❰KINDLE❯ ❁ Wish You Were Here Author Graham Swift – Pdfr25.co

Wish You Were Here A Hauntingly Intimate, Deeply Compassionate Story About Things That Touch And Test Our Human Core, Wish You Were Here Also Looks, Inevitably, To A Wider, Afflicted World Moving Toward A Fiercely Suspenseful Climax, It Brilliantly Transforms The Stuff Of Headlines Into Heart Wrenching Personal TruthFrom The Prizewinning Author Of The Acclaimed Last Orders, The Light Of Day, And Waterland, A Powerfully Moving New Novel Set In Present Day England, But Against The Background Of A Global War On Terror And About Things That Touch Our Human Core On An Autumn Day In , On The Isle Of Wight, Jack Luxton Once A Farmer, Now The Proprietor Of A Seaside Caravan Park Receives The News That His Brother Tom, Not Seen For Years, Has Been Killed In Combat In Iraq The News Will Have Its Far Reaching Effects For Jack And His Wife, Ellie, And Compel Jack To Make A Crucial Journey To Receive His Brother S Remains, But Also To Return To The Land Of His Past And Of His Most Secret, Troubling Memories A Gripping, Hauntingly Intimate, And Compassionate Story That Moves Toward A Fiercely Suspenseful Climax, Wish You Were Here Translates The Stuff Of Headlines Into Heartwrenching Personal Truth


10 thoughts on “Wish You Were Here

  1. says:

    Wish you were here An old chestnut, but oh, it can be so painfully heartfelt I immediately think of the great Pink Floyd song did they get you to tradeYour heros for ghosts Hot ashes for trees Hot air for a cool breeze Cold comfort for change And did you exchangeA walk on part in the warFor a lead role in a cage And then there s the epigraph,Are these things done on Albion s shore William Blake A Little Boy Lost Here is the complete paragraph, And burned him in a holy placeWhere many had been burned before The weeping parents wept in vain.Are such thing done on Albion s shore Albion is the ancient name of Britain, and the earlier part of the poem refers to the possibility of love between father and son, and between brothers Now you have a vague idea what this book is about.Some background music will further the plot along and supply the mood Spoiler alert on these songs Escape to the Afternoon of a Faun to the Moon at War No.9 Largo Coming Home Up In The Doorway Over Yonder In The Minor Key this is a book in the minor key There is no end to madness the very first words warn Madness immediately settles in There is the mad cow disease that ruins the lives of the Luxtons, a farm family But there is the worse madness that drives people to bolt, to run away and never return Or run away and realize there is nowhere to go Mad rash acts result in heroism The mad belief that a gun can instantly solve all the years of pain and trouble.The main events happen in November, under grey skies Either it s raining or a dusting of snow dulls the landscape Remembrance Day and war are major themes The two Luxton brothers grow up hearing about the heroism in World War I of their great uncles, another pair of brothers, long dead on the battlefield of the Somme History seems about to repeat itself Only one in the later pair becomes a soldier, but the other has a gun The setting is in modern times, in the background are the war on terrorism, Iraq, and the waning of the English farm But the stories of the two sets of brothers seem to happen on a parallel course, as if the main events could be happening in 1917, or the long dead uncles had recently died in the sand of Iraq rather than in the mud of the trenches The oak tree has become the symbol of the returning soldier There is a grand old one on the Luxton farm but it has no yellow ribbon tied around it Rather, it has a small mysterious hole in the trunk How it got there and I mean the entire reason is what this book is about.But the hole, some three feet or up the trunk, remained, its aperture reduced but defined as the bark grew a ring like scar around it It was there when Jack, with five others, lowered his brother s coffin into its grave It s there now The surrounding stain on the bark remained too, despite that sluicing down on the day itself by PC Ireton Unlike the stains on the ground, which soon disappeared, it weathered gradually and came to look like some indeterminate daub of the kind sometimes seen near the base of trees, or like some fungal blemish associated with that odd puncture in the trunk What was it there for Had someone once tried to hammer something, for some strange agricultural purpose, into the wood Of course, Jack knew how it had got there, and a few other involved parties would have been able to explain, very exactly, its cause But to any outsider or newcomer to Jebb Farm and there would be newcomers the hole would have been a puzzle, if not a very detaining one.This is a grim, quiet book, yet full of intensity It s a read in one long sitting sort of book And it s so right to read in November grey skies, snow already on the graves of the soldiers, cold metallic clouds in the sky It s going to be a long winter Wish you were here.


