August #2020

August By Gerard Woodward August An unforgettable first novel revels in nostalgia for post war England Aldous Jones flew over his bicycle handlebars in landing next to Farmer Evan s field Since that day he s taken his family c
  • Title: August
  • Author: Gerard Woodward
  • ISBN: 9780701171117
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Hardcover
  • August By Gerard Woodward
    August By Gerard Woodward An unforgettable first novel revels in nostalgia for post war England.Aldous Jones flew over his bicycle handlebars in 1955, landing next to Farmer Evan s field Since that day, he s taken his family camping at the Evan s Welsh farm each summer As the years pass the family idyll starts to disintegrate, and summers at the farm are drenched in memory An evocative, funny EnAn unforgettable first novel revels in nostalgia for post war England.Aldous Jones flew over his bicycle handlebars in 1955, landing next to Farmer Evan s field Since that day, he s taken his family camping at the Evan s Welsh farm each summer As the years pass the family idyll starts to disintegrate, and summers at the farm are drenched in memory An evocative, funny English novel, with dark, mournful undercurrents.
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      Published :2020-04-19T13:35:14+00:00

    About “Gerard Woodward

    • Gerard Woodward

      Gerard Woodward born 1961 is a British novelist, poet and short story writer, best known for his trilogy of novels concerning the troubled Jones family, the second of which, I ll Go To Bed at Noon, was shortlisted for the 2004 Man Booker Prize 1 He was born in London and briefly studied painting at Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall He later attended the London School of Economics, where he studied Social Anthropology, and Manchester University, where he studied for an MA in the same subject In 1989 he won a major Eric Gregory Award for poets under thirty and his first collection of poetry, Householder, won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1991 His first novel, August, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award In 2011 he was writer in residence at Columbia College, Chicago He is currently Professor of Fiction at Bath Spa University.

    427 thoughts on “August

    • I m not positive this is a five star book, but it was such a relief to read a book by someone who a can write, b is alive and c doesn t feel the need to resort to gimmickry in plot or prose, that I can t go any lower Easily the best written book I ve read in a long, long time easily the best character development I can remember A few reviewers complain that the characters actions aren t always motivated, and this highlights the one problem with the book not that their actions aren t motivated, b [...]



    • it was going no where fast and so I only read 1 2 the book.Have too many other good books to read and don t want to waste my time on this one



    • I first read this about ten years ago and it blew me away All re reads are a gamble, but this one paid off This is a brilliant book The Jones family head off to Wales to camp on the field of Farmer Evans and his family every August The book gives us snippets of some of those holidays and a little of the intervening time back home in London, over a period of sixteen years We see the family grow, and we watch as the family dynamics change and gradually fall apart This is not a light hearted book T [...]


    • For once, I am not too sure what to make of a book This is a first novel written by a prize winning poet that on the surface is deceptively simple.It tells the story of the Jones, taking sequential summer holidays in Wales in August in the 50s and 60s as the chapters.Very simple The author handles the charaterisation very well We have an eager liberal family who like their camping and we watch as the children grow up to young adults Most of the drama is around Janus, the eldest, who is a talente [...]


    • This novel follows the life of the Jones family from 1955 1970, as seen through the prism of their yearly August camping vacations in northern Wales Over the years, the family descends from contented togetherness into increasing troubles and dysfunction The mother, Colette becomes addicted to sleeping pills and sniffing glue The eldest son, Janus, while a gifted pianist, proves to be a somewhat disturbed young man and quite an unpleasant jerk who treats his family and associates very badly I ver [...]


    • I m not sure about this book It is certainly beautifully written It tells of fifteen years of a family s August camping escapes to a random farm field in Wales, and the descriptions of the countryside and the nearby beach capture an idyllic setting However, the disintegration of the family is harder to read and reminds me of so many melancholic Irish stories Woodward presents a wry observation of their dysfunction and I hoped, early on, that they would finally find their way I came to eventually [...]


    • I m on the verge of giving up Well written observations but it is endless description and character study and back story, so a little boring as a whole Will give it another 20 pages, can t say fairer than that as I ve already dragged myself to page 92 I think the problem with this novel is that the author doesn t allow you enough time to get to know anyone before flipping you to someone else and isn t skilled enough, despite beautiful sentences, in fast characterisation I just don t care about a [...]


    • For anyone who revels in character development, this has it in spades, right down to the family cat The narrative is wonderful, and very imaginative.An English family story is chronicled through their yearly camping trip to a farm in Wales As the family grows, so do their idiosyncrasies The first of a trilogy 2010 my year of trilogies I want to go back and visit this family again, although with trepidation as this story is destined to become darker.


    • I found the book surprisingly engaging considering how little happens for much of the book Some of the changes undergone by the family members didn t quite make sense to me but I could see that the author was making chronological jumps so things changed faster than in real life.



