BN.com Gift Guide

Absolution [NOOK Book]

Overview

A bold and exciting literary novel set in South Africa that contemplates the elusive line between truth and self-perception.

Ambitious and assured, Absolution propels the reader to the final page in a drive to discover the secrets and truths at its core. How or why did a young antiapartheid activist disappear twenty years earlier? How does that event link the present-day characters? And how does it explain the choices they have made ...

See more details below
Absolution

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price

Overview

A bold and exciting literary novel set in South Africa that contemplates the elusive line between truth and self-perception.

Ambitious and assured, Absolution propels the reader to the final page in a drive to discover the secrets and truths at its core. How or why did a young antiapartheid activist disappear twenty years earlier? How does that event link the present-day characters? And how does it explain the choices they have made or the lies they may tell themselves?

Absolution is a big-idea novel about the pitfalls of memory, the ramifications of censorship, and the ways we are silently complicit in the problems around us. It’s also a devastating, intimate, and stunningly woven story. Told in shifting perspectives, it centers on the mysterious character of Clare Wald, a controversial South African writer of great fame, haunted by the memories of a sister she fears she betrayed to her death and a daughter she fears she abandoned. Clare comes to learn that in this conflict the dead do not stay buried, and the missing return in other forms—such as the child witness of her daughter’s last days who has reappeared twenty years later as Clare’s official biographer, prompting an unraveling of history and a search for forgiveness. Part literary thriller, part meditation on the responsibility of the individual under totalitarianism, this is a masterpiece of rich, complicated characters and narration that captures the reader and does not let go.
 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flanery’s intricate debut, full of shifting perspectives and temporal leaps, calls for disciplined sleuthing to fully realize its merits. Set mostly in a richly described postapartheid South Africa, the interconnected plot lines follow aging, contentious writer Clare Wald as she attempts to assemble the sordid details of her revolutionary daughter Laura’s disappearance over two decades ago. She’s also dealing with her own remorseless complicity in the assassination years ago of her sister and her sister’s husband, a prominent figure in the National Party. Another plot finds Sam Leroux, a white South African whose parents died in a botched bombing and whose aunt was murdered in a robbery, returning to write Clare’s biography, an act that slowly reveals complicated bonds between them. Yet many questions remain: what became of Laura? Was she involved in the death of Sam’s parents? Who killed Sam’s aunt, and was the death connected to a break-in witnessed by Clare? Which version of the truth, if any, is “real”? Adeptly orchestrating multiple points of view, Flanery builds intrigue by allowing his characters’ unreliable interpretations of history, but with mixed results. Early understanding of the novel’s confusing form (chapters entitled “Absolution” are from Clare’s book, for one) would enable deeper, less frustrating reading. Still, this is a puzzle worth solving. Agent: George Lucas, Inkwell Management. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Truth, reconciliation, and forgiveness are just a few of the complicated themes explored in this sophisticated debut novel about pre- and post-apartheid South Africa. Sam Leroux arrives in Cape Town to interview renowned author Clare Wald for an authorized biography. The two circle each other like nervous cats, each withholding pertinent information about when and where their paths have crossed. At the center of this mystery is Clare's daughter, Laura, a political activist who disappeared years earlier while working with Sam's parents to bring down the apartheid regime. But after Sam's parents are killed in a bombing gone awry, Laura's loyalties are questioned even as she reluctantly becomes involved in finding a safe home for the orphaned Sam. Emblematic of the troubled country they inhabit, Clare, Sam, and Laura represent the difficulty of reconciling past with present and forgiving the unforgiveable. VERDICT This remarkably assured, atmospheric novel perfectly reflects the tenuous trust being forged among South Africans as they look to the future. The London-based Flanery, whose books have been sold to several countries, has already been called the next J.M. Coetzee; order accordingly. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/11.]—Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Ft. Myers, FL
Kirkus Reviews
In Flanery's debut literary fiction, Sam Leroux has a publisher's assignment to write the biography of a famous South African author, Clare Wald, imperious, reticent, evasive about her writing and disinclined to discuss her catastrophic personal life. A native South African, Sam is a writer and scholar residing in the United States. Sam flies to meet the reluctant Clare, who resides in his native Cape Town, a fractious city where have-nots confront razor-wire–topped walls behind which the rich have imprisoned themselves. Told from alternating points of view, the novel shifts from unsettled present to bloody past, from today's fractured economic and social environment to the historic struggle to end apartheid. That ugly fight for democracy consumed the lives of Clare's sister and daughter, and Sam's parents. Guilt, fear and regret keep Sam and Clare from confronting their mutual history of loss and love, deceit and despair. Unbeknownst to Sam, Clare has already written Absolution, a "fictionalized memoir," which will be published only because the circumspect Clare agreed to an official biography. Ghosts hover each time Sam and Clare meet, and Clare's cathartic expulsion of her truths comes in flashes. Flanery has constructed a haunting labyrinth of mirrors, fact reflecting remembrance, lie reflecting evasion. Complex in theme, complex in narrative, this is a masterful literary exploration of the specter of conscience and the formidable cost of reconciliation.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101580318
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/12/2012
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 466,109
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

PATRICK FLANERY was born and raised in the USA. After earning a BFA in film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts he worked for 3 years in the film industry before moving to the UK, where he completed a doctorate in 20th-century English literature at the University of Oxford. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the publishing and adaptation history of Evelyn Waugh's novels. He has written for Slightly Foxed: The Real Reader's Quarterly and the Times Literary Supplement, as well as publishing scholarly articles on British and South African literature and film in academic journals.


From the Hardcover edition.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This book was tremendously well written! I loved the four-pronge

    This book was tremendously well written! I loved the four-pronged narrative and the divergence in each story. South Africa itself felt like another character, the way it affected so many decisions and brought up such a host of emotions in the human characters. The themes of guilt, loss, and entrapment were thoroughly explored in Sam and Clare, and the relationship between the two of them felt genuine. How much do you let another person know that you know? When can you trust enough? Who will be the first to speak? I will be on the lookout for more books by Patrick Flanery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)