valgal, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by valgal)
Byatt, as usual, creates a whole world of fully developed characters. Though they are at odds with each other, the reader comes to love them all. But the most astonishing feature of the book is the writer's tour de force in producing so many different voices and writing styles, letters, poetry and prose, ostensibly written by the various characters in the book. By the end, you want to read the books that are excerpted, but, darn! they aren't real...Luckily, it sounds like Ragnarok, her next tome, might be one of them. Can't wait!
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Trudy, February 1, 2010 (view all comments by Trudy)
Byatt is amazing. She has not only created unforgettable modern-day characters in her deft satire of academia, she has created writings in the voices of two fictional eminent Victorians. Each of story's many layers has a unique flavor, and their mingling results in a most delectable concoction.
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Myra Donnelley, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by Myra Donnelley)
This stunning (and satirically hilarious) tour de force about writers, writing, romance, mysteries and literary scholarship/skullduggery left me bereft when I finished it - I wanted to read it again and again and again and have each time be the very first, fresh reading of virgin text! Byatt is an amazing writer and great satirist of lit.crit./academia (it did not hurt that I had just finished a one-year's M. Phil program at Trinity in Dublin when I read it...). Whatever you do, read the book - do NOT see the idiotic movie they made with the same title and a few (of the more boring) elements of the plot! A book for bibliophiles, writers, poets, romantics and cynics, alike, to treasure.
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Byatt's use of language is lyrical and poignant. It drips from the pages like honey from a lover's tongue....Possession is the sheer essence of Byatt's work. She weaves the tale of a pair of literary scholars studying the lives of two Victorian poets. As the research progresses, their lives become more intertwined along with their interest and love of the work and, of course, each other. But, this is not your average romance. I remember the first time I came upon this book. I contemplated the subject matter without overwhelming enthusiasm. However, after reading a few chapters I became engrossed. It's not what she's writing about, but how she writes it.
by Ann E.
by The New York Times Book Review,
"Gorgeously written ... dazzling ... a tour de force."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"What a book! This is a novel for every taste.... An altogether magical performance."
by Los Angeles Times Book Review,
"A masterpiece of wordplay and adventure, a novel that compares with Stendhal and Joyce."
"A genuine winner ... original and unforgettable."
by USA Today,
"The most dazzling novel of the year."
Winner of England’s Booker Prize and the literary sensation of the year, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.
An exhilarating novel of wit and romance, an intellectual mystery, and a triumphant love story. This tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets became a huge bookseller favorite, and then on to national bestellerdom.
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