Outline

Outline

Large Print - 2015 | Large print edition
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A woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives. Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, the storytellers talk of their loves and ambitions and pains, their anxieties, their perceptions and daily lives. In the stifling heat and noise of the city the sequence of voice begins to weave a complex human tapestry. The more they talk the more elliptical their listener becomes, as she shapes and directs their accounts until certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the nature of family life, the difficulty of intimacy and the mystery of creativity itself. Outline is a novel about writing and talking, about self-effacement and self-expression, about the desire to create and the human art of self-portraiture in which that desire finds its universal form.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2015
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781410478689
1410478688
Branch Call Number: x Large Print Coll
Characteristics: 281 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print

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h
harrissusanc
Aug 23, 2017

A monologue about a woman's voyage to Athens, that emphasizes the disturbing distance between the inside and outside. Marvelous movement between sharp observations of passing events and existential philosophy, but lacks plot.

q
QuentinHayes
Jul 07, 2017

Extremely clever structure, less compelling story-line. Divorced people may find this more compelling than happily married (or happily never-married) people.

s
spiderfelt_0
Apr 03, 2017

It was only after discussing this book with my bookclub that I finally appreciated the elegance and beauty of this book. Initially, I felt ambivalent about the disconnected characters. At our bookclub, the construction was illustrated: the first and last conversation act as parentheses for the rest of the book. These characters are mirror opposites. The rest of the characters reflect aspects of the narrators' unspoken nature.

c
Candaceb108
Feb 20, 2017

There is a plot. It's a good book. Women with a few years will enjoy it.

o
Orcacreative
Jan 28, 2017

This is one of those books that at first glance, seems boring, but then your life slows down a bit, you pick it up once more, it is suddenly a gem.
It is like being overwhelmed by action blockbuster movies with explosions, guns and car crashes; we can be blind towards the subtle beauty of everyday living and meaningful conversations. This book might be able to help bringing some of that skill back.

g
GLNovak
Aug 05, 2016

This is a book that will appeal only to those readers who don't need a plot. Nothing happens other than the narrator goes to Athens for a week and listens to people philosophize about their relationships. I must admit this is not my kind of book. For me all the conversations can be boiled down to a matter of perspective. Each person met relates something of their life and then introduces a catalyst that makes them view what has happened in an entirely new light. I did finish this, but only because it is short and the writing itself was intriguing - very grammatically correct in every way. Prepositions abounded.

r
rebmartin31
Jun 01, 2016

A wonderfully philosophical novel with razor-sharp narration and observation. The narrator/narrative perspective is such a finely wrought creation, reading this book is similar to watching GoPro footage, but mercifully without the shaky-camera nausea effect. Rachel Cusk writes in the fine English tradition of George Eliot.

mallc May 11, 2016

Bizarre and hypnotic. The floating and distanced style of the writing makes it a strange and interesting read. Like eavesdropping on fascinating yet dull people.

r
rosfrankl
Feb 24, 2016

One of the best books ever about people's struggles to understand themselves. Their insights or lack thereof are fascinating.

b
brangwinn
Feb 14, 2016

The narrator of the story is the type of person to whom people share their lives—or at least an outline of their lives. Beginning with her seatmate in the flight from London to Athens, they unburden themselves. It’s an interesting idea for a book but I began to find it tedious as I neared the end.

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