The Rehearsal: A Novel

The Rehearsal A Novel All the world s a stage and nowhere is that true than at an all girls high school particularly one where a scandal has just erupted A teacher has had an affair with his underage student and though h

  • Title: The Rehearsal: A Novel
  • Author: Eleanor Catton
  • ISBN: 9780316074322
  • Page: 106
  • Format: Paperback
  • All the world s a stage and nowhere is that true than at an all girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted A teacher has had an affair with his underage student, and though her friends pretend to be dismayed, they are secretly curious and jealous They obsessively examine the details of the affair under the watchful eye of their stern and eAll the world s a stage and nowhere is that true than at an all girls high school, particularly one where a scandal has just erupted A teacher has had an affair with his underage student, and though her friends pretend to be dismayed, they are secretly curious and jealous They obsessively examine the details of the affair under the watchful eye of their stern and enigmatic saxophone teacher, whose focus may not be as strictly on their upcoming recital as she implies.When the local drama school turns the story of the scandal into their year end show, the real world and the world of the theater are forced to meet With both performances the musicians and the acting students approaching, the boundaries between dramas real and staged, private and public, begin to dissolve THE REHEARSAL is a tender portrait of teenage yearning and adult regret, an exhilarating, darkly funny, provocative novel about the complications of human desire EndFragment

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      Published :2019-02-21T04:29:11+00:00

    1 thought on “The Rehearsal: A Novel”

    1. I enjoy rating and seeing ratings on immensely, however I can't help but notice certain patterns in the ratings of books which you, no doubt, have also noticed. Classics and non-genre-protected contemporary novels can either be skyrocketed by a large fan base, or pulled down by instant 1 and 2 star ratings by people who don't find a book to be in keeping with their ideas of what literature should be. I would love to see more raters giving good books 3 or 4 stars even if it wasn't their cup of t [...]

    2. Eleanor Catton is a witch. I say this out of great respect, as I was taught to do by my Fake Auntie Barbara, who is also a witch. I know that Catton is a witch because:i) I do not care about sexuality in fiction. It's been done to death (primarily, I suspect, because it lets writers, who like to think they're pure as the driven snow, feel like victims. Most writers, of course, are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the rest of the human population and got that way because of a wide range of hi [...]

    3. That One Perfect KissAt the heart of this novel (written when Catton was 22) is an illicit male teacher, female pupil relationship. We hear little from the 31 year old teacher, so we can’t determine whether he is a latter-day Humbert Humbert. Catton is more interested in the context and the aftermath than the act itself. Almost all of the novel is told from the perspective of secondary school girls or young women. Hence, it's primarily an exploration of female adolescence and maturity, whateve [...]

    4. Since this book is partly about a bunch of teenagers trying to get accepted into a top dramatic academy, I have an excuse to tell you a recent sad-but-true anecdote, which featured my daughter’s fellow-Corridor (that’s their band) named Helena. If you’ve seen the youtube videos (and they really want you to!) she’s the very tall, very thin, quite pretty and extremely blonde one. She’s a good actress (I’ve seen her in school plays) and a good singer & dancer and she’s totally in [...]

    5. [4.5] A formidably clever book with a rubbish cover. Both the jacket and the synopsis - a scandal over the relationship between a sixth former (in British parlance) and a 31 year old teacher - look like something from the younger end of a publisher's commercial women's fiction dept. But as the polarised ratings show, those looking for a straightforward beach read will be disappointed by an experimental, theory-driven novel which speaks the unspeakable. (As with Joanna Kavenna, another intelligen [...]

    6. Phenomenal! Not only is this an amazing book, but it's Catton's debut, written during her year of getting her MFA the age of 22! Incredible. The style is so unique, very much like reading the descriptions in a play at times. It deals with truth and fiction, masks and faces, putting on a facade, and it all centers around the arts: saxophones and theatre. I really loved the dramatic aspects of it. It's a dual-narrative story, and the interweaving stories are crafted SO well. It's seamless. You cou [...]

    7. Reading this debut novel was like sitting in a black box theatre watching a play, suspended in time, and often like watching a rehearsal of the play that I am watching. As the characters move into focus, the lighting techniques add a perspective to the dialog. Just like a play's story is told through dialog; lighting; and movement (called blocking in theater lingo), Catton's novel coheres and communicates through the visible frame of a theatre lens; the boundaries of the theatre are the boundari [...]

