Michael Ondaatje / Sep 30, 2020

Divisadero From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil s Ghost comes a remarkable intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time In the s in Northern California a

  • Title: Divisadero
  • Author: Michael Ondaatje
  • ISBN: 9780307279323
  • Page: 482
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil s Ghost comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them Theirs is a makeshift family,From the celebrated author of The English Patient and Anil s Ghost comes a remarkable, intimate novel of intersecting lives that ranges across continents and time In the 1970s in Northern California a father and his teenage daughters, Anna and Claire, work their farm with the help of Coop, an enigmatic young man who makes his home with them Theirs is a makeshift family, until it is shattered by an incident of violence that sets fire to the rest of their lives Divisadero takes us from San Francisco to the raucous backrooms of Nevada s casinos and eventually to the landscape of southern France As the narrative moves back and forth through time and place, we find each of the characters trying to find some foothold in a present shadowed by the past.

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      482 Michael Ondaatje
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      Posted by:Michael Ondaatje
      Published :2020-06-14T21:45:03+00:00

    About "Michael Ondaatje"

      • Michael Ondaatje

        He was born to a Burgher family of Dutch Tamil Sinhalese Portuguese origin He moved to England with his mother in 1954 After relocating to Canada in 1962, Ondaatje became a Canadian citizen Ondaatje studied for a time at Bishops College School and Bishop s University in Lennoxville, Quebec, but moved to Toronto and received his BA from the University of Toronto and his MA from Queen s University in Kingston, Ontario and began teaching at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario In 1970 he settled in Toronto From 1971 to 1988 he taught English Literature at York University and Glendon College in Toronto.He and his wife, novelist and academic Linda Spalding, co edit Brick, A Literary Journal, with Michael Redhill, Michael Helm, and Esta Spalding.Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje s work also encompasses memoir, poetry, and film.Ondaatje has, since the 1960s, also been involved with Toronto s influential Coach House Books, supporting the independent small press by working as a poetry editor.In 1988 Michael Ondaatje was made an Officer of the Order of Canada OC and two years later became a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.He has two children and is the brother of philanthropist, businessman, and author Christopher Ondaatje.In 1992 he received the Man Booker Prize for his winning novel adapted into an Academy Award winning film, The English Patient.


    1. 5 "hypnagogic" stars. 2015 Silver Award (2nd Favorite Read) What is this book? Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Oh my God!!Mr. Ondaatje captured snippets of dreams and put them in a beautiful violet tinged jar and shook them gently until they coalesced into one syrupy whole.I wanted to read this book slowly but I could not as the prose had a force of its own. It made me quiver with melancholy and at times made my heart skip in joy. Everything unfinished but infused with a primitive wisdom that se [...]

    2. Divisadero is not a story about the things that happened; it is a story about the things that were felt, and there is no living author better at telling a tale of feelings than Michael Ondaatje.Ondaatje's prose is poetry, and for me, his poetry is lyrically sublime, in the romantic sense of the word. I am awed by what he does, and I long to do it in my own prose. I don't care whether Anna and Coop and Claire ever find each other through the divisions of solitude they've embraced, and I don't fee [...]

    3. This book is full of the wisdom of a writer who is both a poet and a novelist. Divisadero: the divisions between our lives and the lives of others, and even between our most secret lives inside of us too secret to admit to ourselves. Divisadero: the connections between the divisions that cause us to yearn for the comfort of togetherness, of intimacy. On a palimpsest of a novel painted over by centuries of division and that longing for togetherness, Ondaatje brushes words that will stay with me f [...]

    4. الكاتب والشاعر السريلانكي مايكل أونداتجي ورواية بلا نهايات محددةحدث عائلي عنيف يُحدث انقسام حاد في حياة عائلة في الريف الأمريكيينتقل أونداتجي بين الماضي والحاضر ليتتبع حياة أبطال روايته ومع محاولة آنا – الراوية – للتعافي من الحزن والفقد باللجوء إلى الأدبتقوم بدراسة وتوث [...]

    5. God I did not like this book. Really, really did not like it. I read all the 4 and 5 star reviews, I get what people are saying, and I'm just not there. Why get us interested in characters and then abandon them? and why spend time telling us boring things about them (like a whole paragraph describing how she planted seeds in the field by scattering them instead of burying them) and then we find out about major dramatic events only in one passing sentence told as a part of someone else's narrativ [...]

    6. For those who have not read an Ondaatje book before, "Divisadero" may not be a good first start. A newer reader may be expecting a plot that rises and crashes as much as the one developed in "The English Patient," which Ondaatje became known best for after the success of the film version. (And even if you haven't watched the movie 10 times over like some of us, you get it: War, lust, affair, secrets, heartbreak, the end.)But for those who have eaten, lived and breathed his words relentlessly sin [...]

