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The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison

The Course of the Heart (1992)

by M. John Harrison

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244647,176 (3.43)8
  1. 00
    Mefisto by John Banville (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Potent short novels with enthralling imagery, in which the protagonist's experiences with magic have equivocal results.

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This is a wonderfully-written, intelligent book that I did not enjoy at all. A few things happen, some things are talked about, and there is a lot of waiting and looking at things. I feel as if the book would be better read by someone having grown up about 10-20 years before I did (I was born in '69), more intellectual, and more willing to be surprised by a novel willing to take on the vague ennui and seach for meaning by the well-educated middle class - a search that, like Yaxley's rituals, seem to yield nothing real and only things imagined. I can't rate it by stars b/c it would have to have two different ratings - a 4 for how good it is, a 1 for almost complete lack of enjoyment.
  amandrake | May 29, 2016 |
A sad story, beautifully-told in true M. John Harrison style. It was interesting reading this just after Things That Never Happen because familiar sentences, paragraphs, even entire short stories were woven into the novel. In that new context, they sometimes took on entirely different meanings. Something like Winter's Tale and something like Umberto Eco. ( )
1 vote wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
Fantasy's potential for escape, or for mere escapism, or for nothing in particular, is examined through the lives of four would-be escapists. Harrison's Imagist-like prose ensures the novel with keep you aesthetically pleased even as he repeatedly crushes your hopes beneath his heel. A refreshingly indirect novel, in every possible sense. ( )
  Longshanks | Jul 24, 2012 |
This is a beautifully worded book, very descriptive and evocative. The story is based on an occurance that is never fully explained, but that affects the characters' day-to-day experience for the rest of their lives. I can't say I enjoyed the story, but the way it was written made it easy to read. ( )
  carmelitasita29 | Oct 24, 2009 |
This poetical book tells of Pam and Lucas, who the nameless narrator knows from their time in Cambridge. Something mystical happened back then - none of them remembers what, but whatever happened, left deep scars. There's also the strange Yaxley, who has something to do with this all.

Pam and Lucas obsess about Cœur, a lost kingdom, and the destinies of its heirs. There's also Pleroma, existing and not existing, yet worthy of plenty of effort to find.

The narrator observers the stormy relationship between Pam and Lucas, sometimes mediating between the couple. The book is full of mysteries and sometimes quite hard to figure out, but the beautiful language Harrison uses is worth the efforts. Mystical, yet enchanting book.

(Original review at my review blog.) ( )
1 vote msaari | Jan 3, 2008 |
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