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by Hilary Mantel

Set in London, 1782: center of science and commerce, home to the newly rich and desperately poor. Among whom is the Giant O'Brien, a freak of nature, a man of story and song who trusts in the old myths. He has come to Ireland to exhibit his size for money. He has, he soon discovers, come to die. His opposite is a man of science, the famed anatomist John Hunter. Hunter lusts after the Giant's corpse, a medical curiosity, and a boon to the advancement of scientific knowledge. In this acclaimed novel, author mantel tells of the fated convergence of two worlds: Ireland & England, of poetry & science, of poverty & wealth. A somber, powerful cautionary tale often heart-wrenching. A brilliant pastiche in the tradition of the great novelist Swift & Joyce. Well-worth reading.
Download The Giant, O'Brien: A Novel epub
ISBN: 0805062955
ISBN13: 978-0805062953
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Genre Fiction
Author: Hilary Mantel
Language: English
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (October 15, 1999)
Pages: 208 pages
ePUB size: 1915 kb
FB2 size: 1284 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 159
Other Formats: doc lit docx azw

Although the prose in this book is excellent, the plot is confusing. I really did not enjoy the book and almost stopped reading it - this is something I very seldom do. I was very disappointed overall, especially considering Hilary Mantel's other work.
This is a beautifully told, imaginative feast. A giant, a premodern Ireland losing its traditions, a vile London, and so on. Perhaps this is a primitive reading, but I take the Giant to be premodern man, and John Hunter, the fetishist of dissection, to be modern man. From this angle, at least, I found the book a wonderfully thoughtful reflection on what we have lost. She has complete mastery of her language. My first Mantel, and I look forward to more.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE GIANT, O'BRIEN and just wanted to put in a positive review because Hilary Mantel always provides a good read. If one is looking for something out of the ordinary, that has some depth, and that will stay in your head for a week or so afterward, you can't go wrong Mantel.
This book deals with an interesting subject--how "freaks of nature" were viewed in the 18th century--but the characterizations are not the strongest. And it's on the grim side, too. Now this writer specializes in the more violent aspects of historical events, but this book doesn't have the vividness of either Place of Greater Safety or her latest, Wolf Hall, which is hard to put down. But it is worth it for the 18th century detail and mindset.
Hilary Mantel has a unique ability to tell a story through the conversations of her characters. The book is carried along by each character's thoughts and words. This story told in the Irish dialect of its subjects, is at times amusing and often poignant, but ultimately depressing. Frankly there were no surprises in this story. It ground along with the giant and his retinue heading for their predictable end.
After reading Mantel's last book, Bring Up the Bodies, I was really disappointed in this one. She has certainly honed her craft since this early work.
A engaging tale of mortality. I found myself reflecting on the meaning/purpose of my life & morbid accounting survivors will parse out at my demise - financial & otherwise. Also provided me a greater appreciation of the social & economic position of the Irish within the Commonwealth the time.
Not much more than an entertaining short work by a brilliant author. I would only recommend this book for those who want to get a greater range on Hilary Mantel.
In short, O'brien, the novel, deals with a fascinating and unusual. It's stylishly, intelligently, and poetically written. A tribute to Swift and Joyce and their voices, but
the overriding author is definitely Mantel. Wonderful read.