[Ebook] ↠ The Charioteer Author Mary Renault – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk

[Ebook] ↠ The Charioteer  Author Mary Renault – Gasengineersinglasgow.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 347 pages
  • The Charioteer
  • Mary Renault
  • English
  • 23 December 2019
  • 0375714189

The Charioteer After Enduring An Injury At Dunkirk During World War II, Laurie Odell Is Sent To A Rural Veterans Hospital In England To Convalesce There He Befriends The Young, Bright Andrew, A Conscientious Objector Serving As An Orderly As They Find Solace And Companionship Together In The Idyllic Surroundings Of The Hospital, Their Friendship Blooms Into A Discreet, Chaste Romance Then One Day, Ralph Lanyon, A Mentor From Laurie S Schoolboy Days, Suddenly Reappears In Laurie S Life, And Draws Him Into A Tight Knit Social Circle Of World Weary Gay Men Laurie Is Forced To Choose Between The Sweet Ideals Of Innocence And The Distinct Pleasures Of Experience Originally Published In The United States In , The Charioteer Is A Bold, Unapologetic Portrayal Of Male Homosexuality During World War II That Stands With Gore Vidal S The City And The Pillar And Christopher Isherwood S Berlin Stories As A Monumental Work In Gay Literature


About the Author: Mary Renault

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Charioteer book, this is one of the most wanted Mary Renault author readers around the world.


10 thoughts on “The Charioteer

  1. says:

    My least favorite thing about this book reporting business is choosing the star rating I seriously get ulcers trying to quantify my personal, subjective response to each book I ve read Was it just okay Did I like it or really like it Part of my problem is that I ve resolved from the beginning to be incredibly stingy with my five star ratings I ve only given five stars to books that I feel have affected my sense of self and relation to the world on some profound and fundamental level, My least favorite thing about this book reporting business is choosing the star rating I seriously get ulcers trying to quantify my personal, subjective response to each book I ve read Was it just okay Did I like it or really like it Part of my problem is that I ve resolved from the beginning to be incredibly stingy with my five star ratings I ve only given five stars to books that I feel have affected my sense of self and relation to the world on some profound and fundamental level, which has created the problem that my four star category now is the broadest and least meaningful My rule in distinguishing between a three star and four star book is how urgently I feel the need to return to reading it while I am not Anything I actively crave earns the fourth star four star books make me look forward to subway rides, cause me to resent social obligations But The Charioteer made me rethink my commitment to the four star system This was a book that I flung down at midnight on a Tuesday, beating my breast, cursing my fate, and crying out to the gods, Why must I work because it broke my heart that I couldn t stay up all night long finishing it I did debate postponing Thanksgiving, and there were times while reading that I actually had to stop, put the book down in my lap, and just freak out for a minute about how good it was This was a book I found myself reading while walking down a crowded street at midday in Chinatown, a childhood behavior to which I rarely revert Anyway, all of this did, for me, emphasize the limitations of the four star rating Shouldn t I just give books five stars if I think they re amazing I guess I will try it, and see how I feel.This book was amazing Remember how great and romantic Farewell to Arms was, except that the female character was sort of a misogynistically drawn 2D fuckdoll, and the protagonist was a bit of an inarticulate, hypermasculine alcoholic brute Well, imagine that book only British, not American, with a sensitive refined young wounded soldier and adorable cute boy orderlies instead of Hemingway s somewhat ridiculous female characters Okay, this really wasn t anything like Farewell to Arms, and the comparison doesn t do justice to either book They just both had romances in hospitals between wounded soldiers and hospital staff I guess it s a genre, and not just those two it s very romantic, all this wounding and nursing Well, it is in the books I don t know about real life The Charioteer was like some kind of dream birthday dinner of all my favorite foods Instead of stuffed tomatoes and coffee ice cream, it had England during World War II, gay romance, and some of the most stunningly skillful writing I think I ve ever read I can t remember many books thatsuccessfully conveyed private emotional states, a description of the physical world, complex and convincingly human characters and their interactions, and all the rest of that stuff that contributes to making up a really class A, five star novel While reading this, I remembered that novels are an art form As I personally read just for pleasure and judge books exclusively on their merits as entertainment, when I m forced to confront this artwork thing it feels like a revelation The Charioteer accomplishes so much of what it is I believe successful literature should do that is, it conveys the fine and subtle specificity of a certain time, place, and character, while tying this individual story to the broad human experience Anyone who can hang her novel on some Plato, as Renault does, and make it work so beautifully that a girl like me actually spends time poking at the Phaedrus online, deserves some sort of prize perhaps an extra star I couldn t stop wondering, as I read this, why I tend so often to love novels about mid twentieth century gay men so much I think I must enjoy the inherent romance and painfully secret subtlety surrounding homosexual relationships in the pre Stonewall era there are few things as romantic as a forbidden, secret love that persists amidst strong social prohibitions, plus these books often avoid the tired cliches of heterosexual romances, and therefore seemfresh I also really enjoy the unsaid, unspelled out nature of these relationships There were so many conversations in this book that I had to read a few times before I caught the meaning implicit between the lines A lot of that is probably its being British, on top of being gay, but the kind of careful and cryptic, thickly coded social interaction which is what makes earlier, nineteenth century novels about upper crusty types so fascinating, survives longer in gay fiction I love reading this stuff It s like doing a crossword puzzle, trying to figure out what it means, only a crossword puzzle with a payoff beyond just the process.I think another reason I like reading older books about gay men is that I m so exhausted by depictions of women as objects of desire and of female sexuality, that it s a huge relief to get the romance without having to think about that stuff There s something so relaxing about it, to me, dodging all those feminist issues, yet still getting the kind of novel I want There are actually quite a few well drawn female characters in The Charioteer, and this was one area where it seemed unsurprising that the author was a woman I am really interested now in Mary Renault I want to read everything else she wrote, and though I m not sure how I feel about historical fiction set in Ancient Greece, if it s anything like this, I am sure I will love it.I really can t say I d recommend this unreservedly to everyone, though if you re interested in historical fiction about gays in the military, it s hard to imagine that you could do better I also recommend this to people who love the Novel, especially the life during wartime British Novel, which I have to say, I should think would be a lot of you