  2. says:

    Description On an autumn day in 2006, on the Isle of Wight, Jack Luxton, former Devon farmer and now the proprietor of a seaside caravan park, receives the news that his soldier brother Tom, has been killed in Iraq For Jack and his wife Ellie this will have a potentially catastrophic impact For Jack in particular it means a crucial journey.Opening THERE IS NO END to madness, Jack thinks, once it takes hold Hadn t those experts said it could take years before it flared up in human beings So, it had flared up now in him and Ellie.I m very fond of Graham Swift, so am looking forward to cracking this one open It is tempting to see Tom as Syd Barrett Pink Floyd s Wish You Were HereA quietly masterful and intelligent story of misery on a stick, with added iraqi war and foot and mouth disease So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain.Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail A smile from a veil Do you think you can tell Did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts Hot ashes for trees Hot air for a cool breeze Cold comfort for change Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage How I wish, how I wish you were here.We re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,Running over the same old ground.What have we found The same old fears.Wish you were here 3 The Sweet Shop Owner 1980 5 Waterland 1983 5 Ever After 1992 3 The Light of Day 2003 4 Wish You Were Here 2011 4 Last Orders 1996


  3. says:

    A Marriage, several Deaths, a Soldier, and the Dream of Palm Trees.This is the best book I ve read so far in 2012 Swift presents an intricacy of loyalties, emotions, and attachments between a boy and a girl who grew up together outside Devon, England Their families had adjoining dairy farms that barely scraped by during the years of animal diseases that were feared to infect people The farmers were forced to kill many seemingly healthy animals as a preventative Many farmers were forced out of business As young adults Jack Luxton and Ellie Merrick feel desperate to get away from their childhood farms, at the same time they feel a loyalty and a sense of obligation to stay and help their parents Jack feels almost desperate when his much younger brother escapes to join the army leaving Jack even tethered to the farm Their eight year age difference and the loss of their mother when Tom was eight and Jack was 16 made Jack feel even fatherly towards Tom Their father had always been distant and unemotional towards them Jack also has tender memories of rocking the infant Tom s bassinet and holding him as he slept When Tom leaves Jack has to work hard to bury his fatherly sense of love and loss After several tragedies and many years Jack and Ellie finally manage to gain their freedom but the cost is high, it impacts their marriage.Swift shows great skill in portraying the push and pull of the ties of love and loyalty versus the need for individuality, the pain of losing loved ones and the desire to maintain old ties versus the longing for freedom and the desire to start a new life and a family of your own, he does it with a sweetness that has no cloy to it The emotions felt so real it almost broke my heart I ve read Swift s Last Orders Booker 1996 and liked it a lot The intricacy of Wish You Were Here was on a completely higher level in my opinion.


  4. says:

