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In the Half Light: A Novel by Anthony…

In the Half Light: A Novel

by Anthony Lawrence

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I don’t often choose a book at random as I did with this one. I’d read a few sentences in the bookshop, liked their flow, and so bought the book. Having now read it, I can say my first impressions about the style were borne out – Lawrence is a fluent and vivid writer but I wasn’t as keen on the content. I found his narrator a person mainly defined by his schizophrenia which no doubt was meant to be largely the focus of the novel – but too narrow a focus for me. I’d have liked more of James’ character to emerge. I got the feeling we were meant to see great depths to James but instead I found himself too inward-looking. Plot-wise I didn’t find the book particularly convincing either, women readily falling for James without there being any real development – for the most part he stalked them and then they loved him – all rather odd.

Just why Lawrence turned to prose I’m not sure. Was there something personal he wanted to convey? Clearly schizophrenia is an important topic for him and maybe a central one – and that could explain why the narrow focus of the book which I feel ignores other ingredients of a successful novel. Having said that, he does have a way with words – I just wish they’d said more. ( )
  evening | Jul 29, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330362356, Hardcover)

With quiet optimism and a haunting poignancy, the award-winning poet Anthony Lawrence's first novel explores the strange, sometimes marvelous, and entirely disorienting world of James Molloy. For however unexceptional James-an average student, a dutiful son-may appear to outsiders, he knows that he is different. He has visions, and in their eerie halflight two realities-the one that he lives in and the one that lives in him-collide, intermingle, coalesce. Sometimes out of the vibrant confusion inside his head come voices that glide from his mind into his mouth. Vision finds a language of its own. Alone, isolated by his difference, James faces a future without close companionship until the day that he meets Stephanie Riley, a sympathetic guide who leads him to unexpected truths, and then disappears. Driven to learn what lies at the center of his curious universe, James begins a heartrending journey that takes him from a tragic romantic interlude in rural Australia to the west coast of Ireland. There, even as he enters the emotionally turbulent world of Sarah Carmichael, a talented, hard-drinking fiddle player, James emerges into the clarity of self-awareness. And discovers at last the possibilities that lie in friendship, art, love, tomorrow.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

To outsiders, James Molloy is nothing exceptional: an average student, perhaps quieter than most, sometimes in trouble, much loved by his parents. But James knows that he is different. He has visions, and in their eerie half light two worlds - the one that he lives in and the one that lives in him - collide, intermingle, coalesce. And sometimes out of the vibrant and amazing confusion inside his head come voices that glide from his mind into his mouth. Vision finds a language of its own.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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