    7. This might bear more fruit on a second reading, but as it is right now I would consider this a lesser Ondaatje than the brilliance displayed inAnil's Ghost and Booker Prize winnerThe English Patient. The first two-thirds of the text spans the young lives of a mixed family in Northern California and Nevada--the trio of sisters Anna and Claire with adopted farmhand (and John Grady Cole archetype) Coop. There's a predictable/inevitable running through of paradise attained and lost for this family i [...]

    8. I just finished reading this book. I found it beautiful, haunting, and while at first I was dissatisfied with the loose and ultimately unresolved nature of the novel, I later decided to accept it and consequently appreciated it much more. Ondaatje is a poet as well as a novelist, and he lets poetry infuse his fiction richly. In this work, I feel that he has taken it one step further and stripped the events in the book to their essence, as in a poem. Read in that way, it no longer matters whether [...]

    9. Oh my god. Every once in a while and this happens like maybe once a year, I find, you read a book that is just the RIGHT BOOK at the right time. And this is it. Amazing. Gorgeous. It's hard to even say. Because there is also a roughness to it, to the characters that is almost gripping. That and, ta-dah it is so intricately structured. I love structures that I want to think about. And this is one. I want to just turn it over and read it again and again.It also makes me want to go back and read Th [...]

    10. To explain why I liked this book so much would be to give too much of its pleasures away. I will say, though, that the writing is beautiful and seems effortless. And that its themes are my favorites: memory, loss, connections that are made (but are too soon gone) and connections that are missed (in more than one sense of that word), never to be forgotten and seen everywhere.

    11. This was a fascinating unfolding of story, and simply heavenly writing. What a giant he is.Divisadero begins as a Steinbeckian story of a small family in the Gold Rush country of California, circa around 1970--a rancher and his two daughters (his wife has died giving birth to one of them, and he left the hospital with another baby, whose mother has similarly died giving birth two her), plus the hired hand, who was taken in by the rancher when his own family was murdered, leaving him the sole sur [...]

    12. There is not much I can write about Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero without echoing what all the other reviewers have already written: Ondaatje is a craftsman. His writing reveals decades of self-scrutiny, of each year wanting to say more with fewer words.Divisadero is about love and the loss thereof. Love falls victim to the jealous wrath of a protective father, to drug addiction, to the minor details of our daily lives, and the greater mystery of the entropy of desire:Lucien and his future wife [...]

    13. Can't say its my favorite book of Ondaatje's, but its still Ondaatje. Certain passages were exceptionally breath-taking, even by his own standards, and on the whole i enjoyed the majority of it so damn much. However, when compared to the subtlety of his other works (English Patient Excluded!), the dramatic turn of events was somewhat off-putting to me. On a side note, Ondaatje seems to have an impeccable talent for speculative fiction. Its heartening to see how well he can slip into such a color [...]

    14. As of July 2016, the average rating for this book is 3.47. After reading and alternately speed reading through the second half of the book, I actually feel that average rating is generous. Divisadero was a complete disappointment from start to finish. The only interest it held for me was the connection to California, as I am familiar with some of the settings. Otherwise the book was fragmented, the characters were flat, parts of the story were boring and the lack of dialogue between characters [...]

    15. Maybe 4 +half—Ondaatje’s novels always seem somehow flawed, because they’re not like any other author’s novels. They leave me a little confused and not a little mystified—but a confusion stemming from awe and wonder. Ondaatje’s novels are poems—or, rather, collections of poems in prose of varied pace and pitch—and they can’t be read by the ‘normal’ rules of novel-reading. So, to call “Divisadero” a strange and beautiful concoction is just to say it’s a Michael Ondaatj [...]

    16. Fantastic!!!!!When I saw Jaidee review this book today( Thank You, Jaidee), I was bursting withCheer!!!Why have people not read this book???It's a slice of heaven. Much of it takes place Napa, Calif. plus, "Divisadero", is afamous street in SF where the one of the characters -(Anna), - grows up,,so, much of the location - of the storytelling is also in SF I still own it, this nov( treasure it) I remember 'pre-ordering' it. I had no idea I hadn't reviewed this. I happen to love how Michael Ondaa [...]

    17. Bailed on page 75. The opening scenario was gripping, but then one of the women is in France and seems to be falling in love with a Romani dude, and things turn cloyingly horrible. I refuse on principle to finish a book that has this sentence in it: "All over the world there must be people like us, Anna had said then, wounded in some way by falling in love— seemingly the most natural of acts." Just no. No! Nooooooo!

