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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page [Paperback]

By G. B. Edwards & John Fowles (Introduction by)
Our Price $ 14.41  
Retail Value $ 16.95  
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Item Number 426248  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.96" Width: 5.32" Height: 0.91"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 10, 2007
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590172337  
EAN  9781590172339  


Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of May 28, 2017 08:44.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
Ebenezer Le Page, cantankerous, opinionated, and charming, is one of the most compelling literary creations of the late twentieth century. Eighty years old, Ebenezer has lived his whole life on the Channel Island of Guernsey, a stony speck of a place caught between the coasts of England and France yet a world apart from either. Ebenezer himself is fiercely independent, but as he reaches the end of his life he is determined to tell his own story and the stories of those he has known. He writes of family secrets and feuds, unforgettable friendships and friendships betrayed, love glimpsed and lost. The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is a beautifully detailed chronicle of a life, but it is equally an oblique reckoning with the traumas of the twentieth century, as Ebenezer recalls both the men lost to the Great War and the German Occupation of Guernsey during World War II, and looks with despair at the encroachments of commerce and tourism on his beloved island.

G. B. Edwards labored in obscurity all his life and completed The Book of Ebenezer Le Page shortly before his death. Published posthumously, the book is a triumph
of the storyteller's art that conjures up the extraordinary voice of a living man.


"Imagine a weekend spent in deep conversation with a superb old man, a crusty, intelligent, passionate and individualistic character at the peak of his powers as a raconteur, and you will have a very good ideas of the impact of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page...It amuses, it entertains, it moves us...” –The Washington Post

"A true epic, as sexy as it is hilarious, it seems drenched with the harsh tidal beauties of its setting...For every person nearing retirement, every latent writer who hopes to leave his island and find the literary mainland, its author–quiet, self-sufficient, tidy Homeric–remains a patron saint." –Allan Gurganus, O Magazine
"Recently reprinted by New York Review Books, G.B. Edwards' novel tells the story of a Guernsey man who lived through the Nazi occupation of Britain's Channel Islands into garrulous old age. His reminiscence is couched in a musical Guernsey English that follows circular paths through past and present to delve into island secrets and sagas. Great stuff." --Seattle Times

"There is a rare wholeness about The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. You get the entire man, in a way that isn't usually within the gift of literature to procure... I have read few books of such wide and delightful appeal.... [it] is vast fun and vast life, a Kulturgeschichte..." -Michael Hofmann, London Review of Books

"...a near-forgotten classic of post-colonial fiction...yet it comes, not from some far tropical shore, but from an old man writing in the 1970s about his native Guernsey .... All honour to the New York Review imprint for restoring him to his obstreperous glory." -The Independent (UK)

“A masterpiece… one of the best novels of our time…I know of no description of happiness in modern literature equal to the one that ends this novel.” —The New York Times (Guy Davenport)

“Quaint. Fascinating. Unique. Queer…The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is a eulogy for a way of life.” —The Los Angeles Times (Valerie Miner)

“It reads like Beethoven's Ninth…Coated with sea salt, its crannies spilling wildflowers, Edwards's book still roars like some huge shell held, cutting, against your ear.” —The Atlantic

“An extraordinary book!…Splendid! To read it is not like reading but living.” —William Golding

“Imagine a weekend spent in deep conversation with a superb old man, a crusty, intelligent, passionate and individualistic character at the peak of his powers as a raconteur, and you will have a very good idea of the impact of The Book of Ebenezer Le Page…It amuses, it entertains, it moves us… Ebenezer's voice presides over all and its creation is a tremendous achievement.” —The Washington Post (Doug Lang)

“[A] rare find…it is unique–a first novel that resists all categories–and it overflows with the sense of life…It's chief virtues are a story rich in human connection and a marvelously seductive language…For those who cherish style, it is also good to hear a fresh novelist's voice telling the old story of the passions, generosities, and greeds that battle in us all.” —Chicago Tribune (Lynne Sharon Schwartz)

“G.B. Edwards, who died an unknown in 1976, constructed his novel out of the patterns of daily life–countless teas, lovers' quarrels, accounts of friendships and the signs of change as Guernsey reluctantly assumes the characteristics of progress. The results are enchanting.” —The Washington Post (New In Paperbacks)