  2. says:

    significantly excellent.in some passages so stunningly real and identifiable i found myself experiencing things that had happened to me in nearly the same way, as if for the first time.i feel like i already knew everyone i met in this book.definitive absolutely definitive discussion with author alexis hall

  3. says:

    Probably the single most influential book I ever read Beautifully written, evocative, haunting, powerful.

  4. says:

    Shame on me When I first heard of Mary Renault and her gay novels, I immediately assumed that because they were written in the 1950 s and by a woman that they were bound to be bad Shame, shame, shame I stand duly chastised And somewhat in awe of Mary Renault She really gets the whole living in fear and shame thing, the way it distorts your life, causes you to doubt yourself, the overly sensitive panic that They somehow know She never comes out to hit us on the head with this She just de Shame on me When I first heard of Mary Renault and her gay novels, I immediately assumed that because they were written in the 1950 s and by a woman that they were bound to be bad Shame, shame, shame I stand duly chastised And somewhat in awe of Mary Renault She really gets the whole living in fear and shame thing, the way it distorts your life, causes you to doubt yourself, the overly sensitive panic that They somehow know She never comes out to hit us on the head with this She just describes Laurie s emotions and thoughts, often indirectly She s discreet and restrained, and it s a stellar example of how less can beThere were some parts that gave me pause In one scene, Laurie says to an exhausted friend, You ll be all right because you rea doctor than you are a queer One reading would see it as encapsulating all that 50 s homosexual self loathing that we are so familiar with On another reading the one I prefer it s a statement that gay men and women are not just their sexuality, in the same way that straight men and women are not just their sexuality The trouble comes when it s all that you define about yourself when we are all so muchthan that And I would like to believe that that is what she meant, because in so many other ways, she really nailed it

  5. says:

