A Month in the Country

( 3 )

Overview

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...

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A Month in the Country

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Unlike anything else in modern English Literature." — The Spectator

"Carr’s blessedly small tale of lost love is also a small hymn about art and the compensating joy of the artist, both in giving and receiving. It stays with us, too, and is oddly haunting." — The New Yorker

"Carr has the magic touch to re-enter the imagined past." — Penelope Fitzgerald

"The work is virtually perfect, and written with a great deal of liveliness and wit." —Michael Wood

"A unique and special experience, a visit to a special time and place, deeply observed and portrayed in beautiful prose." — The Washington Post

"Carr’s prose is spare, elegant and buoyed with wit; the idyllic countryside and its inhabitants are rendered in affectionate detail." — Publisher’s Weekly

"A Month in the Country…is one of those perfect, precious novels that you want to loan to friends, buy all your relatives for Christmas and give to your latest paramour." — Eve Claxton, Time Out New York

Library Journal
Protagonist Tom Birkin is a broken man. Haunted by his experiences in the trenches of World War I and recovering from a divorce, Birkin accepts a job restoring a medieval mural of the apocalypse in a church located in a remote corner of Yorkshire. It is here, however, that Birkin, though alone with only an interpretation of the world's end for company, learns to live again. Carr's small gem of a novel was first published in 1980. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Eve Claxton
Country is only a little over 100 pages long, yet it manages to conjure a lost world so lovingly that it lingers in the mind long after it's over. Novels this beautifully written are rare indeed. Now, at laeast, this one won't be found only in rare bookshops.
Time Out New York
Washington Post
A unique and special experience, a visit to a special time and place, deeply observed and portrayed in beautiful prose.
The New Yorker
Carr¹s blessedly small tale of lost love is also a small hymn about art and the compensating joy of the artist, both in giving and receiving. It stays with us, too, and is oddly haunting.
The Spectator
Unlike anything else in modern English Literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940322479
  • Publisher: New York Review Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: New York Review Books Classics Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 172,733
  • Product dimensions: 4.99 (w) x 7.97 (h) x 0.42 (d)

Meet the Author

James Lloyd Carr was born in 1912 and attended the village school at Carlton Miniott in Yorkshire. A head teacher, publisher, and novelist, his books include A Day in Summer (1964); A Season in Sinji (1967); The Harpole Report (1972); How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup (1975); A Month in the Country (1980), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Battle of Pollock’s Crossing (1985), also shortlisted for the the Booker Prize; What Hetty Did(1988); and Harpole & Foxberrow General Publishers (1992). He died in Northhamptonshire in 1994.

Michael Holroyd is the author of acclaimed biographies of Lytton Strachey, Bernard Shaw, and Augustus John. He has also written a memoir, Basil Street Blues. He lives in London with his wife, the writer Margaret Drabble.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2001

    Like Sitting by the Fireplace and Chatting with a Friend

    J.L. Carr's wonderful A MONTH IN THE COUNTRY takes us through trials and tribulations related to WWI. Poignant, poetic, it reminds me of Richard Ferri's glorious BLOSSOM RIVER DRIVE, also available through bn.com. A MONTH is for those who prefer the casual and comfortable; BLOSSOM RIVER DRIVE is for those not afraid of the exhilarating plunge into the REAL. I suppose it's the difference between the British and the American temperament.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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