Serious modern fiction has only one subject: the difficulty of writing serious modern fiction. And, if that idea was an undercurrent in The French Lieutenant's Woman the time-shift narrative tricks and Daniel Martin the writer-as-tortured-hero , Fowles is now offering it in undiluted form: this new novel chiefly consists of existential dialogues between a writer and his Muse—along with some Pirandello-ish gamesplaying and an erotic battle-of-the-sexes. Miles Green wakes up in a hospital bed, apparently afflicted with amnesia; soon a lovely doctor and a sexy nurse are matter-of-factly administering therapeutic sex to the outraged patient. What's going on?
|Published (Last):||18 November 2009|
|PDF File Size:||6.52 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||1.22 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — Mantissa by John Fowles. Mantissa by John Fowles. In Mantissa , a novelist awakes in the hospital with amnesia -- and comes to believe that a beautiful female doctor is, in fact, his muse. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published August 4th by Back Bay Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Mantissa , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Mantissa. Dec 24, Jenny Reading Envy rated it it was ok Shelves: read I love John Fowles' other novels like The Magus but there is a reason I had never heard of this book before stumbling across it at a used bookstore. This is like a meta-novel, reflecting on the muses and post-modernism, and I think probably only interesting to John in the moment he mused on muses, and not for long after.
The self-aware characters! By definition I'm in despair. Musings on literary movements! What do you think modernism was about? Let alone post-modernism. Even the dumbest students know it's a reflexive medium now, not a reflective one.
First, it has fully accepted that it is only fiction, can only be fiction, will never be anything but fiction, and therefore has no business at all tampering with real life or reality The natural consequence of this is that writing about fiction has become a far more important manner than writing fiction itself.
It's one of the best ways you can tell the true novelist nowadays. He's not going to waste his time over the messy garage-mechanic drudge of assembling stories and characters on paper. But don't try to think in addition.
Just accept that that's the way the biological cards have fallen. You can't have a male brain and intellect as well as a mania for being the universal girlfriend.
Stay away. Oh, John. Good lord. The author of two of my favorite novels The Magus and The Collector has failed me. I read the first section, which is 45 pages, and 8 pages of the second section, then literally said to myself, What am I doing?
This book is terrible. So I stopped. What a turgid, ham-fisted bore this novel is! I'm amazed, because I usually find Fowles's work so engaging. But this, this was a slog. It reminded me of another book I didn't finish Giles Goat-Boy in that it's so steeped in its own metaphor that it became unbearably difficult to care about the words on the page, because those words weren't telling a story, they were Making A Point.
To which I say, Enough already, I get it! But the Point is the only point, meaning the book just isn't for me. May 14, Travelin rated it liked it. Mildly amusing, mildly erotic, mildly neurotic. It mostly seems like the work of a dirty old man treading water, mildly undecided between putting sex or love, or some combination of the two, at the sole apex of life, while suspecting those same impulses for trapping him in boring dialogues and marriages. I thought his suggestion to this imaginary woman that she try working as a reviewer was ugly and uncalled for.
Fowles had unaccountabl "Mantissa" means essentially an unnecessary verbal addendum. Fowles had unaccountably been in England too long, after several early years believing he was somehow Greek. But we're still treated to a lot of nonelucidated namedropping of Greek words, Greek authors, etc. Per my, verbally, far more interesting book, "Are the English Human? It seems Brits of a certain age can write these unobtrusive, non-explicit stage plays, one after another, if they're less honest than Fowles.
Happily, the "meta" part of this meta-novel seems largely subdued. Just as happily, the hilarious and pointed asides about deconstructionists, postmodernists and other weirdos of 80s academia who "proved" that authors don't write their own books are barbs now missing their target, since I can see no evidence that readers bother to even buy postmodernist books.
Suspicion 1 confirmed: this was the last novel Fowles wrote Suspicion 2 uncomfirmed: he was only middle-aged, not old Suspicion 3 unnecessary: Was he happily? View all 3 comments. Mantissa is a novel where a writer ostensibly meets his muse — and this is quite symptomatic because Mantissa is a book in which his muse had left John Fowles.
Let alone post- Mantissa is a novel where a writer ostensibly meets his muse — and this is quite symptomatic because Mantissa is a book in which his muse had left John Fowles. Serious modern fiction has only one subject: the difficulty of writing serious modern fiction. First, it has fully accepted that it is only fiction, can only be fiction, will never be anything but fiction, and therefore has no business at all tampering with real life or reality.
Feb 23, Connor rated it did not like it. One of the most turgid pieces of shit I've ever read. Bloated with self-importance and self-referential in the most smug way possible.
Actual literal masturbation over his own characters and prose. View 1 comment. Sep 08, Enrico rated it did not like it. This book was tetrorchideously longer than it needed to be. Might have made a cute short story. Dec 09, Riff rated it it was amazing Shelves: highly-recommended. This is the furiously powerful mind of Fowles scrutinising the form and subject and process of his novels, his instincts as an artist, and himself within the strange 'walls' of fiction.
It is critical, unflattering, amusing, fascinating and demanding. I found it a joyful, easy read, but unless one is a serious writer or student of literature the qualities of this book may be difficult to fathom. It is enormously focused, and seems a microscopic study of the cerebral and creative powers which pre This is the furiously powerful mind of Fowles scrutinising the form and subject and process of his novels, his instincts as an artist, and himself within the strange 'walls' of fiction.
It is enormously focused, and seems a microscopic study of the cerebral and creative powers which presented the characters of his previous works. In that sense, it is perhaps an 'Inside the Actors Studio' of novel-craft, or a Stanislavski-type yarn, a 'realities-bending' fiction. His expression of being a man of his era as well as a feminist, a man both so finely tuned to the feminine mind, as well as one ready to admit it could still baffle a part of him, set as it is in direct parallel to artistic endeavour, was particularly courageous.
A most sublime read for those interested in such topics; and perhaps a gruelling bore to those who aren't. Jan 05, Beth rated it really liked it.
I enjoyed the symbolic room which brought the reader into the fictional writer's brain. There he conversed, warred and made love with his fictional female character in ping pong fashion. One minute he had the upper hand, the next moment she did; back and forth it proceeded until, in the end, they both fell helplessly into each others arms.
Her character changed repeatedly, from a Goth boi to a demur, sensitive young girl.
Mantissa by John Fowles
The amount of time it takes to get from one train platform to another. In the first chapter, I had a niggling doubt that this could turn out to be a sexcapade. Reading those passages — detailed explanation of a hand job, anyone? I take all of that back, because true to form, John Fowles has proceeded to make me fall in love with his writing all over again. To repeat, this is not a sexcapade. There may or may not be a doctor and nurse.
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.