    I knew nothing about this novel when I began reading it By the time I was done, I was convinced it belonged near the top of the list of the best novels ever written about gay characters Mary Renault is known for her historical fiction set in ancient Greece, but The Charioteer takes place during World War II, mostly inside a British hospital where Laurie Laurence , whose kneecap was blasted away at the Battle of Dunkirk, is recuperating Laurie becomes enad with a hospital orderly named An I knew nothing about this novel when I began reading it By the time I was done, I was convinced it belonged near the top of the list of the best novels ever written about gay characters Mary Renault is known for her historical fiction set in ancient Greece, but The Charioteer takes place during World War II, mostly inside a British hospital where Laurie Laurence , whose kneecap was blasted away at the Battle of Dunkirk, is recuperating Laurie becomes enad with a hospital orderly named Andrew, a conscientious objector who is scorned by the other wounded veterans in the hospital Later, visiting London on a one day pass, Laurie gets swept into a circle of cosmopolitan gay men, among them Ralph, whom Laurie had a hero worship crush on when they were in school together The novel s plot might be boiled down to the love triangle that grows out of these relationships, but there s a lotgoing on here a timeless exploration of the nature of homosexuality and the essence of love a depiction of the struggle queers experience navigating between their families of origin and the social families they create and the daily challenges of disability, as both Laurie and Ralph have been mutilated in the course of their military service.So why isn t The Charioteer as well known as other mid 20th century masterworks like Giovanni s Room and A Single Man Is it because Renault was a woman writing about men, which somehow invalidates her point of view As a lesbian in a lifelong relationship, she certainly understood the position of queer people in contemporary society Is it because her portrait of Ralph s social circle is loaded with supporting characters who display a stereotypical backstabbing bitchiness But no one she presents here is as villainous as the queens in Giovanni s Room plus, I d argue that Renault s portraiture illuminates how homophobia warps human behavior and turns the victims into victimizers It may also be that The Charioteer is obscure because it s a challenging work of literature The contemporary American reader has to fight through layers of British references to public schools, the military, the geography of London neighborhoods, and so on Characters talk in a naturalistic style wherein subjects of conversations are referred to but not always named some subjects like homosexuality simply couldn t be spoken about directly at the time, so the reader wades through inference and suggestion to get to what s at stake And then there s Renault s knowing, often ironic prose style, which doesn t offer easy exposition, doesn t explain We are thrust into scenes and have to figure out where we are and what s changed since the previous chapter I frequently found myself flipping back to reread moments whose meaning had eluded me In a lesser novel all of that would have been frustrating, but Renault is such a good writer, and her characters are so fleshed out and compelling, that the book made me want to work hard for its pleasures Laurie s conflict between his chaste crush on Andrew and hiscomplicated relationship to Ralph generates a lot of suspense in the novel s second half The harrowing picture of life during the London Blitz, with its air raid sirens and blackout curtains and sudden bursts of gunfire, created a backdrop of uncertainty and danger The slow awakening of the central character to self determination, at the core of which is his love for other men, was set against a reading of Plato s Phaedrus, which contains the myth of the charioteer that gives the novel its title, and points the way to Renault sfamous books, written after this Whatever the reason for its relative obscurity, The Charioteer strikes me as ripe for rediscovery

  6. says:

    Mary Renault is one of those authors for whom I was tempted to give 5 stars to all of her books, because I enjoyed them so much But in the interests of maintaining standards Hi Betsy , I will give 5 stars to The Charioteer , a book probably 50 years ahead of its time, but go ahead and recommend all of her historical fiction anyway With perhaps The Mask of Apollo and The King must Die being my favorites among her remaining books.

