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TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

TransAtlantic (2013)

by Colum McCann

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9891448,671 (4.11)293
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English (142)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (145)
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
The "TransAtlantic" of the title is the connecting link between each of the vignettes tracing the generations of one matriarchal line set against historical backdrops and characters. The story actually begins in the middle, then drops back picking up the characters at important points along the way, but not in chronological order.

By the end of the book it became clear why the author chose to structure the story in this way, though on the downside, I never truly connected with any of the characters because of the way in which it was structured. Also, a death which might have had much more emotional content didn't because his death had already been revealed in an earlier bit.

This novel has received outstanding reviews. It was well written, poignant. But the structure did prevent me from feeling a real sense of connection to the story and characters. ( )
  cfk | Aug 14, 2015 |
A great novel. Perhaps not as great as Let the Great World Spin', but what is? ( )
  lanceparkin | Jul 21, 2015 |
Another great book by Colum McCann. He really seems to found a niche in telling stories that unfurl as new characters are introduced. Where "Let the Great World Spin" focuses on a kaleidoscope of characters passing through the same place at the same time, "TransAtlantic" follows a string of seemingly unrelated characters through the years to a common connection. ( )
  jscape2000 | Jun 14, 2015 |
There is the woeful problem of reading a fine book at the wrong time. I kept reaching for my other books even though when I did pick up this one I read along contentedly. Yet except for opening story of Brown and Alcock and Lily's story I wasn't urgently pulled in most of the time. Now I know some among my LT friends here were appalled by the fragmented sentences, but I wasn't aware every second of finding them directly annoying, however I wonder if it had the effect of making it a tiring read? Do incomplete sentences leave a question mark in the air? Who can say? It is a fine, intense, deeply researched novel. I'm a sucker for this kind of intertwining and the literary device of using an object, in this case a letter, passed along from generation to generation, to connect disparate lives together over a span of time. Literary version of the 5 degrees of separation? Best moment? When Manyaki picks up a little crumb fallen off the ancient envelope and eats it. Brilliant!!!!! **** ( )
  sibyx | Jun 10, 2015 |
Great audio of this interwoven story---so much detail, especially of George Mitchell---it made me wonder what he would think of himself in this book. I wished there was just a little bit more at the end. ( )
  nyiper | Jun 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 142 (next | show all)
Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: McCann’s stunning sixth novel is a brilliant tribute to his loamy, lyrical and complicated Irish homeland, and an ode to the ties that, across time and space, bind Ireland and America. The book begins with three transatlantic crossings, each a novella within a novel: Frederick Douglas’s 1845 visit to Ireland; the 1919 flight of British aviators Alcock and Brown; and former US senator George Mitchell’s 1998 attempt to mediate peace in Northern Ireland. ... The language is lush, urgent, chiseled and precise; sometimes languid, sometimes kinetic. At times, it reads like poetry, or a dream. Choppy sentences. Two-word declaratives. Arranged into stunning, jagged tableaux. Bleak, yet hopeful. ... The finale is a melancholy set piece that ties it all together... McCann reminds us that life is hard, and it is a wonder, and there is hope. --Neal Thompson
added by JSWBooks | editAmazon.com, Neal Thompson (pay site) (Jun 1, 2013)
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Geen enkele geschiedenis is sprakeloos.
Hoezeer ook geannexeerd, gebroken en belogen,
de menselijke geschiedenis weigert haar mond te houden.
Ondanks doofheid en onwetendheid blijft de tijd die was,
tikken binnen de tijd die is.

-Eduardo Galeano
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De cottage stond aan de rand van het meer.
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A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan.… (more)

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