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Charles Davis (4) (1960–)

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14 Works 87 Members 33 Reviews

Værker af Charles Davis

Standing at the Crossroads (2011) 39 eksemplarer
Walking the Dog (2008) 14 eksemplarer
Walk On, Bright Boy (2007) 10 eksemplarer
Hitler, Mussolini, and Me (2016) 7 eksemplarer
The Measure of the World (2019) 3 eksemplarer
Walk! La Gomera (2004) 2 eksemplarer
Walk! Brittany (2008) 2 eksemplarer
Walk! La Palma (2010) 2 eksemplarer
Walk! Dorset (2006) 2 eksemplarer
34 Alpujarras Walks (2003) 1 eksemplar
Pilgrim of Love (2015) 1 eksemplar

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Almen Viden

Fødselsdato
1960
Køn
male

Medlemmer

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Filled with well-researched history and fascinating insights, Charles Davis’ The Measure of the World blends math with magic, measurable accuracy with self-determination, and image with reality. The result is an enthralling tale of France at the time of the French Revolution, where a young, ambitious, socially inept surveyor is chosen for the unenviable (but surely safe) task of preparing measuring stations across France. Soon the meter will be defined. Soon there will be enforceable boundaries to lands and fields. And one freedom might fall as another rises.

Freedom always comes at a price of course, be it political, romantic, scientific or geographic. In a time of shifting political freedoms, in a Europe of geographic uncertainty, and against a background of scientifically non-standard “feet,” there might be many prices to pay for defining the length of a meter.

The story is told with a pleasingly self-deprecating first person voice. Excellently and frequently humorous dialog brings scenes of human absurdity to enthralling life. Science and social science both include enough detail to convince, inform and entertain, while the protagonist’s gentle musings provide thought-provoking delight, as relevant today perhaps as they are to the time of the story—plus ça change , plus c'est la même chose? Great nuggets of wisdom abound, and “Men always prefer a worse way of knowing to a better way of learning.”

Luckily today we don’t risk being burned at the stake, challenged to a duel, or imprisoned in foreign jails for measuring fields and love—at least, not in general. But this story’s filled with historical detail, personal observation, unexpected excitement and enticement, a thoroughly old and thoroughly modern faith-science-politics trichotomy, and a well-drawn measure of life’s imperfection. “Our world is warped and we are bent out of shape” is as true now as then.

“Triangulating the absurd,” surveying grounds and relationships, and presenting a world of very different maps, romantic, entangled, magical and prosaic, the story measures values and absolutes, and the author succeeds in keeping the reader entertained and enticed, even through the distractions of entirely relevant rumination, making the novel a surprisingly fast read and surprisingly hard to put down. It’s the sort of novel that stays in your head when you’ve finished as well, and you’ll never look at a meter rule the same way again.

Disclosure: I was given a preview edition by the publisher and I offer my honest review.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
SheilaDeeth | Mar 28, 2019 |
History turns the Hitlers of this world into monsters, and those who follow them into fools. But Hitler and Mussolini were real people once, and their admirers, some of them at least, hoped for a pleasant future, not an aftermath of terror. Charles Davis imagines the thoughts of an Irish art historian touring Italy’s galleries with these much-hated leaders, in a time before war, when folly was nothing more than amusing, and surely nothing could go so badly wrong. By chance, this hapless narrator might be photographed with the world’s greatest despots, and a viewer of that photo in later years might presume him similarly evil. But the story leading up to this picture is simultaneously frightening and ridiculous, as author Charles Davis imbues his narrator with a blistering, irreverent humor combined with achingly honest understanding.

Juxtaposing family and international disagreements, rebellions of the distant and more recent past, loves great and small, and cruelties great and imagined, the author brings eras and people to life, renders irreverent humor both hilarious and thought-provoking, and drags villains into the dust, thereby revealing the dust from which they arise. The narrator’s voice is completely convincing throughout. His predicament is sharply real. And his purpose is surprisingly simple and uncertain, bringing the reader ever closer to the multiple stings in the tale.

The author’s deep interest and research shine through the comedy and seriousness of this novel, making readers suspend disbelief only to find the facts prove hauntingly true. A tale of the past, for the present, touched by the in-between, Hitler, Mussolini and Me is constantly surprising, vividly painful, hilariously ridiculous, and a nightmarish good read.

Disclosure: I was given a preview edition by the publisher and I offer my honest review.
… (mere)
1 stem
Markeret
SheilaDeeth | Mar 31, 2016 |
Charles Davis’ Pilgrim of Love combines the mystery of the Da Vinci code with the ancient feel of Name of the Rose, adding plenty of verve and humor to create an enticing, authentic, and thoroughly enjoyable read. Zany foot-chases through hallowed halls and end-of-the-world predictions are interspersed between wild conversations and thought-provoking discussions. A wonderful cast of characters lie in wait for the unsuspecting protagonist, from a corpulent monk using alchemy to convert “faith... into a more tangible currency,” to the beautiful, enigmatic child who serves his broth. But this protagonist is a pilgrim of no currency, well-educated, fiercely determined, and surely most loyal to all his holy vows. He’s also a believer in order rather than magic, though the solving of mysteries does most surely entice him.

Tempted by sigils and signs, drawn toward the alchemy of interpretation, and set on a quest, perhaps, to find the Holy Grail of Arthurian legend, this young monk’s thirst for knowledge lures him quickly into mystery and intrigue, drawing the reader happily behind him. Enjoyably complex language is used simply and clearly, conveying a convincing feel for time and place. Mysterious emblems, riddles, and interpretations abound, with alchemy born, perhaps, in the art of metaphor. But what happens when metaphors become real?

The story is set on the island of Mont St Michel. With “no one way, no right path” through the quicksands surrounding it, or through the valleys of gods and life, the protagonist seeks a way through alchemical confusion and human emotion, until his deepest mystery might be “how very pagan is the nature of nature.”

This is a place where “All stories are false.” Gnosticism meets science, and faith meets love. Meanwhile true alchemy is a magic born of fiction and words. Pilgrim of Love is a wonderful story, beautifully told, and a mystery that keeps the pages turning, with cleverly spaced hints and clues, fascinating symbols, genuine romance, and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
… (mere)
 
Markeret
SheilaDeeth | Nov 18, 2015 |
Standing at the Crossroads by Charles Davis is a short, but powerful read. It is written in a short, allegorical style much as his first novel Walk On, Bright Boy.

From the first chapter to the last is about 150 pages, packed with much imagery, much imagination and in a way I still don't completely understand for myself, much reality.

Our hero also the narrator, is known as The Barefoot Librarian is a black man who lives in Africa. (Most likely Sudan, but we don't really know). Kate is a white woman who comes to Africa and wants to tell the truth of what she sees there.

Standing at the Crossroads follows the story of Kate and "The Barefoot Librarian" as they take refuge from a common enemy that wants to see them both dead. It is at times hopeful,amusing and educational and then at other times, it is a harrowing read that leaves you breathless.

The only reason this book took so long for me to read, is that I took it with me for Dr. Appointments and would only read it then. Trust me, this book is easily read in a few hours.

Disclosure:I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it>
… (mere)
 
Markeret
Sirsangel | 21 andre anmeldelser | Jan 17, 2015 |

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Statistikker

Værker
14
Medlemmer
87
Popularitet
#211,168
Vurdering
4.2
Anmeldelser
33
ISBN
81
Sprog
3

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