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Author: Joan London
ISBN13: 978-1843541820
Title: Gilgamesh
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ePUB size: 1497 kb
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Language: English
Publisher: ATLANTIC BOOKS (August 14, 2003)

Gilgamesh by Joan London

There is enough material in this book for it to be a big gutsy epic, a la Gone With the Wind or Dr. Zhivago - thank God, Joan London resisted and has beautifully written a sparse, eloquent and elegant novel.

Gilgamesh by Joan London 272pp, Atlantic, £1. 9. The Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest known poem, is about a Sumerian king who has everything a man could want bar immortality. The gods dispatch a wild man to teach him his place. The plan goes awry when they become best friends; together they set out to see the world, and, as one quest follows another, they become so arrogant that the gods condemn the wild man to the Underworld. Bereft, the king makes one last effort to achieve immortality. He fails, and as he stands before the walls of his great city, he knows his story will be his.

Gilgamesh, published in 2001, is the first full-length novel written by Joan London. It is inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest known poem. In 2002, the novel was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award and was selected as The Age Book of the Year for Fiction. The book has been published with some success in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. It has also been published in Europe. Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Fiction, 2001: shortlisted.

What is meant by the term 'genre' as it applies to works of fiction? Where does this term come from?Brainstorm the traditional features of the 'epic' genre. Find out a little about the original epic 'Gilgamesh', an ancient Sumerian myth. China quotes Joan London, noting, 'It's never women who get their own epics'. Many writers play with genres, distorting or blending them within their novels. Why might Joan London have chosen to do this in 'Gilgamesh'? China identifies Joan London's 'extraordinary ambivalence' about Australia. Australian writers are often accused of 'cultural cringe': conveying a sense that Australia is not as significant or sophisticated as other places.

Gilgamesh Joan London 2001. Cover photograph: The Esplanade Max Pam, 1990. About the Author: Joan London is the author of two colections of stories, Sister Ships, which won the Age Book of the Year 1986 and the Western Australia Week Literary Award, and Letter to Constantine, which won the Steele Rudd Award in 1994 and the West Australian Premier's Award for Fiction. She lives in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Электронная книга "Gilgamesh: A Novel", Joan London. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Gilgamesh: A Novel" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. A New York Times Notable Book from the author of The Golden Age. A remarkable study of a young woman’s most literal rite of passage (Baltimore Sun). Gilgamesh is a rich, spare, and evocative novel of encounters and escapes, of friendship and love, of loss and acceptance, a debut that marked the emergence of a world-class talent. It is 1937, and the modern world is waiting to erupt.

This is a magnificent book, a story of encounters and escapes, of friendship and love, of loss and acceptance. It is full of sparely depicted but fully fleshed characters and the wide sweep of history.

Joan Elizabeth London was born on July 24, 1948 in Australia. She is an author of short stories, screenplays and novels. London is the author of two collections of stories. The first, Sister Ships, won The Age Book of the Year (1986), and the second, Letter to Constantine, won the Steele Rudd Award and the West Australian Premier's Award for Fiction (both in 1994).

Joan London is an Australian writer with two collections of short stories (not published here) under her belt. If only she had taken more notice of T S Eliot's tenet about returning to the beginning and knowing it for the first time, her debut novel might have been brilliant instead of just good. Never have so many characters spent so much time travelling around the globe to find such dim, hazy enlightenment. The legend of Gilgamesh gives some fairly substantial clues about what will happen before the novel is over. Gilgamesh is the fabled king of Mesopotamia, said to have lived about 3000BC.

Reviews: 7
I loved this book.while reading I drifting through all the locations and really enjoyed the journey. I really enjoyed the narration by Edith through her thoughts. The Characters were so interesting and the story so compelling.
Edith and her mother for some reason seemed to weave into one person at times for me, there was something so similar about them but they became so different as they matured. The Mother fearful and that fear made her weaker while Edith became stronger in her fear. We didn’t get to hear to much about Frank, Edith’s Father but I liked him and felt Joan London managed to do a good job of capturing him.
The book had a an underlying feeling of tragedy, but it never hit it, but kept me enthralled and reading on. What an interesting woman Edith was. She reminded me of The daughter of fortunes character Eliza taking off in chase of her lover. I actually have read a few books recently with the silly female who turns out strong and determined, loving and Kind. A very Feminist Character that I truly enjoy reading about.
I enjoyed all the Characters in this book.
Leopold, he was a fascinating fat man, that in early photographs the sisters made fun of, but in real life Edith realizes he is full of charm and interest, although Frances refuses to be hood winked by the guests and keeps herself at a distance. Although many years later softens enough to get hood winked by the religious group.
There were so many interesting ideas and thoughts put forward in this novel. The book was wonderful and very well written slipping in ideas very cleverly
"Oh Gilgamesh, where are you wandering?
The life that you seek you will never find...
Gaze on the child who holds your hand."

