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eBook The Catastrophist epub

by Ronan Bennett

eBook The Catastrophist epub
  • ISBN: 0747260338
  • Author: Ronan Bennett
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Gardners Books; New Ed edition (April 1999)
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • ePUB size: 1802 kb
  • FB2 size 1464 kb
  • Formats lrf doc mbr txt

Overthrown by Strangers. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

Overthrown by Strangers. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Simon & Schuster and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-1337-0.

The Catastrophist book. One new novel that can justly make that claim is The Catastrophist, by the talented Irish writer/activist Ronan Bennett

The Catastrophist book. One new novel that can justly make that claim is The Catastrophist, by the talented Irish writer/activist Ronan Bennett. Here, Conrad's classic tale is transmogrified by a century of. Heart of Darkness. Few literary works have achieved the sustained, unflinching pessimism of Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad's haunting tale of one man's journey into the African subcontinent.

Perhaps it takes a writer with Ronan Bennett's peculiar personal history to write so compelling a novel about the place where politics and art intersect.

The Varieties of Religious Experience, first delivered as the Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh, was published in 1902 and quickly established itself as a classic. It ranks with its great predecessor, The Principles of Psychology, as one of William James's masterworks. The book is not concerned with institutional religion.

Sweat erupts at once on my back. A horn sounds and I look across the street where Auguste is waving anxiously from Stipe’s Chevrolet. Behind, the angry driver of a second car blares his horn again. Behind, the angry driver of a second car blares his horn again uguste, flustered, maneuvers to give the vehicle behind enough room to pass. Instead of taking the opportunity, the driver gets out, strides up to Auguste and starts shouting. I sa. he man is young, barely into his twenties; the Flemish face is bland and boyish and stolid. Is this your driver? he demands of me. Yes. Auguste’s eyes are penitent and downcast.

Ronan Bennett (born 14 January 1956) is a Northern Irish novelist and screenwriter. Bennett, the son of William H. and Geraldine Bennett, was born in England, but was raised in Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, in a devout Roman Catholic family. He attended St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar School, Belfast, on the Lower Falls Road, where he became politically active. He was accepted for a place at Queen's University, before being arrested for suspected involvement in an IRA robbery.

The Catastrophist - Ronan Bennett. Smail drops us outside a new seven-story apartment block, one of a small cluster at this end of the double boulevard. Inès has borrowed the flat from someone who has gone to Uganda for a year. I thank Smail for the lift.

Ronan Bennett was brought up in Belfast. He is the author of three novels - The Second Prison, Overthrown by Strangers, and, most recently, The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the 1998 Whitbread Novel Award). He has also written screenplays for film and television. Ronan Bennett lives in London with his family. Библиографические данные. The Catastrophist: A Novel.

Gillespie, an Irishman, goes to the Congo in 1959 in pursuit of his beautiful lover Ines, a passionate Italian journalist. Unlike her, Gillespie has no interest in the deepening independence crisis, nor in the charismatic leader, Patrice Lumumba. He has other business: this is his last chance to make love work for him.
Comments: (7)
On June 30, 1960, the Congo was emancipated from Belgium. African nationalist leader Patrice Emery Lumumba became the first prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo when it declared its independence - the long awaited "Depanda" had arrived! In October 1958 Lumumba had founded the Congolese National Movement (Mouvement National Congolais; MNC), the first nationwide Congolese political party. Forced out of office during a period of violent political upheaval in September 1960, he was assassinated in January 1961.

During the Congo's turbulent beginning many countries intervened in its political affairs. "They used: fear of communism, economic collapse, civil war, and protection of European citizens living in the Congo to back themselves for intervening." And the expatriate community, living in luxury, sipping sundowners at poolside, did not appreciate their world, their comfortable lives slipping out of their control.

At the time, the Congo was the biggest and richest country in central Africa, one with huge strategic importance - not only to the Belgians, but to the US. Katanga Province, the size of Britain, remains one of the richest areas in all Africa if not the richest. "The mines of the Union Miniere and Forminiere provided the world with eight per cent of its copper, sixty per cent of its uranium, seventy-three per cent of its cobalt, eighty per cent of its industrial diamonds. Katanga has gold, silver, tin, zinc, manganese, columbium, cadmium, tungsten, tantalum: its supplies will never be exhausted." This was the land of Unilever, Brufina, Union Miniere and the Banque Empain, companies which were not about to let their holdings slip away easily.