  7. says:

    I bought this book after reading The Dark Horse by Josh Lanyon In that story the main character is an actor who is hoping to be chosen for the role of Laurie in a film adaptation of The Charioteer The story draws some parallels between the characters of Sean and Dan in The Dark horse and Laurie and Ralph in The Charioteer I thought that perhaps I ought to read The Charioteer, especially after Josh Lanyon has mentioned it quite a few times since as being a great book.The book is set in the 2 I bought this book after reading The Dark Horse by Josh Lanyon In that story the main character is an actor who is hoping to be chosen for the role of Laurie in a film adaptation of The Charioteer The story draws some parallels between the characters of Sean and Dan in The Dark horse and Laurie and Ralph in The Charioteer I thought that perhaps I ought to read The Charioteer, especially after Josh Lanyon has mentioned it quite a few times since as being a great book.The book is set in the 2nd World war and revolves around our hero, Laurie, who is injured during Dunkirk and is now recuperating in an army hospital in England Whilst there he meets Andrew, a conscientious objector, who is working as an orderly Laurie falls in love with Andrew, but doesn t want to tell him as he views Andrew as being in some way pure and doesn t want to sully this idealistic love with carnality which he feels would happen if he confesses to being gay and attracted to him Into this mix comes Ralph, an old school acquaintance who awakened Laurie to his own sexuality when he was 16 Ralph is the complete opposite to Andrew He is practical, likes to take charge and is unashamed of being gay Laurie also loves Ralph but in a earthy, sexual way Laurie has to make a choice Does he choose the idealised love of Andrew or the sensual love of Ralph I have to admit straight off that I found Laurie infuriating at times He was such a naive dreamer and had this completely unrealistic idea that being gay was somehow a higher state of being mainly from reading too much Greek philosophy He is repulsed by the gay lifestyle adopted by Ralph s friends, refusing to believe that the coarseness and overt sexuality he sees with them should be part of being gay He has no idea how Andrew feels about him and yet he idolises their friendship, putting Andrew on a pedestal and pushing Ralph away time after time even after Ralph admits his love for Laurie I just wanted to give him a shake and say for goodness sake, pull yourself together Look what you could have We only ever see the other characters from Laurie s POV, so it s difficult to make judgements about them Andrew seems very young, perhaps in awe of Laurie, but ultimately, lacking in any personality I never actually could understand what Laurie saw in him, other than someone who has stuck to their principles despite the scorn and contempt it has brought I liked the character of Ralph and could see that he has probably loved Laurie for a long time He knows that he could probably influence Laurie in his choice, but chooses not to an admirable quality.In a way this book is very much of its time and this comes through clearest in its portrayal of certain ideas about homosexuality Each one of the main characters has a reason as to why they are gay and there is a pervasive theme of homosexuality being a choice rather than part of who a person is Both these ideas seem very outdated now or at least they should Also at the time it was written any sexual content in a mainstream novel would have lead to it being banned This basically means that any reference to sex in the book is only alluded to, and alluded to so obliquely that I wasn t sure it had actually happened at first There is a lot left to your imagination Even references to the sexuality of Laurie and Ralph at the beginning are masked in such a way that if you didn t know they were gay then you might not even pick it up.This was quite a difficult book to rate The book is strongest in the portrayal of the various characters in the book Each person has an individual voice and Renault uses accent and dialect to accurately show how the different classes would have spoken You can hear each accent clearly in your head as you are reading The book is weakest in that you have to concentrate hard on the thoughts of Laurie which seem to flitter about and can sometimes be difficult to follow, especially when he makes constant reference to classical notions and texts which my Comprehensive School education never covered All in all, I m going to give this a grade of Very Good It might have been , as the book was incredibly engrossing, were it not for my impatience with Laurie

  8. says:

