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The Charioteer by Mary Renault
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The Charioteer (original 1953; edition 1974)

by Mary Renault (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6612314,534 (4.05)20
Member:EnriqueFreeque
Title:The Charioteer
Authors:Mary Renault (Author)
Info:Bantam Books (1974), Hardcover
Collections:Your library (inactive)
Rating:
Tags:acres final sale

Work details

The Charioteer by Mary Renault (1953)

  1. 10
    Despised and Rejected (Gay Modern Classics) by A. T. Fitzroy (mambo_taxi)
  2. 00
    Maurice by E. M. Forster (emanate28)
    emanate28: Understated, loving, and in a way heartbreaking depiction of love between two men in repressive British society.
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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
bookshelves: autumn-2013, published-1953, radio-4, fradio, glbt, wwii, winter-20132014
Read from November 25 to December 06, 2013


BABT

BBC BLURB: fter an injury at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell is sent to a veterans' hospital to convalesce. There he befriends Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. But when Ralph, a mentor from his school days, reappears in his life, Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience.

Read by: Anton Lesser Abridged by Eileen Horne
Produced by Clive Brill A Pacificus production for BBC Radio 4.

1. Idealistic Laurie Odell is up in arms when his hero, prefect Ralph Lanyon, is expelled from their school for immorality, and Ralph bequeaths him a life-changing book.

2. Laurie is stuck in a rural veteran's hospital, struggling with bad news about his injury. Then he meets a new orderly, a young conscientious objector called Andrew Raynes. ( )
  mimal | Jan 1, 2014 |
The Charioteer is a beautifully written and extraordinarily perceptive novel, detailing the life and relationships of a young soldier confined to hospital in the days after Dunkirk. An extremely vivid evocation of time and place, it is also one of those subtle works that is likely to linger in the memory, growing in force, long after it has been read.

While Renault deserves credit for her unusual choice of subject matter (in the context of the early '50s), the fact that the novel addresses homosexuality may in fact serve to distract from what is, in the end, a powerful and moving exploration of love, loss and the complexities of lived experience as opposed to inflexible ideals of existence. ( )
  1Owlette | Nov 27, 2013 |
I really liked this. She has some amazing turns of phrase, and it was so dense. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a book in another language, and I had to focus more to parse it. Which sounds like this isn't a positive review, but I really liked it. I'll try to do a better review when I've got more time. ( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
I really liked this. She has some amazing turns of phrase, and it was so dense. Sometimes I felt like I was reading a book in another language, and I had to focus more to parse it. Which sounds like this isn't a positive review, but I really liked it. I'll try to do a better review when I've got more time. ( )
  shojo_a | Apr 4, 2013 |
What a great book, I just couldn't put it down.
It was written in 59, and nothing, but nothing is explicit. The biggest explicit line is "and he kissed him" - the reader has to deduce everything else, via lovely constructed language that really does make the reader create the story, and I think in a way I've been missing that...
There were bits that were just so frustrating! It's set in 1940, and they couldn't say anything directly! It's full of indirect words, looks, assumptions that mislead and almost everyone 'oh so nice', jeopardising all their chances at happiness, grrr... ( )
  ScarletBea | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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First words
It was the first time he had ever heard the clock strike ten at night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Charioteer was edited for the 1959 US publication (the 1959 text is slightly shorter and lacks some, mostly descriptive, passages of the 1953 text). Most reprints after 1959 are based on the 1959 text although Longman in the UK brought new issues of the 1953 text at least until the 1970s.
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Book description
VMC EDITION:
Injured at Dunkirk, Laurie Odell, a young corporal, is recovering in hospital. There he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly, and the men find solace in their covert friendship. Through him, Laurie is drawn into a circle of gay men for whom liaisons are fleeting and he is forced ton choose between the ideals of a perfect friendship and the pleasures of experience.
Haiku summary
In the charged silence,

Something of significance.

We must re-read it.

(1Owlette)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375714189, Paperback)

After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans’ hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Laurie’s schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Laurie’s life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience.

Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

After enduring an injury at Dunkirk during World War II, Laurie Odell is sent to a rural veterans?hospital in England to convalesce. There he befriends the young, bright Andrew, a conscientious objector serving as an orderly. As they find solace and companionship together in the idyllic surroundings of the hospital, their friendship blooms into a discreet, chaste romance. Then one day, Ralph Lanyon, a mentor from Laurie? schoolboy days, suddenly reappears in Laurie? life, and draws him into a tight-knit social circle of world-weary gay men. Laurie is forced to choose between the sweet ideals of innocence and the distinct pleasures of experience. Originally published in the United States in 1959, The Charioteer is a bold, unapologetic portrayal of male homosexuality during World War II that stands with Gore Vidal? The City and the Pillar and Christopher Isherwood? Berlin Stories as a monumental work in gay literature… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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