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TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
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TransAtlantic (2013)

by Colum McCann

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79612811,521 (4.16)248
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Showing 1-5 of 126 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I waited all too long to read Trans Atlantic, and when I finally did read it I realized why Colum McCann is so highly praised. His writing is lyrical, luminous, and somehow leaves spaces in all the right places. He's like Toni Morrison in his unerring ability to leave out what the reader doesn't need. The result is spare and nearly weightless prose that somehow manages to support all the big topics, like race, and gender, and love. Trans Atlantic is a deeply compassionate book that links separate stories that are tenuously connected across time and continents. The sections on Frederick Douglass and his stay in Ireland were the reason why I wanted to read the book in the first place, and they are beautifully done. But the book ends on a note of reconciliation I just couldn't have predicted. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. ( )
  bibliolisa | Jun 19, 2014 |
I didn't like this book as much as some others have around here. It's an interesting story - Part 1 following seemingly unconnected men traveling from the US to Ireland and part 2 connecting these stories through several generations of women. I think it was the writing style that rubbed me the wrong way. This book is full of short sentences and it kind of got on my nerves. For example:

The grass cool to the touch. The skyscrapers gray and huge against the trees. To be allowed to feel small again. To embrace that insignificance. The sun over the west side of Manhattan. Falling. The dark rolled backward.

There was just too much of that style for my personal taste. However, some of the reviewers I respect most around here loved this book, so take my tepidness with a grain of salt. It certainly has enough merit for me to recommend giving it a try, even though I personally didn't connect to it. ( )
  japaul22 | Jun 15, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Not too much to say that hasn't been said already. I love his writing and the way he tells stories, weaving them and their characters in and out of each other. I'm inclined to always pick up a book by McCann when it comes out. ( )
  ksun | Jun 11, 2014 |
McCann'a most lyrical prose. A beautiful story, beautiful language. He has a great gift for tying seemingly unrelated stories together over time - this time the first transatlantic flight and generations of Irish women. This moves up to the list of all-time favorite books. ( )
  zenhead | Jun 1, 2014 |
I have mixed feelings for this book. Colum McCann is a wonderful writer. His way with words is one of the best I've read. He's a good story teller. He's got strong characters and I cared about them. The story itself was depressing. It covers the story of 4 women in a family beginning in the 1860's ending in the present time taking place in Ireland, United States, Canada, and ending in Ireland. Their lives were hard. Had I not been at work when I finished reading this I would have been in tears. I could identify with these women and the hardships they endured. This is worth reading but emotionally difficult ( )
  Sheila1957 | May 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 126 (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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Epigraph
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Colum McCann is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Colum McCann chatted with LibraryThing members from Mar 1, 2010 to Mar 14, 2010. Read the chat.

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