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If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
by Jon McGregor | Literature & Fiction
Registered by beckerbuns of San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by redjanet): to be read


6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by beckerbuns from San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This book has not been rated.

From Publishers Weekly
McGregor's poignant, Booker-nominated debut examines in loving detail a day in the lives of the inhabitants of a single British block. It is a day like any other-a woman prepares breakfast for her family, boys play cricket, a man washes his car-until a terrible accident occurs, which is witnessed by all the neighbors but concealed from readers until the novel's end. Drifting from apartment to house to yard, McGregor reveals the stories found in each: there is the couple who fight bitterly and have brilliant sex; the man with hands scarred from trying, unsuccessfully, to save his wife from a fire; the aging veteran keeping from his wife the truth of his imminent demise. Weaving through these tales of the transcendental ordinary is the first-person narrative of a girl coming to terms with her unexpected pregnancy after a one-night stand. Her lover's twin brother arrives to drive her to her parents, but doesn't tell her the truth about his brother's absence; the girl's mother has her own secrets. McGregor's rapt attention to the exquisiteness of daily life sometimes makes his details ring falsely portentous, and his unwavering focus on minutiae-rain, traffic lights-can be wearying. But as the man with the scarred hands remarks, "there are many things you could miss if you are not paying careful attention. There are remarkable things all the time." This is the guiding principle of McGregor's novel, one that requires patience but yields ample rewards.
 


Journal Entry 2 by beckerbuns from San Jose, California USA on Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This book has not been rated.

This ray is now full, and the book will ship out shortly.

1. ldpaulson CA
2. i-spy IL
3. glade1 NC
4. beckerbuns CA
5. bean-frog UK <--book is on its way here!
6. redjanet UK
**then release, trade, relay as desired** 


Journal Entry 3 by beckerbuns from San Jose, California USA on Thursday, May 05, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Sending off to ldpaulson, the first person in the ray, tomorrow! 


Journal Entry 4 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Monday, May 16, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in the post during the weekend. 


Journal Entry 5 by ldpaulson from Ventura, California USA on Tuesday, June 14, 2005

9 out of 10

An exquisite piece of work that just happens to be in book form. The writing is lyrical, poetic and intricate. Very reminiscent of Cummings, Dos Passos, and Eliot in its breadth and playfulness.

For those about to read, I suggest making time. The narrative does not want to be interrupted and either does the reader, once she has delved into this novel. It's not a book that can be put down and picked back up.

So very thankful to have been given the opportunity to read IF NOBODY SPEAKS OF REMARKABLE THINGS. I've every mind to get my own copy some day, just to linger over sections, if not to share.

Waiting to hear from the next reader. 


Journal Entry 6 by i-spy from Seattle, Washington USA on Tuesday, July 05, 2005

7 out of 10

Finished & I am mailing off to glade1 today.

I have to agree with the previous poster...take TIME to read this. Don't rush through it.

I wasn't enjoying this book in the beginning. The writing is poetic, in a schitzophrenic sort-of way. I picked it up & put it down three times.

Then finally, I sat with it. I read it s.l.o.w.l.y. and that made all the difference in the world.

We are all nameless souls. But reading this made me want to put a name to the faces. To look at the beautiful, precious, priceless individuals as more than just a face. To speak of remarkable things.

THanks for sharing!



 


Journal Entry 7 by wingglade1wing from Greensboro, North Carolina USA on Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Received in the mail yesterday. I have one book ahead of it. More later... 


Journal Entry 8 by wingglade1wing from Greensboro, North Carolina USA on Thursday, July 28, 2005

8 out of 10

I finally finished this one, and I'm glad I did! Like some of the other journalers, I had a bit of a struggle finding the rhythm for this book. I usually read much faster than I could read this one. But in the end I can say it is beautiful and poetic and touching, and even has a surprise ending!

A couple of my favorite passages:

I wonder how many ways there are for a mother to produce that wreckage in her own daughter, and my muscles tense as I think of them.

Locked doors, a belt, bruises in hidden places.

Sharp words, absent touches, thin blankets, empty plates.

I think about the times I thought of her as a hard woman, an unfair mother, and I realise what mercifully pale reflections those moments were.


and, of course, the one which gave the book its title:

...my daughter you must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. He says there are remarkable things all the time, right in front of us, but our eyes have like the clouds over the sun and our lives are paler and poorer if we do not see them for what they are.

He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?


(not sure if "our eyes have like the clouds over the sun" is a typo or just his wording--kind of strange; but a nice passage nonetheless)

I will PM beckerbuns for an address so this can start its way to the UK. Thank you, beckerbuns, for sharing this wonderful book with us!

Update: Mailed to beckerbuns 8-3-05. 


Journal Entry 9 by beckerbuns from San Jose, California USA on Thursday, September 08, 2005

7 out of 10

My goodness, I have been remiss. I received this book a few weeks ago and apparently did not journal it. I am now doing so!

I read the book and enjoyed it. It took a while for me to get into it but then I got into the unusual rhythm of the writing and came to appreciate it.

I have PMd the next person and will be sending the book out shortly. 


Journal Entry 10 by beckerbuns at surface mail in sent to the the next bookcrosser, Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Friday, September 09, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 8 yrs ago (9/9/2005 UTC) at surface mail in sent to the the next bookcrosser, Bookray -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sending off to bean-frog. Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 11 by bean-frog from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, February 27, 2006

7 out of 10

It took me a while to get into this book, but it was worth it once I got going. I'd definitely recommend this book, but make sure you have tissues handy!

It'll be making it's way out in the next couple of days. 


Journal Entry 12 by bean-frog from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, March 02, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Posted today, now on it's way to redjanet 


Journal Entry 13 by redjanet from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, March 04, 2006

This book has not been rated.

This arrived on my doorstep this morning. Thanks! 




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