Fiction Michael, Ib Prince

ISBN 13: 9780099284031

Prince

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9780099284031: Prince

It is the summer of 1912 in a fishing village on the Danish coast, where visitors while away the long, light-filled days. For twelve-year-old Malte, it is a summer of freedom and discovery. He roams the beaches and observes the complicated lives of the adults around him. To escape their dramas, he retreats into a fantasy world of his own making, where ships sail to exotic lands. But when one day he trips over a salt-eaten coffin, washed up on the shore, and finds inside the body of a dead sailor, the voice that whispers in Malte's ear starts to take on a life of its own. It tells the secret story of the amber collector who made his fortune combing the beach for sea gold.

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Review:

Author of more than 20 books, Ib Michael is one of Denmark's most celebrated writers; Prince, impressively translated by Barbara Haveland, is the first of his works to appear in English. Its enigmatic subtitle-- a novel of icebergs and amber--sets the tone of leisurely enchantment which runs throughout this story of childhood. There is a (more or less) straightforward narrative of the 12-year-old boy, Malte, who is spending the summer of 1912 in a small coastal village, developing his relationships with its eccentric inhabitants as well as land- and seascape: "He spends his days on the sands...He finds sticks and fits them with pennants of seaweed. He catches crabs and pops them into jelly jars". At the same time, Michael's writing is fabulous, drawing on the resources of fairy tale and magic. The chapter headings to this book give a sense of its epic, and fantastic, quality--"In Which Male Rides the Wind", "In Which the Fox Flies and the Spirit Splits in Two", "In Which a Pact is Sealed for Malte's Soul"--as well as the supernatural element of the narrative which appears to be told by a spirit: "I do not belong to any higher order; we have been called demons, the undead, devils, and the damned. Or angels, guardian spirits, and messengers of the gods". Or a lonely boy's imaginary companion? Above all, this narrator is mutable, symbolic, all-encompassing; the seductiveness of his voice is key to the success, or otherwise, of this unconventional and strangely charged book. -- Vicky Lebeau

From the Publisher:

Beguiling and spellbinding
‘A tremendous fairy-tale of a novel’ Penelope Fitzgerald

The summer of 1912 is a summer of freedom and discovery for Malte, the young boy who roams the beaches and observes the complicated world of adults around him. He daydreams, creating fantasy worlds of ships sailing to exotic worlds. But one day he finds a coffin on the beach, with a body of a sailor inside, and he starts to learn the secret story of the amber collector who made his fortune combing the beach for sea gold.

‘A beguiling tale of love in an ice-cold climate. This is a spellbinding novel which recreates the details of childhood in a fresh and wonderful fashion’ The Times

‘Recalls both the fantasy stories of Hans Christian Andersen and the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez…Written with precision, energy and a masterly assurance, Michael’s hypnotic novel stirs one’s awe at the mystery of life and consciousness and reminds the adult reader of the wonderland that the world can be when viewed through younger eyes’ New York Times Book Review

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Michael, Ib
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Book Description Vintage, UK. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Available Now. Book Description: It is the summer of 1912 in a fishing village on the Danish coast, where visitors while away the long, light-filled days. For twelve-year-old Malte, it is a summer of freedom and discovery. He roams the beaches and observes the complicated lives of the adults around him. To escape their dramas, he retreats into a fantasy world of his own making, where ships sail to exotic lands. But when one day he trips over a salt-eaten coffin, washed up on the shore, and finds inside the body of a dead sailor, the voice that whispers in Malte's ear starts to take on a life of its own. It tells the secret story of the amber collector who made his fortune combing the beach for sea gold. : Amazon Review: Author of more than 20 books, Ib Michael is one of Denmark's most celebrated writers; Prince, impressively translated by Barbara Haveland, is the first of his works to appear in English. Its enigmatic subtitle--a novel of icebergs and amber--sets the tone of leisurely enchantment which runs throughout this story of childhood. There is a (more or less) straightforward narrative of the 12-year-old boy, Malte, who is spending the summer of 1912 in a small coastal village, developing his relationships with its eccentric inhabitants as well as land- and seascape: "He spends his days on the sands.He finds sticks and fits them with pennants of seaweed. He catches crabs and pops them into jelly jars". At the same time, Michael's writing is fabulous, drawing on the resources of fairy tale and magic. The chapter headings to this book give a sense of its epic, and fantastic, quality--"In Which Male Rides the Wind", "In Which the Fox Flies and the Spirit Splits in Two", "In Which a Pact is Sealed for Malte's Soul"--as well as the supernatural element of the narrative which appears to be told by a spirit: "I do not belong to any higher order; we have been called demons, the undead, devils, and the damned. Or angels, guardian spirits, and messengers of the gods". Or a lonely boy's imaginary companion? Above all, this narrator is mutable, symbolic, all-encompassing; the seductiveness of his voice is key to the success, or otherwise, of this unconventional and strangely charged book. --Vicky Lebeau -- : From the Publisher: Beguiling and spellbinding: ‘A tremendous fairy-tale of a novel' Penelope Fitzgerald: The summer of 1912 is a summer of freedom and discovery for Malte, the young boy who roams the beaches and observes the complicated world of adults around him. He daydreams, creating fantasy worlds of ships sailing to exotic worlds. But one day he finds a coffin on the beach, with a body of a sailor inside, and he starts to learn the secret story of the amber collector who made his fortune combing the beach for sea gold.: ‘A beguiling tale of love in an ice-cold climate. This is a spellbinding novel which recreates the details of childhood in a fresh and wonderful fashion' The Times: ‘Recalls both the fantasy stories of Hans Christian Andersen and the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez Written with precision, energy and a masterly assurance, Michael's hypnotic novel stirs one's awe at the mystery of life and consciousness and reminds the adult reader of the wonderland that the world can be when viewed through younger eyes' New York Times Book Review Size: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.9 cm. 256 pages. Multiple copies available this title. Quantity Available: 2. Shipped Weight: Under 500 grams. Category: Fiction; ISBN: 0099284030. ISBN/EAN: 9780099284031. Bookseller Inventory # F239-1042

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