In an overcrowded city where refugees cram into collectivized housing, an extra resident — even one so unobtrusive as Augustin — causes problems beyond the obvious. I was waiting for a murderous rampage or some other type of shocking event. He's a deaf mute, so there isn't much anyone expects him to reveal; she's a nurse who has seen and possibly endured much, but she chooses to keep quiet about it, to live a life disentangled from those times: She In these fragmented lines of lyricism, I sense silent strength. But maybe I feel irritated because if I really listen to myself think often enough it's inevitable that my thoughts are all over the place and not really sure of themselves and in those cases its about people and unless you rea Ok maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance but I cant get myself to want to stick this out. He's a deaf mute, so there isn't much anyone expects him to reveal; she's a nurse who has seen and possibly endured much, but she chooses to keep quiet about it, to live a life disentangled from those times: She thought that she'd disconnected herself from the past. The sons escape the war but Esta, after severe personal conflict refuses to accompany either her lover or the rest of the family when they leave, as she has broken with family traditions and trained as a nurse and feels that her place is to remain in Bucharest. The painter of the title is Augustin, who is deaf and mute.
They symbolize his possibility of expression, but their misinterpretation also leads to some of the most heart-breaking events in Augustin's story. You can never go home again. His ability to parrot words also lands him in trouble; which seemed a perfect parable for the chaos of war in which all signs and symbols gain and lose their meanings at a turn of the wheel. There are deaths, tragedies and separations, but there is also determination and at the end, hope. His terror is only reinforced when they attend a mass the next morning.
He is nursed back to health by Safta, a nurse who knew him when they were children growing up in a small rural village. We're all so many people, aren't we, nowadays? Travelled to Romania years ago when I was 12, and can still remember that we tipped the waitresses in coffee, also boug Beautifully written book, haunting in places, Augustin's isolation as a result of his inability to hear or speak. It wraps up exceedingly tidily and the interesting angle on the looming unpleasantness of life in communist Romania fades out. There is a nice range of village characters but all are rather thin, including the two principles the boy is treated like an idiot savant and the story, despite the inevitable richness and horror of wartime, is also a bit sparse. Writing style and well-drawn characters drive my appreciation for a book more than a plot well constructed.
I had to stop reading this on the aeroplane on Thursday and then as I was finishing it yesterday, I was sobbing! I wanted to know what happened, but for whole sections of the book, I felt like I was driving through a war zone, looking at ruins. This book is exceptionally artful, a complete joy to anyone who appreciates deep purposeful prose and lofty ambition. I first started reading it and wasn't sure whether I was going to like it or not. A story told through art His experiences are revealed slowly via the drawings he makes for Safta. Review copy courtesy of the publisher. We see the world through his eyes and at other times, the world and the perception of Augustus by those who come to care.
Poiana, the grand rural estate of their childhood, is seen through flashbacks. I read it straight through so it didn't have a chance to fill all my quiet holiday moments! I first became aware of this novel when it was long listed for the Orange prize and the title intrigued me. I appreciate that it is written very well but it just failed to have any real climax or development. Such is light and shade in modern literature. He is frail as a fallen bird. I may have had issues with the story and characters, but the writing was simply stunning, quiet but powerful. Sometimes it gets so silent that if you don't listen closely, you'll miss the many underlying stories here, for they come in jolts, through riveting storytelling hidden beneath silent scenes.
And often words lie, while people's actions reveal who they really are. Having said that, if I had read this book while in a very happy place, I may have really loved it. Harding evokes the sense that the characters are unwillingly pulled into the machine of war and that although they have no control over the unravelling and twisting of their lives once the guns go off, they try to live their daily lives in a way that allows them to assert control over the details once the guns quiet down. He is deaf and mute, but a young nurse named Safta recognizes him from the past and brings him paper and pencils so that he might draw. Her words are simple, spare but placed alongside each other in such a way that the experience of reading them instantly become intense and poetic. By this time, the boy is already drawing, and his pictures have captured people's attention.
Reading it is almost like looking through a book of photographs. Following the story of Safta and Augustin, this story travels through the memories through the use of drawings done by Augustin. It is a challenge for any writer to conjure the world of the wordless through words and in this Harding triumphantly succeeds, exploring through her silent protagonist profound questions of identity and attachment, of the inadequacy of language and the baffling inconsistencies of humankind. The writing is fine, but there were no parts I felt like marking out as especially significant or beautiful. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
It proves as smooth and serene as a slow incoming tide; the story washing over the pages until the reader is immersed in its depths. Harding's prose is a quiet storm of imagery and emotions. This was left for me by a good friend and I thank her for that as I would probably not have read it otherwise. There's a real sense of deepening menace. Harding tries to show us his thoughts at times, but how can his thoughts be in fluent spoken language when he was born deaf and has never learned more than a few spoken words? He becomes a receptacle not only of what people tell him, but of the experiences of the entire country.