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After Me Comes the Flood (2014)

af Sarah Perry

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
3332677,928 (2.79)21
"A beautiful, dream-like, unsettling narrative in which every word, like a small jewel, feels carefully chosen, considered and placed. Rarely do debut novels come as assured and impressive as this one." --Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Paying Guests Elegant, sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes the Flood is the haunting debut novel by the bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth. One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to shut his bookshop early, and possibly forever, and drives out of London to see his brother. When his car breaks down on an isolated road, he goes looking for help and finds a dilapidated house. As he approaches, a laughing woman he's never seen before walks out, addresses him by name and explains she's been waiting for him. Entering the home, John discovers an enigmatic clan of residents all of whom seem to know who he is, and also claim they have been awaiting his arrival. They seem to be waiting for something else, too--something final... Written before Sarah Perry's ascension to an internationally bestselling author, After Me Comes the Flood is a spectacular novel of obsession, conviction and providence. … (mere)
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» Se også 21 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 24 (næste | vis alle)
This book will stay with me for a long time. Beautifully written, the viewpoint is mostly inside the head of the narrator, who arrives ill and confused at a house containing people who seem close but not related. He decides (or rather doesn't decide) to pretend to be the visitor they were waiting for, as they are kind and he clearly needs a place to be. The book's descriptions are so intimate, and the relationships so clearly shown that it's like the reader is also an unexpected visitor who's decided to stay. ( )
  lisahistory | Mar 3, 2023 |
The girl gave a snort of disdain. ‘I don’t like that story – not at all. I don’t even know what it means – do you?’ ‘No, and no-one ever has, not in a thousand years.’ He lifted a strand of her hair from the pillow between them. ‘But it need not mean anything, I think – it’s not necessary to understand everything.'

Flood is an easy book to dislike. It struck me almost immediately as a work that the critics and other authors love, but that lacks popular appeal. To say that this slim novel is lightly plotted overstates the amount of plot in it by a wide margin. Narrative largely absents itself from Perry's debut work too, at least in the sense that most fiction readers have come to expect. All of which is to say one thing and not say another. I am saying I understand why this book has such a low average rating given how what most people read is written. I am not saying that I disliked it, which I assume my rating of it makes clear, but I figured I'd say so to head off any suspicions that I'd misclicked and hit the wrong star.

It concerns itself with its characters, not any sort of overarching narrative. And it does so quite deftly and interestingly. Perry wove them together such that what one bumps up against always repercusses onto at least some of the others.

The scantness of plot and conventional narrative meant that this was no page-turner for me. And that's fine. In a way, this worked out well for me: until today, that being the day I finished it and wrote this review, my free time had been scant too, so I appreciated being able to set aside what I was reading with relative ease.

This is the only one of Perry's books I've read thus far, and being her first, it's hard to say how representative it is. At least in this, her style reminds me most readily of M. John Harrison. The lightness of plot. That much is unexplained. Characters meander. Often what one character says seems unconnected from what her interlocutor said immediately prior. However, she eschews the weirdness Harrison often puts in his books.

These scarcities keep you in the dark. I had no guesses whatsoever what might happen to resolve or not the various threads. Would John finally come clean? Would the dam burst? What is Hester's deal? Would Alex's dives into the reservoir be his undoing? Nor was I particularly concerned with these questions. Having no feeling as to how they might be resolved, if at all, I felt no great urge to speculate upon them. Not plot points, they are things that are going on around and to the characters.

This creates a lot of subtle tensions though. Plenty to keep a reader curious even if not glued to it. Though I lay it down easily, I always picked it back up, and once I had the time, I finished it quickly enough. And so, if you like plotless stories, light narrative, and/or M. John Harrison, don't be put off by Flood's low rating. ( )
  qaphsiel | Feb 20, 2023 |
A mixed bag. Bits of it are very good indeed, there are some fine ideas and some lovely writing going on here. There is a clear attempt to build up the tension throughout the story, and the final denouement scene is wonderfully dramatic. BUT! Whilst perhaps the theme of the story might be 'we're all mad to someone else' it's kind of othering, as if there are mentally ill people and there are normal people and sometimes people from one category slip into the other without anyone noticing. I dunno, maybe I'm biased but my condition isn't a kooky plot point. The characterisation isn't always great. Aside from the narrator all the others are kind of ciphers. John never really investigates them, and as a consequence we don't really understand their motivations or see them as whole entire people. But there's part of a great piece in here, and I would definitely read another of her novels. ( )
  elahrairah | May 27, 2022 |
Debut novel and first novel by this author for me. Read for Random category (rain) and because it was available through Hoopla. This is the story of a man who closes up his shop with intent of visiting his brother and no specific plans beyond that. On his way, he gets lost or at least ends up at this place where things are dream like and characters all seem to be psychologically damaged in some way and their relationship to each other is not clear. It is noted that the land is under a draught. As often is the case, the coming of rain/storm can symbolize unhappiness, foreboding, renewal, cleansing, introspection, and determination. The title comes from the French and is attributed to King Louis XV. He meant that there would be disaster and chaos after he was gone. You'll have to read it to decide what the rain as plot device meant or maybe it meant many things for the various characters. Rating 3.3 ( )
  Kristelh | Apr 11, 2022 |
I picked Sarah Perry's first book up on a whim because I've really enjoyed her other two. This was also good and in the same vein, with a gothic, mysterious feel. A man leaves his bookstore rather dramatically to visit his brother and on the way becomes ill and his car breaks down. He ends up stumbling upon an old house where he is welcomed by name, though he knows no one there and doesn't know how they know him. The inhabitants are all a little off, and it is slowly revealed where he has ended up and the back story.

I liked this and saw a lot of promise in it, but the plot seemed like it would have been better suited to a short story. It lost some of the creepiness and suspense of the first section as the book went along. Fans of Sarah Perry might like this to see how she's developed as a writer, but I'd recommend The Essex Serpent as the better book and better starting place. ( )
  japaul22 | Apr 5, 2022 |
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"A beautiful, dream-like, unsettling narrative in which every word, like a small jewel, feels carefully chosen, considered and placed. Rarely do debut novels come as assured and impressive as this one." --Sarah Waters, New York Times bestselling author of The Paying Guests Elegant, sinister and psychologically complex, After Me Comes the Flood is the haunting debut novel by the bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth. One hot summer's day, John Cole decides to shut his bookshop early, and possibly forever, and drives out of London to see his brother. When his car breaks down on an isolated road, he goes looking for help and finds a dilapidated house. As he approaches, a laughing woman he's never seen before walks out, addresses him by name and explains she's been waiting for him. Entering the home, John discovers an enigmatic clan of residents all of whom seem to know who he is, and also claim they have been awaiting his arrival. They seem to be waiting for something else, too--something final... Written before Sarah Perry's ascension to an internationally bestselling author, After Me Comes the Flood is a spectacular novel of obsession, conviction and providence. 

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