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Signal & Noise (2003)

de John Griesemer

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245793,743 (3.72)4
On a dark, wet London morning in 1857, Chester Ludlow, an American engineer, arrives on the muddy banks of the Isle of Dogs to witness the launch of the largest steamship ever built, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's The Great Eastern. Ludlow, propelled by fierce ambition, is a key member of a small consortium whose ambition is to lay the first transatlantic telegraph cable. He has abandoned his fragile wife, Franny, on their estate in Maine. The couple are still in deep mourning for their daughter who died in a tragic accident, aged only four. The charismatic Ludlow meets a woman who will exert the most powerful influence on his life and work - the beautiful and enigmatic Katerina Lindt. As both Ludlow and Franny's lives start to unravel, they find themselves caught up in a relentless tide of change crashing across both continents and blurring the boundaries between the physical and the spiritual worlds.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 7 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Die Verlegung des ersten Transatlantikkabels und das Auslaufen der Great Eastern, des langezeit größten Schiffes der Welt, bilden den historischen Hintergrund für Griesemers Roman. Sie stehen für den Fortschritt, die „Wunder des Zeitalters“, wie es am Ende des Buches heißen wird. Wie der titelgebende „Rausch“ reißen die neue Zeit und ihre Möglichkeiten die Menschen mit. Im Englischen heißt der Titel des Buches allerdings „Signals and Noise“ und das passt noch viel besser! Denn es sind leise Signale, die unentwegt gesendet und empfangen werden: Signale durch das Kabel, Signale der Liebe und des Begehrens, Signale aus dem Jenseits. Lärm lässt uns unempfindlich werden für diese Signale - heute ist es gang und gäbe, dass wir über den Atlantik Kontakt haben, ist Lärm allerorten.
Chester Ludlow, der Ingenieur des Transatlantikkabels ist verheiratet mit Franny. Sie haben vor kurzem ihre kleine Tochter Betty verloren. Augenzeuge war Chesters Bruder Otis,ein genialischer Mann mit vielen Talenten und ohne Richtung. Franny tauert sehr und versucht mit Otis Hilfe Kontakt zu Betty aufzunehmen, während Chester mit einer Show Geld für die Fortführung des Kabelprojektes eintreibt. Begleitet wird er dabei von der Musikerin Katharina, in die er sich verliebt und mit der er eine Beziehung eingeht. Eine weitere Hauptperson ist der Maler Trace, der sowohl das Schiffsprojekt als auch das Kabelprojekt für Zeitungen abbildet.
Das Buch hat also viele Handlungsstränge und vor allem anfangs gefiel es mir nicht so recht. Ich war oft versucht, aufzuhören oder querzulesen. Zwar war der historische Hintergrund gut recherchiert und interessant, doch die Verknüpfung mit den eigentümlichen persönlichen Geschichten wirkte irgendwie einerseits trivial und andererseits künstlich. Allerdings zog mich das Buch dann mehr und mehr in Bann. Ich mochte Jack Trace immer mehr, fand immer mehr Gefallen an Frannys neuer Karriere, konnte der Symbolik der Signale einiges abgewinnen. Alte und neue Welt, Signals and Noise. Im Endeffekt gefiel mir das Buch dann doch sehr gut und die letzten 350 Seiten las ich fast in einem Zug und sehr zufrieden durch. ( )
  Wassilissa | Feb 7, 2016 |
S&N was one of those everything-including-the-kitchen-sink epics. It had some sex, betrayal, adultery, spiritualism, engineering, insanity, the Big Stink, acting, capitalism, drug use, chicanery, a really big cannon, journalism, and art. It's not perfect but it more or less works capturing events not covered elsewhere in historical fiction- the laying of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. Modernity is being pulled into Victorian England and back-country USA. It doesn't have a historical note which it really needs, to clarify the fictional parts. It does tell the story of the Great Eastern, a ship snakebit from the start, but some devices and events were either dug up deep from the historical archives or made up. I'm still not sure about some of them. I give it a 3.78 rating. ( )
  VisibleGhost | Nov 25, 2010 |
This is all about the laying of the first transatlantic cable. It is supposed to be good but the hardback is too heavy to cart back and forth to work on the train. Too long at 593 pages.
  jon1lambert | Sep 11, 2008 |
A big, ambitious book with lots of symbol & metaphor (particularly related to the words of the title), much of which undoubtedly went over my head, but also with masterful storytelling & a few really brilliantly renedered scenes (including one in which one of the main characters walks out as far as he can on a collapsed railroad bridge over a gorge; reading it I had the same feeling in my bowels as I do when I'm in a situation that triggers my fear of heights). The characters are wonderfully drawn: the chief engineer on several failed attempts to lay a transatlantic cable; his wife, a former actress who becomes a traveling spiritualist lecturer just before, during, & after the Civil War; the musician with whom the engineer has an affair; the journalist/artist who documents the cable venture; the London prostitute he loves; the cable company promoter; the engineer's brother; and other lesser characters, including President & Mrs. Lincoln. They're all, as I said, richly drawn, though the women less so than the men. The book is set mostly in the years leading up to the Civil War, & the third of the 4 "books" (the shortest one) is set during the Civil War, but this feels less like a Civil War novel (though in that section it had strong similarities to Gob's Grief, in its focus on spiritualism & its relationship to those who lost loved ones in the war), than an introduction to a world on the verge of the Gilded Age, the Age of Science, the Age of Communication. Yet, as with the best historical fiction, it showed how those grand themes played out in the most intimate details of the lives of its characters. ( )
  mbergman | Nov 9, 2007 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Griesemerautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Herzke, IngoÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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On a dark, wet London morning in 1857, Chester Ludlow, an American engineer, arrives on the muddy banks of the Isle of Dogs to witness the launch of the largest steamship ever built, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's The Great Eastern. Ludlow, propelled by fierce ambition, is a key member of a small consortium whose ambition is to lay the first transatlantic telegraph cable. He has abandoned his fragile wife, Franny, on their estate in Maine. The couple are still in deep mourning for their daughter who died in a tragic accident, aged only four. The charismatic Ludlow meets a woman who will exert the most powerful influence on his life and work - the beautiful and enigmatic Katerina Lindt. As both Ludlow and Franny's lives start to unravel, they find themselves caught up in a relentless tide of change crashing across both continents and blurring the boundaries between the physical and the spiritual worlds.

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