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TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

TransAtlantic (2013)

by Colum McCann

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1191497,372 (4.09)320
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    zhejw: Both books explore human connections made across multiple generations and across oceans while ultimately concluding in Ireland.
  4. 10
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Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
[TransAtlantic] by [Colm McCann] is written in 3 sections. Each revolves around the Irish and/or American experience in some way. There are historical characters and fictional characters that run through the maternal line of a family through 5 generations. The historical characters include Frederick Douglas on an 1845 visit to Ireland, Alcock and Brown's transatlantic flight from Canada to Ireland in 1919, and former Senator George Mitchell and his attempt to mediate peace in Northern Ireland in 1998. The family story, which connects to the historical characters, begins with a housemaid in the home where Douglas stays during his visit. Inspired by him, she takes passage to America hoping for a better life. History is told from her to the current time by the lives of each succeeding generation. ( )
  clue | Feb 2, 2016 |
It took a while to begin to see the connections between the characters, but overall, quite enjoyable. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
I loved McCann's lyrical prose. I loved the stories he wove together. An absorbing and moving read. Saw his interview on PBS News Hour. Really glad I read this book. ( )
  cjservis | Jan 17, 2016 |
Coium McCann presents us with a series of transatlantic crossing starting in 1919 with the transatlantic flight from Canada to Ireland and leading to the journey of George Mitchell to broker a peace settlement to the "troubles" in Northern Ireland. He transports us back to 1840 and the journey of Frederick Douglas. This is connected to the the trip of a housemaid, Lily . taking a transatlantic passage aboard a ship to America, finding herself eventually in St. Louis. Lily's journey is in someways the most compelling story among the several that appear in the novel.

These separate but connected journeys tells of larger story of the need to move forward, take flight and in doing so take chances that the journey will provide a new life and sense of promise. Colum McCann is probably among the very best storytellers writing today. It is a novel about memory and the courage t seek new experiences. ( )
  Wisconco | Dec 13, 2015 |
Colum McCann has a knack for portraying the inner thoughts and workings of historical figures. Sentence fragments. Noun blocks. This tendency of writers nowadays (David Peace, David Mitchell, McCann in this book) to write in short descriptive bursts is getting to be a little grating. Mitchell is obviously an influence here too. It's an interesting read but I'd recommend This Side of Brightness and Let The Great World Spin ahead of it. ( )
  deckehoe | Nov 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (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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