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by Virginia Leishman,A. S. Byatt
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  • Author:
    Virginia Leishman,A. S. Byatt
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    Recorded Books LLC (1999)
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It was immediately clear that the book had been undisturbed for a very long time, perhaps even since it had been laid to rest.

Dazzling, virtuosi. s substantial and impressive a storytelling achievement as the ample heritage of the eminent Victorians themselves. It was immediately clear that the book had been undisturbed for a very long time, perhaps even since it had been laid to rest. The librarian fetched a checked duster, and wiped away the dust, a black, thick, tenacious Victorian dust, a dust composed of smoke and fog particles accumulated before the Clean Air acts. Roland undid the bindings.

S. Byatt (Author), Virginia Leishman (Narrator), HarperAudio (Publisher). Get this audiobook plus a second, free.

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Listen to Possession by . Listen to unlimited audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. What emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passion and ideas. Performed by Virginia Leishman. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.

But all that combined still does not make a good book. Byatt pulls all this together with the most important aspect of any book, great writing. But she adds something else also, something that's hard to put your finger on, a uniqueness, an edge, if you will, Winner of the Man Booker Prize in 1990.

Glowing with narrator Virginia Leishman's finely tuned phrasing, The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye is the perfect introduction to .  . 7. The Virgin in the Garden. 3. The Matisse Stories.

Possession: A Romance is a 1990 best-selling novel by British writer A. S. Byatt that won the 1990 Booker Prize

Possession: A Romance is a 1990 best-selling novel by British writer A. Byatt that won the 1990 Booker Prize. The novel explores the postmodern concerns of similar novels, which are often categorised as historiographic metafiction, a genre that blends approaches from both historical fiction and metafiction.

Byatt's brilliant literary mystery won the 1990 Booker Prize

Byatt's brilliant literary mystery won the 1990 Booker Prize. This unabridged production narrated by Virginia Leishman brings the dusty scholarly world to life in the voices of its singular characters and the myriad styles of its literary manuscripts. Book pak, Recorded Books, 1999.

45454545454546 11 5 Author: . Byatt Narrator: Virginia Leishman.

Possession A Romance. The book was thick and black and covered with dust. Its boards were bowed and creaking; it had been maltreated in its own time. When a writer calls his work a Romance, it need hardly be observed that he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume, had he professed to be writing a Novel. The latter form of composition is presumed to aim at a very minute fidelity, not merely to the possible, but to the probable and ordinary course of man's experience. Its spine was missing, or, rather, protruded from amongst the leaves like a bulky marker.

A. S. Byatt is noted for her ability to weave richly detailed stories. But in position she has created a stunning tour de force. It is mesmerizing literary mystery filled with poetry and passion. Roland Mitchell a young academic assistant, has devoted his life to studying the life and works of 19th-century writer Randolph Henry Ash. One day in the University library, Roland opens a dusty volume and finds a provocative letter written by Ash to an unnamed woman. From that moment, Roland begins a quest for information about this mysterious person. His search will take into the domain of Dr Maud Bailey, a beautiful, seemingly intelligent, and fiercely independent scholar. What they will discover is an unusual and uncontroversial love story that echoes through their own lives. The chapters of possession sing with the gorgeous cadences and Ashes poetry as Roland and More piece together the relationship between the writer and his muse. Narrator Virginia Leishman captures all the subtlety of Byatt's remarkable book. Narrator Virginia Leishman Virginia Leishman began her career in the performing arts as a child in England, appearing on stage is both a musician and actor. Today she is as comfortable performing a Shakespeare production at the Lincoln Centre as she is writing original musical compositions the theatre. A skilled musician who plays several instruments, she has recorded five original albums and composed two operas. Of her audio book narrations, audio file reports, "Leishman uses inflections and pauses to reveal much about human nature."

