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The Crossing

2.2 (3084)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Crossing.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Andrew Miller(Author)

    Book details

1st UK ed. Long listed for the 2015 Man Booker prize.

1st UK ed. Long listed for the 2015 Man Booker prize.

4.3 (10956)
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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Andrew Miller(Author)
  • Sceptre (August 27, 2015)
  • English
  • 6
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Review Text

  • By roz morris on September 1, 2015

    This is one of those books that stopped the world for me. Husband would suggest a DVD; I would plead more time with this novel instead.It centres on a woman, Maud, who is a loner. The first half is mainly concerned with her unsettling effect on others, while the second follows her interior life - and inevitably the consequences of events from part one. Miller has created a character who is not as warm as other people seem to expect, and indeed as they require. To an extent, this seems to be a fascination of his, as in Ingenious Pain he explored the idea of a man who was unable to feel any kind of uncomfortable stimulus.Maud is truly a haunting character, and I'm still trying to work out why. This is not a book of simple emotions. You don't feel sorry for her; you don't know what to feel, which of course is why she is so disconcerting to the others around her. Especially those who expect to have a two-way relationship with her - her boyfriend and his family, her colleagues. You could say she's the original cold fish, but there are no easy ways to describe her. There are also no labels to suggest we can package this as a study of Asperger's, which is quite fashionable at the moment. Besides, she doesn't have many of the features of Asperger's; she is simply a person with these characteristics, complex and truthful. And she's painted with such empathy that you understand what it is like to have her peculiar wiring. Kurt Vonnegut said that a good book allows you to meditate in the mind of another - and Miller can turn you into Maud. Or perhaps we all have a little of her in us.The Crossing contains a shadow of another book, too; Miller's capacity to create moments of great tenderness. In The Crossing, this comes after Maud and her boyfriend Tim have had a scare in their boat. The way Miller describes their reaction creates a complex and subtle bond between them, and I found myself rereading those lines, like a child discovering a new game. Similarly, there are moments with other characters that carry this warm humanity. He achieves a similar thing in Pure, with the main character and his wife. The words used for that scene forever create a deep sense of closeness, in lines you can return to and puzzle over. However, The Crossing is not a retread of that relationship by any means. The similarity is very temporary.Miller's prose is beautiful, but never trips up the narrative. It's plain when it needs to be, enchanting when that's called for. You will find moments of delight and poetry, but the story will keep pulling you on.So why four stars instead of five? Truth be told, I wasn't happy with the ending. There is resolution, but I didn't find it satisfying enough. It seemed predictable. I've often found Miller's endings to be disappointing, as though he simply ran out of steam. Or perhaps the end is something that simply doesn't interest him. Certainly he gave me enough delight during the voyage that I don't mind too much about it. So - four stars, and I'm happy to recommend.

  • By Idaho John on November 26, 2014

    This a favorite book from my youth. I enjoy Clay Fisher/Will Henry's writings. He had a unique way of describing/envisioning incidents from the American West. This book is based around the Sibley campaign in the Civil War - the confederate bid for control of New Mexico, Arizona and then California. What the story brings is a little humanity, romance, adventure and distinct characters to an otherwise relatively unknown episode of Texas history. While the adult in me has some trouble suspending disbelief regarding the story line, the kid in me enjoys it thoroughly. This is great reading for a winter afternoon.

  • By TripFiction on January 8, 2016

    Who is Maud? What does she stand for? Inimitable, self sufficient, enigmatic, perhaps on the autistic spectrum….. She threads her way through story, yet she is unknowable. Tim, who is drawn to her early in the book – after she falls from a boat on which they are both working – embarks on a relationship with her; they go on to have a child together. But Maud continues – prefers even – to pursue her career. She is in a bubble of disconnect. Those around, including the reader, have no inkling as to what she might be feeling, or the drives that really lie at the heart of some of her actions and responses. But that is ok. There is a sweeping narrative that mirrors the ebb and flow of water, which is central to the story; whether Maud is drinking water insatiably throughout, feeding her soul with liquid gold or letting the tantrums of the seas influence her trajectory.I came to this book consciously choosing not to read the synopsis, which I felt was a boon to the experience of the story. I had little sense where the words were taking me, much like the seas in the book.There is a critical event in the storyline that is the pivotal point for change – and even then we learn little more about Maud and her inner self and workings. She is tossed and turned like flotsam and jetsam, and this is very unnerving for those around her, because she is never really thrown off course, and never revealing of her inner core – what do people do with someone like that? Maud is shunned by many of those around, reviled and rejected, willingly, it seems, taken advantage of, yet even this does not throw her off course; nevertheless, there is a sneaking admiration for her strength and determination to plough on through the most adverse circumstances.There are long passages of sea-faring description which lapped at my tolerance levels for life on the high seas – having only been on a yacht twice in my life. But for a reader who loves yachting adventures, this will be an absolute feast of experience; it seems really well researched, the jibs pop up at pertinent points, and maps and masts punctuate the narrative. And I really wanted to know how things pan out for Maud.An unusual and readable book.

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