The Furies

The Furies An exhilarating fiercely honest ultimately devastating book The Furies confronts the claims of family and the lure of desire the difficulties of independence and the approach of death Janet Hobho

  • Title: The Furies
  • Author: Janet Hobhouse Daphne Merkin
  • ISBN: 9781590170854
  • Page: 452
  • Format: Paperback
  • An exhilarating, fiercely honest, ultimately devastating book, The Furies confronts the claims of family and the lure of desire, the difficulties of independence, and the approach of death.Janet Hobhouse s final testament is beautifully written, deeply felt, and above all utterly alive.

    One thought on “The Furies”

    1. Hobhouse's lyrical writing can't rescue her story from irrelevance. She never convinces us that this - the story of her childhood with a beautiful but sometimes inattentive and vacant mother whose love is alternately distant and suffocating; a sometimes genteel, sometimes borderline squalid poverty in Manhattan apartments; a fortuitous Oxford education, a series of boyfriends and lovers, a marriage to a wealthy Brit that falls apart, her mother's depression and suicide, her own illness - is a st [...]

    2. I didn't much care for Dancing in the Dark, but my admiration of NYRB Classics convinced me give Hobhouse another chance. The book is elegant and well into the last section does not scan like a draft that needed more time from its author. The first section of the book detailing her family's history was the most worthwhile, everything related to Helen was sterile. No matter how much emotional distress Helen was going through, the childhood mortification, the struggles with her parents and herself [...]

    3. It's considered a novel, but "The Furies" is barely-veiled autobiography, published after the author's death. Janet Hobhouse is a beautiful writer -- there's an immodest loveliness to her prose that's reminiscent of Elizabeth Bowen or Rebecca West -- but elevating this book to "novel" status was a gesture of misplaced ambition. "The Furies" is a fairly standard account of a young woman's relationship with her troubled mother and intellectual and sexual coming-of-age, and while its lyrical self-a [...]

    4. Ho sempre pensato che per uno scrittore il libro pi�� difficile da affrontare sia quello dedicato alla propria vita, perch�� inevitabilmente si ritrova ���costretto��� a fare i conti con se stesso. Ne sono convinta ancor pi�� dopo aver terminato questo libro di Janet Hobhouse. Un ���memoriale��� -cos�� viene definito, nella breve e bellissima introduzione, da Philip Roth- attraverso il quale , la scrittrice ripercorre la sua vita, nel momento in cui di fro [...]

    5. The first half of Hobhouse’s unfinished, posthumous novel is a great work about childhood. It is written from the first-person view of a grown woman, but captures a child’s point of view in often gorgeous writing. The novel becomes more ordinary as the girl becomes a young woman, but there is still a good deal of excellent writing in the second half. Five stars for the first half, three for the second.

    6. This text has it moments, but to tell you the truth there are so many books out there just not sure its worth reading again I feel indifferent. Its not bad or good its just is. I can't go any further than that.

    7. Did not have the charm of any other NYRB reissues I've read. I couldn't muster much empathy for the text; it felt sterile. Moving on to Middlemarch.

    8. i received this book when i was 14 and i thought, "okay, looks good!" now, 14 years later, i just finished reading it. i love a good mother/daughter story, they tug at my heart and it gets all mushy and tearful however, it took me about half of my life to drag through this book. it's not like the story is that bad, it's not like the writing is bad, it's just like it's a whole lot of words and not a whole lot of information; sentences that are page-long paragraphs. there is just so much descripti [...]

    9. I am not sure I have ever read such an uncompromisingly honest account of the struggle to overcome pain. Hobhouse delves into her own experiences with such unsentimental honesty that she leaves the reader breathless, yet does so with wit and startlingly evocative language. She was still revising it when she died, but I agree with the quotation from Philip Roth (who makes an appearance in the book as the older writer with whom Hobhouse had an affair) that the book is "a considerable moral as well [...]

    10. Altho billed as a novel, this is really a thinly veiled memoir with changed names. The story follows the author/narrator's erratic yet sometimes joyful childhood in New York and her intense relationship with her beautiful, vivacious, yet troubled single mother and how their relationship later evolves. Not an easy read but well worthwhile. It's quite easy to pick out which character is her representation of Philip Roth!

    11. The writing was beautiful, in terms of the use of words and language, but the story just moves SO slowly. About 3/5 of the way through, I gave up. I skimmed the rest of the novel just to understand what happens, but I could not keep forcing myself to slog through (even though I wanted to, for Suzie's sake, since she recommended it to me).

    12. This is quite well written and engaging but, as a memoir disguised as a novel, it follows the I grew-I developed-I changed formula without much of a compelling hook. A reader goes for a book like this mostly if s/he has some inherent interest in the subject but I didn't know Janet Hobhouse from shinola. Sure, now I do, but maybe I should have read her biography of Gertrude Stein instead.

    13. This is an amazingly honest and well-written book - the push and pull of family dynamics is portrayed so vividly that you understand where each character is coming from but have some empathy for each throughout the story. Such a shame Hobhouse died before finishing it, although that does not affect the storyline at all. I would have liked to read other things by her!

    14. It's amazing to read a book the suffices so much on summary, yet brings us into such a fine grain of emotional detail. There's such joy in this book, such powerful portraits, followed by such jaw dropping tragedy.

    15. More memoir than fiction, The Furies is an entirely unsentimental account of the frictions and bonds between mothers and daughters. This one leaves behind a big red mark and I mean that in a good way.

    16. An author I didn't know; a book I picked up by chance; turbulent, exposive, raw well written full of grief and dysfunction, of love, of all the frailities that can surround a life, of those most close and that difficulty in connection.

    17. i liked the book. you might think the story took a bit too long to unfold, but i think it covered such a long stretch of time, it was needed. i really enjoyed learning about new york from years ago and how this family (and i am sure many others) went from being very wealthy to almost destitute.

    18. Archetypal linial dysfunction enveloped in beautiful prose, waxing with metaphors of the duality of existence.

    19. so far, a strange amalgam of Mona Simpson, Darcy O'Brian, and "Gypsy" meets "Wonderful Town" - - I'm not in love and I so very much want to be

    20. Absolutely brilliantly written. Such a sense of self-awareness this books has, it is scary, breathtaking and somehow peaceful.

    21. l'ho comprato a scatola chiusa perché questa collana della bur mi piace smodatamente. è un libro autobiografico, duro, avvincente, tristissimo. è un libro che ho amato molto- per donne, ma non solo.

    22. One of the best NYRB books I've read. It combined a vivid account of life in the early twentieth century with an affective narrative about womanhood and the ties that bind.

    23. Need to read again later. I love it too much and I didnt even want to get past the first ten pages. I will revisit

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