And over the street pavement, the paving stones, those fragments of the oldest remains of antiquity, one walks without ever thinking about them. I have done the very thing myself.
But now I look respectfully at every paving-stone. Many thanks for the book! It has filled me with thought, and has made me long to read more on the subject. The romance of the earth is, after all, the most wonderful of all romances. One must read in the different strata, in the pebble-stones, for each separate period.
Yes, it is a romance, a very wonderful romance, and we all have our place in it. We grope and ferret about, and yet remain where we are; but the ball keeps turning, without emptying the ocean over us; the clod on which we move about, holds, and does not let us through. My best thanks for the book about the boulders. Those are fellows indeed! They could tell us something worth hearing, if they only knew how to talk. And then to think that we all, even with patent lacquer, are nothing more than insects of a moment on that ant-hill the earth, though we may be insects with stars and garters, places and offices!
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One feels quite a novice beside these venerable million-year-old boulders. She has told me all about it. Half of what she said is not true, but the other half gives us information enough.
Manual Boulders and Butterflies:A Journey into Spiritual Sensuality
When she was out there, the festivities began with a song; each of the guests had written his own song, and each one sang his own song, for he thought that the best, and it was all one, all the same melody. Then those came marching up, in little bands, who are only busy with their mouths.
Out of the tree poured sparks like flames of fire; these were the ideas and thoughts, borrowed from others, which they had used, and which now got free and rushed away like so many fireworks. But as for me, I had gone quite beyond all lapse of time, and had become a cipher and a nothing. Then three or four beautiful falling stars came down, which cleared the air, and gave my thoughts another direction. You know what a falling star is, do you not? The learned men are not at all clear about it.
I have my own ideas about shooting stars, as the common people in many parts call them, and my idea is this: How often are silent thanksgivings offered up for one who has done a good and noble action! The thanks are often speechless, but they are not lost for all that. Lately a gleaming star fell in the southwest, as a tribute of thanksgiving to many—many! On mine certainly none will fall—no sunbeam brings thanks to me, for here there is nothing worthy of thanks.
Ole spoke of the toasts that were drunk on the transition from the Old Year into the New—from one grave into the other, as he said. And he told me a story about the glasses, and this story had a very deep meaning. It was this:. They begin the year with the glass in their hands; that is a good beginning for drunkards.
I came across this gem on the bookshelves of the holiday home we rented this week. Those bookshelves made shivers run down my spine, because the owner of the home also named Sue, and also from the UK seemed to be, well, me, actually. All my favourite authors were there, from A. Milne and Michael Bond through to adult contemporary fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and classics I have loved. My husband asked me if this was in fact my secret hideaway, given it was exactly as I would have furnished I came across this gem on the bookshelves of the holiday home we rented this week. My husband asked me if this was in fact my secret hideaway, given it was exactly as I would have furnished it, with my favourite types of art on the walls.
As I scanned the shelves, Rachael King's 'The Sound of Butterflies' caught my eye, mostly because I 'know' Rachael from a Facebook authors' group and Twitter, but also because I was a little bit obsessed with butterflies as a child; it was set in an exotic location I am a sucker for exotic locations and, well, other Sue had read it so I should read it. It didn't disappoint, and I spent a good deal of my holiday in the Amazon Basin, intrigued to find out what had made Thomas Edgar come home from his butterfly hunting expedition mute and terribly disturbed.
It's a beautifully written page-turning mystery that eloquently describes the weirdness and horrors of life for both the Europeans and the Amazon Indians, in the rubber-boom years, when an opera house was built in the middle of the jungle, furs were imported from Europe, and horses drank from buckets of champagne. Rachael King's book is a unique read and highly recommended by me - and the other Sue, I feel. This sweet, deceptively simple novel touches on so many different themes and tropes, that reflecting on it, it is a marvel the author carried it all off, and did it so well.
The Sound of Butterflies is about manners and conventions, love, trust, and social justice cradled in the familiar narrative of the white man entering the jungle and succumbing to his most basic instincts. A lo-carb Heart of Darkness if you will. While the ending felt a little rushed and was wrapped up a little too nearly, t This sweet, deceptively simple novel touches on so many different themes and tropes, that reflecting on it, it is a marvel the author carried it all off, and did it so well.
While the ending felt a little rushed and was wrapped up a little too nearly, the meat of the novel as told between jounal entries, letters and omniscient third person present point of view was enchanting. Very much like the Amazonian rainforest where the book is set. Highly recommended for readers who like their novels with a touch of history. Mar 14, Lisa rated it really liked it. Good story- extremely violent and gory in some parts so not for everyone, but interesting to read about the rubber barons in Brazil and their financial connection to Europe.
It is a story of the many physical and moral dilemmas a man must face while on a butterfly expedition in the Amazon in which render him mute upon his return to his wife, Sophie. Through his journal entries and past letters, Sophie attempts to piece together what has happened to her beloved husband during his travels.
Jun 04, Sarah Elhamy added it. Jun 05, Novelle Novels rated it liked it. This is the tale of a man Thomas Edgar who goes on a journey to Brazil to find an illusive butterfly which has never been found or caught before. Set in his wife is at home in England having no idea what is taking him so long and we he returns traumatised and not talking she seeks to find out what happened there.
