Quarantine

by Jim Crace | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 014023974x Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingshnedwardswing of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 2/26/2006
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingshnedwardswing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, February 26, 2006
Registered as part of the 3 million challenge.

Amazon.co.uk Review
The story of Jesus's 40 days in the wilderness is surely among the most celebrated and widely diffused narratives in Western culture. Why, then, would Jim Crace choose to retell it in strictly naturalistic, non-miraculous terms? The obvious answer would be that the godless novelist is trying to debunk divinity--to take the entire New Testament down a notch. And at first, this does seem to be the case. Crace's Jesus first got religion as an adolescent, and "was transformed by god like other boys his age were changed by girls." His peers view his spiritual fervour as a youthful eccentricity. Even now, as the thirtysomething Jesus heads out to the Judaean desert for his 40-day retreat, he's perceived by his fellow anchorites as a flighty and impractical Galilean. They even call him "Gally" for short--and what sort of deity answers to a nickname?

Yet Crace is hardly the jeering materialist we might expect. As Jesus takes to his cliff-top cave, the author renders his religious transports without a hint of irony, and with a linguistic elegance that can hardly be called disrespectful: "The prayers were in command of him. He shouted out across the valley, happy with the noise he made. The common words lost hold of sound. The consonants collapsed. He called on god to join him in the cave with all the noises that his lips could make. He called with all the voices in his throat." And while most of the temptations of Christ are visited upon him by humans--by the motley crew of his cave-dwelling neighbours-- he resists them with what we can only call superhuman will. Quarantine does, of course, operate on a fairly realistic plane. Jesus dies of starvation long before his 40-day fast is complete, and his fellow retreatants, who take centre stage throughout much of the novel, are much too confused and brutal ever to figure in any Sunday school pageant. Still, Crace leaves at least the possibility of resurrection intact at the end, which should ensure that his brilliant book will rattle both believers and non-believers alike.

Synopsis
Four travellers enter the Judean desert to fast and pray for their lost souls. They encounter the evil merchant, Musa, who holds them in his tyrannical power. Yet there is also another, a faint figure in the distance, fasting for 40 days, a Galilean who they say has the power to work miracles.

Journal Entry 2 by wingshnedwardswing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Reserved for rootmartin''s VBB

Journal Entry 3 by wingshnedwardswing from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Replaced in rootmartin's VBB, so available again!

Edit: making this a bookring. Will read it on its return.

Mailing order:

easterngirl71, US
davemurray101, Australia
RebeccaToh, Malaysia
stubee, UK

Then back to me.

On its way to easterngirl71 by surface mail. Hope you enjoy it when it eventually gets there!

Journal Entry 5 by easterngirl71 at Alton, Illinois USA on Saturday, July 24, 2010
Again I just want to let you know in advance that it may take me a while to get to this book. I will read it 7th in my pile. I do hope this won't be a problem...but I will completely understand if you would like for me to send these two books on to the next person on the list as I would feel bad holding up the people behind me. But if this does not bother you then I will hold it until I can get to it in the small pile I have going now after returning from vacation with my parents and brother for the past 2 and a 1/2 months. That is how this small pile started. I took all the other ring/ray books with me and finished all but 2!! Please let me know what you would like me to do:) Thanks ... I will await your PM!!

Journal Entry 6 by easterngirl71 at Alton, Illinois USA on Saturday, February 26, 2011
Quick update...no matter how hard I try keeping up with the ring/ray books that I have received, I went through the pile of books and the ones that I was able to find I went ahead and bought that way I won't hold up your ring any longer. I thank you very much for including me, but at the time I was putting my name in to read books, things were less complicated and I guess when you are kinda new you don't realise what you are getting yourself into, I bit off more than I could chew because the ring/ray books were all showing up at the same time. Again thanks for your kindness and patience with me:) Sending to davemurray101 ASAP!!

Journal Entry 7 by davemurray101 at Valentine, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, April 05, 2011
recieved in the post today from easterngirl. Like some rings I had forgotten that I'd joined so it was a pleasant surprise. Thanks to Shnedwards for starting the bookring, will get through it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 8 by davemurray101 at Valentine, New South Wales Australia on Sunday, April 10, 2011
I finished Quarantine this morning. The mystery years of Jesus will always provide an interesting discussion - given that he is one of the most important figure with nearly 2/3 of his life story missing. Certainly the best in that genre, but not as good as some of the other Jim Crace books I have read. Thanks again to shnedwards, I'll post this to RebeccaToh as soon as I confirm the address.

Journal Entry 9 by davemurray101 at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Released 8 yrs ago (4/19/2011 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

on its way to RebeccaToh in Malaysia

Journal Entry 10 by RebeccaToh at Rawang, Sultanate of Selangor (Shah Alam) Malaysia on Saturday, April 30, 2011
I just received this book yesterday. I've just finished reading my last book so this was timely. :)

Thanks, Dave.


Journal Entry 11 by stubee at Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Monday, March 26, 2012
Received, thanks RebeccaToh!

Shnedwards - are you in a rush for this to get back to you or is it Ok for it to be on my bookshelf for a bit?

Journal Entry 12 by stubee at Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Friday, September 13, 2019
Finally started this novel.

Journal Entry 13 by stubee at Bury, Lancashire United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 24, 2019
There is no doubt that this is a well written piece of fiction, he manages to describe mundane life in the wilderness with beauty, elegance and humour. Some of the descriptions are a joy to behold.

However that being said I found Musa so despicable that I can’t say I enjoyed it, I just don’t understand why the others didn’t just kill him. It’s not so much a retelling of Jesus’s 40 days and 40 nights in the desert as he was such a small part in the story. But I guess that’s the point (isn’t it?), that it is a fairly common rite of passage. Following in the footsteps of their predecessors, sleeping in caves and living off whatever they can find in the desert. Each pilgrim has a different reason for heading to the desert be it to pray for fertility as is Marta’s case or a cure for illness or spiritual enlightenment. It just so happens that one of the people this particular year is Jesus, not that we see or hear much of him in this novel.

On the whole I found it a bit of a chore to get through despite the excellent writing.

Shnedwards says she isn't bothered about taking it back so I'm setting the status to reserved whilst I work out what's next.

Journal Entry 14 by stubee at Beeston, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Released 2 wks ago (10/8/2019 UTC) at Beeston, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending off to ReetPetite for The Bean OBCZ.

Journal Entry 15 by wingReetPetitewing at Beeston, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Thursday, October 10, 2019
Thanks stubee for this book for the OBCZ

Journal Entry 16 by wingReetPetitewing at The Bean in Beeston, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Released 1 wk ago (10/14/2019 UTC) at The Bean in Beeston, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left on the bookshelves at the OBCZ

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