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A Month in the Country (1980)

de J. L. Carr

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaConversas / Menções
2,3331206,705 (4.22)3 / 453
In J. L. Carr's deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter's depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life. But summer ends, and with the work done, Birkin must leave. Now, long after, as he reflects on the passage of time and the power of art, he finds in his memories some consolation for all that has been lost.Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.… (mais)
  1. 40
    Under the Greenwood Tree de Thomas Hardy (Jannes)
    Jannes: Under the Greenwood Tree was according to the Carr's own foreword one of the main inspirations for A Month in the Country
  2. 10
    The Summer Book de Tove Jansson (Jannes)
  3. 10
    Maurice de E. M. Forster (1502Isabella)
  4. 10
    The Return of the Soldier de Rebecca West (Widsith)
    Widsith: Two excellent, but very different, novels about damaged English soldiers returning home from the First World War with shell-shock.
  5. 10
    The Last Englishman: The Life of J. L. Carr de Byron Rogers (KayCliff)
  6. 10
    The Country of the Pointed Firs de Sarah Orne Jewett (amanda4242)
  7. 10
    The Bookshop de Penelope Fitzgerald (Petroglyph)
    Petroglyph: Both of these books are gentle, mostly quiet novels about an outsider entering a small English town to see through an arts-related project. Their setting surpasses a pedestrian "look at these weird locals". Lots going on in the background if you look for it.… (mais)
  8. 11
    What's Bred in the Bone de Robertson Davies (KayCliff)
  9. 00
    Judgement Day de Penelope Lively (KayCliff)
  10. 00
    How to Be Both de Ali Smith (shaunie)
    shaunie: Both books focus on the restoration of a wall painting and the descriptions are pretty similar. Both lovely books!
  11. 01
    The Running Foxes de Joyce Stranger (inge87)
  12. 01
    The Spectator Bird de Wallace Stegner (aprille)
  13. 02
    Le Grand Meaulnes de Alain-Fournier (chrisharpe)
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» Veja também 453 menções

Inglês (112)  Italiano (2)  Francês (2)  Holandês (1)  Alemão (1)  Todos os idiomas (118)
Mostrando 1-5 de 118 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is a lovely book, beautifully written. My personal problem with it was a substantial amount of vocabulary I wasn't familiar with as well as some of the references. That was my fault, not the author's, but it meant I didn't understand everything Carr wanted to tell me and thus prevented me from enjoying the book 100%. It reminded me a little bit of Laurie Lee's As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, except that while I think there are some autobiographical elements to it, this isn't a memoir, it's a novel. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
Beautifully written, 'AMitC''s underlying tone is melancholy - the loss of a time, loss of innocence, loss of love, the loss of an era. A masterclass in how to write a novella. ( )
  Parthurbook | May 20, 2024 |
I was motivated to read this book (in this really rather nice edition) having seen North Country Theatre's travelling production of the play-of-the-book. The production follows the plots pretty closely, so no surprises there, nor in the prose itself. This quiet, low-key book follows our hero and WWI survivor Tom Birkin as he arrives in the small North Yorkshire village of Oxgodby to spend August restoring the long-covered-over wall paintings in the church.

The book is melancholy, nostalgic, recalling an era long gone, when farms were unmechanised and church and chapel were still central to the lives of many. It's a time of healing for Tom as he recovers from a failed marriage and shattering years in the trenches. We're subtly aware that this special time is a temporary idylll in a difficult life, and we too can bathe in the restorative peace and simple pleasures of the setting.

There are memorable characters: his friend the archaeologist Moon; the unsympathetic vicar and his sympathetic wife; the lay preacher-cum- station master and his family.

This is a gentle elegy to an English country summer, but the underlying suffering of the narrator prevents it descending into mere sentimentality. A rewarding read. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
Really beautiful novella. The main part of it is a nostalgic English pastoral exploration, a romantic vision of the countryside and rural living that probably never existed and yet is beautiful to read about anyway. And yet it's saved from being pure saccharine by the constant reminders that even from the perspective of the narrator, looking back on what he sees as the best days of his life, the exclusion and expulsion from that life, the ways people are separated from the normal flow of society and belonging, is always close at hand. He takes lodgings in the bell tower and his work is done on a scaffold that only another outsider is allowed on. The other outsider is working to find a grave of the local landed family's ancestor who was denied a true Christian burial. The vicar's family is frozen out by the community. The day trip of the Methodist chapel which blocks the Anglicans from going with. The impossible gap in understanding between the present day and the painter of the church mural. The gaps between the war, 1920, the present day of the 1970s. The divides keep stacking up, self inflicted or forced by failure to fit in with community standards Moon the archaeologist is gay, and the narrator being told this puts distance between the two. The 14th century ancestor had converted to Islam. The girl with consumption dies with no fanfare. The narrator can't stay in the village because he's actually married but can't tell them