Joan London's title, GILGAMESH, (like the lines quoted above in the Andrew George translation), refers of course to the ancient Sumerian epic of the king who, as the cover has it, "travels the world in search of eternal life." A brief description of the book and its settings conjures romance and adventure on a large scale, beginning in the ashes of WW1 in London, continuing in Armenia in the hurricane's eye of WW2, and ending in Western Australia in the fifties. With anxious journeys on the Orient Express, on a queasy cargo boat, or by Jeep across the deserts of Iraq and Syria, not to mention the air of espionage and Soviet paranoia, it is easy to see why the appreciation by Francine Prose on the front jacket summons the name of Graham Greene.

But Prose also mentions Alice Munro, and there she turns out to be much closer to the mark. I had known London only from her later novel, THE GOOD PARENTS, which is a relatively simple story of parents from a Western Australian farming community looking for their daughter, who has gone to the big city and disappeared, their search making them face episodes in their own younger years which may have formed their daughter's values. Despite its vaster canvas, GILGAMESH, London's debut novel, has essentially the same concerns. Edith Clark, its heroine, grows up on a failing farm in Western Australia. One year, two men come to visit: her archaeologist cousin Leopold, half English and half Russian, and his friend Aram, an Armenian exile. For Edith, "Armenia" becomes like a mythic paradise, and when she finds herself pregnant after the men leave (I wish I didn't have to reveal this, for London handles it so subtly), she determines to travel there to find her son's father. By dint of her work as a waitress and some opportune pilfering, she at last gets the money to take that cargo ship, eventually arriving in Yerevan, Armenia, just as war breaks out all around them.

But Edith's life is not defined by the political events that control her without her knowing it, but by her relationships with the people who shelter or help her, and above all by her care for her son, Jim. Seen through the eyes of a Graham Greene or Alan Furst, London seems to set herself up for anticlimax, since Edith's life is one of simple chores and relative inaction in the midst of so much turmoil. The book will end with a 65-page section back home in Australia, finding herself amid other people "single, unmarried or divorced, in their thirties... people who had been young in the War; war victims, in their own way." If she finds it difficult to adjust, Jim finds it even harder; while her life has been touched by loss and displacement, his has been cradled in it. But both do find at least some hope of resolution at the end, less spectacular than the Graham Greene stuff, but warm and believable, and what Joan London is really about.
I believe the description and reading a sample was what brought me to purchasing "Gilgamesh: A Novel". I quite enjoyed this story because the writing style was excellent. Joan didn't over-describe feelings or events because she writes very well allowing enough for the reader to understand, imagine, and fill in themselves. There wasn't any "straying off-topic" and I found it easy to remember who was who when names were mentioned. There were a couple of unexpected surprises, which I liked. The only thing I wanted more of or wished was a little different was the ending because it was somewhat abrupt. I would definitely recommend, "Gilgamesh: A Novel".
This is an unusual story about the epic journey of life. Well written in a reserved almost plain style it allows you to travel with the characters without being weighed down with emotion. Crossing continents and cultures, and dealing with cruel hardships it is ultimately a story of enduring love and kindness. The characters feel deeply, both rebelling and accepting the journeys they are on. Kindnesses in unexpected people and places reflect the random quality of love and life. Is it a happy ending? It is an ending full of hope, the beginning of another journey and truly satisfying.
A comforting, evocative, quixotic read.

The started and finished on a farm in Western Australia and, in the middle, travelled to Armenia. The pace of the storytelling is slow and detailed yet it is sparing in its language and certainly lacks overblown prose. It is this gentle osmosis that lets the characters, the time period and the locations seep into your imagination.

The original Gilgamesh saga is threaded through the story.
I loved reading this book. Joan London is great writer, and the novel is captivating.