Black Narcissus

In the days when it was the General s harem palace, ladies with their retinues and rich clothes could be seen walking on the high windy terraces At night, music floated out over villages and gorges far into the early hours Now the General s son has bestowed it upon the disciplined Sisters of Mary Beginning work in the orchards and opening a school and a dispensary forIn the days when it was the General s harem palace, ladies with their retinues and rich clothes could be seen walking on the high windy terraces At night, music floated out over villages and gorges far into the early hours Now the General s son has bestowed it upon the disciplined Sisters of Mary Beginning work in the orchards and opening a school and a dispensary for the mountain people, the small band of Sisters are depended for help on the English agent, Mr Dean But his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting When he says bluntly This is no place for a nunnery , it is as if he already knows their destiny
Black Narcissus In the days when it was the General s harem palace ladies with their retinues and rich clothes could be seen walking on the high windy terraces At night music floated out over villages and gorges fa

  • Title: Black Narcissus
  • Author: Rumer Godden
  • ISBN: 9780330324700
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Black Narcissus”

    1. If you have read The Nun's Story by Kathryn Hulme or seen the film starring the exquisite Audrey Hepburn, then you will immediately recognise that Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus is a similar story transplanted to the cold windiness of the Himalayas from the feverish heat of the Belgian Congo. The seductive Dr. Fortunati of the Nun's Story becomes the British agent, Mr. Dean, in the Black Narcissus. If you like nun's stories with plenty of sexual tension, a tragic death, and natives who don't liv [...]

    2. When I run into fiction that I think is marvelous, I am totally blown away. I admire an author who is able to create a moving story based solely on their imagination and creative ability. Their life experiences will naturally play in too. They make something wonderful from nothing; they make something new that has never existed before. This deserves recognition and applause.This book is intense; you are drawn in and don’t want to put it down. It has humor, and I liked very much what it says. T [...]

    3. In northern India, the former harem palace of Mopu is situated in the windy mountains with a view of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The General has invited some English nuns to open a convent school and medical clinic in the building. When they visit the site, the English agent Mr Dean tells them, "This is no place for a nunnery." He can anticipate the clash of cultures and conflicting religious beliefs. But the group of nuns ignores his advice, and transforms the building into the Convent of [...]

    4. Nun's the word. Ya heard? Seriously though, I love nun themed stories, films, booksyou name it. Even fake nuns fascinate me. Remember Nuns on the Run and all the Sister Act movies? Exactly. They're hip, devoted, sweet, stern, selfless, and wellmetimes down right scary!I fell in love with the film adaptation of Godden's Black Narcissus many years ago, and vowed to read the book because there were certain aspects of the plot that I didn't really understand. Now that I've read it, I am even more fa [...]

    5. Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus is out of print, so if you can't find it in your local library or used bookstore, I'd recommend watching the classic film, which is also marvelous. (Deborah Kerr, one of my favorite actresses ever, is in it. Filmmakers Pressburger and Powell also made The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, that's also fantastic. Kerr is in that too.) I saw it during my "nun phase" of 2002, the year my big sis decided that I was obsessed with nuns 'cause I happened to watch a string o [...]

    6. There's a very real chance that if I hadn't already seen the wonderful Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger movie adaptation that I would have loved this book, but there's also an even greater chance that if I hadn't already loved the movie I wouldn't have even picked up a novel about the passions and repressions of some Catholic nuns setting up a hospital and school for the natives in the Himalayas and their struggle to acclimatise. Godden captures the beauty, majesty and alien nature of the s [...]

    7. I just don't get this. Everything about it is wandering. The narrative is confusing, lack of character development, and I don't see a point. It is somewhat humorous. Oddly I was reminded of DuMaurier reading this. And then I noticed someone else mentioned this. I did not love her writing either. Oh well just could not connect.

    8. A group of nuns, led by stubborn Irish born Sister Clodagh are assigned to a remote estate in the Himalayas to start a convent, run a school, and an infirmary for the local villagers. It's a monumental task that Sister Clodagh feels tentatively up to, and one already abandoned by priests who failed at a similar endeavor. All the basic elements for plot tension are here, personality clashes between the nuns, culture shock, loss of faith, and the ever needling presence of the only white man in the [...]

