The Dark Flood Rises

The Dark Flood Rises

Book - 2016
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NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017: 'masterly'
GUARDIAN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: 'An absolute tour de force'

Fran may be old but she's not going without a fight. So she dyes her hair, enjoys every glass of red wine, drives around the country for her job with a housing charity and lives in an insalubrious tower block that her loved ones disapprove of. And as each of them - her pampered ex Claude, old friend Jo, flamboyant son Christopher and earnest daughter Poppet - seeks happiness in their own way, what will the last reckoning be? Will they be waving or drowning when the end comes?

By turns joyous and profound, darkly sardonic and moving, The Dark Flood Rises questions what makes a good life, and a good death. This triumphant, bravura novel takes in love, death, sun-drenched islands, poetry, Maria Callas, tidal waves, surprise endings - and new beginnings.

Publisher: Edinburgh :, Canongate Books,, 2016
ISBN: 9781782118305
Branch Call Number: FIC DRA
Characteristics: 326 pages ; 25 cm


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Apr 20, 2018

Margaret Drabble writes cleverly and ruminates beautifully about individual characters coming to terms with the limitations brought on by aging. Unfortunately, it became too much of a good thing, especially the numerous and often repetitive cataloguing of academic pursuits. (Aside from A.S. Byatt's Posession, I can't think of a novel comprised of characters from liberal arts academia that is truly compelling.) There is some intriguing "foreshadowing" toward the end that creates a bit of suspense, but the only really interesting character is Fran. It also bothered me that the male characters were all one-dimensionally self-centered. And I felt a sinister undercurrent in all of the Canary Island scenes, though nothing concrete materialized.

Mar 01, 2018

The Dark Flood Rises, a title that implies we inhabit a boggy personal landscape, a flood plain of sorts, subject to inevitable capitulation. How long are we able to keep high and dry? Drabble scripts train of thought ruminations by heterogeneous characters that, at the same time, are all interlinked to one another as colleagues, friends, family; the pervading commonality being dwelling in the latter stages of one's allotted span, or involved with someone who is. As we assess our dwindling opportunity at life, what prevails: worthwhile experiences, remorse, onwards and upwards (not done yet!), an uneventful gentle glide to a final landing? This novel configures a quirky, evocative composition that reminds the reader that although every day counts, our individual valuation metrics differ.

Jul 14, 2017

Way too wordy, interior. Couldn't figure out transitions; in a word, unreadable.

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