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Harvest by Jim Crace

(16 Posts)
hackmum Sun 12-Jan-14 12:08:34

Has anyone else read this? I hadn't read anything by Crace before and only bought this because it was 99p in the Kindle sale, and it was on the Booker shortlist, so I thought it might be quite good. I hadn't read any reviews beforehand, so no preconceptions.

I thought it was brilliant, if bleak. Very beautifully written, it's a kind of moral fable about human cruelty. Interestingly I read some reviews afterwards and some of them really seemed to miss the point. But I would recommend it.

FuckingWankwings Sun 12-Jan-14 17:50:05

Yes! Loved it, but I love Jim Crace generally. I like that it is kind of obviously set during/rooted in Enclosure, and its issues are in some ways particular to that time and setting, but it's simultaneously timeless and, as you say, has the quality of a fable.

His books always have a strong and very effective sense of place, land and community. The Gift of Stones is particularly astonishing, I think.

Would love to hear if you read any more and what you think!

highlandcoo Sun 12-Jan-14 18:31:52

I've bought this in the Kindle sale too but haven't read it yet.

Good to hear such positive reviews.

hackmum Sun 12-Jan-14 19:16:05

Fucking - I do love a subtle username on Mumsnet. smile

I think I will read some more having enjoyed this one. All the way through I was trying to work out when it was set but couldn't narrow it down more than between 1500 and 1800. But when I read more about it, I discovered all the reviewers had the same problem.

It does bring home the huge injustice of the enclosures - as well as being so powerful in other ways.

myitchybeaver Sun 12-Jan-14 19:43:05

I thought it was awful. Dry and boring. One big long poem about farming. It missed the mark for me.

maillotjaune Sun 12-Jan-14 20:03:13

I thought it was beautiful and I will definitely read some more of his books. I loved the fact that it wasn't pinned to a particular time and Walter was a very appealing central character. It helped that I started reading it on an autumn day in a forest with smoke from the Kelly kettle rising up just as I was reading about the newcomers smile

FuckingWankwings Mon 13-Jan-14 12:16:35

hackmum grin I can't take the credit. Someone said it on a thread about fairy names and I stole it, basically. Well, I did ask their permission smile

OneHolyCow Mon 13-Jan-14 16:01:15

I loved it! One of the best books I read last year. I've just read on of his other ones, The Pesthouse but that wasn't as good, alas..
Recommended it to my husband and he loved it as well.

FuckingWankwings Mon 13-Jan-14 16:07:25

I wasn't so hot on The Pesthouse, either. Although I don't think any of his books are bad, as such. That one just isn't a high point IMO.

OneHolyCow Mon 13-Jan-14 16:13:04

I'll look up the Gift of Stones. Have you read the book about Jesus.. which is that, isn't it called Quarantaine?

FuckingWankwings Mon 13-Jan-14 16:20:38

Oh yes, Quarantine is great too. I don't dislike any of the Craces I've read, tbh. He's superb.

maillotjaune Mon 13-Jan-14 16:56:41

I've just bought Gift of Stones, like the premise. I'd never heard of Jim Crace (thought he was the Guardian bod, is it John Crace? blush ) so I'm looking forward to reading more.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Feb-14 11:48:20

Just bobbing in to let you know that Jim Crace's Harvest is our March book of the month and Jim will be joining us for a webchat about this and his other novels in early April. Find out more here.

hackmum Fri 21-Feb-14 09:22:28

Thank you, Rachel, will look forward to that.

maillotjaune - I think Jim and John Crace are cousins.

maillotjaune Fri 21-Feb-14 15:45:58

Thank you hackmum I can look very knowledgeable at next week's book club with that little fact.

RemusLupinsBiggestGroupie Fri 21-Feb-14 15:48:24

I've read three of his, and picked, 'Harvest' up in the library yesterday. Tbh though it looked exactly the same as the other three, which were all pretty similar anyway. I doubt I'll bother with any more of his.

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