Waterstones The Passenger & Stella Maris: Boxed Set

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Waterstones The Passenger & Stella Maris: Boxed Set
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Price: £44.99

Brand: Waterstones

 

Description: A beautiful, Limited Edition Slipcase. A Standard Edition of The Passenger is available here. A Standard Edition of Stella Maris is available here. The Passenger. 1980, Pass Christian, Mississippi: It is three in the morning when Bobby Western zips the jacket of his wetsuit and plunges from the boat deck into darkness. His divelight illuminates the sunken jet, nine bodies still buckled in their seats, hair floating, eyes devoid of speculation. Missing from the crash site are the pilot's flightbag, the plane's black box, and the tenth passenger. But how? A collateral witness to machinations that can only bring him harm, Western is shadowed in body and spirit - by men with badges; by the ghost of his father, inventor of the bomb that melted glass and flesh in Hiroshima; and by his sister, the love and ruin of his soul. Traversing the American South, from the garrulous bar rooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness. Stella Maris. 1972, Black River Falls, Wisconsin: Alicia Western, twenty years old, with forty thousand dollars in a plastic bag, admits herself to the hospital. A doctoral candidate in mathematics at the University of Chicago, Alicia has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and she does not want to talk about her brother, Bobby. Instead, she contemplates the nature of madness, the human insistence on one common experience of the world; she recalls a childhood where, by the age of seven, her own grandmother feared for her; she surveys the intersection of physics and philosophy; and she introduces her cohorts, her chimeras, the hallucinations that only she can see. All the while, she grieves for Bobby, not quite dead, not quite hers. Told entirely through the transcripts of Alicia's psychiatric sessions, Stella Maris is a searching, rigorous, intellectually challenging coda to The Passenger, a philosophical inquiry that questions our notions of God, truth, and existence. Waterstones The Passenger & Stella Maris: Boxed Set - shop the best deal online on thebookbug.co.uk

 

Category: Books

Merchant: Waterstones

Product ID: 9781035003808

Delivery cost: 0.00

ISBN: 9781035003808

 
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Author: Pagespinner

Rating: 3

Review: (Note that this is only a review of The Passenger; if Stella Maris is so much worse, as reliable critics have stated, it may be some time before I read it). Buying the boxed set has a number of advantages: it has handy ribbon bookmarks, looks good on the shelf and usefully has a blank 15 pages where the reader can complete the book in the style of McCarthy in order to solve the puzzle set up in the opening, which the author himself does not deign to do. However, while reading I found myself wishing I'd bought the Kindle edition, since there are many arcane words requiring immediate access to a dictionary, and characters who pop up again many pages later than their first appearance, for whom thumbing through a physical book is no substitute for an onboard search engine when trying to recall who they are. I also was wishing I was instead reading the magnificent Border Trilogy again, along with its coda No Country for Old Men. This is not to say that The Passenger is badly written: there is nothing better than McCarthy's unique style that captures the nuts and bolts of both machines and human existence; and in brilliantly capturing nature in words, notably in the universe above us, he has few literary rivals. His descriptions of the moon, for example, in all its variations are perhaps without equal. Irritated as I was by the plotting - rambling is perhaps more accurate - of this novel, the writing, despite occasionally recording unrealistic conversations, held this reader's attention, though bolstered in truth by a dwindling hope of story resolution. The progression of the novel is in fact a retreat: the protagonist, pursued by unseen and perhaps nonexistent enemies, goes on the lam from the locked room setup and, wandering all of the place, even as far as Ibiza, becomes a bum, closely followed by the author as a kind of a stalking literary bum. Thence we are treated to a series of bewilderingly eclectic dialogues: on the atom bomb, string theory, the precognizance of babies, the Kennedy assassination, digital currency and a ragbag of other stuff. His discussion of quantum physics has the effect not of elucidation, but of making the subject even more baffling to the layperson. Despite all this McCarthy, despite his longevity and its accompanying knowledge, seems to have developed no coherent overarching philosophy of life. Moreover, much of what happens (such as it does happen) is, to use McCarthy's oft-repeated word, 'gray'. What isn't, curiously, is the minor trans character Debussy, who pops up like a pantomime demon and spreads colour whenever she's on the page. More significantly there is a plethora of unpleasant talking hallucinations orchestrated by a character known as The Thalidomide Kid who (geddit) does a lot of kidding. The opening page features the discovery of a young suicide, and we are soon treated to mental aberrations from her point of view, these threading themselves through the work and encroaching from time to time on the parallel story. I believe Stella Maris elaborates on this. Here, once everything inconsequential is stripped away, the Alicia tale is what gives The Passenger its real theme, not one on which, it must be said, many readers would care to dwell. In the end I was glad when the book stopped. Is it such a postmodernist sin to shape a novel for the satisfaction of the reader? The author does it elsewhere. And why not end your literary career with a cracking tour de force? McCarthy's track record has proved his capability of this time and again, but for some reason he decides not to do it with The Passenger.

 

Author: Amazon Customer

Rating: 2

Review: I havnt read the books yet, im sure they're wonderful... however I am a little confused as to why this slipcase version of the two books is £43.75, when you can purchase them together for £30..... Is it because im a rube that pre-ordered? Is the slipcase really £13.75? Get the books... i just cant recommend this bundle.

 

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