noise. And if all this wasn't terrifying enough, her attention to the detail of every day was even more so, to pollen and struggling trees and the instincts of animals, to the difficulties of pretending to be relentlessly sane, to the way he walked (he had kept the rheumatism that aged him a secret from his family), to the nuance of mood and feeling in them all. Yesterday he had watched her free some bees trapped in the glass of a lantern as if it were she who was held captive. She was as receptive as it was possible to be, an explorer, an adventurer, a nightmare. Every moment with her was a kind of emergency, her words always too direct, too raw, too truthful.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s wife allow her to remain?
Haiku summary
Obsessed Kitt swims nude ~ Isable invites her in ~ Villa is altered. (catted)

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'Swimming Home' is a subversive page-turner, a merciless gaze at the insidiuos harm that depression can have on apparently stable, well-turned-out people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.… (more)

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