    18. A very disappointing read. A book that started off with a bang and then just faded in the middle. This fairly recent book was available for sale at the inflated price of $30 in Singapore bookshops so when it popped up in the American Club Library, I figured it was a smart, cost-efficient move. It was since buying the book would have been a waste.The man can write. His account of a tragic incidents in the lives of two young girls and an orphaned hired hand on a northern California farm creates su [...]

    19. Another outstanding offering from one of my favorite authors. The narrative travels back and forth in time, forging links between the past and the present. Ondaatje gives clues in the content as to the critical themes. "All over the world there must be people like us. . .wounded in some way by falling in love--seemingly the most natural of acts." "We live permananetly in the reoccurence of our own stories, whatever story we tell." ". . .what is most untrustowrthy about our natures and self-worth [...]

    20. Beautifully written, and frustratingly unfulfillingbut I think that may be the author's point. The three storylines (filled with a multitude of engrossing characters) are divided by time and place but are supposed to intersect with one another symbolically, spiritually and metaphorically. Sound confusing? It is. It is also hard to articulate a cold hard opinion of this book; to do so lessens the effect of the book. Ondaatje's style is so lyrical, I'd find myself stopping and wanting to write dow [...]

    21. This book is beautifully written. It is three disconnected stories in a mosaic. Each beautiful and complete in itself. The stories are linked to each other through a common character. I loved all the characters and was sad to leave them behind as the book moved on to the next story. In this way, it seemed to me to be a more of a collection of short stories sharing characters (similar to Franny and Zooey) than a novel.

    22. I very much enjoyed this book. But it was a little confusing toward the end. so I think it may need a second read. I came away with beautiful imagery of how people, specifically all the main characters fragment themselves. I think that the format of the book is also a story/metaphor of this fragmentation. I'm not saying that any of his other books has straight forward, linear, single protagonist narration, but this literally felt like the narration was shattering towards the end into more and mo [...]

    23. WellWhen you've already written "The English Patient," it's hard to do much better. Unfortunately, it also seems to mean you don't get good editorial advice anymore.This book has the makings of two good, separate books that would be tied together by a slim plot connection. As it is now, the two story lines are poorly integrated & feel forced.I found the Cooper story dull, if only because I'm tired of Texas Hold 'Em poker & Las Vegas & America in general.The Lucien story, on the other [...]

    24. Divisadero, as its clunky Spanish title unintentionally implies, will divide your opinion at the same time it hovers in the memory long after you finish. Magnificent as well as overblown; embarrassing, yet also intense and ultimately moving; filled with moments that belong in a Mills & Boon romance counter-pointed by mind-blowing feats of linguistic energy and narrative multiplication. It's a wonder someone can be this great and so lushly bad all at once. What you can't fault Michael Ondaatj [...]

    25. Again, read this in tall narrow house in Nerja, Spain, overlooking Andalucean mountains. Had it on my table to read for months, and didn't get round to it. What I really loved about this book was the fact that Ondaatje is brave enough to let his fiction/story/narrative take him where he pleases. He doesn't feel constrained by some imaginary editor sitting on his shoulder saying critically 'you can't do that' or 'the publisher won't like that.' The beginning of the book opens with a painful love [...]

    26. as usual Ondaatje incorporates some beautiful imagery and there are some really outstanding sections of this book. However, on the whole, a disjointed piece with a whole lot of exposition and background description, but no sense of resolution to 2 out of 3 parts of the story. The good part, near the end, is just a back story about a character that is already dead and has almost nothing to do with the rest of the book at all. One of the very main characters is conveniently beaten to crap and has [...]

    27. 4 because it's O, and there are so many moments of surpassing brilliance in the writing. It's not the EP, and not the Skin, and not Billy, and not even Anil's Ghost. I was listening to this rather than reading it, and so I might have missed something, but I decided that Anna must have been the narrator throughout. Does anyone disagree? That she was imagining all the other shards? Which is why all of them, other than Segura's, in whose she is most deeply invested and most immersed at the time of [...]

    28. Smooth, skilled writing (if on occasion at bit purple), well-developed characters, generally interesting settings (particularly the early twentieth century French part) all left of the floor at the end as if the author had lost interest and walked away. "Divisadero"--I get it, the fragmentation of modern life the way in which people permanently alter the lives of others and then move on, occasionally circling back, a theme stated clearly and with eloquence in the final pages. The novel shifts na [...]

    29. I evidently haven't read a Work of Literature for a while. I want to talk about this book with someone who read it!! There was much I loved about each fragment of the story, but only the last part of the novel seemed "complete." I kept waiting to return to the original three characters, and was disappointed. I know this was deliberate on the author's part, but I want to figure out why!!!

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