    9. Till the rains breakThe palace at Mopu was once known as the House of Women, home to the harem of the General, the local overlord of this remote spot high in the Himalayas. That General is now dead, and his son wants to do something to improve the lives of his people. So he has invited the Sisters of Mary to set up a convent there, to provide a school and clinic. Sister Superior Clodagh and her small group of fellow nuns make the long journey, full of enthusiasm to set up the new Convent of St F [...]

    10. I fell in love with the cinema adaptation of ‘Black Narcissus’ – by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – many years ago, but it was only a few years ago that I noticed Rumer Godden’s name among the credits, and realised that the book that had been adapted was written by an author whose works for children I had loved.‘Black Narcissus’ was Rumer Godden’s third novel and her first best-seller.It tells the story of a small group of nuns from the Order of the Servants of Mary, who [...]

    11. I'm in the middle of a Rumer Godden craze. I have to pace myself because I find myself wanting to not do anything else but read. This is another one of her books I couldn't put down, about some Anglican missionary nuns who try to establish a hospital and school in a very remote part of India (?) The descriptions of the scenery are so vivid and colorful. Godden portrays the nuns finding themselves in such a raw untouched place of God's beauty strips away the layers or protection they have built a [...]

    12. Rumer Godden is one of my favorite 'forgotten' authors so I am thrilled that Open Road Media is bringing Godden's books to the reading public in ebook form. Two of Godden's Catholic novels were made available to me through NetGalley.Black Narcissus is Godden's most well known novel, especially because its the film adaptation starring Deborah Kerr. The novel again concerns a group of women, Anglican nuns, in a closed, isolated community, struggling with personal demons and their commitment to God [...]

    13. This is the second novel I've read by Rumor Godden, the first being In This House of Brede, which was a five-star story from first to last. Black Narcissus is a four-star book simply because it was shorter and not quite as complex as Brede, but this takes nothing away from Godden's ability to set up characters and places with a simple, subtle, penetrating touch.Like Brede, this is another story about nuns -- a small group of nuns steeped in their belief system and traditions venture into India t [...]

    14. It's not fair of me to recommend a book that is out of print and unavailable at the library, but if you ever come across this novel in a used bookstore, buy it. It's one of the most unusual and intriguing stories I've read in a long time. And Rumer Godden's writing style is just what I love: polished and beautiful.It's the story of a small order of Sisters who try to set up a convent/school/infirmary in an extremely remote and dramatically landscaped locale in India. Though the Sisters struggle [...]

    15. A beautiful evocative book.Exquisite writing with wonderful descriptions of the scenery which makes you feel as if you are there.The nun's have to come to terms with their own desires which leads to the dramatic conclusion.A real page turner with wonderful characters.The first I've read of hers but will be looking out for more.

    16. No one does nuns and the religious life quite like Rumer Godden, and this wonderful book shows her at the height of her powers. It’s a simple enough tale – a group of well-meaning nuns set up home in an abandoned palace in the Himalayas. Full of enthusiasm for their mission, they eagerly start a school and a clinic, a lace-making enterprise for some older girls, and offer a warm welcome to the native community. Such high hopes. But it’s not long before tensions start to grow, for these are [...]

    17. My goodness, what a book. I've finished it just this evening and I don't quite know what to do with myself. It's quite haunting and sad and yet ended as it should. This is what comes of well-meant meddling; in this case in the form of a bit of religious missionary work.On the face of it, perhaps it doesn't sound like such an exciting plot: some nuns go and live in the Himalayas for a bit. But this becomes so real with the characters and the culture clashes as they find their christian sensibilit [...]

    18. [image error]Mr. Dean se preparando para o Slutwalk. Ah, a visão do ocidente sempre a mesma! Cem anos depois e continua tudo igual, só um pouco pior! E foi puramente acidental o fato de que Narciso Negro e The Last Lingua Franca caírem em minhas mãos na mesma semana, certamente não planejei lê-los ao mesmo tempo, mas ambos se completam lindamente.Como já havia imaginado através do filme, este livro faz uma grande dobradinha com A Ilha do Huxley na mesma proporção com que faz relação [...]

