- Tapa blanda: 160 páginas
- Editor: Corsair (16 de agosto de 2012)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1780336594
- ISBN-13: 978-1780336596
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº793.725 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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The Birds of the Air (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 16 ago 2012
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Descripción del producto
Reseña del editor
Mary felt rather like someone for whom a marriage was being arranged by people who doubted the suitability of the match but could think of no seemly way of retiring. Her family and friends behaved like outsiders privy to a secret and dubious courtship, treating her with an arch, considered and wholly unnatural care, whispering together and falling silent when they remembered her sitting by the window and possibly listening.
Mary Marsh has lost her only child, but rather than allow her peace in which to grieve, her mother cajoles her into participating in a proper family Christmas. As the various guests arrive, Mary's sister Barbara, Barbara's children and husband, Barbara's lover, Barbara's husband's lover ("the Thrush"), Vera and Dennis the neighbors, a grown cat and a kitten, the house descends into farcical chaos.
Biografía del autor
Alice Thomas Ellis, whose real name was Anna Haycraft, was half-Finnish, half-Welsh and spent her childhood in Liverpool and as an evacuee in North Wales. She lived in Camden in North London with her family. Her friend Beryl Bainbridge wrote of her: "Whenever I had to go somewhere in an aeroplane I'd ring Anna up and ask if she thought God would keep it in the air. She always said He would."
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Mrs Marsh thinks Mary needs to move on, she had to move on after her husband died. She allows a few tears to fall every morning in his memory, but life goes on, and Mary must do the same. Mrs Marsh has planned a big Christmas holiday with the entire family coming. Evelyn the lady across the street will help. All plans are underway.
Meanwhile, Barbara, Mrs Marsh's other daughter, is giving a Christmas party for her husband's Seb's professorial colleagues. In the midst of this party she discovers a secret. Her son, Sam, knows all about this secret, her daughter, Kate has no idea. The next day everyone piles into the car to go to Mrs Marsh's home for Christmas.
The highlight of the Christmas holiday if there is one, is one of Mrs. Marsh's sayings when things go wrong, ''Forgive us our Christmases as we forgive those who have Christmassed against us.''
Too much drink and food, no one really speaks their thoughts but Mary. Mary wants to be left alone, she wants to join her son, Robin. So much left unsaid, and we wonder how all these people grieving in their own way will ever resolve their issues.
This is a remarkable novel, short but so full of satire and irony. The author, Alice Thomas Ellis, is one of those authors who gives so much, every novel is full of wisdom and each word is exactly placed. A treasure to be sure.
Highly Recommended. prisrob 01-07-16
Despite the mordant tone and the genuine sadness one feels for Mary, Ellis has managed to write a tragicomedy that contains at least as much comedy, much of it satiric, as it does tragedy. Mary's mother, the doughty Mrs. Marsh, regards herself as "the keeper of the cage," seeing her daughter as "the bird [that] had come back, if only to die," but she believes her own grief compares to that of Mary, since "she permitted herself to weep a little each morning in the bathroom before she put on her eyeshadow." Other family members also arrive with their baggage of problems. Barbara, Mary's sister, is the hard-working wife of Sebastian, an academic, and in a hilariously described party which Barbara holds for her husband's colleagues, Ellis skewers the pretensions and one-upsmanship of academia while revealing Seb's infidelity with a woman nicknamed (in keeping with the bird imagery) "The Thrush." Various neighbors and friends arrive at the Marsh household for the holiday dinner, and the predictable chaos and thwarted expectations result.
As is always the case with Ellis, every page contains some marvel of observation, pithy remark, or unique description about people and their attitudes. Sebastian, the academic, has dedicated his life to the proposition that words should be used "with tremendous care..that anyone who couldn't say exactly what he meant should keep his trap shut." Mrs. Marsh, however, "liked the human comfort of the cliché." Barbara suffers from "grasping, tentacular nervousness." One of the grandchildren "had an ego like the liver of a Strasbourg goose," and another character has a head that "looked as if it had been lightly buttered." Dialogue is sparkling and crafted to reveal character, as Ellis's droll, ascerbic wit turns an essentially sad story into a black comedy of misread cues, with elements of Welsh myth and fantasy serving as counterpoint to the symbolism of Christmas and the realities of life. Polished, provocative, and deliciously dark, this novel is one of Ellis's best. Mary Whipple