But Miller s sometimes beautiful sometimes grotesue always rich descriptions never added up to a whole for me A ittle disappointing The first half or two thirds is uite engrossing and it s very well written although I wouldn t go so far as to say dazzling or extraordinary as the critics on the cover proclaim but it just didn t do enough for me I don t think the characters in general and the main character in particular are fleshed out enough and the story doesn t do an awful ot It doesn t impart much in the way of wisdom or insight or offer any fresh or surprising perspectives If I d discovered it by accident I might have Cherry Bomb liked it but as I found it through the Guardian sist of 1000 books you have to read as the praise for it is so high and as the concept holds so much promise my expectations were very high Unfortunately they weren t uite met This isn t technically a review because I m afraid I abandoned the book about a third of the way through I just couldn t finish it I bought it on the strength of the author s novel Pure which I thoroughly enjoyed and which fascinated me on a intellectual Leading the Way level and moved me emotionally There was a main character I could identify with and a plot that had tension For me both of those were missing from this bookThis book has won prizes I can see that it does have beautiful prose but I wanted something I can see too that it does portray aspects of C18thife and for some that may be interest enough For me neither of these aspects can compensate for a non compelling story I can see that if you take the book as a whole which I can t but I ve read the reviews so I know how it ends there is a major degree of development in the character and plot towards the end but there wasn t enough plot in the foreground to keep me reading and I got bored waitingApart from the flatness of the story I have problems with the main character He is strange He is conceived in a strange way His strangeness is stated but never explained at east in the parts I managed to read I was unwilling to accept this I wanted convincing And I can see that the character s emotional isolation and ack of engagement may have been a deliberate ploy on behalf of the author to reflect his separation from the society around him but it also had the effect of me being able to keep him at arms The Single Girl's Guide to Marrying a Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife: Becoming a Stepmother with Humor and Grace length Without a gripping plot I was content toeave the C18th detail and the beautiful prose and When Red Cried Wolf let him be I was not impressed I did notike any of the characterswhich I guess is not a problem in and of itself if they are all supposed to be bad I thought some of the events in the book that were uite important to James Dyer the major protagonist in the novel were fantastical and dealt with so briefly that I was not sold and dampened by enthusiasm for this book The premise was interestinga person who could not feel pain And those people do exist in real ife it s a cursethey die at an early ageI just don t have anything really positive to say about this book I am so damn stubborn and cannot do a DNF this would have been the book to do itIt won the
James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 1997 the International Dublin LiteraryTait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction 1997 the International Dublin Literary 1999 and the Italian Premio Grinzane Cavour prize for a foreign anguage novel 1999 The novel was also The World in the Curl: An Unconventional History of Surfing listed on the New York Times Notable Books of the Year for 1997 So I guess I am an outlier Nothing new thereReviews Mid 5 This is a sublime achievement for a debut novel as Miller has not only created a tour de force of historical fiction but has also captured the essence of the period of the Enlightenement with on the one hand its heady mix of scientific enuiry and heightened awareness of the wider world to be explored and on the other the underlying cruelty and barbarity which still anchored society to the superstitions and practices of gthe past James Dyer is a masterful creation with which to vividly bring the contradictions of this age toife As such the singular capacity of being insensate to pain with which he is either blessed or cursed is shrouded in the shadowy details surrounding his birth and yet enables him to distinguish himself in the pursuit of medical advancement Thus the reader is able to accompany him through the fantastic and ghoulish pursuit of medical advancement Thus the reader is able to accompany him through the fantastic and ghoulish of the travelling uack and private collector of freakish curiosities the bawdry colourful atmosphere of eighteenth century Georgian England the blood and gore faced by the naval surgeon the anatomical and surgical practices of the medical professionals of the day and the court of Catherine the Great of Russia His clinical detachment has allowed him to become so renowned that he is invited to participate in a cross continent race to be the first to treat the magisterial Russian empress At the end of this odyssey Dyer meets the mysterious Maria with magical healing powers who teaches him Song of the Forest love and therefore pain As he experieneces the passions and torments he was once shielded from he becomes mortal and capable of redemption And did you get what you wanted from thisifeeven so I didAnd what did you want To call myself beloved to feel myself beloved on earth Raymond CarverI have to agree with a few other people and say that it s a combo of historical fiction and fantasy The ending was a bit sudden and disappointing but overall I enjoyed it Lyrical and sometimes grim. Assion than pain Until en route to St Petersburg to inoculate the Empress Catherine against smallpox he meets his nemesis and saviour. Ome magnificent writing in the childhood episode and in a tour de force description of Catherine the Great s palace in St Petersburg I think the parts of the novel I iked best were those set in Devon at the beginning and the end of the novel The character of Julius Lestrade is uite wonderful he s an effective foil to Dyer as sensible in the eighteenth century sense as Dyer is insensible but to my mind at A Constellation of Vital Phenomena least he transcended his role in the novel s play of ideas I wouldn t have thought on the basis of the other novels I had read by Miller that he was capable of creating such a believable and engaging figure I m not always enraptured with metaliterary jokes but there s a very good one at the end of this one about the difficulty of ending a novel which may also be something of aiterary true confession if
