A Start in Life

A Start in Life Anita Brookner s first novel available as a Penguin Essential for the first time Dr Weiss at forty knew that her life had been ruined by literature Ruth Weiss an academic is beautiful intelligen

  • Title: A Start in Life
  • Author: Anita Brookner
  • ISBN: 9780241981498
  • Page: 270
  • Format: Paperback
  • Anita Brookner s first novel, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment.Yet inAnita Brookner s first novel, available as a Penguin Essential for the first time Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature Ruth Weiss, an academic, is beautiful, intelligent and lonely Studying the heroines of Balzac in order to discover where her own childhood and adult life has gone awry, she seeks not salvation but enlightenment.Yet in revisiting her London upbringing, her friendships and doomed Parisian love affairs, she wonders if perhaps there might not be a chance for a new start in life .

    • Unlimited [Contemporary Book] ☆ A Start in Life - by Anita Brookner Ø
      270 Anita Brookner
    • thumbnail Title: Unlimited [Contemporary Book] ☆ A Start in Life - by Anita Brookner Ø
      Posted by:Anita Brookner
      Published :2018-04-21T04:13:30+00:00

    1 thought on “A Start in Life”

    1. Lo he leído tan rápido que me habría gustado que tuviese doscientas páginas más. Ruth, una mujer de cuarenta años, profesora de Universidad, recuerda la adolescente que fue y la adulta en la que se convirtió de la mano de los libros que eran su refugio. Una buena historia contada de forma excelente con unos personajes secundarios muy bien definidos con sus aristas y sus debilidades. Una #joyita. Estoy deseando leer más cosas de esta autora que me ha impresionado por su estilo sencillo y [...]

    2. Con su humor extraño, sus personajes excéntricos y sus referencias a grandes clásicos literarios me ha atrapado desde el inicio y no he podido soltarla. Una maravilla.

    3. Pay no attention to the blurb here, which is very misleading; her childlike parents do not give Ruth "hothouse attentions," but instead ignore and neglect her unless they need something, like a cup of tea or a room cleaned or a vacation planned or to be picked up from the hospital. Nor is the book about Dr. Weiss's "new start in life" at age forty, really.The novel starts with the arresting sentence "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature." This does lead you to th [...]

    4. A weirdly hypnotic tragicomedy of the banal; I can easily imagine it as a stage play – perhaps it might pass for something by Coward or Wilde. The players are Ruth, a naive and bookish young woman; her parents, spoilt actress Helen and feckless bookseller George; and Mrs Cutler, the Weiss family's waspish, chainsmoking housekeeper. Dr Ruth Weiss is first introduced to us as a forty-year-old academic (and spinster), but the majority of the story is about her adolescence and early adulthood. Fro [...]

    5. «A sus cuarenta años, la doctora Weiss comprendió que la literatura le había destrozado la vida», es la rotunda y contundente afirmación con la que Anita Brookner nos presenta la historia de Ruth Weiss, una solitaria e introvertida profesora que se halla inmersa en la redacción de su tesis sobre las mujeres en la obra de Balzac. Un debut en la vida es una fascinante novela de personajes que atraviesan el ojo clínico de la autora británica para revelarnos la devastadora fragilidad del ro [...]

    6. A tale of how literature can ruin one's life? Like many of Brookner's books, the time period feels loose, but that doesn't really matter. It's a (mostly) sad tale of an eccentric and dysfunctional family, especially their only child, mainly in her teens and beyond as she tries to make her own life, via studying and latterly teaching about the women in Balzac's novels. The knowingness of others (in her life and the fiction she reads) is an interesting counterpoint to her own naivety.

    7. 4.5 StarsBack in September last year, I read an early Anita Brookner, Providence (1982), a novel I loved for its central characterisation and sensitive portrayal of life’s disappointments both large and small. By rights, I should have begun with her debut novel, A Start in Life (1981), but it wasn’t available at the time – hence the decision to go with Providence instead. Having just finished A Start in Life, I would have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent introduction to Bro [...]

    8. A Start in Life (1981) is Anita Brookner's first published novel, and it is splendid. I expected it to be a bit rough but it displays the same smooth skill of her better-known later novels.The protagonist is Dr Ruth Weiss, a 40-year-old professor of French literature. Scenes from her current life bracket the rest of the novel, which is the story of her youth and her struggle to escape her claustrophobic family. Her mother, a beautiful and famous actress, slowly deteriorates as the story progress [...]

    9. This is a very odd little novel. After finishing it I went online toread what other people have thought about it in an effort to clarify my own thoughts. It is generally considered to be loosely autobiographical in its depiction of Ruth's parents and her childhood in general. In fact, the author described her own parents as "just as bizarre but not quite so fetching" as the parents she created for Ruth in the novel.The protagonist, Ruth Weiss, is a very passive person who never seems to question [...]

    10. I loved this! A fantastic book, brilliantly and cleverly written, with such fascinating characters and a wonderful exploration of family, relationships and growing up.

    11. I have really just FORGOT that I read this book a year ago, and now I'm reading it for the second time and LOVING it

    12. With an opening sentence of, "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature." any serious reader would suspect that what follows will be good. And this was. Ruth, as Dr. Weiss is know for most of the novel, is brought up in an unusual household with her actress mother, Helen, and her antiquarian bookseller father, George, but mostly in her early years is raised by her grandmother Mrs. Weiss. It is a strange household where Ruth "was expected to grow up as fast as she coul [...]