It goes between the two characters story Sophie an 3. It goes between the two characters story Sophie and hers both present and while he was away and Thomas take in Brazil. His tales are brutal and have major trigger warnings which shocked me and I found very difficult. On the other side I felt for Sophie and wanted to shake Thomas.
The ending gave it an extra half a star as it improved and did tie up the loose ends very well. Jan 08, Kristin Marchilena rated it did not like it. The characters in this book are not likable. Even the third-person omniscient narrator frustrated me. There were unnecessary gruesome details as well as a lot of missing details.
The story was not compelling, and the way it unfolded was extremely predictable.
Oct 17, Mirren Jones rated it really liked it. It has an interesting construction, using narrative, diary pages and letters to tell the story.
These work well and bring an immediacy to the writing, conveying a powerful sense of place and time. The main characters are Thomas, an amateur lepidopterist, who leaves his wife in Richmond with her blessing , not long after they are married, to take the opportunity of the trip of a lifetime to Brazil with professional collectors. He returns emaciated and mute, to the shock of his wife Sophie. She must try and find a way to improve his condition and return him to his former health, and must take increasingly drastic measures in order to get a breakthrough.
I really warmed to her as time went on. Through the backstory we find out why he ended up in such a state. The reader wants to know what eventually happens to ALL of them. This is an impressive, well-crafted novel but the story does start slowly — you may have to bear with it for a while - then it suddenly takes off, with many twists and turns along the way to dramatic conclusions on both continents. Nevertheless, this novel is well worth the reading time.
I shall be following up her other work. Overall I thought this was a good book. Rachael King has a way with words that paint the most exquisite landscapes. While there were many great aspects of this book, the best of them all has to be her command of language. The begining of the book seemed to take off slowly, more effort seemed to be placed on painting the landscapes as opposed to character development.
However, as the book goes on the characters begin to take shape and the lack of explanation in the begining is seen as appropriate Overall I thought this was a good book. However, as the book goes on the characters begin to take shape and the lack of explanation in the begining is seen as appropriate for the development of the story itself. I think that the book was very well written and the journey into Sophie, her husband, and the mystery surrounding his muteness was well put together.
Never giving too much to give away the ending, but not leaving the reader wanting for more. This book also takes a dive into the human experience, the emotions and thoughts that lead to the actions that people take. Overall I would say this book was a good read. I didn't find myself not wanting to put it down, but while I was reading I was definitely drawn into another world, that of the rain forest and England.
I would not say this is a re-read, but it leaves me looking forward to Rachael King's next novel.
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Jun 18, Pat rated it really liked it. The parallel story structure of Thomas in the jungle and Sophie back in Richmond is great, and as the former story unfolds, an element of mystery develops. Sophie's struggles to understand what has so severely traumatized her mute husband is full of pathos. Thomas is revealed as a failed human being who keeps as silent as the butter I'm a sucker for Brazilian jungle novels LOVED Patchett's "State of Wonder" , and when you add in the rubber baron and corrupt Manaus angle, I'm totally hooked.
Thomas is revealed as a failed human being who keeps as silent as the butterflies in the face of violence and abuses by rubber baron Santos--and his realization of this forms the moral crux of the novel. When he finally tells the story of his failings and Sophie learns of his adultery , his wife rises to new independence, and the marriage's balance of power shifts. Loved the lush descriptions of the jungle and its inhabitants: Indians, mestizos, Manaus prostitutes, rich and poor Portuguese immigrants.
My one complaint is the 8-years-later "happy ending" seemed a bit tacked-on and forced. View 1 comment.
I was extremely disappointed with this book. I really thought I was going to like it. I mean what's not to like about a scientific expedition into the Amazon? And the story was set up nicely. It starts off with the main character Thomas coming home to his wife from the Amazon very badly shocked.
He is shocked in to silence. He won't talk. So I'm thinking maybe he got into some trouble with the locals. Maybe his life was in danger and he saw some and did some unspeakable things. But no! I was mor I was extremely disappointed with this book. I was more than half way through with the book and all that had happened was view spoiler [ he slept with another man's wife!
Plus I was getting really annoyed with how naive Thomas was. I just couldn't handle it. This book left me feeling negative and annoyed. But that's just my opinion. And I guess I should also mention that my rating of 1 star is only because I "did not like it". It has nothing to do with the content, the writing, or the author. Apr 29, Alastair Crawford rated it it was amazing. Great page turner - every wilder thing that happened next was unpredictable but seemed set in concrete and unavoidably necessary not to mention convincing once it had occurred.
Wee exceptions like Santos would have known Thomas was doing what he was doing, as he had spies and control Clever too with the readability - easy to follow despite the flowering plot lines and flashbacks and flash-forwards that kept the suspense. Liked the cha Great page turner - every wilder thing that happened next was unpredictable but seemed set in concrete and unavoidably necessary not to mention convincing once it had occurred.
Liked the characterisation of Agatha and how her non-conformity was important to Sophie. And loved the Fitzcaraldo-like setting in Brazil. Beautifully written too - looking forward to Magpie Hall. Nov 10, Susan rated it really liked it. Turn of the century English butterfly seeker in the Amazon. Extend your stay : Subject to availability, you are welcome to extend your stay before or after your course. Led by: Ann Beazer. Please arrive by 6pm on Friday. Course ends with lunch on Sunday. View our terms and conditions online or download a copy.
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