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Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Brilliant and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of Henry James, a man born into one of America's first intellectual families two decades before the Civil War. James left his country to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.

In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and longing, the hope and despair of a man who never married, never resolved his sexual identity, and whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed him and those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of Tóibín's portrait of James is riveting. Time and again, James, a master of psychological subtlety in his fiction, proves blind to his own heart and incapable of reconciling his dreams of passion with his own fragility.

Tóibín is "a great and humanizing writer" who describes complex relationships in "supple, beautifully modulated prose" (The Washington Post Book World). In The Master, he has written his most ambitious and heartbreaking novel, an extraordinarily inventive encounter with a character at the cusp of the modern age, elusive to his own friends and even family, yet astonishingly vivid in these pages.

Topics: Paris, Victorian Era, Midlife Crisis, Writers, Expat Life, Sexuality, Writing, Creativity, Love, Death, Family, France, Venice, Boston, Florence, Ireland, London, Rome, Italy, England, Inspirational, Poignant, Based on a True Story, and Irish Author

Published: Scribner on Dec 21, 2010
ISBN: 9781439106860
List price: $10.99
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Nice story of The Masterread more
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I admit that I found this book easy to read, and that it held my interest. It is I take it biographically correct, and adds much to the 'record' by telling Henry James' thoughts and feelings. It starts in Januaary 1895, as James effort to be a playwright is failing, and concludes in October 1899, but there are many flashbacks and one gets a pretty full account of much of James' life from birth up to 1899--though of course disjointed, and flashbacky. But after reading the book I felt it really did not tell much and I was disappoinrted that the book did not proceed to tell of James' life after 1899..Stylistically, one is reminded of James' own writing, . But it is all rather 'precious' and makes a big deal of James' latent (usually, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., excepted) homosexuality. On balance, I found the book disappointing, considering how much it was hyped when it came out.read more
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my best frends mum just got a nearly new Mazda MAZDA3 Hatchback only from working part-time off a pc at home... go to this web-site >> T­­­­­­­i­­­­­­­m­­­­­­­e­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­J­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­b­­­­­­­s­­­­­­­3­­­­­­­4­­­­­­.c­­­­o­­­­m
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Nice story of The Master
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I admit that I found this book easy to read, and that it held my interest. It is I take it biographically correct, and adds much to the 'record' by telling Henry James' thoughts and feelings. It starts in Januaary 1895, as James effort to be a playwright is failing, and concludes in October 1899, but there are many flashbacks and one gets a pretty full account of much of James' life from birth up to 1899--though of course disjointed, and flashbacky. But after reading the book I felt it really did not tell much and I was disappoinrted that the book did not proceed to tell of James' life after 1899..Stylistically, one is reminded of James' own writing, . But it is all rather 'precious' and makes a big deal of James' latent (usually, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., excepted) homosexuality. On balance, I found the book disappointing, considering how much it was hyped when it came out.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This well-researched but still speculative contemplation of the life and writings of Henry James was fascinating to me. Toibin meticulously painted a portrait of a reflective man who relished his undisturbed life. The author integrated the influences of life on art showing how James incorporated his astute observations in his creative process. The Master was an excellent character study utilizing flashbacks and bittersweet vignettes to reveal the inner life of a conflicted author.This is a book to be real slowly and savored. Highly recommended to lovers of literature.
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I started this book back in March and was captivated by the beginning. Unfortunately, it slowed down about 75 pages in and I put it aside for almost a month. I’m so glad I picked it up again because I ended up loving it.It’s a fictionalized account of the life of the writer Henry James that takes place during the last five years of the 19th century when the work James was doing would earn him the nickname “The Master.” Each chapter is marked by a month and year in that period but Henry spends so much of his time ruminating about past events that you get a good picture of the course of his life up through his mid-fifties.Toibin paints a picture of a man that was well-liked and a sought after guest at social affairs but one that relished his solitude. This was one of my favorite passages in the book:"He loved the glorious silence a morning brought, knowing that he had no appointments that afternoon and no engagements that evening. He had grown fat on solitude, he thought, and had learned to expect nothing from the day but at best a dull contentment. Sometimes the dullness came to the fore with a strange and insistent ache which he would entertain briefly, but learn to keep at bay. Mostly, however, it was the contentment he entertained; the slow ease and the silence could, once night had fallen, fill him with a happiness that nothing, no society nor the company of any individual, no glamour or glitter, could equal."The case builds throughout the novel that James was very repressed, especially sexually, but it’s hard to know how much this bothered him. He never married, never had children and often distanced himself from close friends and family but for the most part I didn’t see him as an unhappy person. He was a great observer of life and was successful at conveying that in his writing which he obviously derived a lot of satisfaction from.I would highly recommend this book even if you know nothing about Henry James. It’s a beautiful portrait of a unique life that’s not to be missed.
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(listened to the audio book) Now for something completely different. The Master is Toíbin's hommage to the writer Henry James. He leads us through the latter years of Jame's life from the devastating reception of his play, Guy Domville, in 1895 to....wait. I can't remember where it ends. I am pretty sure it did not end with James' death though. I think he left off at James' house in Rye. I am pretty sure it ends before WWI- as it wasn't mentioned and James' died in 1916.This is a slow, nuanced and textured read (or listen), that hints at James' homosexuality through subtle comments and meaningful glances but is never explicitly stated. It also relies on flashbacks to talk about his different novels and the periods in James' life that influenced them.After all the post-apocalyptic craziness I have been into lately or all the heavy on the plot YA novels I read, this was a comforting salve. Beautifully written, meticulous as James' personality, I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to lose themselves in the ornate, subtle and layered world of Henry James.
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