    An introspective piece of examined drawn out tragedy that is sodden with remorse and blame, but also with the type of grief that can only come from real love This was one of those reads, though I thought I would enjoy, managed to surprise me set a seed in my mind that only with patience and building could fully germinate With a quiet ugly sort of beauty that only revealed itself layer by layer, a story that divulges a depth that while illuminating is also haunting A well thought through, writerly novel with a reticent nature that one has to be prepared to witness and accept as it washes over the reader A solid, stolid, hulk of a man is our protagonist, Jack Luxton He tends to leave one with a bit of a bovine like impression, this former cattle farmer, but is a complicated tumult below the surface following a notice that his only brother has died in combat The ghosts of our pasts never stay buried forever and Jack s were only ever half buried to begin with Now the last Luxton, Jack has to see to his brother s remains and the memories of the rest of a bygone family, a bygone home, a bygone life He is a character that has to reckon with his own decisions, his inactions, and his relationships Jack is a man that takes the weight of his world upon his own broad shoulders while steadily plodding towards what must be done, towards some sort of conclusion The question of whether escape and abandonment are one in the same, and whether a man can come back from breaking point are at the fore In this book over half of the characters are dead as we embark on the story and yet there is a vitality and desperation in their interactions, both prior to and after their collective demises Almost Gothic in nature, we are haunted by those already gone from the mortal world The reader is privy to peaks behind the masks and glimpses from within the very personal shadows It is dark and yet inspires hope, as the writing is pure humanity, which we can often only discover with the aid of loss Who are we What defines us


  5. says:

    I ve liked Swift s short stories very much in the past, finding them told with a masterly reticence and economy eg Seraglio I was disappointed in this novel because it showed just the opposite qualities.In the first place it s writerly in the wrong way it shows a lot of fancy writerly tics that in my view just get in the way of a good story not that there is one, in this case I can see why he uses tricksy narrative methods like a lot of flashing back and forward, changing viewpoints etc he needs to distract attention from the fact that in the actual timeframe of the story, nothing much is happening But some of these tics get downright irritating, particularly the one that goes if he d done such and such, x and y might have happened This can go on for pages eg one passage that starts on page 314 with Had Bob Ireton and Jack found themselves together, soon after the funeral, on what was now the Robinsons property they might have had a conversation about security He then goes on for, literally the next 3 pages about what might have happened but didn t here, Bob might have looked at Jack carefully but, on the other hand, Bob might have said And this is far from the only occasion when this might have scenario crops up Now this device is most famously used in Tobias Wolff s cracking short story Bullet in the Brain where he lists all the things his dying protagonist might have thought of, before telling us the one thing that did in fact pass through his mind There, of course, it s being done as a handy way of showing us the man s whole life this may not, contrary to the old saying, pass through his head at the moment of death, but thanks to authorial brilliance it does pass through the reader s It works as a one off in a short story otherwise crowded with incident, where the slowing down comes as a surprising and welcome change of pace I don t think it works as a repeated device in a quite slow paced novel, where the reader s reaction tends to be stop telling me what didn t happen and get on with what didIt feels, in fact, a bit like a device for filling up pages, as does another whereby he rabbits on or has his characters do so for ages about something inconsequential there s a weird digression at one point about kettles Of course what seems inconsequential can turn out not to be, but it didn t here.However, this wasn t the main reason for my disappointment This is a book with a contemporary setting, dealing with the effects on a farming family of BSE, foot and mouth, the leisure industry, and also with the effects on soldiers and their relatives of the Iraq war the twin towers make a couple of peripheral appearances too And it always felt to me as if he d decided to write a book dealing with these things, and then invented some characters specifically for the purpose of having those experiences let s see, they have to be farming family, but one of them can run off and join the army so I can get the Iraq war in They never felt like characters who could live outside the book, rather they were pure narrative constructs to hang the issues on.Now in one sense this is always so I d not long since read Barbara Kingsolver s The Lacuna , about a man who lives through the Thirties, experiences Diego Rviera s chaotic household and Trotsky s murder, then gets caught up in the McCarthyite purges in the fifties Of course he s a narrative construct invented for this purpose, but he never feels like that rather he feels like a real person in whose inner life the author was interested enough to write the story Swift s characters in this novel never come alive for me quite like that Indeed the multiple viewpoints sometimes work against him by explaining too much about their motivation, particularly when it isn t credible If we saw only through Jack s eyes, Ellie s decision not to attend a funeral with him might be mysterious but believable, but we get her viewpoint too and her reasons don t sound remotely convincing And the climax depends on our believing Jack might possibly do a certain thing and unfortunately I never for a moment believed he would This fuzzy motivation, I think, can only indicate that the characters haven t been fully realised and that s even true of Jack, the protagonist, who gets nearest to coming alive for the reader.There is some very polished writing, which occasionally becomes better than polished, ie moving and beautiful But I found the pace achingly slow, the characters too much their author s puppets and the whole thing too constructed, too written rather than imagined and told.


