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Book Title: Ragnarok: The End of the Gods|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 552 KB
City - Country: No data
The author of the book: A.S. Byatt
Date of issue: June 7th 2012
ISBN 13: 9781847672971
Loaded: 2882 times
Reader ratings: 3.4
Read full description of the books:
5 "Byatt speaks to me like nobody else" stars.
5th Favorite Read of 2015
Quite simply...Byatt is the reason I read.
She has written the unbelievable novel "Possession" who along with Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" are my two favorite novels and I have read each of them several times throughout my life and I feel nostalgic, like I've come home after being exiled and I can sit and commune with the wonderful characters and plots that lie therein.
Ragnarok was the only Byatt I had left to read. I was trepidatious as the novel was a short one and I thought I would be dissatisfied or sad that I would only get a taste of Byatt when I sorely wanted a feast of her prose.
This book transported to a few places in my life and I will jot down just a few.
1. I was (and am) a very introverted child that preferred my own company to carousing with other children. I also hated the bright sunshine of humid Toronto summers. I remember purposefully misbehaving so that I could be banished to my cool heavily curtained bedroom. There I would listen to Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven and read Greek and Roman Mythology, The Secret Garden, Lives of the Saints and all of the various coloured fairy books by Lang. I was in heaven.
2. In the autumn of my eleventh year falling in love with a girl one year my senior and walking through High Park eating ice cream and co-creating stories about princes, goblins, dragons and evil Queens. I also always wanted to playact "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" with Faye Dunaway and Bette Davis....my favorite movie at the time (a bit odd, I know)
3. At the age of 16 being taken by my favorite aunt to see Wagner's Ring Cycle in its entirety. Norse mythology combined with opera...nothing could be finer. Also spending so much time with my aunt who had very little education but the most refined of taste.
Byatt did all this and more in this most amazing little novel. The novel is the re-telling of the end of the world (Ragnarok) in Norse mythology as seen through the eyes of a little girl during the second world war in England when she and her mother leave London to live in the countryside. She infuses this book with a magic and wisdom that I cannot quite articulate in words. The little girl is precocious as she is both naïve child and wise crone and this lends her to speculate on the comparison of Norse mythology with Christian faith and bible stories. It also helps the little girl cope with her father fighting in the war as an air pilot.
The retelling of the myth is so spectacular that it defies description. Each and every sentence is so carefully crafted, so gorgeous and so laden with many meanings. The stories touched not only my heart but went even deeper to my artistic soul. I would close my eyes while reading this and picture, see, hear, feel, smell and touch all that was described in three-dimensional glory.
This book was short but packed with so much wonder that I will not hesitate in placing it in Jaidee's little temple of literary masterpieces.
I will let Ms. Byatt have the last say:
"The myths were cavernous spaces lit, in extreme colors, gloomy or dazzling, with a kind of overbright transparency about them."
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Read information about the authorA.S. Byatt (Antonia Susan Byatt) is internationally known for her novels and short stories. Her novels include the Booker Prize winner Possession, The Biographer’s Tale and the quartet, The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman, and her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye, Elementals and her most recent book Little Black Book of Stories. A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.
BYATT, Dame Antonia (Susan), (Dame Antonia Duffy), DBE 1999 (CBE 1990); FRSL 1983; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France), 2003 , writer; born 24 Aug. 1936;
Daughter of His Honour John Frederick Drabble, QC and late Kathleen Marie Bloor
Byatt has famously been engaged in a long-running feud with her novelist sister, Margaret Drabble, over the alleged appropriation of a family tea-set in one of her novels. The pair seldom see each other and each does not read the books of the other.
1st, 1959, Ian Charles Rayner Byatt (Sir I. C. R. Byatt) marriage dissolved. 1969; one daughter (one son deceased)
2nd, 1969, Peter John Duffy; two daughters.
Sheffield High School; The Mount School, York; Newnham College, Cambridge (BA Hons; Hon. Fellow 1999); Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, USA; Somerville College, Oxford.
Hon. Fellow, London Inst., 2000; Fellow UCL, 2004
Hon. DLitt: Bradford, 1987; DUniv York, 1991; Durham, 1991; Nottingham, 1992; Liverpool, 1993; Portsmouth, 1994; London, 1995; Sheffield, 2000; Kent 2004; Hon. LittD Cambridge, 1999
The PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Of Fiction prize, 1986 for STILL LIFE
The Booker Prize, 1990, for POSSESSION
Irish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize, 1990 for POSSESSION
The Eurasian section of Best Book in Commonwealth Prize, 1991 for POSSESSION
Premio Malaparte, Capri, 1995;
Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, California, 1998 for THE DJINN IN THE NIGHTINGALE''S EYE
Shakespeare Prize, Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg, 2002;
The Shadow of the Sun, 1964;
Degrees of Freedom, 1965 (reprinted as Degrees of Freedom: the early novels of Iris Murdoch, 1994);
The Game, 1967;
Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1970 (reprinted as Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1989);
Iris Murdoch 1976
The Virgin in the Garden, 1978;
GEORGE ELIOT Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings , 1979 (editor);
Still Life, 1985
Sugar and Other Stories, 1987;
George Eliot: selected essays, 1989 (editor)
Possession: a romance, 1990
Robert Browning''s Dramatic Monologues, 1990 (editor);
Passions of the Mind, (essays), 1991;
Angels and Insects (novellae),1992
The Matisse Stories (short stories),1993;
The Djinn in the Nightingale''s Eye: five fairy stories, 1994
Imagining Characters, 1995 (joint editor);
New Writing 4, 1995 (joint editor);
Babel Tower, 1996;
New Writing 6, 1997 (joint editor);
The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, 1998 (editor);
Elementals: Stories of fire and ice (short stories), 1998;
The Biographer''s Tale, 2000;
On Histories and Stories (essays), 2000;
Portraits in Fiction, 2001;
The Bird Hand Book, 2001 (Photographs by Victor Schrager Text By AS Byatt);
A Whistling Woman, 2002
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