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The Golden Gate: A Novel in Verse (1986)

af Vikram Seth

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1,4834112,379 (4.07)71
The Golden Gate is a brilliantly achieved novel written in verse. Set in the 1980s in the affluence and sunshine of California's Silicon Valley, it is an exuberant and witty story of twenty-somethings looking for love, pleasure and the meaning of life. It was awarded the 1986 British Airways Commonwealth Poetry Prize.… (mere)
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A group of friends look for love in San Francisco around 1980.

I can look on this verse novel as something of a tour de force and it is fun watching the author's verbal dexterity in keeping to the meter, but the actual story is really rather slight. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 28, 2024 |
This is an early eighties story of a group of people living in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridget in San Francisco. John is a successful but lonely executive looking for some kind of love. His ex-girlfriend-turned-loyal-good-friend, Janet Hayakawa, takes pity on him and places an ad in the personals (a la Rupert Holmes: if you like Pina Coladas). As John goes on bland blind date after bland blind date he finds ways to avoid second encounters with each woman until he meets Liz. It's practically love at both sight for both of them...until he moves in with her and meets her cat. Competition with a pet is not easy.
Philip Weiss is also looking for love after his wife, Claire Cabot, left him and their young son, Paul. When Philip tries a different sort of love he is confronted with conflicting feelings. Morality, religion, and society's attitudes guide his choices. These are just a few of the characters in Golden Gate. As the reader, you get to delve into their work, their relationships, their responsibilities. It's all about human connections. The fact it is one giant poem is just icing on the cake. I was captivated until the (surprising) end.
It took Vikram thirteen months to finish The Golden Gate. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Apr 22, 2021 |
In 300 pages of iambic pentameter, this is the story of John, who is desperately lonely and calls up a former girlfriend, Jan, to help him figure out how he can find love. Jan jumps right in and places an ad, then sorts through to find good matches for John, which ends with him meeting and falling for attorney Liz. They're very happy together, but their relationship angers Liz's old cat, Charlemagne, who takes great pleasure in destroying John's things and peeing on his pillow.
This is also the story of John's best friend, Phil. His wife left him and their young son a while ago, something they are still dealing with, but Phil finds an unexpected love in Ed, Liz's brother. Keeping their relationship hidden to their family and friends, there is also the issue of Ed's Catholic guilt, which seems to come up when Phil believes they should be at their happiest.
Remarkably fleshed out, these are characters that have hidden sides and the ability to evolve. They deal with parenthood, illness, government and corporate pollution, and religion. Yes, it's hard to read a poem this long, yet it's filled with humor. ( )
  mstrust | Mar 6, 2021 |
Joyous read from first line to last.
The story is funny, moving and uplifting; and the rhyming prose makes it a delight to read.
Impossible to put down, and quite fast reading.
... I found this book in a discount stack in the 90's - D'oh! ( )
  ianitts | Nov 29, 2020 |
More like 3/5, but an extra star for being written in such structured verse. I can't imagine writing a novel like that, so kudos to Seth. ( )
  littlebookjockey | Sep 15, 2020 |
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Seth, Vikramprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Hout, Paul van denOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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So here they are, the chapters ready,

And, half against my will, I'm free

Of this warm enterprise, this heady

Labor that has exhausted me

Through thirteen months, swight and delightful,

Incited by my friends' insightful

Paring and prodding and appeal.

I pray the gentle hands of Steele

Will once again sift through its pages.

If anything is this should grate,

Ascribe it to its natal state;

If anything in this engages

By verse, veracity, or wim,

You know whom I must credit, Tim.
Første ord
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To make a start more swift than weighty,

Hail Muse.
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The Golden Gate is a brilliantly achieved novel written in verse. Set in the 1980s in the affluence and sunshine of California's Silicon Valley, it is an exuberant and witty story of twenty-somethings looking for love, pleasure and the meaning of life. It was awarded the 1986 British Airways Commonwealth Poetry Prize.

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