  6. says:

    I ve read a couple of books by Graham Swift I discovered his Last Orders when it won the Booker see my review at The Complete Booker and I read and enjoyed Waterland with one of my online book groups It s on the 1001 Books I Must Read list too On the strength of that, I bought Tomorrow for the TBR and some Op Shop finds as well The Sweet Shop Owner and Ever After.So having established my credentials as an enthusiast, I m not best pleased about having to admit that Wish You Were Here didn t really appeal to me very much It s the story of a Devonshire farmer turned caravan park owner on the Isle of Wight, and his fraught relationships with everybody The novel begins with the news that Jack Luxton s estranged brother Tom has been killed in Iraq, and this news is the catalyst for an appalling argument with his wife Ellie There is a great deal of death and estrangement in the story and as the backstory is revealed the reader feels a growing sense of alarm about how Ellie s flight from Jack might be resolved.Jack is one of those bovine silent types, bottling up emotion for decades and so unwilling to invest in relationships for fear of losing them that he isn t even willing to do something as ordinary as having children To see the rest of my review please visit


  7. says:

    I found this a highly moving, intelligent novel and I hope I can do it a bit of justice in my review In this novel Graham Swift writes movingly about families and relationships, the secrets that are held inside, the things that go unspoken and that we never know about others, and in particular, even about those closest to us Jack Luxton and his brother Tom grew up at Jebb dairy farm in North Devon, with parents Michael and Vera A young Jack sends a postcard from the seaside on the two holidays he takes in his childhood with his mother and brother, in which he writes to his young sweetheart Ellie who lives on neighbouring Westcott farm, proclaiming Wish You Were Here Years later, an adult Jack, in his new life as a caravan park proprietor on the Isle of Wight, receives news that brother Tom, now a soldier, has been killed in Iraq, and so begins, with the occurence of this death, the massive literal and actual return journey for Jack, taking a path backwards into the physical country of his past, and into the buried thoughts and people of his past Primarily, but not always, focusing on Jack, the narrative drifts in time back and forth with the movement of Jack s thoughts and memories, as they intertwine with the present experiences he is going through There is a terrific tension building throughout the novel, right from the scene that is set in the first chapter, in the present, through to the last scene, again in the present I felt that Jack had seemed as if he had not entirely been in control of his life, as if somehow others had made the decisions for him by taking their own paths, and he almost has to follow in the wake of their actions I think this lies at the heart of how much he questions himself and wonders about the events that have shaped his past and put him where he is today Graham Swift has touched on the climate of fear post September 11, the resulting war on terror, and, at the core of the novel, the changing outlook for farmers since the BSE and foot and mouth epidemics, and how the inhabitants of the countryside has changed There is such a sadness hanging over Jack He is also fearful and begins to imagine some strange scenarios when he returns to the mainland to receive Tom s remains and to attend the funeral Indeed, the very opening passage of the novel refers to the feelings of madness that seem to have taken hold of his mind at times Altogether I found this an engrossing novel about humanity, one that tries to get to the heart of human relationships, between husband and wife, between brothers, and between a father and mother and son, and the heart wrenching failings really tear at the reader and illustrate the frustration and heartache that is often simmering beneath our skin or buried but lurking in the back of our minds only to be brought fresh to the fore when something stirs them up I would like to write but feel that it would begin to give away parts of the novel that should be left for the reader to discover themselves.