So when he looks back you see, not that the pastoral ideal was false, exactly, and not even that there's "dark secrets" or something like that - it's that it's something that you can only experience as an ideal when you're there for a month. All the cracks can be glossed over but everything would fall apart if you stayed there too long. And when you look back maybe you can't think of why you didn't stay but that's what distance does - you can't experience the full thing in your memories or through a writing or art. But there's always something you carry with you. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
This became one of my most remembered books, so sensitively told. ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 12, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 118 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Reissued as part of the Penguin Decades series, JL Carr's slender, Booker-shortlisted and semi-autobiographical novel was published in 1980 but looks back to an earlier time. The narrator, Tom Birkin, reflects on a summer spent in the small Yorkshire village of Oxgodby in 1920. Near destitute and still visibly shaken by his experiences during the first world war and through the painful break-up of his marriage, he has been assigned the job of restoring a medieval mural hidden beneath whitewash on the wall of the village church.

As he painstakingly removes several centuries' worth of paint and grime he becomes gradually less closed off and begins to make friends within the community, in particular with Moon, another war veteran, who is camped in the churchyard, ostensibly looking for a lost grave. As Birkin uncovers patches of gilt and cinnabar up on his scaffold, Moon digs his pits outside the church walls; both of them are striving for some sort of, if not restoration, then freedom from their past, and for Birkin, at least, his stay at Oxgodby is a time of healing.

Slim as it is, this is a tender and elegant novel that seemingly effortlessly weaves several strands together. Carr has a knack for bringing certain scenes into sudden, sharp focus, rather as waves lift forgotten things to the surface. He writes with particular precision and admiration about the joys of skilled men going about their business. He also subtly evokes lost rural customs and ways of living that, even at the time, had begun to fade from view: cart rides and seed cake and honey-thick accents that had not yet been filed down by mass communication.

The sense of things lost to time is pronounced but not overplayed and there's a gently elegiac quality to the developing picture of a warm and hazy English countryside summer. This pleasant vision is countered by his rawer and more acute account of the deep mark left on a man when a chance of happiness is glimpsed and missed and left to settle in the memory.
adicionado por VivienneR | editarThe Guardian, Natasha Tripney (Aug 8, 2010)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (5 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Carr, J. L.autor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Benítez Ariza, José ManuelTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Blythe, IanIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Blythe, RonaldIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Emeis, MarijkeTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Fitzgerald, PenelopeIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Holroyd, MichaelIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Rogers, ByronPrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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A novel - a small tale, generally of love'
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Now for a breath I tarry,
nor yet disperse apart -
Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart.
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For Kathie (1980)
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and for Sally . . . fare well

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When the train stopped I stumbled out, nudging and kicking the kitbag before me. Back down the platform someone was calling despairingly, 'Oxgodby . . . Oxgodby.'
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We can ask and ask, but we can't have again what we once thought ours forever...
Our jobs are our fantasies, our disguises, the cloak we can creep inside to hide.
It was the most extraordinary detail of medieval painting that I had ever seen ... "Is there anything anywhere else like it? In the same league?" No, I told him, there wasn't. Once, yes. But no longer. Croughton, Stoke, Orchard, St Albans, Great Harrowden - they'd all been splendid in their day. But not now.
On my way home ... on the empty road ... I suddenly yelled, "Oh you bastards You awful bloody bastards! You didn't need to have started it. And you could have stopped it before you did. God? Ha! There is no God."
So there I was, knowing that I had a masterpiece on my hands but scarcely prepared to admit it ... Each day I used to avoid taking in the whole.
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In J. L. Carr's deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter's depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life. But summer ends, and with the work done, Birkin must leave. Now, long after, as he reflects on the passage of time and the power of art, he finds in his memories some consolation for all that has been lost.Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

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