    19. I read this because I loved the film. I loved this as well, but for different reasons. Where the film is jarring, intense, and unsettling at parts, the book is far more quiet and contemplative. The film seemed more concerned with conveying a sense of place, which it did wonderfully (despite the fact the film was almost entire shot on a set in Great Britain!) while the book focuses much more on the characters, making them less mysterious and more accessible. In both, Sister Phillipa, the sister o [...]

    20. What joy to read Rumer Godden! I always enjoy her unique style of writing. Her descriptions of the landscape, dominated by Mt. Kanchenjunga, are so vivid that you can almost imagine you're there; it creates a lovely, yet vaguely menacing background for the story throughout the book. She has created unforgettable characters and shows you a different and interesting perspective on life through each of them. This book has inspired me to think once again about the meaning of spirituality in our live [...]

    21. After finishing the book, I was thinking of that episode from the original STAR TREK series called, "Shore Leave." In it, members of the Enterprise crew found themselves inexplicably coming face-to-face with their hidden thoughts and imaginations which literally took form before their eyes. There were some harrowing moments until they discovered that the secret to coexisting peacefully with the planet was to control their inner impulses.That's not a bad way to look at BLACK NARCISSUS. The titl [...]

    22. A small group of teaching nuns takes over a run-down "palace" in the foothills of the Himalayas, gifted to them by an Indian prince. They face cultural problems, as well as predictable squabbles amongst each other. Published in 1939, when India was still under the British, the book raises many interesting questions.* The presence of the Himalayas is one of the main characters of the book. To their surprise, the nuns find themselves overpowered by the mountains' majesty and spiritual force, in co [...]

    23. If you haven't seen Powell & Pressburger's spectacular 1947 film of Black Narcissus - a genteel yet no less sinister psychological horror about British nuns in India - it won't be a great deal of use to tell you that my overwhelming impression of the book is how similar to the film it is. Some actual novelisations aren't as close as this (including Labyrinth, which I read shortly after Black Narcissus). The visuals on screen, though, are more impressive than Godden's perfectly competent and [...]

    24. Black Narcissus. This was Rumer Godden’s third novel for adults, and the first of several which were adapted for film. The film Black Narcissus was released in 1947 in Technicolor, which not all films were in those days. It starred Deborah Kerr and Jean Simmons and was directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film was a hit and won a coveted Academy Award for its cinematography. I remember seeing the film years ago, although I can’t say I remembered much about the story other t [...]

    25. A good story, serviceable characterizations, lush descriptions, effective atmosphere, good technique, good prose.Rumer Godden appears to us in the guise of Mr. Dean, a man of scandalous reputation, gone native, a drinker, who speaks in a direct not to say rude manner. It is he who knows the dialect, the people, the how and why of all things, and the hearts of men (and women). We have only to consult Mr. Dean to know what is sensible.Mr. Dean tells us the natives are children. He treats them with [...]

    26. This House of Women upon the mountain with its views, its history, its cold and endless wind- it holds the continuous underpinning of an ethereal and yet intoxicating effect. To the five nuns who come for their helping mission, to the natives and Mr. Dean who has gone native. All the humans. Regardless of their faith, their world view, their belief in determination and free will! Instead it seems to be a catalyst for making whatever they are at their very core, more of that same quality. They be [...]

    27. I enjoyed the writing style, which was descriptive without being overly wordy, and I thought the author's characterisations were excellent, really putting a picture in my mind of the main cast members, as well as a feel for their personalities.Most of all though, I loved how atmospheric the book was, how Godden created a feel for the otherworldliness of the palace, the initial hope and industriousness of the nuns, and then their decline into introspection, loss of focus and even madness.I though [...]

    28. In This House of Brede is a better book, but this is pretty good. I'd seen the movie and the film is pretty faithful to the book, so I might have liked the book even better had I not already known what was coming. It is the story of a small group of nuns who go to a secluded place in the Himalayas to open a school and hospital in a former concubine palace. They are enchanted by the unreality of the surroundings, and enchantment is a dangerous thing for a religious. They are all, in various ways, [...]

    29. Very rarely do I finish a book and conclude that the movie was better, but that's exactly how I feel about Black Narcissus. I read it after reading Godden's In This House of Brede, and having already seen the film version. I just think that it's so difficult to picture the people and especially the place--the film is so beautiful and vivid that it enhanced my reading of the book. But there wasn't much to discover from reading the book--I think they flattened out Mr. Dean's character a bit in the [...]

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