    8. I can understand why people think this is an amazing book, but not quite my cup of tea, unfortunately.

    9. Silently seductive and unapologetically bold, a novel that carefully ensnares poetic opulence and exquisite exposition, The Rehearsal is. "Remember that it’s in her best interests for everything to go wrong. It’s in her best interests to slip up now, while she’s still safe in the Green Room with the shrouded furniture and the rows of faceless polystyrene heads and the cracked and dusty mirrors and the old papers scudding across the floor. Don’t wait until she’s out in the savage white [...]

    10. The Rehearsal by young New Zealand author Eleanor Catton is an astonishing debut novel that is both surprising as it is enlightening. The story is smart, playful and self-possessed with a wonderful array of character's that combined with such a arresting and seductive storyline that make it that whenever you open the book you will find it nigh on impossible to put it down.What could of been precious at best, pretentious at worst, instead thanks to superb storytelling is shocking, funny and poign [...]

    11. One of the most confounding books I've read in a long time. It's really well written, and filled with pages of stunning dialogue, but quite a bit of it seems to be at odds with the setting. Put another way: I find it hard to believe any of the characters in this book would say a lot of the things they say. They speak like characters, not people, and it's distracting.ough apparently not distracting enough for me to put it down.

    12. Where to start with The Rehearsal, a book that fizzes over with invention and exuberance; that rummages through haystacks of artifice and returns with surprisingly many needles of truth; that demands attention from its readers, but pays it all back, many times over — that comes laden with praise, every word of it justified?We could start with the plot, though that might be something of a red herring. There’s a scandal involving a girl at Abbey Grange school and one of the teachers there. The [...]

    13. The Play within the PlayThe Rehearsal begins with the aftermath of a sex scandal at a girls’ school where a seventh-former, Victoria, has an affair with the music teacher. It’s all about the adolescent reactions, their confusion and hostility (directed towards Victoria rather than the teacher), the awkward counselling sessions, the mothers’ hand-wringing, and it’s done brilliantly. Later, students in a drama school nearby decide to make a play out of the incident, but it becomes severely [...]

    14. This was one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in a very long time. It is certainly not for everyone – the subject matter will put off some, while the innovative narrative structure may frustrate others expecting a traditionally linear story arc. However, if you are sometimes more intrigued by the way a tale is told than the events described; if you oft find yourself lingering over a sentence of remarkable clarity and precision, wondering at the delicate interplay of consonance and con [...]

    15. I read this book for my book group. Or rather I tried. I came to it having just finished "Sword of Honour" by Evelyn Waugh. The extreme contrast did not help the experience. One book, a masterpiece borne out of a global conflict, the other an unfathomable enigma borne out of a scandal in a girl's school. One felt profound and insightful, the other experimental and confusing. My initial impression was that the book was intriguing. Here's the saxophone teacher addressing a mother: "I require of al [...]

    16. Ich habe lange mit mir gerungen, ob ich „Die Anatomie des Erwachens“ lesen möchte oder nicht. Nachdem ich von „Die Gestirne“ so unglaublich begeistert war und noch heute oft daran denken muss, war ich hin und hergerissen, ob ich mich nun auch an den Debütroman der talentierten Eleanor Catton wagen sollte. Dagegen sprach für mich vor allem eins, nämlich dass „Die Anatomie des Erwachens“ so ganz anders klang, als ihr preisgekrönter zweiter Roman. Ich wollte trotzdem nichts unversu [...]

    17. An astonishing debut book, all the more so because the author is barely out of her teens. This novel, centering on a David Lynch-like saxophone teacher, her student, and a sensitive slightly older drama student, reveals the masks we wear, the performances we inadvertently (and sometimes deliberately) give, and the ways we finesse how others perceive us. The insights are amazing; at its core, it's about identity and longing.

    18. I could not finish this book. It was written in such a horribly douchebagey, pretentious, snobby way that it was literally painful to read. I don't know how anyone can actually like this. I mean, I am a fan of all things new and different, but this book is literally unreadable and does not make any sense. Seriously.

    19. DNF at 47%, it was my third attempt, I give upDisclaimer: I loved the Luminaries. This book, however, is presumably about schools, teenagers and music, while what it actually is about is the author's sharp observations about human nature. It would have been bearable, had all the characters not been speaking in the same - dull, toneless - smart-ass voice. Frankly, it was terrible. I'm glad she's come to her senses and didn't morph into another Zadie Smith.