“A remarkable achievement!…The book's voice and its methods are so unusual that it belongs nowhere on our conventional literary maps.” —John Fowles

“[A] knowing and beguiling chronicle of life on the English Channel isle of Guernsey…This deceptively plain-spoken story of a man's years passing in review before him struck me, when I first read it in 1981, as a beautifully crafted job of writing. Upon rereading it recently, I redoubled my liking and admiration for both Ebenezer and Edwards.” —Ivan Doig, Christian Science Monitor

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, by G. B. Edwards, is an inexhaustible book I never tire of giving. It is literally one of a kind, a work with no precedent, sponsorship, or pedigree. A true epic, as sexy as it is hilarious, it seems drenched with the harsh tidal beauties of its setting, the isle of Guernsey…For every person nearing retirement, every latent writer who hopes to leave his island and find the literary mainland, its author–quiet, self-sufficient, tidy Homeric–remains a patron saint.” —Allan Gurganus, O Magazine

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, by G. B. Edwards, is an oddity and a great literary wonder, written in the beautiful French patios of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands…[Edwards] feels intensely about everything and everyone in this deliciously rich novel of longing and love.” —Archipelago

“Here is an islander; an island man, solitary, unmarried, alienated, who describes the modern denaturing of our world. Granite quarries and tomatoes and early potatoes; but then come tourists, international companies, tax evaders, occupation by Germans, etcetera.” —The New York Review of Books

“Books: Forced to choose, we'd pick The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards as our favorite novel of all time. The recollections of a cranky old man on the island of Guernsey, Guy Davenport of the Times wrote, when the book was first published here in 1981: ‘A masterpiece...One of the best novels of our time...I know of no description of happiness in modern literature equal to the one that ends this novel.' Hard for us to imagine a more pleasurable weekend than one spent with Ebenezer Le Page.”–Manhattan User's Guide
G. B. Edwards (1899—1976) was born on the British Island of Guernsey. A professor of drama and literature at Toynbee Hall, his friends included Middleton Murray, J.S. Collis, and Stephen Potter. Though full of promise, he published only a handful of articles. Encouraged by Edward Chaney to create a trilogy of novels on island life, he completed only one, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page.

John Fowles (1926—2005) was born in Leigh-on-Sea, in the south-east of England, and educated at Oxford. His best-known novels are The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Magus.

Buy The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards & John Fowles from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781590172339 & 1590172337

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More About G. B. Edwards & John Fowles

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! G. B. Edwards (1899--1976) was born on the British Island of Guernsey. A professor of drama and literature at Toynbee Hall, his friends included Middleton Murray, J.S. Collis, and Stephen Potter. Though full of promise, he published only a handful of articles. Encouraged by Edward Chaney to create a trilogy of novels on island life, he completed only one, The Book of Ebenezer Le Page.
John Fowles (1926--2005) was born in Leigh-on-Sea, in the south-east of England, and educated at Oxford. His best-known novels are The French Lieutenant's Woman and The Magus.

G. B. Edwards was born in 1899 and died in 1976 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Professor of Equine Studies, Department of Veterinary Clinical Science.

G. B. Edwards has published or released items in the following series...
  1. New York Review Books Classics


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( F ) > Fowles, John   [3  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary   [78538  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary   [246863  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > British > 20th Century   [304  similar products]



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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Two-way remembrances  Aug 31, 2008
It's been more than twenty-five years since I read The Book of Ebenezer LePage, lured to it by the story of John Fowles's involvement in seeing it published. Having just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, my brother and I were comparing notes on the novel we both enjoyed so much when I commented that, in some strange way, the story reminded me of Ebenezer LePage. Thinking still about that extraordinary book, I checked here at this site to see if it was still in print.
In reading the long list of capsulized reviews, I found the following and laughed out loud: "The Book of Ebenezer Le Page, by G. B. Edwards, is an oddity and a great literary wonder, written in the beautiful French patios of Guernsey, . . . ." --Archipelago. Of course, the book may have been written on a patio, though I've no idea how the reviewer would know. What I do know, however, is that the subtle language of the Channel Islands--English, with some French added creatively--is known as a "patois," and the use of that patois in the book's dialogue is but a small part of the charm that wafts through the book's pages. I've long considered it to be one of the finest novels I've read.
 
