Book review: Possession — a romance

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Author:A.S. Byatt
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Year of publication:1990

Intricate and, yes, romantic, story of the work and loves of a motley community of poets and researchers, in this century and in the past all exploring pieces of a literary puzzle.

These nerdy people, all obsessed with doing the arcane thing that they do very well, figure out how to combine their efforts for the good of the group and themselves.

Not for children, but similar in theme, although vastly more ambitious than, Dragonfly. Highly recommended for gifted adults.

Reading about how these gifted people connect intellectually and re-combine romantically, how they work together to solve the mysteries of the past and of their own hearts -- well, it's like wandering through a strange but beautiful garden.

In many discussions about academia, the intellectual pursuits, the single-minded pettiness of people who are deeply interested in -- let's face it -- minutia -- are ridiculed. But in Byatt's treatment -- not really a novel, but a combination of prose, poetry, excerpts from first-person narratives (pseudo-historical documents), we come to admire nearly every character in the book, obsessions, prejudices, intellectual prowess, and all.

Winner of the 1990 Booker Prize

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Possession: A Romance

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