Oxygen is a contemporary tale of courage, love and liberation It is the latest novel from the winner of the James Tait Black Memorial, International Impac and Grinzane Cavour Prizes and one of the most celebrated debutants of the 90s, Andrew Miller.
Oxygen Oxygen is a contemporary tale of courage love and liberation It is the latest novel from the winner of the James Tait Black Memorial International Impac and Grinzane Cavour Prizes and one of the mos

  • Title: Oxygen
  • Author: AndrewMiller
  • ISBN: 9780340728260
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Oxygen”

    1. One of those novels where the reader is kept bobbing on the surface of interest, an empathetic reaction, or real excitement, for the entire duration, without ever experiencing interest, an empathetic reaction or real excitement for the entire duration. Miller is a good craftsman: a carpenter who gets the words in the right order, without the allusions to Jesus or Owen Wilson. No messing.The book weaves three narratives together with an overly descriptive prose style, depressingly inept middle-ag [...]

    2. OxygenAndrew MillerHaving enjoyed Andrew Miller’s beautifully crafted prose in ‘Pure’ it wasn’t surprising to discover the same elegantly perceptive writing in “Oxygen” except that my enjoyment was heightened by the sensitive unravelling of his characters facing bleak and challenging tasks, notably being forced to confront critical illness and difficult reminiscences, and imminent bereavement and loss. The writing throughout is moving and profound as his characters approach the clima [...]

    3. There is such a quiet power to this book, such understated pain and beauty. While I love audio books, every now and then I encounter a book that I really regret listening to rather than reading, because there are so many gorgeous, astute lines that my fingers are just itching to underline so that I can ponder them later. Here is just one of many examples:"He had given up trying to understand her, for unless you had grown up beside a person from the very beginning, breathing the same air, then th [...]

    4. This is the only Andrew Miller book I've read, and 3 1/2 stars is appropriate. I thought at first it more of a "guy" book since all 3 main characters are men, and it is their lives, thoughts, and aspirations the reader is exposed to. The 2 brothers seem very much in need of some good therapy, and the playwrite heals his own wounds through a secret political assignment back to his home country, Hungary. In the end you really can only guess what is going to happen to the 3 characters. One reviewe [...]

    5. [rating = B]Take a breath; and live. Two stories wrap around the ideas of life and death, things done and left undone. Alec and his brother Larry have an ailing mother, Alice, who will die any day. Laszlo, an aging playwright, is in search of something he lost in his youth. Each has to deal with what is to come. They have the opportunity to change or to cause some effect on the life or destiny of another. Choices, ideas, what to do. Andrew Miller writes with a very witty, perhaps more funny, han [...]

    6. Well, I loved, loved this book. I know I seem to say that about every book, so I'm putting it down to the exceptional reading tastes of the ladies of Allenheads. If Peter Stamm's narrative was Camus like in its sparseness and absurdity, then Miller is a bit like a modern day Dickens or perhaps a Thomas Hardy. The description flows abundantly throughout the book; in fact, it never, ever stops. Every minute detail of place and character, even every innimate object, is observed so keenly it almost [...]

    7. When I first began Oxygen, I was taken in by the writing, by the author's deft use of words, his economy of language. I could tell right away that Miller knew how to work a pen (or, nowadays, a word processor). But I must confess that I wondered, for a while, if anything was really going to happen. There is certainly a story here (three in fact), but in all honesty, not that much happens. I was fully expecting this lack of grounded action to undermine the novel's rather deceptively simple and be [...]

    8. Oxygen by Andrew Miller is set in the summer of 1997, and tells the linked stories of four characters. Three are the members of a single family. Alice Valentine, an ex-teacher, is slowly dying of cancer in her home in the West Country. She reflects a little on her past and tries to cope with the expectations of her family while struggling with the relentless downward course of her illness. Her younger son, Alec, returns from London to the family home to stay with her. He has always lacked confid [...]

    9. 32. OXYGEN. (2001). Andrew Miller. ****. This is a fine novel from this respected writer that was a finalist for the Booker Prize in 2001. It explores love and loss, regret and self-discovery. Alice and her son Alec live in England. Alec is essentially the live-in care giver for his mother, now elderly and with terminal cancer. Alec’s brother Larry and his family live in California. Larry has been successfully pursuing a career in daytime TV, but has just had his contract cancelled. He has bec [...]

    10. Andrew Miller has a talent for putting words together beautifully. He also can tell a story or -- as he does here -- multiple tales. The story of the Valentine boys helping their mother at the end of her life intersects only marginally with the life of Hungarian emigre and playwright Laszlo Lazar but there are parallels of mood and imagery that knit together to form a lovely whole. This novel is about second chances, love and loss, and families, born and made. At times it's wickedly funny (the a [...]

    11. Such beautiful sentence structure (weird that I start a review with that) that seems to only be concerned with fluidity. It's as if Miller believes periods create blockages. Sometimes his sentences stretch on for paragraphs--always sustained; never running on. He exerts a masterful control over everything. And with that flow comes beautiful imagery. Some of the most wonderful, emotional-laden descriptions I've seen in prose. The central metaphor is spectacular, too: oxygen. He sets it up near th [...]

