Book - 2015
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"Rachel Cusk's Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during an oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinners and discourse. She goes swimming with an elderly Greek bachelor. The people she encounters speak, volubly, about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss. Outline is Cusk's finest work yet, and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2015
Edition: First American edition
ISBN: 9780374228347
Characteristics: 249 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 25, 2017

read before transit

Aug 23, 2017

A monologue about a woman's voyage to Athens, that emphasizes the disturbing distance between the inside and outside. Marvelous movement between sharp observations of passing events and existential philosophy, but lacks plot.

Jul 07, 2017

Extremely clever structure, less compelling story-line. Divorced people may find this more compelling than happily married (or happily never-married) people.

Apr 03, 2017

It was only after discussing this book with my bookclub that I finally appreciated the elegance and beauty of this book. Initially, I felt ambivalent about the disconnected characters. At our bookclub, the construction was illustrated: the first and last conversation act as parentheses for the rest of the book. These characters are mirror opposites. The rest of the characters reflect aspects of the narrators' unspoken nature.

Feb 20, 2017

There is a plot. It's a good book. Women with a few years will enjoy it.

Jan 28, 2017

This is one of those books that at first glance, seems boring, but then your life slows down a bit, you pick it up once more, it is suddenly a gem.
It is like being overwhelmed by action blockbuster movies with explosions, guns and car crashes; we can be blind towards the subtle beauty of everyday living and meaningful conversations. This book might be able to help bringing some of that skill back.

Aug 05, 2016

This is a book that will appeal only to those readers who don't need a plot. Nothing happens other than the narrator goes to Athens for a week and listens to people philosophize about their relationships. I must admit this is not my kind of book. For me all the conversations can be boiled down to a matter of perspective. Each person met relates something of their life and then introduces a catalyst that makes them view what has happened in an entirely new light. I did finish this, but only because it is short and the writing itself was intriguing - very grammatically correct in every way. Prepositions abounded.

Jun 01, 2016

A wonderfully philosophical novel with razor-sharp narration and observation. The narrator/narrative perspective is such a finely wrought creation, reading this book is similar to watching GoPro footage, but mercifully without the shaky-camera nausea effect. Rachel Cusk writes in the fine English tradition of George Eliot.

mallc May 11, 2016

Bizarre and hypnotic. The floating and distanced style of the writing makes it a strange and interesting read. Like eavesdropping on fascinating yet dull people.

Feb 24, 2016

One of the best books ever about people's struggles to understand themselves. Their insights or lack thereof are fascinating.

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