    20. Erm Not really. Ok, so Catton has really good ideas for her book and writes pretty well, in some sort of avant-garde way.And that's fine.But I can't imagine, for the life of me, teenage girls talking like Catton's characters. And what was that with the saxophone teacher?!The non-linear narrative didn't make things easy, but it wasn't that much of a problem. My trouble was with connecting all the events and knowing what happens with the characters, mainly Isolde, Julia and Stanley. In the end eve [...]

    21. This book certainly wouldn't appeal to everyone, and to be honest I'm not yet quite sure what I've just read.But it was really fucking beautiful.

    22. Just because a book is imaginative and does something different doesn't mean I have to like it, and doesn't mean that I think it's well done. I don't mind time shifts, and these were fairly clearly marked, but it really threw me to never know what was real and what was made up. For example, the book started with the saxophone teacher speaking in such an absurd way to a parent, then another parent comes in: "It's the same woman as before, just with a different costume--Winter not Henderson. Some [...]

    23. I am often suspicious of effusive content in the book blurb – in this case, a “starburst of talent” along with terms such as ‘astonishing’ and ‘accomplishment carried so lightly’. This is more like marketing speak to me than reviewer tone, but although these are not phrases I’d use, they are not far off the mark. Catton seems to play with and disrupt genre forms and expectations. According the part of the blurb describing the narrative – “a high school sex scandal jolts a gro [...]

    24. Eleanor Catton's debut novel is a marvelous book. I haven't yet read 'The Luminaries' so had no preconceptions but boy, can she write! The story is told in two parallel strands, one centering on a drama student, Stanley, attending his first year at a prestigious drama school and the second centering on a saxophone teacher and her pupils from a nearby exclusive girls school. At the start of the novel it has just been discovered that a male music teacher, Mr Saladar, has been caught having an affa [...]

    25. Just finished this one, and I'm still trying to figure out what I think of it. There were points where I was really into it, and other parts where I had no idea what was going on. When I didn't know what was going on, I would get frustrated and lose interest in the book.I actually really like the writing and the descriptions in the book. There were parts where the writing and language was really beautiful, and there were some interesting descriptions of things that I would never expect.I was def [...]

    26. This book, with its shifty chronology and its disorientation and its self-consciously literary style might seem over-the-top or pretentious or off-putting, especially at the start, when you don't quite know what on earth you're reading. But Catton's writing, and the story, are engrossing enough that it worked for me. The book might be said to explain its own style, its own conception of literature as well as theater, early-ish in the book, in the following passage:The Head of Improvisation said, [...]

    27. The struggle is real and I really struggled with this one. Honestly, I'm not even sure what I read. I know it's supposedly about a sexual relationship between a music teacher and one of his teenaged students at an all girls school, I guess in theory that's what it's about, but in reality, well at least in my reality, it's a hot time jumping mess. The story starts off with a bitchy middle aged saxophone teacher telling some mother that her precious snowflake isn't ready yet to start playing the s [...]

    28. Skillful but I felt misled, as in I was not aware at the time of purchase that I was purchasing someone's experimental MFA workshop novel. It's not that the book is unenjoyable, or even that it's irredeemably gimmicky. While gimmicky, it is rather well done. But the all-the-world's-a-stage and the is-this-really-happening-or-is-this-actually-part-of-the-play-within-the-novel conceit of the book is also aggravating, not that interesting, and led me not to care that much.Looking at other GR review [...]

    29. Actual rating: 2½ starsI had a very hard time getting myself interested in The Rehearsal. For much of the first ⅔ of the book I struggled to become engaged in the story. The Rehearsal begins as two different storylines overlapping and eventually merging into each other, however the chronology of events isn't always in order and I found myself periodically getting lost.I did find the chapters that centered around the saxophone teacher and scandal at Abbey Grange to be far more compelling than [...]

    30. This is the penultimate book I read to get through all the novels longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize, and I can say for certain without reading the last one that this is my favorite. It isn't possible that I could like the other one more. I enjoyed the technique of this novel, and that it somehow didn't seem so obviously a technique as I was reading it. The story is not linear, I'm not even sure which parts were real, but I couldn't put it down. I wanted to stay up and read instead of sleep, [...]

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