Every reader will be enriched.  Feb 20, 2008
What can I add to the almost unanimous chorus of praise and rave reviews? Not much. But this is such an exceptional yet so inexplicably little-known book that I feel obliged to join the chorus.

THE BOOK OF EBENEZER LE PAGE reminds me, as unlikely as this particular combination may sound, of both Thomas Hardy and Mark Twain. Indeed, for a rough approximation of the narrator Ebenezer Le Page and his personality and humor, imagine that Sam Clemens had been born in 1890 on the Channel Island of Guernsey, lived there his entire life, and then nearing 90 set down the story of his life and his world. Although not as cosmopolitan as Sam Clemens, Ebenezer Le Page is every bit as independent a free-thinker, as open-minded, as cantankerous, as wise, and as ruthlessly disdainful of cant, self-righteousness, and those who better themselves at the expense of others. And almost as funny.

For all its greatness, THE BOOK OF EBENEZER LE PAGE is not a page-turner that you are likely to devour in one fell swoop. It took me two weeks to read it. But each time I returned to it, I was eager to do so. It is not unlike an idiosyncratically crusty grandfather telling tales from his life after dinner; as much as one loves to listen to him every evening for an hour or two, one is not prepared to listen to him day in and day out, to the exclusion of everything else.

This novel is sui generis. It also is, in my experience, the greatest novel by a "single-work author." (It far surpasses John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces.") But it should not be regarded solely as some sort of curiosity. It is a great work of literature, and it merits far wider recognition and a far wider readership.

 
A Small Miracle of a Book  Jan 16, 2008
In spare, poetic and very beautiful dialect, old and grumpy Guernsey misanthrope, Ebenezer Le Page, recounts the story of his life; a tale of disillusionment, loss and remarkable resiliance.

Edwards makes Le Page a Guernseyan "Everyman." Le Page represents an embattled folk community: colonized by the French, occupied by the Germans and finally overrun by English tourists.

Like the butler, Stevens, in *The Remains of the Day,* Le Page has an epiphany that transforms him. But while Stevens' epiphany is of the rather subtle dry sherry variety, Le Page's knocks you flat like a good shot of white lightening, poteen or whatever it is that Guernsey people drink when they want to see God.

*The Book of Ebenezer Le Page* is about a small miracle of the human spirit in the face of war, poverty and souless consumerism.
 
Wonderful gem  Nov 3, 2007
One of the best books I have read in a long time...The universality of Ebenezer is wonderful. It brings the reader back to another time and place. I highly recommend this book.
 
Endurance required  Sep 13, 2007
This is a book for good readers only. And for good readers who enter the book at the right time when they are willing to invest the effort to get far enough into the story to care about it. There is much to complain about. It is a first person narrative written by a person who is not always likeable about other people who are not always likeable and who are often two dimensional. It is written in an idiosyncratic style that reflects both the education level and patois of the narrator. The setting is limited, obscure and unfamiliar to most readers. Somehow those very complaints gradually reverse themselves to become the strengths of the book. The author asks a lot from the reader because you have to plow through a lot of words and page after page until you become aware of the reversal. You become very interested in the narrator's life story, the vast cast of characters continues to increase with every page but they seem more human and not so irritating, the writing style becomes familiar and essential to the story as the narrator's personality and a reflection of the richness of the setting. This is a long book full of a long life story and many small stories. The small stories are some of the most memorable, particularly during the time of occupation. Some of the little stores are entertaining, like the two pigs and some are tragic, like the story of the young prisoner. I found myself more caught up in the little stories than in the larger tragedy of Raymond and Horace. My recommendation is to skip the introduction by John Fowles which is long and unnecessary and save your endurance to see if you can get far enough into the book to reach the point where you stop having to work at reading and want to pick it up. It is brilliant, even as it is astounding that a publisher read enough of it to make the decision to publish it.
 

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