    12. This is the kind of contemporary writing that makes one realize there will never be shortage of remainders to fill the bargain bins at the local bookstore. Was it well written? Kind of. Was there a good plot? Well, no. Were the characters engaging? Definitely not. It seemed like a tired story. You know, the one where the almost middle-aged sons return home to the English manor to watch their mother die. One neurotic and needy. The other a fading soap star who has become bankrupt (in more ways th [...]

    13. This book was lovely, langourous, hypnotic. Written (like so many novels these days) from several perspectives and each of the characters had a different undercurrent of desperation about him/her and what I especially admired was that the other characters recognized and found embarassing those notes of desperation and weakness as well. There was a connection between the inner life of the characters and the outward perception of them. Also had some brilliant similes and beautiful use of weather s [...]

    14. At first the characters annoyed me, with their flaws clear from the outset. As I continued to read though I found myself drawn into their lives and eager to discover their fate. Beautifully written and with a perceptive understanding of the human psyche, this is a good book for those soul searching.

    15. .ng up on page 85. I heard NPR's Nancy Pearl recently say something like, "there are too many good books in the world. If you don't like one, don't feel compelled to finish it; move on." I feel no attachment to plot, characters or prose in this novel. I'm moving on to those many other good books in the world.

    16. This is a wonderful book. A dying mother, her two sons who have come to their English home to be with her, their stories, a Hungarian playwright in Paris - all their stories woven together. The writing is quite beautiful. A quiet, thoughtful book. Highly recommended.

    17. 3.5 rather than a 4 because I thought the ending let this book down. I was left wondering what was going to happen to several of the characters and their situations. Would have preferred just one more chapter to tie up a few loose ends. Beautifully written though.

    18. 3 1/2 stars, beautifully written and fairly interesting characters, but I did finish the book and wonder what the point of the book was in a sorta unfulfilling way.

    19. Marvellous, loved this. Wasn't expecting it to be so different from the only other book of his I've read (Pure) which I loved too.

    20. Andrew Miller has a unique way of crafting sentences and for the most part that is the reason I stuck with this book to the end. The story line develops very slowly, I mean glacier slow. It is exhausting and ultimately in the end builds up to nothing. If you are looking for a book with a captivating plot this is certainly not it. If you read for good prose and almost lyrical sentences by all means pick this one up!

    21. Blechis was one of those books where I kept thinking, "Where am I?" "Why can't I figure out who these characters are or what is going on?" I never full understood where we were in the narration or in the characters' livesor why I should care. And I finally let myself put it down about half way through.

    22. I'm drawn to Andrew Miller's books the same way people gawk when seeing a bad accident or a destructive fire. I just want to know what happens. His writing is so fine, his characters so well drawn. In this one the plot was a bit thin. I didn't understand the role of Laszlo nor the involvement with people in LA. The best parts were about Alice, the mother of Larry and Alex, struggling with cancer.

    23. Subject matter is quite morbid and the plot drags. The prose is insufficiently enticing to appreciate this book.

    24. This multi-story line novel centers around the valentine family, mom alice is on her death bed from big c, alec is on the verge of a nervous breakdown and back at family home taking care of alice (dad is dead, suicide by alcohol and car), big brother larry is washed up soap opera actor in California who is reduced to secretly doing porn movies for cash (this is set in 1997), but comes back to uk to be with alice and family, a fourth story line is lazlo lazar, Hungarian (but living in france sinc [...]

    25. This was an excellent read, a 4.5 star review (if had such a thing). Tells three stories, two of which are closely interwoven and the third has a loose connection. Brothers Alec and Larry are living diverse lives, Alec in the UK, struggling with demons which aren't fully explained and taking the reins when mother Alice is diagnosed with terminal cancer; and Larry in the US, struggling with demons which are explained in some detail - a failing acting career in a long running daytime soap opera l [...]

    26. After reading Pure I was so impressed with Andrew Miller's prose that I was eager to read more of his work and to my surprise I found I'd had Oxygen lying on my book shelf for years. However I didn't enjoy it even half as much. With Pure, I would read parts over again as the prose was so enthralling but with Oxygen I was reading them over again because my attention had wandered. I found the stories a bit disjointed, especially the Hungarian playwright whose script 'Oxygène' is being translated [...]

    27. Two parallel stories: a family comes to terms with the slow and anguished passing of the family matriarch, Alice, to cancer, and a dissident writer, Laszlo, finds closure from an act of betrayal from years past. Alice's older son, Larry, comes to the UK to reunite with younger brother Alec and witness her final days. We learn of the difficult relationship that the brothers have had over the years.Miller is particularly strong at building characters, layering psychological detail upon detail, all [...]

    28. Even though the subject (terminal illness, failure in work and or marriage, etc) could sound depressing, to me it really wasn't at all. I feel it was well written and thoughtful and inside the mind a lot which was really cool of Andrew Miller to me. A few examples:Alice who is dying cant sleep in the middle of the night what goes through her mind, the past, the near future, what to prepare for, etc. so realistic, so vulnerable, so strong all at once. Larry one of the Brothers watches his Daughte [...]

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