    • Nothing good can last, is Woodward s message, not childhood, not family traditions such as camping in Wales in August , not love, not happiness Throw addiction into the mix mother Colette s to sniffing glue, Janus s to alcohol , and the decline can be rapid How this novel, and its sequel I LL GO TO BED AT NOON, keep from being depressing to read is the secret to Woodward s art.


    • I lost all interest in this book after about 50 pages My feeling is always that life is too short to read a bad book This book was stultifyingly boring, with two dimensional characters, so it will go straight to the charity shop, while I get on with some decent reading


    • Excellent book Really enjoyed the characters and the flow Great snapshot of a family and its trials and tribulations._______________Reviewer drkennydouglas This was Gerard Woodward s first novel, after three award winning collections of poetry, but from his mastery of the form anyone would think he had a dozen novels under his belt The loving but troubled Jones family, complete with Mum who sniffs glue and unstable eldest son Janus who fixes his pencil sketches of trees to the wall of the Tate G [...]


    • It took me a day or so to think about this book before writing my review It s different to most books I ve read in that it doesn t really go anywhere I believe that it s part of a series, however, and so this could be the reason why.The book follows the Jones family as they go on holiday to the same place in Wales over a number of years As the years pass by we see the children grow up and we see how the relationships become and complex and dysfunctional, from the glue sniffing mother to the pa [...]


    • Woodward is a poet who has to date written four novels and a collection of short stories August is his first novel I forget where I saw mention of Woodward, but wherever it was it persuaded me his fiction might appeal so I kept a weather eye open for copies in charity shops and one afternoon scored three August, I ll Go To Bed At Noon and A Curious Earth for 99p each in the same shop Having now read the first book, I ll definitely be reading the other two I thought at first that August was tryin [...]


    • August tells the story of an ordinary family from London, who go every year to a farmer s field in Wales to camp out for a few weeks Beginning in 1955, when Aldous meets the farmer and is invited to stay, until their last visit in 1970, when all but the youngest Jones is too old for a family camping holiday, Woodward tells of Aldous, a promising art student who finds contentment in teaching and loves his vivacious wife Colette, who loves her family and is devastated at the death of her mother Th [...]


    • A quietly brilliant novel that s exemplary of the art of character development The plot is thin and simplistic on the surface, but the novel s true power is in the writer s ability to draw the reader in with deliberately suppressed information, deceptively simple sentences that hint at something deeper beneath the surface, and deeply memorable characters because of how ordinary and normal they are At the same time, Woodward immerses the reader in the lush landscape of Wales and makes it come to [...]


    • This was a really interesting read I liked the visual language the author used and relied on that often when the literal language failed my minds tongueI dont speak welsh and cant even seem to wrap my head around the jumble of letters that name a hillside or lake in this book Still I found that hurdle worth the jump to get through the narrative The characters were real and interesting enough to me to care for, despise, fall in love with and fear for the safety of at one point or another througho [...]


    • This story is about a kind of a quiet, ordinary, got our problems family, who vacations every summer in a farmer s field in Wales Excitement wise, it s kind of a brown story, a light beige brown The jacket copy proclaims Woodward s book this is the first in a trilogy full of deadpan wit It s the kind of wit I often miss.I wouldn t want to be the main characters Aldous and Colette or their four or five children, but I was curious enough to follow them through the years In a particularly quirky tw [...]


    • What a nice story No sudden family tragedy, no one gets eaten, no one is turned into a zombie This is a story of the Jones family, who spend every August camping on the same farm in Wales We see glimpses of their lives during these summers and how things can change from year to year If you like this, read the series in this order though they were not published in this order August I ll go to bed at noon Curious Earth


    • I found it hard to really get into this book Maybe it was the impossible to pronounce Welsh names of towns, etc but for a while I had a hard time figuring who was who and who was related to who It was about a third of the way through the book that I started to want to pick up the book It s a bit of a heavy read Beautifully written but the story of the Jones family is ultimately heartbreaking.


    • Elegantly written, the storyline did not pick up throughout the entire book, however I believe I will struggle to get through the other two books in this series but we shall see Janus reminds me of an old friend, and it was eerie to read his character with said friend in mind Also, Colette s character intrigued me, and I am interested to read where her character goes now that she is rud to start drinking.


    • I loved this book It was very funny, in places, and moved in such an interesting way through time Some of the characters were a little frightening or grotesque, but there was something I loved about the style, and the elegaic quality of it.


    • A story about a family who visit Wales for a summer holiday each August Over the years the family begins to unravel and the Welsh idyll begins to be modernised Quite beautifully written, a fine first novel for Woodward A book about the passage of time, how nothing stays the same.


    • This book is taking me forever to read It is beautifully written without a doubt, but it took a very ominous turn and thus find it very hard to read on the bus to from work, which is when I do the bulk of my reading.


    • This is the story of a family who, every August, leaves London and spends 3 weeks in Wales They are a likeable family but dysfunctional Their story continues in further books and I am not hooked and want to read the next novel.



    • Interesting family saga that doesn t really go anywhere Well written though and some interesting characters I liked it but not sure I liked it enough to read the follow up.


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