The affect is a mixed sense of repetition, indecisiveness and hyperbole. That may have been an intended affect it's a feature lacking whenever Mr. Sakamota talks or writes , but it's unpleasant On the whole I'm mixed. Dreams, love, babies, illness. And all the natural things. Leaves, birds, ocean, animals.
Think of your Australian kangaroo,' he added. Think of sky. There is nothing modern about the sky. Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin but I didn't like it. Too much syrupy symbolism, IMO and indigestible prose. But lots of other people loved it, so don't take any notice of me. Lovely prose, though with one or two clangers caused by overwriting, allows the reader to float through the story of a young Australian academic living in Paris to research her thesis on modernity. There she meets Mr Sakomoto, an elderly Japanese inventor who, as a child, survived the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
The narrative is interspersed by memories of her sister. Jan 04, Gail rated it really liked it. I like the prominence of technology and the shared understanding of its role that linked Alice and Mr Sakamoto The writing is excellent. Die Australierin Alice ist in einer abgelegenen westaustralischen Stadt aufgewachsen. Die Eltern fragen sich, wie sie wohl diese kriegerischen Kreaturen herangezogen haben.
Alice ist zu einem Studienaufenthalt nach Paris gekommen und schreibt offenbar ein Buch.
Review: Dreams of Speaking by Gail Jones | Books | The Guardian
Alice gewinnt durch diese Beziehung neues Selbstvertrauen. Bell hat wie Sakamoto sein Leben lang mit dem Verlust geliebter Menschen gehadert. Sakamoto zeigt eine besondere Begabung, den Menschen hinter dem Wissenschaftler wahrzunehmen. Sakamotos Geschichten wirken symbolhaft, deuten bisher Verschwiegenes aus seinem eigenen Leben an. Alices Faszination durch Sakamato mag sich u. This is a book that, for me, started slowly and gained momentum as I read. To be honest, I only picked it because it had a "J" in the title. I'm combining the Australian Women Writers challenge with the Aussie Readers "Challenge with a Twist": each month you have to read a book whose title or author starts with the same letter as that month.
I'd initially chosen Margo Lanagan's Black Juice for January, only to find it's a collection of short stories. Lanagan's first prize-w This is a book that, for me, started slowly and gained momentum as I read. Lanagan's first prize-winning story, "Singing the Sister Down" is outstanding, by the way. Initially I had my doubts. Any book that has a writer as the central character makes me wary. I've spent too many hours of my life reading "literary" books that seem far removed from life, but I persisted with Dreams of Speaking and was well rewarded.
By the end, I was in love with Jones' characters, their different ways of seeing the world and the author's language.
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An aspect I particularly loved was Jones' way of interspersing the narrative with "facts". I write "facts" in inverted commas because these sections purport to be facts, but come via one of the book's key characters, Mr Sakamoto, retired Japanese gentleman traveller with a passion for Alexander Graham Bell, who befriends the main character, Alice, the young Australian writer from Perth whom he meets after she has taken up a literary scholarship to live in a studio in Paris. From a narrative point of view, these interspersed sections of "fact" do a number of things.
They provide evidence of the basis of this unlikely friendship, a shared fascination with invention and technology. The "fact" sections also a counterpoint with the shocking drama that underlies these characters' lonely obsessions: the trauma Mr Sakamoto has suffered in surviving the atomic bomb blast of Nagasaki, and the fractured relationship Alice has with her sister Nora, and her former lover Stephen.
Gradually, the reader has the impression that these characters' fascination with human invention is both a retreat from a painful world, and a way of reaching out tentatively to others. This dance between distance and connection, intimacy and isolation creates a powerful tension throughout the book and leads to an ending which, for me, was one of the most moving I've read in years.
Who would like this book? People who love language, who love the idea of Australians as global people, equally at home - or at a loss - in Perth, Paris or Japan. Also anyone whose interested in Japanese character and culture, especially the post-nineteenth-century influence of the Meiji restoration with its love of European elegance and sophistication, as well as its embrace of modern technologies.