A reader might reasonably wonder, given the range of comments on this novel, whether it is worth reading or not. “Possession” is a favorite novel (or “romance,” as Byatt calls it) of mine, and I’ve just finished reading it for the second time, more than two decades after the first reading, just after it was published. But, to be sure, one has to like this sort of book, so here is a kind of checklist---an odd sort of review, I do realize, but here goes:

You’ll enjoy “Possession” if you
• Like reading about the Victorians
• Enjoy poetry (but see below)
• Enjoy satire about academic life
• Appreciate meticulous, well-rendered detail
• Don’t mind an intricate story that moves between past and present, with stops for (fictional) journal entries and poems

You won’t enjoy “Possession” if you
• Dislike poetry of any sort
• Aren’t much interested in academic wrangles over dusty journals and old letters tied with ribbons
• Have no interest in Victorian sexual mores, religious searching, and self-abnegation
• Want a story that moves sequentially, in straightforward fashion

The novel’s main characters, the 19th century lovers and poets R. H. Ash and Christabel Lamotte, are fictional, as is their “poetry,” all of it invented by A.S. Byatt. The latter is a tour de force---pages and pages of poems, some in the manner of Browning (Ash) and some more like Dickinson (LaMotte). You can slide over this if it’s not to your taste, since the clues to the novel’s mystery can be found in the prose, as well. However, reading even part of it will carry you back into this century.

The poets, in a wonderful kind of mirroring, have their 20th century counterparts in two academics, both specialists in the period: Roland Michell and Maud Bailey. The tenderness they begin to feel for one another is almost secondary to the tenderness they feel for Ash and Lamotte and for the words of these poets, which are their legacy. Despite all of the chasing down of literary clues, hidden letters, cryptic journal references, and evocative heirlooms in the novel, “Possession” makes clear that the real possession (and passion) lies in the act of reading.

M. Feldman
This book has so many delectable layers to consume. I've read it several times and I still get those moments where I just want to flap my hands wildly about my head and run around the room shrieking.

It's a combination of incredibly engaging characters of depth and variety, wonderful humor, page turning, spine tingling mystery, Romance that can make an intellectual wriggle with pleasure - all steeped in the rich atmosphere created by Byatt"s brilliant pastiches of Victorian poetry and dark fairy tales. And that's just part of it...

Thank you A.S. Byatt for creating this - it's one of this books that just makes me relish life more while and after I read it. And continues to do so every time I re-read it.
This book won the Booker prize in 1990 – that is why I decided to read it.

Whether I enjoyed it or not is something of an enigma.

The story is split into two different ages – that of the Victorian poets, Randolph Ash and Christabel LaMotte, and that of the modern-day researchers, Roland Michell and Maud Bailey. Roland is studying the work of Ash, and Maud that of LaMotte. Their paths cross when Roland tries to investigate a reference he found to a meeting between Ash and LaMotte that suggests there was a liaison between the two.

The book contains a great deal of poetry written by Ash and LaMotte in Victorian style (as they are fictional characters, it is all written by the author, Byatt). I found the poetry difficult to follow and tedious to read and I started to skip it, and then realised that I could do so without losing anything of the story.

The narrative switches between the developing relationship of Ash and LaMotte and the investigative efforts of Roland and Maud. The current day part of the book also relates the rivalry between researchers in different universities and parts of the world and shows up petty jealousies and possessiveness.

Apart from the poetry that heralds the change in era, the Victorian times are written about with a formality that distinguishes them from the modern 20th century parts. Byatt’s change in voice and her swathes of poetry are testament to her tremendous ability with the English language. I found the Victorian era passages to be more believable and enjoyable to read (excluding the poetry), rather than the modern times which felt simple and lacking in character. Perhaps that is what Ms Byatt sought to achieve.

One thing I found fascinating was that this was written before email and Google and so their research efforts were arduous compared to how easily we would do things in this internet era.

My assessment of this story is that it was enjoyable if I left out large parts of it. So there is the enigma. Can one be said to have enjoyed a book if one ignored a large part of it?

I’m sure the Booker prize was awarded for Ms Byatt’s dexterity with the language and the intricacy of the content.
A.S. Byatt proves that she is well-deserving of her famous double-starred first at Cambridge. The lady can write literature and write <i> about </i> literature all while maintaining a postmodern fascination with the politics and ambiguities of criticism and history which is just dazzling, says the academic. It made my work or the idea of my work seem sexy. <i> Possession </i> is absolutely spot-on in its characterization and mimicry of scholarly types and also slyly surveys (and undercuts) the history of criticism from Leavis to Derrida and Cixous, but what is even more remarkable is that Byatt fully inhabits her Victorian poet-lovers and writes their verse and correspondence with a skill that rivals the erudition of the Brownings or Rossetti, if one can overlook (and I am more than willing) its obvious knowingness and sense of the post-Freudian subconscious.