At the midpoint of his life, Jerry Marlow finds himself on a bus taking him from Milan to Strasbourg. Sitting slightly off-center on the long back seat, he takes stock of the wreckage strewn behind him—a failed marriage, a daughter going astray, and an affair that has left him both numb and licking every wound, self-inflicted or otherwise. Even Marlow's teaching job at the university in Milan is jeopardized by new Italian laws restricting foreigners. And ahead? What lies in wait around the next bend? There are times when the most appalling premonitions seem all too plausible, yet the pull of hope cannot be resisted.
Fueled by Marlow’s scalpel-sharp commentary—double-edged and unsparing—Europa is a decidedly adult road novel with a rich international gallery of characters, and offers an explosive, sometimes hilarious portrait of a man patching together his life on a continent whose rhetoric of unity is less convincing—and far less exciting—than its bizarre polyglot passions and ancient conflicts. Bristling with ferocious wordplay, mordant comedy, and a vision of the sexes as honest as it is incorrect, Europa is Tim Parks's finest novel to date.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
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I rarely do not finish a book. I typically struggle through and finish books, even if I am not loving them. But every now and then, I throw in the towel¿and that is what happened with Europa by Tim Parks.This novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1997 which is how it made its way on to my stack of to-be-read books. I usually like the books which make the Booker lists ¿ in fact some I love. Sometimes, however, I think the judges get it wrong. I was less than impressed with the 2009 winner which won despite the authors total disregard for the rules of grammar¿although a couple of the 2009 short listed books were amazing (I¿m thinking specifically of The Children¿s Book and The Glass House). I don¿t really understand how Europa managed to make it to the short list in 1997, but I suspect it was Parks¿ unusual (albeit annoying ) style which consists of stream of consciousness, run-on, circuitous sentences.Europa is a novel about Jerry Marlow who is traveling by train from Milan to Strasbourg and reflecting on his less than satisfactory life. Marlow is rather misogynistic, as well as arrogant ¿ and it is this, along with his drawn out reflections, which eventually got me to toss the book aside. I just didn¿t like Jerry. Not at all. And I got tired of his ¿voice¿ and his endless, circular thoughts.My final thoughts ¿ don¿t waste your time.
Jerry goes on a trip to European Parliament to support a cause he doesn't believe in. He knows his ex-mistress will be there, and she still has incredible power over him.Quite a good book in parts, but the dense language and philosophy in parts slowed the book down and seemed to be transparent attempts to show intelligence and depth.