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Book of Ebenezer le Page, The MP3 CD – Unabridged, September 20, 2016
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About the Author
Gerald Basil Edwards was a British author.
- Publisher : Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (September 20, 2016)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1531874576
- ISBN-13 : 978-1531874575
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.63 x 5.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,393,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The story is told in the vernacular of the Islanders which adds to the charm of this very heartwarming story.
Ebenezer is an only child and somewhat of a tearaway in his youth. Life deals it's fair share of disappointments, grief and hard times and as he ages he becomes more insular and introspective.
Nonetheless he is a loveable and unforgettable character, and perhaps there is more of him in the writer G.B. Edwards than we are led to believe.
A Guernseyman through and through, he resents the "progress' on his beloved Island but he is also a pragmatist and knows there is nothing he can do to halt the modern age nor the tourist juggernaut.This doesn't mean he will change and to the end of his days he never owns a TV nor has he ever used a bank, preferring to stow his money in various receptacles about the house.
He lives through the two world wars and the occupation of Guernsey by the Germans.
There are many women in his life as a young man but remains true in his heart to the one woman, a Guernsey native like himself.
He is wise and charming,and contented with his life farming his plot of land and fishing in the little bay near his home.
This may sound all rather dull but it is the poetry of the text and the superb characterisations that will hold the reader.
It is one of those books that is unforgettable therefore must come under the heading of a literary masterpiece.
The only small complaint I have is that I lost some of the more peripheral characters through this quite lengthy book.
It would be helpful to have a list of characters and their connection with Ebenezer at the beginning of the book.
Beyond that I strongly recommend you read this unique and beautiful book.
Gerald Edwards was born in 1899 and lived his life on Guernsey .He wrote one book, and was 66 when he submitted it for publication . He died 2 years later. He didn't want to have any attention in his life regarding the book, and he also didn't want people trying to find out more about him after his death ,so very little information is available . One former acquaintance says that Gerald was a loner with no friends . Ebenezer , in his own way ,was also a loner in a lot of ways .Unlike the main character, the author does travel off the island and lives in many different places. It sounds as though he had a difficult personal life, and for many years his family lost touch with him. His final wish was to die in Guernsey, but sadly, he never made it back in time .
So the story is told by an elderly man, Ebenezer ,who lived his entire life on Guernsey . All his family were there too . He grew up loving the land , and the old ways of living . He lived a fairly solitary life ,considering he had such a large family close by . He saw them often, but seemed to enjoy his solitude . He had his charms, but also his flaws .
The story tells of his life and the many challenges faced living through both World Wars .
It's hard to sum up an entire life in one short review, but the writing was superb .The book seems to have more than one goal . It not only wants you to get to know and care for Ebenezer , but also to learn of a time long ago on a small island that was paradise . Everything was done the old-fashioned way and the people lived through extreme difficulties especially when the Germans took over the island in WW 2 .
It also tells you of life when it was much simpler, then gradually change comes in the form of autos ,islanders renting out rooms for tourists, and almost a feeling of sadness that such a magical place was changed too much by progress .
This one gets a 5/5 . Excellent writing ,story and character . Well worth the read .
For example, Ebenezer tells us early on that he once killed someone, but he doesn't reveal even the scantest detail until his story actually gets there (chronologically). This leaves the reader wondering who the victim will be and, given Ebenezer's fairly level approach to living, if he actually does the deed, or merely blames himself for the death.
The life-story narrative moves much more quickly than that of the present time, of course, occasionally brushing by decades. Edwards handles the gradual convergence of the two timelines with grace, though, which I imagine is not easy.
I couldn't help thinking of The Remains of the Day as I read The Book of Ebenezer Le Page. While Ebenezer and Stevens have wildly different stories to tell, they both seem dismayed to have grown old watching a beloved world change beyond recognition. And they both rue missed opportunities in love. Looking at the similar narrative structure, one has to wonder if Ishiguro was influenced by this book; even if he wasn't, I imagine the two novels would make a fantastic pair to read consecutively.
Top reviews from other countries
His writing style and perspective draw the reader into what was then a remote world; not quite English, but not quite French. As a local author myself, I would love to have Edwards' character depiction and wry humour. To those of you who may be far afield, I can tell you the book is revered locally as a classic and our community can be quite critical of those who attempt to portray life on our islands and do so badly!
Ebenezer is, of course, a fine literary work ranking amongst the best published by authors of the 20th century, it is also an important historical work as although fictional, the events affecting this island are accurately portrayed. Especially the period of German Occupation during World War 2.
Having grown up here (I'm writing this in St Peter Port), I very much enjoyed the references to places long since dropped from everyday use and have to admit to the embarrassment of not even knowing one or two of the places despite my family roots going back as far as parish records began here!
Recently, of course, another story about our island has been very much in the headlines. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Inevitably comparisons will be drawn but there should be none, the books are quite different and appeal to different senses. I would encourage you to read both for different reasons and with different expectations. Chilled, dry Chardonnay is excellent with lunch on a summer's day but give me a full bodied red wine with dinner.
I wholeheartedly recommend Ebenezer Le Page to you, with dinner rather than lunch!