- By Aidan Higgins

Balcony of Europe

  • Title: Balcony of Europe
  • Author: Aidan Higgins
  • ISBN: 9781564785381
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Paperback
  • Balcony of Europe Aidan Higgins s greatest novel has long been unavailable and is here reissued in a new and revised edition Balcony of Europe which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize tells the story of a com

    Aidan Higgins s greatest novel has long been unavailable, and is here reissued in a new and revised edition Balcony of Europe, which was shortlisted for the 1972 Booker Prize, tells the story of a complacent young Jewish wife from San Francisco and a middle aged Irish painter who meet in a village on the coast of Spain, beginning an affair during the coldest European wintAidan Higgins s greatest novel has long been unavailable, and is here reissued in a new and revised edition Balcony of Europe, which was shortlisted for the 1972 Booker Prize, tells the story of a complacent young Jewish wife from San Francisco and a middle aged Irish painter who meet in a village on the coast of Spain, beginning an affair during the coldest European winter in two hundred years all the while surrounded by a cast of characters as bizarre and hilarious as they are, finally, touching Lyrical and humorous, heartbreaking and hopeful, Balcony of Europe is Aidan Higgins s crowning achievement.

    1 thought on “Balcony of Europe

    1. So, I like Impressionism. I mean, I never had the phase in high school like some of my friends did where it was the breath and the life, but I like it. I enjoy light and color as much as the next girl, and the last time I was in Paris, I happily wasted several afternoons that I probably should have spent doing new things at the Musee d’Orsay. It makes me smile, mostly. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes a shadow or two will get to me, but (for the most part), that’s pretty much it. I’m [...]

    2. Me and fine literature aren't exactly seeing eye to eye these days. I can appreciate good books still, and I intellectually know when something is 'good' but me and (maybe Modernism? is a better term) good books just aren't falling in to step. I feel like a philistine bastard for feeling this way, I feel like some yokel who presented with some nice pieces of steak shrugs and says but I could get a Big Mac for cheaper. Who is given some fine wine at a meal and shrugs and says that tap water quenc [...]

    3. Sorry, Ruttle, but you're due back at the library. Though I got over your weird anti-/philo-Semitic fetishism to see the charms of your rueful hangdog pose and occasionally stunning descriptive powers, I don't care enough about you, or your saucy, ungraspable, ever-receding mistress to renew (why don't you hang out with that Nazi more? Sure he's a Nazi, but trust me, man, he's by far the most interesting person you know). Perhaps we'll resume someday. I mean, I don't let just anyone ramble on fo [...]

    4. A near masterpiece, marred only by its meandering tendencies, occasionally flat fumblings for profundity, and slightly weird stuff on Jewry. Otherwise, this is a stunning novel with beautifully crafted prose, from a writer clearly working not only in the shadow of Beckett, but the European modernists too. A lyrical novel about a painter’s affair with a young Jewish lady is not an easy sell, but the euphony of the prose, the humorous dialogue, painterly evocations of the sun-baked landscapes, t [...]

    5. It's terrible when life sucks. The world is fully of people who suck, and are Nazis and Jews and stuff. And affairs suck because you have to worry about getting caught and stuff. It sucks how everything sucks. And people don't appreciate your art and how you are like James Joyce and stuff.

    6. An adulterous love affair in post World War Spain, blatant dismissal of Americans as insignificant ( doesnt bother me), ethnocentric view of Ireland as the center of the civilized world (typical), chapters being told by different, not always apparent characters, ( challenging, but not daunting) but 200 pages into this book, I am putting it down for good. It is just plain BORING!! Life is short.

    7. After 100 pages I realized that I didn't care about any of the characters or about what might happen to or between them. Update: I read 50 more pages and still felt the same way. Higgins writes well. His descriptive language is first rate. But the only semblance of a story here—a married Irish painter dallying with an also married younger American Jewish woman—failed to engage me on any level. Higgins moves idly from scene to scene, shifting between minor characters, quite effectively laying [...]

    8. Add to the list of beautifully written novels about (among other things) infidelity and drinking in hot climates, along with The English Patient, The Sheltering Sky and Under the Volcano.

    9. Some books you finish and know you will have to re-read. To say this about Aidan Higgins' Balcony of Europe is an understatement. This was a terrific read full of stream of consciousness prose-poems on love and memory. The afterward to the book says that Higgins was attempting to write a phenomenological novel, experience as experienced if you will, and I have to say this was a success. Although its pace was languid at best I can't recommend this book enough.

    10. ere are too many foreign language words used pretentiously, too much post-research info put into the places and things. maybe I'll finish this someday. It just feels too contrived and completely unnatural. I don't always want to know what things are.

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