    13. "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature. In her thoughtful and academic way, she put it down to her faulty moral education, which dictated, through the conflicting but in this one instance united agencies of her mother and father, that she ponder the careers of Anna Karenina and Emma Bovary, but that she emulate those of David Copperfield and Little Dorrit."*The opening lines of A Start in Life are completely arresting, particularly for anyone who was an English ma [...]

    14. I blame the publisher and the author equally on this. The reader is promised a story about "A new start" in life and that is not what we have here. The Debut is short, the prose unobjectionable, and the characters sufficiently entertaining, but nothing happens. I should say that nothing happens more than usual for literary fiction. Ruth Weiss thinks back over her childhood, her school years and the events that put her on the path to being the kind of women she is. Ruth indeed blames her lot on l [...]

    15. Brookner is clearly a very talented writer; the blurb from The New York Times describes the writing as "precise," which is apt. But this doesn't mean that her novels are enjoyable. I have no idea what Fay Weldon was smoking when she called this novel "very, very funny." It's not funny at all. Ruth Weiss, our redheaded heroine, is vaguely intriguing but ultimately spineless, and her parents are deeply flawed, monstrous egotists. There is not one likable character here. And the last part of the la [...]

    16. Wonderful! The first of the arch type that Brookner revisited over and over later, only lighter, funnier, but equally effective, and highly addictive!

    17. Oh my god. I stayed awake until 2am to finish reading and I'm going to be so cranky at work tomorrow but oh my GOD, it was worth it.

    18. Quickly finished Anita Brookner's thin, exquisite little novel, The Debut. Quite fitting that our yearning, restrained, competent Anglo-heroine, Ruth, is an academic of French literature (Balzac of course). Some things happen but nothing considerable happens in this short and precise exercise of quiet (English) meanings and manners – and yet amid nothing big the pretty particles dance and jerk around us, pleasing distractions to the left and right, and quietly we're at ease and enjoying the ex [...]

    19. Brookner is good but I can never quite find her to be great. I keep waiting for one her books to really grab me. When I got to the end of this one, I couldn't understand why it had started the way it did, with "Dr. Weiss, at forty ." I'm sure it would've made more sense if I'd read Eugénie Grandet or at least been more familiar with Balzac than I am (which is not at all). One of the things I liked most about this book was the emphasis on the daily need for food: the weight of being the person r [...]

    20. Simply, this book made me sad. Ruth and her parents are so tragically transparent, you can’t help but feel for them. The entire book you are pushing for them, because you know what they want, why can’t they just figure it out? I was a little annoyed with the fact that Ruth’s parents played such a large role in the novel, as it wasn’t what I was expecting, especially since I found the chapters about Ruth herself so much more poignant. For me, the biggest tragedy in this novel was not the [...]

    21. This is Booker-prize winning novelist Anita Brookner's first novel. It is also called "The Debut". It is a short novel about young Ruth Weiss who has been escaping from life into books. She turns her love of Honore de Balzac into her career. The blurb on the back of the book says "And now Dr Weiss, at forty, knows that her life has been ruined by literature, and that once again she must make a start in life." How can you resist a novel whose heroine has "been ruined by literature"? The story is [...]

    22. One of several novels written by this British art-historian author since the early 1980s. On the first page we are introduced to Dr. Ruth Weiss, a scholar of literature, but quickly travel back in time to her childhood to see what may have contributed to her adult persona. Raised by inept parents, she learned at an early age to find escape in literature and modeled herself after the heroines she found there. This was an interesting character study, though not much in the way of suspense or drama [...]

    23. Adjectives That Crossed My Mind While Reading The Debut by Anita Brooknerby Eric R. RickertSharpIncisive BrutalGenuineHauntingFucked (up)TautGlowingHarshHomely Masterly Shrewd Principled EmpathicRemoteLeanFattyDisgustingHard-nosed DryCalloused Pockmarked BleakStaid Prophetic FleshyIt reminded me of Kanye's YEEZUS because I loved it and hated it, and myself, simultaneously. I also thought a lot about "Grace Under Fire" for some reason.It made me feel itchy. I felt her words in me, y'all.

    24. I knew right away that I'd read this before--I've read so many Brookner novels, it's easy to get them mixed up. But how could I not like a book that starts, "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature."It can be a painful read as you watch flawed people stumble their way through life. But there are moments of humor, mostly with Ruth's parent's housekeeper.

    25. I really liked this. The opening is auspicious, "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature." Like many children of childish parents, Ruth Weiss skipped childhood altogether instead disappearing into literature. But life can never quite live up to literature.

    26. "Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature."First lines don't come much better than that. The rest is Brookner, each sentence crafted, words about words, people made out of words. A delight.

    27. Fantastic. Read this one first if you want to fully appreciate the kaleidoscoping of Brookner's characters in subsequent novels, the way similar human types crop up in different forms, and even certain lines echo. You don't even have to have read Balzac to enjoy it.

    28. Sublime writing in places, but ultimately a book that fails to fulfil the promise of its famous opening sentence. Disappointing.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *