Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1926
Genre Fiction
Origin UK
ISBN-10 1434442179
ISBN-13 978-1434442178
My Copy library paperback
First Read July 02, 2015


This is so great! It's weird in all the ways I love, and well-written enough. It's got a fairly Dickensian novel structure, in that major plot devices aren't introduced until you're a third or halfway through the book. But that doesn't bother me a bit; it's not a mystery!

It's very akin to Susanna Clarke, and I first heard about this book in a review of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which I also liked.

Noted on July 7, 2015

Hence at times, he would gaze on the present with the agonizing tenderness of one who gazes on the past: his wife, sitting under the lamp embroidering, and retailing to him the gossip she had culled during the day; or his little son, playing with the great mastiff on the floor.
From his secret poison there was, however, some sweetness to be distilled. For the unknown thing that he dreaded could at times be envisaged as a dangerous cape that he had already doubled. And to lie awake at night in his warm feather bed, listening to the breathing of his wife and the soughing of the trees, would become, from this attitude, and exquisite pleasure.

Quoted on July 7, 2015

He continued to receive cheerful letters ... and gradually his panic turned into a sort of lethargic nightmare of fatalism, which seemed to free him from the necessity of taking action. It was as if the future was a treacly adhesive fluid that made his fingers too sticky to be of the slightest use.

Quoted on July 7, 2015

'Master Nathaniel', I'd like to reason with you a little,' he said. "Reason I know, is only a drug, and as such, its effects are never permanent. But like the juice of the poppy, it often gives a temporary relief."

Quoted on July 7, 2015

Was it possible that Ranulph, too, was a real person, a person in whose mind things happend? He had thought that he himself was the only real person in a field of human flowers.

Quoted on July 7, 2015

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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