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A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom: A Novel…
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A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom: A Novel (edició 2020)

de John Boyne (Autor)

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674306,026 (3.38)2
Membre:gmisra
Títol:A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom: A Novel
Autors:John Boyne (Autor)
Informació:Hogarth (2020), Edition: Illustrated, 480 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:to-read

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A Traveler at the Gates of Wisdom: A Novel de John Boyne

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» Mira també 2 mencions

Es mostren totes 4
Audiobook- excellent narration
I had to give it 4 stars because I will not reread this and that gets my 5 stars. It's not a story I'd want to relive but am so glad I read.
It was an amazing travel through times with an almost exact story just in a different time and place. What if you were reborn over and over ? How do you review a book like this ? I will not, I couldn't do it justice. I went in totally blind it was recommended by a friend. I didn't know what it was about and didn't for a while reading it. Then I caught on, very interesting.
What I found the most interesting was women's rolls and how they stood in society over the years. Oy, it was horrible. That is not even the worst there was child abuse, acceptable then and sickening always. heartbreaking deaths, violence, great loss, with short moments of joy.
The epilogue was spot on about a certain President. Read the book you'll see. ( )
  TheYodamom | Mar 10, 2021 |
Where to start? ‘A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom’ by John Boyne is like no other book I’ve read. It’s a historical, classical, contemporary mash-up which takes a group of characters on a journey through the centuries, starting with Palestine in AD1 and ending in AD2080 living in a colony in space. The same group of characters feature in each chapter, advancing in time and moving location, each time with different names though always starting with the same letter.
In Palestine we first hear the voice of our, in the beginning, unnamed sole protagonist. This is his story told in soundbite chapters. He starts with his own origins, the meeting of his father Marinus and mother Floriana and progresses across two thousand years to the near future. At times there is violence, much against women but also brutal murder, torture and random killing. There is betrayal, cruelty, prejudice, foolhardiness and bravery, love and loyalty. Essentially it is the story of one family – mother, father, two brothers and a sister. One brother has the strength and brutality of his father, the other has the creativity of his mother.
As the decades pass and the story progresses, the brothers progress through childhood to adults, they fight, argue, divide, meet and divide again. Each chapter offers a snapshot of a place and time in history, sometimes set against the backdrop of real events and people. And always the family is placed at the centre of the action, with a supporting cast of recognisable characters who re-appear.
To explain the story here is too complex and would contain too many spoilers. Read it for yourself but prepare to be challenged. The print book is 407 pages long. I read it on Kindle and it seemed longer than that. Some chapters whizz by, others creep. Each new time/setting includes a little recap from the end of the previous chapter, a device essential in the first third of the book but I think dispensable once the structure and device is familiar to the reader.
Such an ambitious project, I read it with a spirit of adventure, never knowing what was coming next.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 14, 2020 |
I'm a huge fan of John Boyne's writing. I've never read anything of his that hasn't wowed me. I admit to being nervous about A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom though, and must confess that if it hadn't been written by Boyne I would probably never have picked it up. What a travesty that would have been. This is an epic journey through history, the like of which I have never come across before.

We begin with our unnamed narrator in 1AD. As his mother is in labour with him, his father is out slaughtering a dozen boys under the age of 2. We then move through the next 2000 years, each chapter being set in a different part of the world. The narrator is not exactly the same man (that would make him impossibly old) but it's basically the same set of circumstances - a father, a mother, two sons, and as time moves on one of those sons grows up and has his own life experiences.

It's so hard to explain it adequately but this is basically a high concept story that cleverly portrays how the cycle of life never changes and whilst things around us change, the human race essentially stays the same, living out the same emotions, the same events, the same circle of life.

"The things that surround us may change, but our emotions will always remain the same. A man who lost his beloved wife a thousand years ago suffered the same grief that I felt when I lost mine, no more and no less."

I enjoyed the little historical placeholders, events that I recognised, just as much as I enjoyed the ones I didn't. And I particularly loved the epilogue which takes place in the future and which has a rather unexpected and amusing end for somebody.

This is an incredibly bold and clever novel from the versatile pen of John Boyne. It sweeps across the continents, taking the reader travelling through time to remind us that we are just a tiny cog in the wheels of life. It's epic in every sense of the word. ( )
  nicx27 | Jul 25, 2020 |
'Do your memories never surprise you? Do you not dream of the past and the future and recognise both with equal clarity?'

John Boyne's new novel is a sweeping epic, taking what is basically a simple story line and setting it across time and space with astonishing ambition. It is one man's story, starting with his birth in AD1 and ending with his time on a space station in the year 2080. In essence it is a revenge story, a pursuit driven by loss and anguish, but with each chapter the story moves forward in time, the characters' names change, and incidents from previous chapters are slightly re-written. It is bold and literate and it works.

While the names change, they always start with the same letter; each moment in time that we drop in to is set against real events and often populated by 'real' people - Attila the Hun, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare and, yes, Donald Trump, for example. Other characters re-appear under different guises, one of the most important being the blind woman, in one chapter called Tiresia, who says to our (unnamed) narrator at one point: 'There are many lives ahead of you yet, son of Manray. I see them all. One day, you will live among the stars.' There is a sense of destiny, of fate - and, again, this focus on the stars keeps recurring in the book.

Our narrator is one man, and many men; he is an Everyman, whose story is played out again and again throughout human history. Once you get into the flow of the book, and ably guided by Boyne's wonderful prose, this will beguile you and challenge you. You have to pay attention to small details, motifs and names that repeat like a musical score (Spearthrower Owl, for example, is a central concept), but just go with it and enjoy the journey. The 'revenge' story actually ends some time before the end of the book, which then moves into the present and future (with Boyne merrily taking swipes at book critics and the aforementioned Donald J. Trump) and ends with a sort of eco-warning. Whilst it didn't detract from the overall power of the book, I'm not sure these last 80 pages or so had quite the same impact, the same sense of immediacy and humanity, than what had come before.

Ambitious is scope, this could easily have been a muddle, but Boyne keeps control of his narrative with mastery and skill. It is similar in feel to a David Mitchell novel, perhaps, and should appeal to fans of his. But it truly stands on its own, and its sweeping story arc is truly a feat of modern storytelling. Epic and human, this will definitely be one of my top books of 2020. ( )
  Alan.M | Jun 15, 2020 |
Es mostren totes 4
It scarcely needs to be said that the book is intended as a gung-ho rebuttal of the notion that writers should stay in their lane and stick to fictional worlds that are appropriate to their identity.... operates under the blithe assumption that people in different historical milieux feel exactly the same way about such culturally determined things as creativity, monogamy and love. Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t; but it doesn’t occur to him to wonder.
afegit per karenb | editaThe Guardian, Marcel Theroux (Aug 6, 2020)
 
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