Remembering Babylon

Remembering Babylon

by David Malouf
4.3 3

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Remembering Babylon 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' How well FDR's dictum might stand as an encapsulation of Remembering Babylon's central message. Given the right circumstances, few if any of us are immune to that primordial, soul-corroding fear of the 'Other' that we perhaps too easily brush aside with the commonplace, not-so-scary-sounding label 'prejudice.' It smashes strong friendships, it turns our dreams to horrors, it transforms every new thing into something ominous. Using hypnotically simple, poetic language Malouf unleashes this Beast in an isolated community of average, basically decent colonial Australians who are all too much like us. The saddest part may be that purely imagined threats are every bit as a destructive as those grounded in reality. This is one of those rare novels from which one comes away humbled and feeling that he or she now understands human beings better. For today's readers, this lesson could not be more timely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As expected from David Malouf, 'Remembering Babylon' is replete with beautiful, lyrical passages. The dreamlike imagery and ethereal descriptions play upon the mind while one reads, touching the soul. Malouf is a fantastic, poetic writer, and is all-too-often ignored outside his native Australia. However, I was a bit disappointed with 'Remembering Babylon' because I expected so much more from a novel that was short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize. The book starts out strong, but as it progresses, Malouf seems unsure about where things are headed, and begins to jump from scene to scene with little rhyme or reason. New characters are introduced in almost every chapter up until the last, only to never be mentioned again. Even the resolution regarding the main character seems contrived, as if Malouf simply had no idea what else to write about Gemmy, or how to end his particular story. As a poetic series of images depicting colonial Australia and its white inhabitants, 'Remembering Babylon' is a wonder. As a novel, the book is less than satisfying. After reading the last page, I remained unsure about the point or purpose of what I had just read. 'Remembering Babylon' might have worked better as a series of inter-related poems...
Guest More than 1 year ago
FIRST MALOUF BOOK I READ AND IT MADE ME AN INSTANT FAN. POETIC WHILE REALISTIC, HE SPINS HIS TALE BEAUTIFULLY. USUALLY I HATE FLASHBACKS BUT MALOUF MASTERS THEM SO WELL. EVERYTHING ELSE OF HIS I HAVE READ HAS MOVED ME JUST AS MUCH. NOT A CHICK OR A JOCK BOOK BUT BOTH WILL ENJOY IT AS MUCH AS WE SERIOUS READERS DO. UNIVERSALLY APPEALING.