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The Charioteer by Mary Renault
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The Charioteer (1953)

by Mary Renault

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8622615,619 (4.09)32
  1. 20
    Maurice: A Novel by E. M. Forster (emanate28)
    emanate28: Understated, loving, and in a way heartbreaking depiction of love between two men in repressive British society.
  2. 10
    Despised and Rejected by Rose Allatini (mambo_taxi)
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» See also 32 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
I need to build Mary Renault a worship shrine. And maybe one for Ralph Lanyon as well. ( )
  XiaXiaLake | Jan 16, 2019 |
This book was a real discovery. Written in 1953, it’s a gentle and romantic story of discovery, affection and love. Written by a lady that has developed a lot of experience in historic novels. What is very specific however is that the writer is a woman. And she described the love of a man for another man. Read with today’s eyes the story is almost too simplistic sometime. But again, the perspective of the time when it was written (as well as the time of narration, during WWII), just makes this an amazing piece to read, creating a story that is both fresh and romantic. Definitely a great discovery! ( )
  scaredda | Dec 2, 2018 |
Slightly claustrophobic for me, but Renault writes about homosexuality like no other author and is also a wonderful historian. Her characters tend to bleed angst. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is one of those books that you finish reading and you're busting to talk to someone else who has read it. The language is often quite cryptic and requires perseverance....a function of the time/subject matter. Perseverance is rewarded with heartstopping moments, intrigue, suspense, exasperation and above all love for the very real characters. I shall miss them. ( )
1 vote alexdaw | Feb 7, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Renault, MaryAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beale, Simon RussellIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
It was the first time he had ever heard the clock strike ten at night.
Quotations
Last words
(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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:43 -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)

» see all 4 descriptions

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