I think this was supposed to be some type of love story but the characters were too stupid to figure out how to be together They made me want to pull my hair out Story of an unnecessary love obsession I didn t necessarily like the story however I loved Schwartz s writing The character of Claire was a bit too much to believe in but I found I was rooting for these two crazy kids Another reader s review of the book was Story of an unnecessary love obsession I might have thought that about this book had I not ust come off the heels of reading Love in the Time of Cholera and I found this love story 20 times palatable than that one Forgive me Mr Maruez i got from this book than i d expected at first there was nostalgia to hold onto of cafe pamplona and casablanca and the fogg where i did meet someone that changed everything yes this was all very labial as my boyfriend put it but i enjoyed living through these moments and recalling these places nonetheless and i even relished schwartz s portrait of the relationship between professors and student master and slave it almost made up for the time i d felt used to know this was a tradition but the problem with claire marvel was claire marvel she was never credible nothing to hold onto she was Charming the Firefighter (In Shady Grove, just a shadow the author so loved this metaphor and she never came to life on the page even as i know people who remind me of her and perhaps the problem is that schwartz was too ambitious to attempt to capture someone who couldn t be to make tangible someone eternally ephemeral without her this is a strong coming of age story but with her this is a mediocre attempt at light If you are the author please stop reading Suffice it to say I don t think you re a bad person or a bad writer but I did not like this book and was not kind to it Please turn back nowIf you re looking for an honest if ornery opinion about this book I say what a waste of timeSPOILERS Claire Marvel is an art student whose father is diagnosed with cancer not long after she meets Julian Rose She goes to France and her father dies She marries someone else Claire has an affair with Julian She gets pregnant miscarries a couple times leaves her husband and it s believed she kills herselfANOTHER SPOILER it was an accident she was totally gonna get her act together and get back together with the nice guyThat s really most of what we learn about Claire in this book named for her But she s a illusion chased by a butterfly catcher when in fact it is she who should have been the narrator of this tepid tale of banalityNOT A SPOILER But then we could not have been shocked with the reveal that this isust the cruel hand that fate deals us I was so angry when I finished this bookI need to stop reading contemporary books that go for cheap thrills As a person who has studied and lived in and around Harvard Suare I found the dialogue and characters to be unrealistic I thought this was a love story. A young man and woman meet love each other and are consumed It’s a story as old as romance itself but in this enthralling novel John Burnham Schwartz tells it with heart stopping new immediacy In the middle of a rainstorm Julian Rose a self effacing Harvard graduate student.
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Tensely dislike her right awayHowever the author is Making India Work just too clever by half He allows us in Julian s head with dispatch so we begin to feel for her what he feels within the first five pagesClaire is one of those women few men can figure out and some die trying Unpredictable temporal and ethereally beautiful Claire is like a watercolor in a rainstorm She is the watercolor in the rainstorm in Cambridge when she and Julian meetShe s that stunning painting of a person one never forgets and to whom every other person will be compared thereafter because they were the first The first truly beautiful consuming thing we experience when our neural paths are barely trafficked and so remain with us alwaysThough how one makes it as far as a doctoral program at Harvard without being deeply affected by beauty I ll never knowThat s part of why we like Julian He is gentle and reaches out to people around him and notust beautiful women He has a tender friendship with uirky old lady on his block to name one but there are othersMaybe I appreciated the book so much I read it a weekend because I can relate to Julian Not because I have summered in Europe I haven t What Julian wants most will never be within his reach Some of the emotional contortions I underwent while reading Claire Marvel arose from Julian s failure to obtain what I felt he deserved And I m not talking about wealth or fame Just happiness contentness Simply being adored by the object of one s adorationI don t want to spoil the plot for you because it is rich and surprising the kind of story in which dramatic irony is meted out with such cruelty you not only know there s a sovereign power but one who likes to move us around like chess pieces for sportIf you want to see how soft and absorbent Puffs Plus really are then read Claire Marvel It s good for youif cleaning out your tear ducts is a healthy thing Just make sure you have your opiate of choice on hand chocolate gummi bears Little Debbie s creme filled oatmeal cakesA handsome husband works well too THE BEST love story I ve ever read well actually in a tie with Nicholas Sparks The Notebook Unlike that wonderfully sappy novel the blueprint for which EVERY SINGLE BOOK he s written since has followed this one is a heartbreaker from the first meeting of the male and female characters Schwartz s writing style is second to none when bringing you into the lives of his characters None of the characters in this book will you take a liking to If you are like me you will often times yell out loud at them for being so sophomoric and mentally impotent That is what makes this book so wonderful as the chapters roll on you can t put damned things down to avoid the inevitable train wreck at the end The story wraps up beautifully and you find yourself in limbo for a bit trying to sort things out inside yourself If you want a true love story not the fairy tale crap pick this book up and give it a try. Ot least those arising from Claire and Julian’s disparate characters And as these young people find and lose each other then seek each other anew Schwartz places romantic love within an entire continuum of attachments that reuire the full reserves of our openness and courag.
But it was of a tragedy It s really a book about not being able to let someone go even if they have chosen to be with someone else Really let go and move on A few year s back I read Jonathan Burnham Schwartz s devastating novel Reservation Road and was really impressed So I was really looking forward to reading Claire Marvel The book s opening lines There was before her and now there is after her and that is the difference in my life promised great things but I m not sure Schwartz actually deliversThe book is narrated by Julian Rose a grad student at Harvard who meets and falls immediately in love with Claire Marvel during a rainstorm The book traces their relationship through all the reuisite romantic obstacles and I suppose I can fairly say that the only thing t This is as fine a contemporary tale of blind devotion and betrayal as you ll find at bookstores or in your local library that s where I found it anywayClaire Marvel is a great read with a capital G Just writing about it makes me want to read it again but I can t at least not right now because I have to reread another book in preparation for my next review I will however read a brief passage in an audioclip on this blog so you can hear John Burnham Schwartz s prose It will make you want to surf on over to BarnesandNoblecom I only plug Barnes Noble because they allow our writing group to meet there twice a month for freeI remember feeling breathless at times reading this novel The main character Julian is passionate and intelligent and sensitive and a PhD candidate at Harvard and do men really get much better than that on paperSchwartz s writing liberally and lyrically surges and retrenches with Julian s moods allowing us to see and feel what he does I had a couple uick intakes of breath after reading certain passages It had been months since I d read anything that well written and his craft startled me at times much like having the wind knocked out of my lungsIn the opening scene Julian is on campus headed to see a professor when a cloudburst traps him in front of a museum where he shares an umbrella the color of buttercups with a beautiful enigmatic woman named Claire Marvel How s that for a character nameImmediately I thought of the old Hollies song Bus Stop wondering whether Schwartz heard it as a kid too stuffed it into his gray matter then retrieved it for this book Bus stop wet day she s there I say Please share my umbrella Bus stop bus goes she stays love grows Under my umbrella All that summer we enjoyed itWind and rain and shineThat umbrella we employed itBy August she was mineClaire is lovely and mysterious the kind of woman all women wish we were but aren t At the book s opening it s pouring rain a torrent but she s still stunning alluring only slightly soggy and sexy as hell Though he s soaked to the skin the reader feels Julian s naked want seething turning to steam under his drenched clothingI wanted to in. Takes refuge beneath a girl’s yellow umbrella The girl the woman is Claire Marvel lovely mercurial mired in family tragedy She is the last person someone like Julian should fall in love with But he does What ensues is a great and difficult passion strewn with obstacles–n.
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John Burnham Schwartz grew up in New York City At Harvard College he majored in Japanese studies and upon graduation accepted a position with a prominent Wall Street investment bank before finally turning the position down after selling his first novel Schwartz has taught fiction writing at Harvard The University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and Sarah Lawrence College and he is the literary d