People who are interested in the traumatic aftermath of WWII will find aspect of the book interesting, too - but this subject is treated in an oblique way, which, for me, has a lot more emotional power than something direct. But I can say this: when I got to the end, I felt at war with the author: not because I felt the story failed, but because I cared so strongly about her characters and their fate. I didn't like the ending Jones chose, but I respected it: it seemed true to the characters and the messiness of life generally.
Instead of being a diversion and an escape like so many of the page-turning books I've read in recent years, this story made me feel as if it had added hours to my life, expanding my heart and my mind in unexpected ways. I'll certainly read more by this author. Mar 12, Thomas Stark rated it it was ok Shelves: reviewed.
I read Dreams of Speaking about seven years ago as part of my coursework. The book is about Alice Black, an Australian writer tackling her latest project, The Poetics of Modernity , which examines the aesthetic qualities of mundane objects. She befriends the elderly Hiroshi Sakamoto, a survivor of Nagasaki and expert on Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. What follows is a series of vignettes that Jones uses to explore the nature of thought while remaining anchored to the apparent b I read Dreams of Speaking about seven years ago as part of my coursework.
What follows is a series of vignettes that Jones uses to explore the nature of thought while remaining anchored to the apparent banality of existence. From what I can recall, the book left me dissatisfied but not altogether disaffected. Jones keeps the narrative simple, instead electing to focus on the power of observation and interpretation. Again, this is fine, except Jones does not appear to be making any discernible point with the hardships she inflicts upon her characters. Perhaps she is advocating a form of escapism in everyday life, or perhaps she is suggesting the ordinary can transcend the more complex associations we often pursue.
I was ultimately left without a strong impression either way. Despite its lack of focus, I remember enjoying portions of Dreams of Speaking , particularly when the narrator explored some obscure history or intriguing connection. I cannot heartily recommend it as a casual encounter for an indifferent reader. Apr 05, Sharon Morgan rated it really liked it Shelves: bookclub.
Read for my bookclub. I was really unsure about this one.
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It was a struggle. I read it in two parts. Was I bored with it or did I find it fascinating? Did I find the author pompous with her use of big words, or did I find her smooth and flowy? When first completed, I felt that there wasn't really much to it. While it was mildly interesting and engaging, it seemed to lack any plot or real story. Until I discussed it with my bookclub.
This book was very well written. Very real. The author manages to Read for my bookclub. The author manages to cover a whole host of issues and emotions in one easy novel. Grief, rejection, betrayel, love, loneliness, self harm, friendship, travel, and more. Definitely a read for 'the thinker'. Not a book to be read and then discarded.
To understand this book, will require some after thought on a whole host of topics. At first, I was very taken with with the author's intelligence and prose style. But quickly I felt there was something wrong, at least for me. The first thing that concerned me was the use of a third-person-limited narrator that, although focused on the protagonist, is omniscient and, via the occasional adjective, opinionated.
This bothered me when, for example, a dream is narrated. The novel just didn't work for me, and I gave it up early, but I'm glad I tasted the author's work. View 1 comment. Dec 12, Paula Nichols rated it it was ok. I started this book with an open mind, drawn to the Japanese connection more than anything. The cover sings the authors praises from papers like The Independent.
I was quite disappointed though. I found the central character, Alice, selfish and superior and did not really warm to her at all. Her relationship with Mr Sakamoto was interesting, and I would have liked the author to have expanded on this. The second part of the book was much better - the character was forced to interact and react to I started this book with an open mind, drawn to the Japanese connection more than anything.
The second part of the book was much better - the character was forced to interact and react to her surroundings and the events that unfold, but the book ended all too quickly without a satisfying resolution. Maybe it was too highbrow for me, or maybe I just didn't like it! Feb 19, Lesley Moseley rated it liked it. I like her writing but, this book was too long-winded, although I did read it all.. I sighed everytime a new character was mentioned, because I knew "Oh no ,here comes the unnecessary to move the story forward , backstory.. Nov 20, sisterimapoet rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment.
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About the Author, Gail Jones
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