Fiction Ib Michael 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:

Ib Michael's Prince is the story of a poor, illiterate child from the city sent to the Danish coast to be a "summer boy" at a seaside resort. Masterfully translated from the Danish by Barbara Haveland, this is a subtly bewitching novel in which everything pulses with the promise of enchantment. On the beach, 12-year-old Malte entertains himself for hours, as only a deeply neglected child can:

He lays starfish in the bottom of the jar and holds them up to the sky. Slowly he turns in a circle, leaving a wreath of sunflower petals in the sand with the soles of his feet, puts his eye to the bottom, and uses the jelly jar as a stargazer. Dissolved in light, he watches the galaxies whirling through space.
Malte dreams of ships, glaciers, long trips down the Amazon where dolphins live in the trees. He has a guardian angel who narrates much of the story, but whose existence is so tentative there is no question that he is powerless over the boy's fate, unable to intervene when the boy stumbles into dangerous circumstances.

As the tale of an orphan, Prince evokes that free-floating homesickness that beautiful places can evoke in rootless people. It brings to mind Hubert Fichte's The Orphanage, a little known but equally memorable book. Both are novels of childhood in which the child is abandoned, waiting on the shore of history for a wave to wash him out to sea. Born into harsh circumstances, these children have already realized that the world is a merciless place. As characters, they are free of the naiveté that so many childhood novels are rotten with. It is up to Malte to make sense of the world, to see a dead man and realize that "the living take their color from the blood." That's childlike wisdom in the best possible sense. --Emily White

About the Author:

Ib Michael is one of Denmark's foremost writers. The author of more than twenty books, he has traveled throughout the world. Prince is his first novel to be published in the United States. He lives in Copenhagen.

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Michael, Ib
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ISBN 10: 0099284030 ISBN 13: 9780099284031
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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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Michael, Ib
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Book Description 2001-03-01., 2001. Book Condition: New. Vintage. New edition. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 256pp. . Bookseller Inventory # NF-1735696

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Ib Michael
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Book Description Vintage, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099284030

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