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What did you like most about The Master?
Com Toibin paints a very sympathetic and intelligent portrait of Henry James, which includes some of his rather major shortcomings. Despite these, one can't help feeling love for the man--and empathy for the emotional pain he often suffered. Toibin portrays his idiosyncratic personality and conveys his loneliness (which he no doubt rarely admitted to suffering, even to himself) very finely. This was coupled with his determination to maintain his freedom in order to devote himself to his art. I must say the book is infinitely more readable than some of James' works! The narrator was excellent-- his reading was perfectly pitched.. The book recreates the era beautifully also.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The material covering his relationship with Constance Fennimore Woodson was very finely wrought.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
That concerning his friendship with Constance Finnimore Woolson. Beautifully and sensitively crafted. I was almost in tears (and I'm not a crier). It stayed with me for many days.
Any additional comments?
Hats off to Colm Toibin and the narrator--this is a beautiful book.