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Collecting af Miranda Wilson
Indlæser...

Collecting (udgave 2013)

af Miranda Wilson

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2920654,314 (3.68)2
Medlem:gregandlarry
Titel:Collecting
Forfattere:Miranda Wilson
Info:Crux Publishing Ltd (2013), Kindle Edition, 274 pages
Samlinger:eBooks, Dit bibliotek, General Library
Vurdering:***1/2
Nøgleord:Early Reviewer

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Collecting af Miranda Wilson

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Received this book as an early reviewer. Reasonably interesting main character in Walter and strained relationship with his son William. Reasonably well written. Reasonable probably sums it up, there are better books out there (and there are certainly much worse). ( )
  tonyblair | Mar 4, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At the age of 69, Walter has invited his son and family to move back into his house. It's not a very comfortable experience for any of them - Walter feels increasingly unwelcome in his own home, his son William is stressed because money is tight and his daughter-in-law Dolores feels trapped by her new life as a mother. But one day Walter's collection - tiny items which he has found in the street, a lost sequin, a fragment of duck egg, a robin's claw - is "discovered" by a family friend who works as an art gallery assistant, and Walter is invited to exhibit them in a trendy East London gallery. He enters this new world with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

There are three strands to the story - Walter's own feelings as he is put into increasingly unlikely situations (such as being dragged off to a club and given drugs by a group of much younger, female artists); a fairly gentle parody of the modern British art scene; and Walter's relationship with his son's family. Of them all I found the first most interesting - it's hard not to hope for the best with Walter, as he oscillates between delight and embarrassment. I didn't hate the art-world parody but it didn't engage me, and I couldn't really see the point of the gormless son and unhappy daughter-in-law.

Overall though I didn't really know what to make of this. For example, Walter is mostly a sympathetic character. But occasionally there are hints that he may be an unreliable narrator. Or is it just the author making a point about the difference between the way we see ourselves and how others see us?

Walter had always secretly bemoaned the fact that human relationships wouldn't obey the same rules as engineering. He had tried to design sound and lasting structures with friends and family, and had put a lot of thought into his way of being and the effect that it had on others, yet the relationships would shift and bend and reveal weaknesses that threatened the whole in a way he never envisaged. ( )
  wandering_star | Jan 19, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Summary:

An older gentleman "becomes" an artist, found by the industry leaders, while living with his son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter.

Review:

Walter collects things. Tiny things. Earwig thoraxes, seed pearls, peach-colored sequins. After his wife dies, he fills a room with them--individually labelled bags taped to the walls of his bedroom. When his son and his new family move in with Walter, he struggles with giving them space while reconciling that his son will never live up to his expectations, and wonders where he went wrong as a father.

Walter discovers things about himself he'd rather not know, and continually strives to be the man he always thought himself to be.

When his daughter-in-law inadvertently secures a meeting between Walter and an art dealer/curator, Walter's collection is noticed and he is "discovered." Fumbling around the art world, trying not to look like a fool, Walter tries on a different personality with new clothes, shoes, a girlfriend, and even tries drugs.

He also holds a secret that threatens his relationship with his son, finds love again--even if fleeting, delights in his grandbaby, remembers his wife with tenderness, regret, and love, and goes on multiple "adventures."

This is definitely a book to read if you like character development, quirky mature characters, and an emotional story arc that keeps you turning pages. ( )
  ValerieOzgenc | Apr 5, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a fascinating story about an aging man, who has a strange hobby of collecting things, bits and pieces he finds as he goes about his business, and how things can change for one who thought there would never be any more changes in his life. Walter is the collector. His wife died many years ago, and he began the collecting after that event. He meticulously keeps his collection, chronicling everything and keeping it neat and tidy. Once his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter move in, after his son loses everything in a dot com demise, things change. His son does not understand his father’s hobby, so Walter resorts to keeping it locked up in his room. The one saving grace about the move is the fact that Walter is closer and sees more of his granddaughter, whom he loves deeply. Though his son doesn’t quite understand his father or his hobby, Walter finds somewhat of a kindred soul in his daughter-in-law. More changes occur, however, as Walter suddenly becomes part of the art scene in the area. It is quite late in life to be recognized as an artist and Walter adjusts as well as anyone would in similar circumstances. This is a book filled with well-developed characters in a great setting. Though there were times I found myself wondering about Walter, I could easily identify with him at other times as well as understand him. The plot is also fairly well developed, as we follow one aging man through some pretty significant changes in his life. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is not the type I usually read, providing me a breath of fresh air. In addition, I enjoyed the quirky descriptions of the art world, which were both humorous and realistic. This is a great book to read for anyone looking for a different, interesting read. It will take the reader to new areas and interests. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a book on human nature, in particular the aging population, and who is looking for something other than the cop/detective book we see so many of today. I received this from Library Thing to read and review. ( )
  KMT01 | Mar 23, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Walter has been alone for 15 years since his wife dies. He has been amassing a collection, but not your normal collection. His son, daughter in law and granddaughter come to stay while they are saving up to buy their own place. To say Walter's life is changes is an understatement.

The book is well written. The plot develops nicely with a number of twists and the characters are well rounded. The descriptions bring the places to life.

However, the whole concept did not quite grab me, possibly because I couldn't really relate much to any of the characters. ( )
  gregandlarry | Mar 12, 2014 |
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