Into this tumultuous, politically charged setting wanders James Gillespie, a disaffected Irish/English writer, author of a few well received novels and a contributor to various periodicals. He arrives in Leopoldsville with the intent of pursuing a waning relationship with Ines Sabiani, his fiery, radical Italian girlfriend with whom he is deeply in love. Gillespie's arrival in the Congo represents a major emotional commitment for him. Ines is a journalist with her country's communist newspaper L'Unita. She is as passionate about the cause of Independence and about the charismatic leader, Lumumba, as James is indifferent, or as he would say, "objective." And he is a skeptic, a pessimist. Part of the problem between the two lovers is that James is never on anyone's side. He insists, "I see all sides. My craft demands it." He is against intolerance, dogma, illiberalism. But he is for nothing. In?s invests herself emotionally as well as professionally in that which she believes. Her affair with James is doomed before Gillespie sets foot on African soil - just as Patrice Lumumba's government is doomed before he takes office. At one point In?s tells Gillespie that, "Dante wrote that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." She accuses him of being a "catastrofista," a "catastrophist," one who believes "that no problem is small. Nothing can be fixed; it is always the end."

As James becomes caught up in the historical movement, colonial injustice and the chaotic brutality that accompanies it, he is finally forced to take sides...and action.

Although well written, I did have some difficulty with author Ronan Bennett's style. It made for ponderous reading at times. I am fascinated by this period in Africa, especially the politics, and by the character of Patrice Lumumba in particular, so I had personal incentive to persevere. "The Catastrophist" reminds me of Graham Greene's "The Quiet American." Both novels deal with the chaotic end of colonialism, have journalists as protagonists and idealistic, if Machiavellian, CIA operatives fomenting intrigue and even more violence. The colonialists in both novels, the Belgians here, the French in Vietnam in Greene's work, act paternalistically and condescendingly towards the "natives" and don't really take the independence movements seriously.

"The Catastrophist was short-listed for the 1998 Whitbread Novel Award.
This is a beautiful book. Set against the political events leading to the independence of Congo, we are told of the story of a woman's political involvement and her partner's difficulty to grasp the emotional intensity of her commitment. A glance at the political intrigues surrounding the assasination of Lumumba is in itself a reason to read the book, but it is the tale of the reactions of the main characters to the political events which are storming in their lives that make it a truely beautiful story. One of my very recommended novels.
Good Read
This is an excellent book, written in narrative style by the protagonist, so we hear and know his thoughts, intentions and feelings. The plot os set in the Belgium Congo during the violence and upheaval in 1959 as Patrice Lumumba tries to take power away from the foreigners. Gillespie writer/journalist, who prides himself as objective, is madly in love with a beautiful Italian Ines, who is the very opposite. She is drawn into the revolution, while he remains outside of it. He is considered “ catastrophic” by her because he is such a pessimist, where each happening is an end. As the revolution and various intrigues occur, Gillespie is confronted with cruelty, brutality and atrocity. How he comes to perceive the world slowly changes. The writing is clean, powerful, explicit—it brings the reader into the horror of war, the sacrifice and idealism of revolution.
This is historical fiction, fiction written around a few historical facts. All in all, a good read and I do recommend.
My only two criticisms: it comes across too much as being written in our times, versus those times which takes away from its supposed historical base and a little too much on the "R-rated" side, gratuitous sex.
It's still pretty much a well-written page-turner that is several cuts above the usual lust in the dust or violence-prone novels that sell.
This novel tells of events in the Congo in 1959-60. It details the rise and fall of Patrice Lumumba, portrayed as a genuine liberationist, whose doom was perhaps inevitable in such a divided country. Many of the problems that beset Africa are recognised. The machinations of the Americans, represented by Mark Stipe, a CIA operative, segue into the other story in the novel. This is the fading love affair between the narrator, James, a middle-aged English novelist with a tendency to distance himself from ideals and political passions, and Ines, a journalist for L'Unita who embraces Lumumba's cause wholeheartedly. The author explores well the issues of love and personal feelings in a time that demands political commitment. The title is Ines' description of James as someone who always expects the worst. The book contrasts interestingly with Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible, set in the same time and place, about an American missionary family.The Poisonwood Bible
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