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William Trevor Ô 0 free downloadSound like the lapping of waterInterlude Note the precision of the time Of Laughing Just Above laughing just above minute or a minute and a arter Trevor does this a specificity of time all through the novel one resident must face the officer of punctuality every morning entering his work another character times barmen to the second after ordering drinks Hell one character is named Nurse Clock No I don t know what that all means I add it here as a public service hoping someone smarter #Than Me A Large #me a large pool can figure it out End InterludeMr Bird very carefully very intentionally selected the residents Without itemizing here let s just say they are all just a bit off Individual peccadilloes aside though what links them is their solitary nature Yet they are not solitary in the Boarding HouseMr Bird continues to be a presence in the execution of his will in somewhat spectral appearances in truly delightful Sweet Valentine uick biographies he penned of the residents and in flashbacks such as his greeting to new kitchen help a woman who entered the Boarding House in a rush to pee You must stay here you will like it In this old boarding house no one had told thenvarnished truth for the last fifteen yearsOne resident confused identifies Mr Bird as the founder of heaven and hell on earth Another says that he is a man of infinite subtle cruelty
"so if mr "if Mr is a god you could see where I was going he is not a benevolent one I built that I might destroy he is alleged to have said But he is not a terrible frightful god I don t think It doesn t matter if I m wrong because I m the reader and I see Mr Bird as a fractious god a stinker a god Gary Larsen might have drawn back in the day Postlude I first found William Trevor s writings fourteen years ago and I ve been reading him ever since but mostly his later works Just because they ve been readily at hand But I found this just recently in a The Rancher and the City Girl used bookstore in Seattle a mere twenty minute walk from my granddaughter It was hiding darkly on a bottom shelf indeed it took two trips for me to see it It was remaindered a few nicks to the cover but it has turned out to be everything I love about a book it made me laugh it made me think it entertained the hell out of me it has a rarity about it it is brilliantly imagined it made me hide for pockets of time it lies in my hands like a gift from an old man who just died it will edge itself out of the space I put it in on the shelf or I will think so it makes me think I could do something similar it will linger teaching me otherwise and serendipitously I read it with a friend End Postlude Whenever I read William Trevor s novels and stories I m neverite able to forget the presence of the autho. Know what's what and the just plain lonely He's built a Ice Wolves (Elementals, uniue place with aniue atmosphere But then he realizes he's dying and he decides to leave the place to the two tenants li. Delightful little novel from very early in Trevor s career 1965 Unexpectedly #funny yet still with Trevor s sual lonely sadness Also surprising is #yet still with Trevor s sual lonely sadness Also surprising is s effective More Than a Convenient Bride (Texas Cattlemans Club: After the Storm use of a third person omniscient narrator with the perspective changing from character to character sometimes even within the same paragraph In most of the Trevor fiction I ve read he focuses on a single character But THE BOARDING HOUSE is about community specifically the tiny community of the boarding house and this form of narration creates almost a chorus of voices that really brings out the characters idiosyncratic personalities and tells the story extremely well Set in a South London suburb in 1964 the novel is an ensemble piece focusing on the lives and concerns of the residents of Mr Bird s boarding house the sort of traditional establishment that is fast going out of fashion due to the rise in bedsits and flat shares At first Mr Bird s tenants appear to be a disparate bunch each person possessing their own individual characteristics and personality traits However it soon becomes clear that they are all solitary figures mostly flawed or inadeuate in some way at risk of being seen as misfits or outcasts from the realms of normal societyTo read the rest of my review please click here Having enjoyed Miss Gomez and the Brethren I decided to try another of the author sirkier works and wasn t disappointedAbrupt point of view switches took some getting sed to but after that I just accepted them and was able to get into the book I could see where that might drive other readers bonkers In addition to going into the heads of all of the residents regularly there are also excerpts from the deceased owner s notes on eachOur UK friends as well as Global Britcom addicts might appreciate that I had image of Nurse from Open All Hours in my head for the nurse character I spent the entirety of the reading of this book wondering whoor whatis Mr Bird Mr Bird is the owner of the Boarding House of the title who greets s immediately on page one with this I am dying He does not mean sometime down the road No Mr Bird dies then and there from the feet Tavern Wench up he tells the nurse But that is notite the end of Mr Bird who leaves a will two of the residents of the Boarding House will inherit it comically disparate enough to move the plot forward entertainingly the rest of the residents may be tenants for life their exodus only voluntary When Mr Bird had written his will and had read it over he became aware that he was laughing He heard the sound for some time a minute or a minute and a And the Winner - Weds! uarter and then he recognized its source and wondered why he was laughing like that such aiet slurping. William Bird has always taken in boarders who are on the fringes of society the petty conman the immigrant who's never been able to fit in the blustering officer who really doesn't.
R Sometimes I can visualise him deciding what to include in
A Scenario Other Times Iscenario other times I him deciding what to leave out but he s always somewhere on the edge of my vision tweaking the props of what I #m reading I enjoy his mild and nostalgia inducing presence very muchIn this book he faded out of my vision #reading I enjoy his mild and nostalgia inducing presence very muchIn this book he faded out of my vision completely his name on the cover the only reminder that I was reading a William Trevor novel That and the era the story was set in the 1970s and the fact that the characters are steeped in the strong tea of an earlier time as his characters often areSo even as I was missing William Trevor s kindly presence I was aware that there was someone tweaking the props of this story all the same Little by little I began to imagine that it was Mr Bird even though he s not the narrator but only one of the characters The narrator is one of those nameless third person omniscient narrators sually a stand in for the author but the narrative voice Sounded So Much Like Mr so much like Mr that the two became indistinguishable for me The fact that Mr Bird dies on the first page only made me convinced that he was the narrator and that he was telling the story from his newly acuired omniscient position in the afterlife I ve often found the notion of an omniscient narrator a little mysterious in any case Such a narrator sometimes has personal opinions but at the same time can see right into characters s minds Mr Bird embodied all that puzzling ality I imagined him hovering over the boarding house residents watching their public and private moments and even allowing himself to be seen on odd occasions as a fluttering presence on the edge of a character s visionBut he was than just a fluttering presence It gradually emerges that Mr Bird carefully selected each of the characters who were to play out this boarding house story after he d left it odd as that might seem Yes Mr Bird as the owner of the boarding house of the title hand picked the residents who make Secrets of the Marriage Bed up the cast of characters and according to a particular design of his own The few other incidental characters in the story are literally plucked out of the telephone directory by one of Mr Bird s boarding house residents who likes writing anonymous letters He of course was selected for just such nefarious skills So the characters chosen by Mr Bird and subliminally worked on via his words and actions while he was alive gain an extra measure of freedom now that he s no longer around to tweak their emotions with his mild but manipulative comments What will they do with this free will they have been granted Well not as much as they might hope or you might expect The script you see was written in advance by Mr Bird. Kely to cause the greatest amount of trouble and the whole enterprise goesp in smokeWilliam Trevor's dark comedy reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark was his second novel. .