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Het Laatste Avondmaal - Een Zomer In Italië (2009)

by Rachel Cusk(Favorite Author)
3.1 of 5 Votes: 3
9023441532 (ISBN13: 9789023441533)
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review 1: I expected to like ‘The Last Supper – A Summer in Italy' much more than I ultimately did. When I first read the blurb on the back, it seemed to promise everything I would enjoy … a personal-style memoir, a family trip to an exotic locale – namely Italy, with its heritage of wonderful food, beautiful locations and inspiring art. However, the book never lived up to that promise. Rachel Cusk undertook the summer trip to Italy with her husband and two young children as a way to stave off the boredom and tiresomeness of her life in England. Sadly, she seemed to have taken that boredom with her, carried it around for the entire trip and ultimately wrote a book about it.I have to be honest and say that I ended up skimming some parts of it, when the utter depressiveness of... more Cusk’s descriptions of particularly the people she met began to fight with my desire to finish the book. None of the people in Cusk’s book come alive in any way at all. Everyone, including her husband and children, seem to be cardboard cutouts, and there is no way to relate to them in the least. The people who the family meets during their trip are all strange, vaguely frightening, and not particularly likeable either. The author appears to be at once bored with and slightly contemptuous of all of them. That makes for a ponderous read that felt like a lot of hard work for not much reward.The one redeeming thing about this book is the descriptions of the art which the family have also gone in search of, in order to bring some kind of beauty back to their lives. Cusk seems to have saved all her passion for the artwork, the descriptions of which are wonderful and fascinating, making me want to see them for myself. The book thus might appeal more to a lover of art than someone who wanted more of a story relating the family’s feelings about their experience.
review 2: My sense is that there are lots of books out there about going to Italy (or Provence) and how wonderful it is, and how it can change your life. And though I haven't read any of those books, one thing I love about Rachel Cusk's memoir is that I am sure it's completely unlike all of them. The way she looks at the world is so weird (in the best possible way)--this is evident in her novels and also in this beautiful, strange, wondrous travel book. It's so hard to describe her style; there's something detached about it, and dark, and sometimes disturbing and sometimes very funny. And always very, very intelligent, searching, intense. I particularly loved her musings on beauty (and the lack of it in most parts of our world) and on art; paintings are alive to her, and her relationships with the works of art she sees in Italy are alive, as well, and deeply resonant. Going to Italy does actually seem to have changed her life, but she would never come out and say so. Another reason to love her. less
Reviews (see all)
The Last Supper Just not my style of book, couldn't get past the first chapter.
not very personal; written at a very cool remove
Fabulous summer book!
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