- Title: Gestures
- Author: H.S. Bhabra
- ISBN: 9781567922356
- Page: 419
- Format: Paperback
Gestures, the sole novel of an unknown Canadian writer who died tragically in 2000, is the elegant, beautifully crafted, gripping autobiography of one Jeremy Burnham, career diplomat and English gentleman, who in his 83rd year sits down to write his version of political upheavals, emotional displacements and personal losses encountered in a career spent in the forgotten aGestures, the sole novel of an unknown Canadian writer who died tragically in 2000, is the elegant, beautifully crafted, gripping autobiography of one Jeremy Burnham, career diplomat and English gentleman, who in his 83rd year sits down to write his version of political upheavals, emotional displacements and personal losses encountered in a career spent in the forgotten and superseded sport of diplomacy His story, which in so many ways captures the flux and turmoil of the last century, begins in Venice in the twenties, just as the Fascists are taking over the government, and ends in war torn Amsterdam, desperate and destitute after the Allied victory.
Recent Comments "Gestures"
Retko dobra knjiga. Ne može se čitati paralelno s nekoliko drugih, kao što je moj običaj, nego joj se čovek mora posvetiti, otuda sam toliko razvukla s ovim naslovom. Tako lep engleski jezik odavno nisam srela u savremenoj književnosti, uistinu veliko uživanje. Ubeđena sam da mnogo gubi u prevodu, jer je jezik ovde hotimično i svesno stožer predstavljanja jedne kulture, ne samo sredstvo izraza. Čitanje ove knjige podseća na davno, već zaboravljeno iskustvo mladog, gladnog, spontanog [...]
As I read Gestures, I was transported to the Venice its elegance, mystery, and intrigue. Bhabra's writes about power politics, antisemitism, society as it is and as it should aspire to be. It is a study of mankind elevated, fallen, and struggling. The complexity of the work riveted and inspired me. My only regret is that Bhabra died early in his life. How I would have loved to know more about this author and to have read more of his work.
Courageous, gently tragic, humanistic. I can't understand how this, the fictional memoir of an 83-year-old, with all of the wisdom one would expect therein, could have been published by the time the author was 31. It would be breathtaking if it had been written by an 83-year-old, but it seem really an impossible feat for someone so young. How did he do it?This book was like a second life unfolding in my mind during the days I read it. It is just like life, and (when dealing with death) just like [...]
I almost didn't stick with this book, but the characters (Anthony, Jane, Eva, Jeremy, Elena, etc.), settings (Vienna, Amsterdam), and times (the devastations of The Great War and WW II) as Bhabra told this tale in minute and passionate detail compelled me. I began reading it about 3-4 weeks ago and just finished it!
A quite extraordinary novel, despite it's less than contemporary theme, utterly believable and just about impossible to put down and I ached for more. Beautifully written, it is without a doubt one of the most impressive novels that I have read in quite some time.
What an elegant book, harking back to a time of sheer civility and normalcy, maintained at all cost while the world is collapsing into uncharted madness. Set in the life of a quiet British diplomat, first in pre-war Venice (1923) with the evil rumblings of Mussolini's fascism just beginning, and then on to post-war Amsterdam ( 1946), as the hunt for collaborators and war criminals heats up among the chaos of a Europe in immediate recovery from war. The story was engaging, and the writing even be [...]
Excellent writing. Bhabra is superb at creating a time and place (Venice, Amsterdam etc.) and a period: the Fascist rise in Italy in the twenties, as well as the immediate year or two after the Second World War. I hadn't thought about the awful devastation that the victors had to deal with---how to keep European nations from starving in the first winter, for example, or deal with destroyed infrastructure.Rivaling the war in its devastation was the power that corruption can wield on vulnerable pe [...]
Very self-conscious work, and I who am duped by Agatha Christie and every imitator discerned the denouement a third of the way in. I am also of the author's generation, and cultural class, and recognise his not-quite successful literary attempt to objectify, historicise, and monetise the intellectual's disillusionment. Fascination, and eroticisation, of money and power. I get that too.Of course, this reading is informed by what I know of his biography. And my own experience.If you like that Muri [...]
This book is a slow one to read but worth persisting. The settings, Venice in the 20s and postwar Amsterdam, are fascinating, the mystery of the characters he meets is only revealed at the end and the character of Jeremy Burnham, a British Consul and the book's narrator, is intriguing. It also gives an insight into those difficult years, in pre-Fascist Italy and brutal post-war Europe. It took me three weeks to read but was worth the effort.
Thought provoking. Difficult reading. Stilted old fashioned language. Bears re-reading. 80 year old, Jeremy Burnham, remembering his diplomatic career and the story/mystery of 2 minor characters in his life. Anthony Manet, Eva (Altdoorp), Elena (Altdoorp), Jayne Carlysle. Theme of human enterprise more powerful/important than humans…
I enjoyed Bhabra's writing style, though it got really sluggish after the first 1/4 and didn't pick up until the last 1/4. In fact, I can't remember much of anything in the middle. The ending was intriguing and now I'm thinking about digging out my copy of Faust (which is what he originally wanted to call the book).
Luscious. Makes me want to don a big hat and move to fascist-era Venice.
Brilliant novel tragic that an author of such talent is no longer.
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