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An Imperfect Lens: A Novel

af Anne Roiphe

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7810266,588 (3.5)13
Acclaimed author Anne Roiphe evokes the sights and sounds of 1880s Alexandria, Egypt, a bustling center of trade and travel. From teeming docks to overflowing market stalls, from grand homes to grimy narrow alleyways, cholera microbes rise and bob in streams of water and tiny droplets, clinging to moisture as man clings to air. With a keen mind and dedication to his work, young Louis Thuillier has impressed his mentor—famed scientist Louis Pasteur—enough to be sent to Alexandria as one-third of the French mission searching for the source of the cholera that is terrorizing the city. Along with the other members of the French mission—scientists Emile Roux and Edmond Nocard and their enterprising servant Marcus—Louis longs to find the cure, bringing glory to himself and to France. Este Malina is the lovely daughter of a respected Jewish doctor, whose family has lived in Alexandria for hundreds of years. A life of comfort has made Este a romantic, and she hopes to marry a man with the heart of a poet. Neither expects to find a soul mate in the other, but when Este begins to assist at the French mission’s lab, a deep bond forms. Este, though, is engaged to another, and Louis is not Jewish—her family would never allow them to marry. In spite of their many differences, the lovers’ desire grows and their fantasies threaten to distract them from their work. In Alexandria, the disease rages on, as mysterious as it was a thousand years before. Political intrigue threatens to separate Este and Louis permanently. Their love, as fragile as the glass slides they use in the lab, is in danger before it has had a chance to thrive. With An Imperfect Lens, rich with the sights and scents of a different era, Anne Roiphe once again demonstrates the storytelling power for which she has long been hailed. From the Hardcover edition.… (mere)
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» Se også 13 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 10 (næste | vis alle)
Resisted it at first...and was drawn into it more and more. again that medical theme is what is fascinating me...this is about cholera. ( )
  leebill | May 1, 2020 |
Nice historical fiction set in Egypt. ( )
  nossanna | Nov 9, 2019 |
I'm tired of reading books based on wonderful ideas that aren't fully developed...

Also, Este is a brat. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
I did not enjoy this book. I found it very long winded with a lot of info dumping. The story did not move along with much swiftness and it was a labour to plough through the pages. Nothing much seemed to happen apart from endless description of people falling ill and scientists peering in vain down their microscopes at things dredged from the bowels of the sick. The writing was wordy and florid. I particularly did not like the crystal ball sentence towards the conclusion of the book regarding Jews moving to Germany in the 1880s, whose 'great-grandchildren would be able to live in a peaceful and harmonious world'...clearly that would not be the case based on history, the characters obviously would not know that. I thought it a cheap trick thrown in to make the reader think, "ah, little do you know what the future holds...". It lessened the reading experience for me, such as it was.

I would not recommend this book, which could essentially be summed up in a few sentences.

Cholera breaks out in Alexandria, people start to die horrible deaths. A rival team of French and German scientists try to identify the cause while more people die horribly. Meanwhile, one of the female characters discovers love, but the 'romance' is pretty boring because the book is overwhelmed with more people dying. Some dodgy political and trade dealings are thrown in for good measure.

I did not feel close to these characters at all. I did not feel as if I was experiencing their world.
( )
  KatiaMDavis | Dec 19, 2017 |
I have mixed feelings about An Imperfect Lens by Anne Roiphe. On one hand, it gives the reader a most comprehensive study on the disease of cholera. The author provides detailed descriptions of every aspect of this most horrible disease and the science that finally identified this elusive microbe. The city of Alexandria is portrayed in vivid detail, from the lowest of slums to the enclaves of the wealthy, from the foul smells of the docks to the exotic scents of the merchants stalls, this book brings 1880’s Alexandria, Egypt to life.

A group of French scientists are sent by Louis Pasteur, to find the cause of cholera. Time is a factor as Alexandria is in the grip of an epidemic and, there is a German scientist who is also on the hunt. For the honour of France, these men arrive and begin their quest. It is 1883, this mission did happen, these are real men, and this story is based on fact.

My problem with the book lies with the characters. In this, a story of purpose and passion, the characters remained distant and elusive. In fact, the odious germ that was being tracked down seemed to have more personality than the living characters. I never totally felt involved with the characters, instead was more of a interested sideliner. I did, however, want to hurry them along, have them make their discoveries as cholera was a villain that I wanted to see destroyed. For me An Imperfect Lens read more like a work of narrative non-fiction and was a interesting read, just not a book that totally carried me away. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Oct 19, 2015 |
Viser 1-5 af 10 (næste | vis alle)
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Acclaimed author Anne Roiphe evokes the sights and sounds of 1880s Alexandria, Egypt, a bustling center of trade and travel. From teeming docks to overflowing market stalls, from grand homes to grimy narrow alleyways, cholera microbes rise and bob in streams of water and tiny droplets, clinging to moisture as man clings to air. With a keen mind and dedication to his work, young Louis Thuillier has impressed his mentor—famed scientist Louis Pasteur—enough to be sent to Alexandria as one-third of the French mission searching for the source of the cholera that is terrorizing the city. Along with the other members of the French mission—scientists Emile Roux and Edmond Nocard and their enterprising servant Marcus—Louis longs to find the cure, bringing glory to himself and to France. Este Malina is the lovely daughter of a respected Jewish doctor, whose family has lived in Alexandria for hundreds of years. A life of comfort has made Este a romantic, and she hopes to marry a man with the heart of a poet. Neither expects to find a soul mate in the other, but when Este begins to assist at the French mission’s lab, a deep bond forms. Este, though, is engaged to another, and Louis is not Jewish—her family would never allow them to marry. In spite of their many differences, the lovers’ desire grows and their fantasies threaten to distract them from their work. In Alexandria, the disease rages on, as mysterious as it was a thousand years before. Political intrigue threatens to separate Este and Louis permanently. Their love, as fragile as the glass slides they use in the lab, is in danger before it has had a chance to thrive. With An Imperfect Lens, rich with the sights and scents of a different era, Anne Roiphe once again demonstrates the storytelling power for which she has long been hailed. From the Hardcover edition.

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