Cover illustration by Lindsay Carr.
|Publisher:||Small Beer Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Table of ContentsPART ONE: PRELUDE
1. Lost On Both Sides
2. The Trees of the Garden
PART TWO: LONDON BOYS
3. Love Disguised as Reason
4. Chill October
5. The Eve of St. Agnes
6. Ferdinand Lured by Ariel
7. The Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell
PART THREE: THE GLITTERING GIRL
8. The Beckoning Fair One
9. The Entombment
11. The Rock and Castle of Seclusion
12. The Disenchantment of Bottom
14. The DogJumps Down
PART FOUR: THE ORDER OF RELEASE
15. The Master Stroke
What People are Saying About This
“ I think she has written the best book of her generation.”
“A brilliant novel like Elizabeth Hand’s recent Mortal Love deserves all the readers it can get.”
“You don’t so much read this novel as drink it down, like absinthe.”
“Elizabeth Hand is a writer whose vision, and whose writing into that extraordinary vision of hers, is exceptional…”
“Don’t turn the pages too fastif you can help it.”
“Mortal Love is a wildly intelligent, dangerously sexy read.”
“A great gothic read, and one that dishes up all the dark delights.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Three narrative threads intertwine in this dark fantasy of artistic inspiration and madness. In late Victorian-era London, young American painter Radborne Comstock meets and becomes obsessed with the beautiful Evienne Upstone, an auburn-haired and green-eyed artist¿s model who has already served as the muse for several other artists and who has driven many of the insane by virtue of her sheer beauty and otherworldly presence. Decades later, Comstock¿s grandson Valentine views his grandfather¿s paintings of Evienne and is in turn inspired to create intricately detailed artworks in which a red-haired, green-eyed woman is at the same time a lush fairytale landscape. Valentine¿s obsession with the woman¿whom he named Vernoraxia¿drives him, too, to the edge of madness and he ends up medicated and numbed. In contemporary London, American writer Daniel Rowlands is researching the legend of lovers Tristan and Iseult and ends up caught in the spell of Larkin Meade, a red-haired, green-eyed woman whose strange passion leaves him deranged and obsessed. Parallels and emotional resonances shared between the three narratives suggest that, somehow, Evienne and Larkin are the same woman, or the same being¿a muse, perhaps, or a force of nature too strong for mere mortals to love without madness but whom artists and writers are compelled to render imperfectly over and over in painting, poetry, and legend. Rich, evocative, lyrical, and vibrant, ¿Mortal Love¿ wonderfully captures the exquisite lunacy of artistic expression and the urge to create. Authentic period detail and references to real-life artists combine with lushly poetic language to captivate readers much as the mysterious red-haired muse about whom Hand writes captivates artists.
A book that seems to be trying to emulate John Crowley (more ¿Love & Sleep¿ than ¿Aegypt¿). Fairly successful, though it is confusing. It jumps back and forth across three generations, and the guy in each time frame seems to be very much the same, though he¿s ¿mortal¿ and there¿s no reason for him to be a clone, far as I can tell. It seems more a case of the writer not sufficiently separating each. The characters are undifferentiated, as though she can only write about one kind of hero/main character guy. Maybe there was a point to that which I¿m missing¿whatever. Kept me reading, but I don¿t think I¿ll search out more of her stuff.
Elizabeth Hand is one of my favorite writers, and this is my favorite of her novels. Mortal Love is about a muse, whose name changes depending on the time and to who she appears, but whose eyes are always very bright green, and the men who are taken under her spell. Probably the thing I like best about this novel is its nimbleness and balance. Hand is equally comfortable writing in Victorian London as she is in a bohemian and ramshackle mansion on the coast of Maine in the 1970s. This is a powerful novel of romantic and artistic obsession. It is terrifying and sensual and wise.
This book was so hard to get through. I had to set it down every few pages and then had to force myself to pick it back up. For an avid reader who will read just about any fictional story out there it's a bad sign.Admittingly, I skimmed the last fifth of the book - but I don't think there was any way it would have gotten better.A very hard read.
I could not get into this book at all. I was still not interested in the storyline half way through but I kept reading hoping it would get better. It didn't. I am a huge fan of historical fiction, art, and magic/whimsy and this book has a little of it all tied into one story but surprisingly it was a terrible combination. Few of the characters were interesting, almost none could be related to, and the storyline was confusing and jumped around--and not in an interesting way. I really wanted to enjoy this, but it was just awful.
I didn't really like this book when I started it, but by the time I finished it I was hooked. The book and its characters draw you in.