HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Names of Things by John Colman Wood
Loading...

The Names of Things (edition 2012)

by John Colman Wood

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3219347,362 (4.06)2
Member:pamkaye
Title:The Names of Things
Authors:John Colman Wood
Info:Ashland Creek Press (2012), Paperback, 276 pages
Collections:Your library, Read From Library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Names of Things by John Colman Wood

None

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"The Names of Things" is a charming little novel. Simple and well-written. Information is revealed slowly. Who is the narrator - this unnamed man who seems to be grieving? Who is the boy who guides him? Who is the unnamed woman? Eventually, we discover that the man is an anthropologist who is returning to visit Africa after the death of his wife, a painter and a woman with her own secrets. Foreshadowing is dropped lightly into the book, but we learn most of the details through flashbacks to the couple's previous sojourn in Africa. It's beautiful and heartbreaking and tragic.

I suspect that the lack of names for people and places may displease some readers, but for me it was part of the book's charm and its message. The title is, after all, about names. And as we learn later in the book: "What he wanted remained unnamed, unsaid, because he didn't know what to say, and even if he did, he wouldn't know how." When he first arrived in Africa, a boy "taught him the names of things," but now he cannot name the thing that will save him, will make him whole. The reader travels with him as he tries to discover it.

The book is a quick read, but I recommend it for the patient reader. ( )
  HollyBeth | May 19, 2014 |
This novel is the story of an anthropologist who spent years with his artist wife studying tribes of northern Kenya. After her death he returns to the area and travels around areas they have known, remembering their life there and afterwards when they returned to academic life in the western world. The story moves from the present to the past and is interspersed with pages from his journal, all of which make it rather disconnected and jumpy. It's also a very reflective book as the anthropologist seeks to find peace with his life. I'm afraid it really wasn't my cup of tea. ( )
  RebaRelishesReading | Apr 5, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Quietly contemplative story of a man living through the aftermath of his wife's long illness and death. I didn't *enjoy* it, exactly - too melancholy for that - but it was a moving read. I found the passages that moved back and forth between the present and the past a little disjointed, but it was well-written and intriguing.
  zmiya_san | Nov 11, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Life, love, death, & betrayal; they are all in the Names Of Things.
The story jumps from a present day journey to memories of an anthropologist. He just lost his wife to disease, and took a trip back to the Dasse clan that he visited years ago. The names of the couple or the disease are never mentioned, which might keep you from connecting with them. But the story itself is interesting and captivating. ( )
  pamkaye | Dec 17, 2012 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Generally I enjoy simple books in which "not much happens" -- they often turn out to have a quiet brilliance -- but I had difficulty finding an "in" to this narrative. Some of the anthropological details rang more true to me than the introspection. I'd like to try this book again in a different stage of life -- I can imagine it feeling very meaningful, but it didn't do that for me this time.
  livebug | Dec 8, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 wanted1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.06)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 2
3 3
3.5
4 6
4.5
5 7

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alumn

The Names of Things: A Novel by John Colman Wood was made available through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. Sign up to possibly get pre-publication copies of books.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,967,923 books! | Top bar: Always visible