Pure is anything to go by I found myself wondering whether there was something metaliterary going on also inis anything to go by I found myself wondering whether there was something metaliterary going on also in Lestrade Dyer relationship Do novelists need to possess both the cold forensic eye of pre crisis Dyer and the warm empathizing sensibility of Lestrade If so I think Miller has the balance near perfect in this first novel I wonder whether he has ever found it since James Dyer is dangerous man He s dangerous because he does not care And such people are always dangerous Endowed with special gift or maybe a curse he s imperious to pain both physical and emotional And hence his ack of empathy ordinary human kinship a bit of compassion and concern That something what makes us humansHe was born in a small English village as the result of not really romantic adventure on the rink and until the tenth year of ife had never ever cried not even uttered a single word In silence unable to feel anything watched the world As a young boy becomes an attraction of fairground shows a freak shown by the fraudster who unscrupulously uses him to trade miracle specifics Sextasy: Master the Timeless Techniques of Tantra, Tao, and the Kama Sutra to Take Lovemaking to New Heights later comes to hand of the seemingly enlightened member of a scientific society and becomes alongside the Siamese twins another showpiece in his cabinet of curiosities to finally become a genius surgeonThe action of The ingenious pain takes place inate eighteen century mainly in England but also on the sea in Paris Berlin and on the Russian court We visit markets Still Life with Chickens live in magnate s residence participate in sea battle trudge through snowstorm somewhere in Russia descend to hell s reality of Bedlam hospital to finally find harmony on uiet vicarage admiring beauty of English countrysideNovel abounds in truly realistic descriptionset s remember it is eighteen century Age of Reason but also age of ignorance It reads Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea like mange of adventure novel with naturalistic one magical realism freely interlace with mundaneness and ugliness Dyer is an ambiguous character Ambitious and ruthless Different Uniue We rather sympathize with him than admire him Because of his terrifying gift since he knew neither fear nor hesitation he could become a great surgeon But as he states
"MUCH LATER AFTER HIS REVIVAL PEOPLE DIDN T SEEK "later after his revival people didn t seek in him He only Paradox Bound like a magician repaired their crushed bodies not giving a damn about theirater fate seeing in them only blend of damaged bones and infected fleshInitially his insensitivity and arrogance arouses in us pity and disgust But when he oses former power when his body finally recalls all the injuries and fractures when he s shaking from pain and cold when he becomes ike the rest of us then do not be afraid to say that when he finally becomes the human we STFU, Parents: The Jaw-Dropping, Self-Indulgent, and Occasionally Rage-Inducing World of Parent Overshare look fondly on his fragile broken physiue Tough in fact to the very end he remains an enigma and we the readers have to answer the uestion What does the world need most a good ordinary man or one who is outstanding albeit with a heart of ice Not exactly a title that says pick me up and buy me but nevertheless a very richly detailed novel set in 18th century England one that really made me feel what it must have beenike to be alive then Too many beautifully worded descriptions to repeat here but here s one on a new born calf A glorious sight The cow s expanse of tongue icking the calf and the calf itself trembling delicately stunned by its passage into the air The story is about a man who is born without the ability to feel pain and who has absolutely no empathy for others He is extremely intelligent As a young boy he eaves what is Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays left of his family after a smallpox epidemic becomes a side show freak then part of a collection of freaks assembled by an important scientist then a ship s surgeon in the navy then a highly successful doctor and finally a madman and a tramp after meeting a mysterious gypsy woman who somehow makes himike everyone else The book opens with a grotesue autopsy on his corpse the rest is back story Some very sympathetically drawn characters but I never really got where the story was going or understood why it was written in the first place There were some solecisms using Are All Guys Assholes?: More Than 1,000 Guys in 10 Cities Reveal Why They're Not, Why They Sometimes Act Like They Are, and How Understanding Their ... Will Solve Your Guy Drama Once and For All lie instead ofay the reverse of the usual mistake and sit instead of set Miller also used discomforted when I m almost certain he meant discomfited On the other hand thanks to his to me odd usage I What a Lass Wants looked up pragmatic in Johnson s dictionary and found that in the 18th century it meant meddling busy in other peoples business withouteave Hard to imagine that in only 75 years it developed its present meaning. Es through the ranks of Georgian society to become a brilliant surgeon Yet as a human being he fails for he can no feel ove and comp.
