A Novel

Book - 1991
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In this luminous novel -- winner of Britain's prestigious Booker Prize -- John Berger relates the story of "G.," a young man forging an energetic sexual career in Europe during the early years of this century. With profound compassion, Berger explores the hearts and minds of both men and women, and what happens during sex, to reveal the conditions of the Don Juan's success: his essential loneliness, the quiet cumulation in each of his sexual experiences of all of those that precede it, the tenderness that infuses even the briefest of his encounters, and the way women experience their own extraordinariness through their moments with him. All of this Berger sets against the turbulent backdrop of Garibaldi and the failed revolution of Milanese workers in 1898, the Boer War, and the first flight across the Alps, making G. a brilliant novel about the search for intimacy in history's private moments.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1991
Edition: 1st Vintage international ed
ISBN: 9780679736547
Branch Call Number: BERGER J
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 21 cm


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Jan 31, 2017

It is quite unusual to see reflected in the pages of fiction the profound ideas put forth in scholarly nonfiction, to see an aesthetic thesis with political overtones "made flesh," so to speak. This is what I found in "G," and its fellow traveler, "Ways of Seeing," both by the inimitable John Berger.

The novel is written as a series of snapshots in the life of a singular individual born out of wedlock during Victorian times and who comes of age during the lead-up to the First World War. These are interspersed with short expository sections which attempt to explain what happens to the man, and man he most definitely is.

Historical events seem peripheral to the actual human beings who inhabit the pages of this fascinating study of sexual politics on the most intimate of scales.

Even more interesting is how prevailing thought and understanding of larger societal issues pervade both the storyline and its expository foundations, and even the contrast with our current views lends further value to the work as an example of our evolving present circumstances in art and life.

Jul 27, 2012

This book won the 1972 Booker, but is too dated to read in the 21st century.


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