Is a thick and complicated novel that intertwines two stories. One tells of a young woman in the process of disentangling herself from a repressive marriage, and the other is told as a utopian fable a book within the book. Both stories are engrossing as all get out, and Byatt slowly melds them as they progress their conclusions. This book has got everything an avid reader could want: adventure, sex, gore, the quest for freedom, and the struggle for creative expression. And I haven't even begun to describethe utopian fable bits.
I highly recommend this book, it is rich in its layers and its characters. Byatt tells an excellent story of an individual sorting herself out while the socio-political upheaval of 1960's "Swinging" London goes on all around. But she's also got something to say with regard to the big picture, along the lines of Humanity's Struggle To Function Properly in Large Groups, in General. I loved this, because that knotty issue been a bee in my bonnet for a very long time now. Furthermore Byatt offers chunks of text from other thinkers and poets such as Thomas Mann, Neitzsche, William Blake, Timothy Leary, Wordsworth, Auden and R.D. Laing, which are quite probably an education in themselves -- for those who don't speed-read through them (heh heh)...
By Rascal on Tuesday, 26th November 2002, 11:39am