    Today, the social justice movement it is ever so chic to belong to is that of same sex marriage Whether this will continue past the vanilla white male couple with a couple of white male kids, whether success on this front means a tackling of the trans panic genocide defense law in 49 of my 50 states, whether this sensationalized narrowing of all the discrimination, the dehumanization, and the murder of all those beyond the pale of hetero cis etc normativity will go the way of eradication of U Today, the social justice movement it is ever so chic to belong to is that of same sex marriage Whether this will continue past the vanilla white male couple with a couple of white male kids, whether success on this front means a tackling of the trans panic genocide defense law in 49 of my 50 states, whether this sensationalized narrowing of all the discrimination, the dehumanization, and the murder of all those beyond the pale of hetero cis etc normativity will go the way of eradication of US slavery and granting of US white women suffrage, remains to be seen Should this movement putter out as the non intersectional fad it has been form fitted to be, the fearful tightrope of living portrayed in this novel will never end The fact that this book has already incorporated itself so far into the reading community attests to how society likes to consider the issue of homosexuality and co.Much as the subtle touch and go of a socially forbidden romance proves an indulgence to read, evenso when soaked in warfare, ancient literary influence, and the bildungsroman of a double life, I wouldn t wish it on anyone Ongoing class discussions of a true core become rather superfluous in the face of what the realization of certain has historically afforded some A span of time ago, this work s Laurie would have been considered fit to burn, but not at the stake Later, it was anything from denial to disdain to incarceration, and it is only through an exhausting amount of acting that this work has scenes of peace, stability, and happiness Theone has to balance the self to not be torn apart, the less one can trust inherent motivations, or know when it is necessary to bend in order to avoid the snap.In many ways, this work plays on the stereotypes of the Euro Neo Euro male homosexual community, what with the beard and affiliation for Ancient Greece and the congregated promise of sexual rapacity In others, it works through in that part posed, part admitted, always integrated negotiation of the self with society s response to such, one that happens to be English, classically educated, male, disabled, a veteran of war, a lover of men, and ever, ever so young From this, one can see same sex marriage is only a grain in the sand.Love, even under the most encouraged of circumstances, can be a nasty business One may enjoy reading the narratives of yesteryear, but it s time for the multifarious social inhibitions to be holistically reevaluated Too much life is caught up and cut for any argument of resulting benefit to hold

  9. says:

    It s impossible for me to rate certain books objectively, because of the life changing impact they had on me.I read The Charioteer in 1976, when I was 13 I knew I was different, but not in a way that bore mentioning or even secret acknowledgement in the ulta macho Greece of that time The only gay man I was aware of was a guy, who sold feather dusters around the centre of Athens he was campy, outspoken, mocked, and it scared me that I might be like him Even though I didn t understand all the It s impossible for me to rate certain books objectively, because of the life changing impact they had on me.I read The Charioteer in 1976, when I was 13 I knew I was different, but not in a way that bore mentioning or even secret acknowledgement in the ulta macho Greece of that time The only gay man I was aware of was a guy, who sold feather dusters around the centre of Athens he was campy, outspoken, mocked, and it scared me that I might be like him Even though I didn t understand all the subtext until years later, reading The Charioteer led me to understand what I am and what I might become These aren t heroic characters, though they can be that, too They re sometimes decent, sometimes petty They drink too much, hide their fears behind rigid ideologies and codes of behavior, and in their effort to define their own place in the world, spend a lot of time judging others And against the backdrop of war, it s easy to forget how very young they all are But they remain deeply, incontestably human, a depiction of gay men I d never seen until that time.I don t know if first time readers today would have the same reaction It can be a slow book, with a lot of introspection about issues, which have, in many societies, been resolved today I liked the pace, because at the time I was working through some of the same issues, and I still like it today, because I still don t know if I have answers to some of the questions The Charioteer helped me formulate back then It s a romance, of sorts, but not really rather the backdrop of loving and being loved serves to bring all the other emotions and feelings to the surface and to make them especially sharp

  10. says:

    My heart Is it still there Because I feel like someone tore it out and stomped on it.I stayed up way later than I usually do, last night, to finish this, because I couldn t wait any longer The intense and emotional turmoil inside of me started with Andrew s letter and followed through to the end.It wasn t until I finished, and turned off the lights to go to sleep, that I realized what I had been holding in And I cried for a few minutes for the story, for the beautiful writing, for the chara My heart Is it still there Because I feel like someone tore it out and stomped on it.I stayed up way later than I usually do, last night, to finish this, because I couldn t wait any longer The intense and emotional turmoil inside of me started with Andrew s letter and followed through to the end.It wasn t until I finished, and turned off the lights to go to sleep, that I realized what I had been holding in And I cried for a few minutes for the story, for the beautiful writing, for the characters.The story was subtle and slow moving romantic and emotional I can t stop thinking about it

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