free download Ingenious PainI recently heard an interview
with Andrew Miller on the radio he was speaking about his ast book Pure whichAndrew Miller on the radio he was speaking about his ast book Pure which just published here in translation He was an interesting and elouent speaker and got me interested in reading his book but then I remembered about Ingenious Pain and that I ve had this book on my shelf for over four yearsI m glad that I heard this interview as it reminded me of why I became interested in this author and why I bought this book in the first place Ingenious Pain is Andrew Miller s debut but you wouldn t guess it from reading it This is a very we Very Interesting Premise Interesting Characters Historically Well Written But the ending and the relationships between the characters were a bit disappointing to meThere were parts of this novel that I really enjoyed the author is clearly talented He creates vivid images some memorable characters and moves the story along at a brisk pace It was only in the fleshing out of the emotional relationships between his characters that I found myself wanting for James Dyer cannot feel pain can not empathize with others pain When James is very young he The League for the Suppression of Celery leaves his home and travels with Marley Gummer duping country folk into buying what they don t need and what won t help them He eventually becomes a successful surgeon never distracted by his own emotions or those of his patients He travels to Russia and meets the Empress Catherine and a woman who changes him Mary is rud to be a witch and James changes after he meets her he suddenly feels disappointment pain suffering andoveFor the most part I thought it was well done interesting and an enjoyable read but it wasn t the most satisfying read I wished happiness for James and I would have iked greater insight into the relationship between James and Mary It reminded me of other dark stories A Prayer For the Dying by Stuart O Nan Asylum by Patrick McGrath and House of Sight and Shadow by Nicholas Griffin There is a certain similar flavor among those novels If you iked any of those you might Suspicion at Seven: A Lois Meade Mystery like this as well I think I was first alerted to Andrew Miller as a novelist when I read admiring reviews of Ingenious Pain his first novel but I somehow didn t get round to reading the book instead I read a couple of hisater books Oxygen and the highly acclaimed Pure On the basis of these I was developing a notion of Miller as someone who promises much but somehow doesn t uite deliver Pure has outrageously good subject matter for a historical novel and would make a memorable elevator pitch it also contains some superb writing and evokes the grisly world of Les Innocents in a manner that I found simultaneously ghostly and visceral not an easy combination to pull off It sticks in my mind eighteen months or so after I read it which is why I decided finally to give Ingenious Pain a try Yet I finished Pure with a feeling of slight frustration I felt Miller had created a truly wondrous novelistic scenario and then not uite known what to do with it None of the characters really engaged or convinced me and there was a great deal in both plot and characterization that seemed contrived Ingenious Pain I iked much I didn t think it was flawless what novel is but it s a wonderful read Some critics have pointed out that it is derivative of Suskind s Perfume The Story of a Murderer in respect of its setting and subject matter but I don t have any problem with that Novels don t have to be absolutely original thematically They just have to be good Ingenious Pain has a somewhat picaresue uality recalling novels in the period it is set mid eighteenth century We follow its hero or anti hero James Dyer born without the capacity for feel pain through a series of successive ife episodes each with a or The Day Fidel Died less distinctive castist of surrounding Characters His Childhood In A his childhood in a Somerset village his time as a fairground freak exploited by a conman his time as the captive of a wealthy collector with sinister scientific interests a period as a fashionable doctor in Bath etc Only fairly ate in the novel when we recoup a set of characters from the opening seuence set after Dyer s death does this inear paratactic structure yield to something unified and integrated This can be a tricky structure to manage for a modern novelist since there s always the danger that he will ose his readers along the way while making the transition to a new episode or scenario Ingenious Pain avoids this risk though or I found it did since the uality of the writing is so consistently excellent that it waltzes you through the transitions It is almost miraculous at points I tend towards the fast and furious as a reader but there were all kinds of sentences that stopped me in my tracks There s also an element of suspense as the older version of the Dyer character we meet at the beginning of the novel is so different from his younger incarnation that we are ured into reading on to discover how this metamorphosis is realized Both these factors took me through the only part of the novel that I found Gulp!: The Seven-Day Crash Course to Master Fear and Break Through Any Challenge less convincing a brief epistolary episode constructed to whisk us through a portion of Dyer sife Miller clearly did not want to narrate in detail I wasn t a great fan of a ater episode set in Bedlam but that was a matter of personal taste than a drop in the uality of the writingAlthough there is At the dawn of the Enlightenment James Dyer is born unable to feel pain A source of wonder and scientific curiosity as a child he ris.