This brilliant and compelling novel is at once a lyrical description of the Fens, a fictional autobiography, and an impassioned defence of history. The narrator, an English schoolteacher, and his interior world of memories combine with the exterior world of the bleak Fenland landscape to produce a multiplicity of stories. Swift weaves together tales of empire building, land reclamation, brewers and lock-keepers to construct a chronicle that spans three centuries.
Waterland is simultaneously a family saga, a novel of provincial life, a social history and a story of adolescent love.
©1983 Graham Swift (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Author, reader, listener... interested in Great Books of the Western World, historical fiction, Victorian poetry, and some fiction.
In my second reading of this book, I also listened along (using whispersync). Graham Swift's flashbacks and flash forwards, with occasional historical interludes were fascinating and captivating. I think the spoken version alone might be difficult, especially for the first read. I recommend reading along.
"Flat lands but no flat story"
Its not the best book I've listened to but it is riveting and a page turner
The description of the flooded fenland and the effect it had on the local inhabitants
They were all done so well it is impossible to choose. Perhaps the narrator came over most convincingly
In a land of water where water rules lives, life is as unpredictable as the waters.
The way this book is structured is a little difficult to follow at first, but once used to the way of it, becomes an important factor in the suspense. A slight niggle for me was the end which I felt was a bit drawn-out. Otherwise a well written gripping story.
"A picture of rural England"
A intriguing story of generations living on the Fens. Quite deep at times, but I felt a real warmth towards the characters involved. It had a similar feeling to a wartime Ealing studios film. It could have moved more quickly at times, but that may have taken away some of the period atmosphere. Not a fast read, though engrossing.
I can't recommend this book highly enough! Superb reading complimented the excellent story. Such rich use of language.
"Brilliantly narrated and fascinating story"
I have recently moved to the Fens and this story has made me feel right at home. I absolutely loved it, beautifully written and narrated.
A richly vivid tapestry of images and characters, brought to life by a compelling reading, it's almost a long lyric poem.
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