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Ulverton (Vintage Past) Mass Market Paperback – 28 November 2016
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Vintage Past- Inventive tales of times gone by to tell the histories we think we know
About the Author
Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, appeared in 1992, and he has published two books of stories, six poetry collections, and nine further novels, most recently Flight (2012).
- Publisher : VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET (28 November 2016)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784871397
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784871390
- Dimensions : 11.07 x 2.57 x 17.73 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 486,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
3.5 out of 5
66 global ratings
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OverratedReviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 February 2021
This is an extremely uneven high concept novel. The concept- portray a rural community through time using a variety of voices is a great idea but also comes with a downside. Some of those voices are more interesting and accessible than others. The opening tale is the best part by far and l suspect that if it had not been this book would have disappeared without trace. Other sections are either either unreadable ( (written in archaic dialect, tv production schedule etc) or interminable ( doomed love affair etc). I skipped a lot of it and l suspect most readers will do the same. Another point of irritation for me concerned the modern planning dispute: l am a planner so spotted the mistakes- which basic research would have eliminated.
2 people found this helpful
Graham G Grant
Evolution of England in microcosmReviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 October 2020
Like a mini-Ulysses, Ulverton also anticipates Cloud Atlas: it’s a series of stories, spanning more than 300 years, each written in different styles, reflecting the most popular literary techniques of the day. There are extracts from letters and a diary; the final section is presented as the script for a documentary (about the construction of a controversial housing development in the village). It starts in 1650 and ends in 1988. There’s an abiding preoccupation with superstition and folklore throughout. We can chart how what actually happened - or what we believe actually happened - has morphed into embellished folk tales over the centuries. The voices narrating each chapter are utterly convincing. The plots are gripping, sometimes harrowing, and often the stuff of black comedy. Some chapters are more navigable and accessible than others. Stitches is written in largely undecipherable dialect. Treasure, set just before the Great War, is probably my favourite, but Leeward and Improvements follow closely behind. And the final chapter, Here, is very cleverly done, if a little tricky to read on Kindle. This is a masterpiece, charting the history of England through the microcosm of a single rural village. Like a time-travel version of The Archers - on steroids. Well, sort of. It’s haunting, complex, elaborate, and frequently poignant. There are some beautiful passages. A novel that would bear more than one re-read...
A tour de forceReviewed in the United Kingdom on 1 September 2019
The bringing to life of an entire world over such a time span, is a huge achievement. But you must work at it, take it slowly, and don't be put off by the dialect chapter, it rewards persistence. Might help to keep a record of the characters, as they reappear, by reference, in subsequent chapters.
Yes, yes, yes - an elegantly constructed fictional ...Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 3 April 2017
Yes, yes, yes - an elegantly constructed fictional walk through 2 centuries of English rural life, filled with fascinating, finely-drawn characters. Tremendous writing, utterly compelling. Take this with you on holiday - it will only add to your pleasure.
5 people found this helpful
Please avoidReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 March 2018
Some good reviews tempted me to buy this but please avoid as it is pretentious and such a disappointment. Some of the chapters are unreadable and the final chapter doesn’t even transfer to a legible format for kindle.
4 people found this helpful