  8. says:

    Wish I had been Elsewhere As a fan of Swift s novels in the past, I was very much looking forward to reading WISH YOU WERE HERE.However, I felt tedium overtake the pace, plot, and cast of characters throughout most of the novel As much as Swift can be mesmerizing and brilliant in passages, I slogged through what felt much like a slow monotonous and bereaved dullness Jack Luxton bottled up as bovine in his sentience symbolic of his cattle.Ellie, self centered and unsupportive in her relationship with Jack, couldn t garner any affection from me either.Jack s melancholic character seemed to be nothing but cheerlessness punctuated by endless death and despair.hardly a joie de vivre existence Death, Jack thought, looking out at brilliant exposing sunshine in Okehampton, was in many ways a great place of shelter It was life and all its knowledge that was insupportable Jack s father blew his brains out in the middle of the night without a care for Jack or how he might react The beloved family dog s execution dragged on as we watched a terrified animal its eyes all too aware of what was about to happen Jack s younger brother escapes to fight in Iraq, only to be blown to pieces and returned to a very bleak funeral The diseased cattle are burned in flaming pyres It s grey weather, it s November in England everything is so desolate.A loaded shotgun lays on Jack s bed in Chapter One.Swift attempts to inject a foreboding tension into the narrative with the shotgun He continues the narrative methods with a lot of flashing back and forth, changing angles, directions and viewpoints This method was distracting from the concrete duration of the time frame of the novel because nothing much is happening while he waits by the bed.So he postures what ifs abundantly If he d done such and such, this or that might have or have not have happened often filling pages and pages On page 314 Had Bob Ireton and Jack found themselves together, soon after the funeral, on what was now the Robinsons property they might have had a conversation about security This turns into several pages of what might have been or what they might have said on the other hand This repetitive tactic did little to draw me closer to the story.The ending was a nice change, but felt like a polite anticlimax as well.Nevertheless, Wish You Were Here is intelligently crafted, albeit constructed than imaginatively told.It just drained the happy endorphins from my brain while reading.There was, to be sure, an occasional goldmine of beautifully constructed sentences that I gleefully enhanced with a bit of succulent dark chocolate alongside my reading table


  9. says:

    I absolutely loved this, just couldn t put it down Very much along the lines of Last Orders another of my favourites the narrative flow of this book jumps backwards and forwards in time and switches point of view at key points, which keeps you speculating and page turning, desperate to know what happened It was funny, touching, heart wrenching, harrowing, infuriating, quirky, and overall what it was, was human I know this is a strange word to use, but I mean it was about being human flawed, emotional, irrational, vulnerable, and all the things we do to try and cover all that up SPOILER ALERTI m not going to spoil the story by saying anything about it except that it was compelling My only one tiny, tiny criticism was the chapter where we got Tom s POV While I, like Jack, was desperate to know what was going on in his head, and thought until that point in the book that I d like to meet Tom, I felt that actually meeting him was a mistake, in that it kind of mitigated all Jack s actions but only we, as the reader knew that I felt it was a sort of appeasement chapter, and we didn t need appeased Jack acted as he did, and he would have to live with the guilt of what he did or not for the rest of his life Knowing that he didn t have to was frustrating rather than helpful for me Inicidentally, none of this will make sense unless you ve read the book END OF SPOILEROverall though, this was a fabulous read for me and I m already looking forwared to re reading it.


  10. says:

    The writing style of this book was really good I enjoyed the different perspectives, but there were parts in the book that absolutely bored me to tears The last 50 pages or so were definitely suspenseful, as the back of the book told me, but in my opinion the ending was a letdown and messily written compared to the rest of the book I like a quirky ending, but this just felt like a whole chapter was left out Nonetheless, I want to give it 3 stars, because the writing was really beautiful and the gloomy atmosphere of the book reminded me of a gloomy stormy day on the English coast, which transported me right into the setting of the story Don t be fooled by the back cover, and you might actually enjoy this book than I did My expectations were simply too high, due to a professor telling me this was one of the best books he s ever read I still have to read the book that can live up to those kinds of expectations, haha.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *