Outline by Rachel Cusk audiobook

Outline

By Rachel Cusk
Read by Kate Lock

Blackstone Publishing 9780374228347

The Outline Trilogy: Book 1

7.29 Hours 1
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A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language. A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives. Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss. Outline takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people’s motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk’s finest work yet and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.

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Summary

Summary

A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language.

A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about their destination, their careers, their families. Grievances are aired, family tragedies discussed, marriages and divorces analyzed. An intimacy is established as two strangers contrast their own fictions about their lives.

Outline is a novel in ten conversations. Spare and stark, it follows a novelist teaching a course in creative writing during one oppressively hot summer in Athens. She leads her students in storytelling exercises. She meets other visiting writers for dinner and discourse. She goes swimming in the Ionian Sea with her neighbor from the plane. The people she encounters speak volubly about themselves: their fantasies, anxieties, pet theories, regrets, and longings. And through these disclosures, a portrait of the narrator is drawn by contrast, a portrait of a woman learning to face a great loss.

Outline takes a hard look at the things that are hardest to speak about. It brilliantly captures conversations, investigates people’s motivations for storytelling, and questions their ability to ever do so honestly or unselfishly. In doing so it bares the deepest impulses behind the craft of fiction writing. This is Rachel Cusk’s finest work yet and one of the most startling, brilliant, original novels of recent years.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Brilliant…These ten remarkable conversations, told with immense control, focus a sharp eye on how we discuss family and our lives.” Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)
“As the profile of her main character grows more defined in relief, so does Cusk’s underlying message about love, loss, and feminine identity in the modern world, evident not only in her story but also in its delivery. Outline is an expertly crafted portrait that asks readers to look deeply into the text for discovery.” Booklist (starred review)
“Cusk returns to fiction and top form in a novel about the stories we tell ourselves and others…Rich in human variety and unsentimental empathy.” Kirkus Reviews
“Rachel Cusk has constructed a restrained, incisive narrative of high stylistic polish and stealthy emotional power. Formally inventive, astringently intellectual, and linguistically assured, Outline poses the question of where stories come from; it shows, with glittering clarity, why they matter.” Rebecca March, author of My Life in Middlemarch
“Outline succeeds powerfully. Among other things, it gets a great variety of human beings down onto the page with both immediacy and depth; an elemental pleasure that makes the book as gripping to read as a thriller…A stellar accomplishment.” The Guardian
“This has to be one of the oddest, most breathtakingly original and unsettling novels I ’ve read in a long time…Every single word is earned, precisely tuned, enthralling. Outline is a triumph of attitude and daring, a masterclass in tone.” The Observer (London)
“Cusk’s uncompromising, often brutal intelligence is at full power. So is her technique…I can’t think of a book that so powerfully resists summary or review…Inevitably, the only way to get close to the fascinating and elusive core of Outline is to read it.” Financial Times (London)
“A uniquely graceful and innovative piece of artistic self-possession, which achieves the rare feat of seamlessly amalgamating form and substance.” The Independent (London)
“Outline. It defies ordinary categorization. It is about authorial invisibility, it involves writing without showing your face. The narrator is a writer who goes to teach creative writing in Greece and becomes enmeshed in other peoples’ narratives, which Cusk stitches, with fastidious brilliance, into a single fabric.” The Observer (London)
“The writing is brilliant…Cusk is always cerebral but I ’ve never noticed her drollery before…Absorbing, thought-provoking.” London Evening Standard
“Like the Higgs boson, which appears only when bombarded by electrons, Rachel Cusk ’s nearly nameless narrator flickers into visibility only through her encounters with a series of amazingly eloquent and fascinating interlocutors. Writing at the highest level and with the greatest technical restraint, Cusk manages to describe the painful realities of women ’s lives by a process of erasure that is itself responsible for that suffering. This is a novel where form and content meld so perfectly as to collapse into each other. I am so much the better for having read it. As if someone finally told me the truth by telling me everything, and nothing.” Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Marriage Plot
“A subtle and utterly engrossing exploration of the ways we make ourselves known to one another—in stories and anecdotes, through seductions and disputes—and yet remain opaque; how we sketch ourselves as outlines and find these outlines interrogated. The conversations in Outline echo one another deftly, their acute insights gracefully pulling apart the seams of its carefully composed characters to show glimpses of much messier selves within: a series of searing psychic X-rays bleached by coastal light.” Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
“On a flight to Greece where she is going to be teaching a creative writing class, the narrator begins talking to her neighbor. More accurately, initiating a pattern that will be repeated throughout the encounters and ‘conversations’ that make up this hypnotic, funny and unsettling novel, he talks at her. Gradually her own identity emerges in response to—is given shape by—what is said to her. As one of her students puts it, the story constitutes a series of events she finds herself involved in, but on which she seems to have ‘absolutely no influence at all. ’ The irony, of course, is that all of these tales—the author ’s tale—hold our attention because of Cusk’s unerring command of pace and tone.” Geoff Dyer , 2014 Goldsmiths Prize judge
“I opened this book and read a page, and then a few more pages, and I finished Outline before a day and a half had passed, and I am the slowest reader I know, and I have never felt guilty about not finishing a book. Outline is amazing. It changes the lighting on the charismatic, mad, maddening monologues so beloved in literature; here we are, on the previously invisible other side of it, seeing something brilliant and irremediably true.” Rivka Galchen, author of American Innovations

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Rachel Cusk

Author Bio: Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk is the author of the Outline trilogy, the memoirs A Life’s Work and Aftermath, and several other works of fiction and nonfiction. Her debut novel, Saving Agnes, won the Whitbread First Novel Award. She is a Guggenheim Fellow. She lives in Paris.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 7.29
Audience: Adult
Language: English