The CatastrophistA Novel Summary Á 7

Download Ø eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ Ronan Bennett

Download Ø eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ✓ Ronan Bennett Heart of DarknessFew 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 One new novel that can justly make that claim is The Catastrophist by the talented Irish writeractivist Ronan Bennett Here Conrad's classic tale is transmogrified by a century of irony Westernization and a tip of The CatastrophistA eBook #186 the hat to Graham Greene and John le Carré Benett's Marlow is James Gillespie an Irish historian turned novelist who travels to the Congo in Set against the death throes of the age of imperialism the new nation's violent struggle for independence from Belgium provides ample opportunity for Gillespie to explore the dark territory of political and emotional engagementGillespie's Kurtz the figure who draws him to the Congo and whose maddening attachment to the place both fascinates and repulses him is Inès a fiery Italian journalist who pens fiercely pro Congolese articles for a radical newspaper Inès and Gillespie met in London at the house of Gillespie's publisher and soon after were heading to Ireland for a romantic getaway Inès was smitten instantly I am already loving you she whispers as they first make love but Gillespie considerably less headstrong was slower to recognize his feelings Following Inès to Léopoldville Kinshasa the Congolese capital was his emotional plunge his gesture toward commitment But soon after his arrival Gillespie realizes that he has been displaced from Inès's attentions by her devotion to Patrice Lumumba the charismatic Congolese independence leader Gillespie on the other hand is incapable of viewing the disorganized independence movement as anything than an unfortunate farce nor does he sympathize with the Belgians in Léopoldville who live in cloistered luxury walled off from the cité indigène where the blacks live by well patrolled walls and their own willful oblivi. Beautifully written the story haunts you years after you're through reading it

Review The CatastrophistA Novel

The CatastrophistA Novel Summary Á 7 à ❄ [EPUB] ✼ The CatastrophistA Novel By Ronan Bennett ➝ – Heart of DarknessFew 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 One new nove Hear OusnessDespairing over Inès's increasingly distant air Gillespie befriends an American named Stipe who is in the Congo to promote American security interests as well as Stipe's loyal ambitious driver Auguste Stipe feeds Gillespie information about the imminence of an uprising allowing him to complete some lucrative freelance pieces while Auguste shares his dreams about having an office on Fifth AvenueThese bonds prove fragile however and dissolve once the independence movement comes to a violent chaotic boil Inès's partisanship becomes even pronounced and she spends all her time at Lumumba's camp Gillespie's articles alienate him from many of the Belgians who refuse to consider the Congolese other than as mischievous children Stipe and his Belgian companions meanwhile become fearful of Lumumba's Communist sympathies and begin unsavory efforts to undermine his authority supporting the right wing party of the pro Western Mobutu Sese Seko instead Auguste who has become active in Lumumba's youth movement dissociates himself from Stipe entering into Lumumba's inner circle he soon meets Inès Inès and Auguste become lovers and Gillespie after countless efforts to win her back is forced to contemplate a world breaking up around him The Catastrophist is primarily a story of failure both of a crumbling political movement and of a doomed relationship There is little surprise about the former even for those unfamiliar with Congolese history in the opening scene of the book Lumumba is captured by Mobutu after attempting to escape the country Inès once charged Gillespie with being a catastrophist one who believes it is always the end He countered by claiming that if the problem is bigthe only thing to do is leave it behind As the events of the book lead inexorably to a series of personal and political catastrophes Gillespie's pessimism seems only to be confirmed and yet tethered by his love for Inès he cannot leave these catastrophes b. The most interesting thing about this novel set in the Belgian Congo at the cusp of independence is the vulnerability and constant self uestioning of the narrator He is relentless in tearing apart his own beliefs and emotions and yet he still fails in many ways to understand his own position in relation to politics both national and personal His character is not always likable and his emotional states often felt adolescent to me despite his forty years of age but he seemed well constructed I can't say the same for the female lead who acted mostly as a device for the narrator to explore his angst and his lack of empathy She seemed idealized even when acting against him and in this her believability crumbledBennett handles the complicated politics of the time fairly well although at times it felt like too much disintegrating into lecture and poorly disguised dialogue And the ending was capped a little too neatly for my tastes all the main characters appearing seemingly out of nowhere for the sake of wrapping up their individual trajectories Overall a decent effort but not excellent

Ronan Bennett ✓ 7 Summary

The CatastrophistA NovelEhindThus surrounded by zealots but insulated by a carapace of solipsism Gillespie struggles futilely to maintain his position on the sidelines Once embarrassed by melodrama and maudlin displays of affection he finds himself begging Inès to take him back And once so bitterly skeptical of Lumumba's efforts he finds himself drawn into the struggle forced to make a sacrifice for a cause he doubts a self consciously doomed gesture to win back Inès's love For much of the book Gillespie's presiding motto is a uote from Pushkin Does a man die at your feet your business is not to help him but to note the color of his lips But when he has an opportunity to enact that dictum its guidance seems woefully inadeuate Gillespie's policy of detachment becomes the ultimate catastrophe I was always too much a watcher Gillespie laments at the close of the book Indeed one of The Catastrophist's finest ironies is that the journalist Inès has discarded all objectivity while Gillespie the novelist and narrator insists his writing maintain a sense of distance Bennett too is a watcher his prose alert and deliberate and yet for him this policy of detachment works brilliantly Much of the book's power derives from its implacable steady tone and many of its most stirring passages are the love scenes in which Gillespie's cool measured narrative voice struggles against and succumbs to the eroticism and immediacy of the momentThis tactic does have its weaknesses however the climactic scenes of violence and brutality depicting the aftermath of Mobuto's coup fall flat as do Gillespie's ruminations on his love of literature In both these cases the crescendo in narrative intensity feels vaguely inauthentic But on the whole Bennett has given us a superb book part suspense thriller part psychological study It adds its capable voice to that unsettling opening of Conrad's own masterful tale And this also has been one of the dark places of the earth—Benjamin Soskis. This caught my eye at the tip shop because a therapist once said i was a catastrophist Even though there's a scene with the protagonist and his girlfriend where she accuses him of being a catastrophist I'm not entirely sure that's what he was Anyway it was a 'good in parts' read I really liked it nearer the end where it turned into a bit of a gruesome thriller And the politics of the Congo is really interesting Made me want to find out But mostly it was just classic award winnershortlister type novel of which I've read a million I basically knew how it was going to read before I started Not worst tip shop book I've ever bought though