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The Blood Oranges

By (author) John Hawkes
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Vintage Publishing, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Chatto & Windus
Published: 31st Aug 1971
Dimensions: w 140mm h 200mm
Weight: 485g
ISBN-10: 0701117893
ISBN-13: 9780701117894
Barcode No: 9780701117894

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Kirkus US
"It is another one of our murmurous nonsequential afternoons in Ilyria" - murmurous beneath the cypresses or the fig trees or close to the "throbbing seaweed." In Ilyria, pagan, mythic, Mediterranean Ilyria, Cyril, the "white bull," or the "sex aesthetician" commemorates his middle-aged theory of sexual extension via the "quaterunion" he achieved earlier with his young wife Fiona and Hugh and Catherine, the couple in the nearby villa. Were this not so deadly serious (and Mr. Hawkes has always been taken very seriously), one might make the contraction to bull artist; and since all of Fiona's half sentences (virtually the only dialogue in the book) begin with "Oh, Baby," you might think of these four as swingers. But one cannot overlook the sacramental-penitential overtones, or the symbols and totems, or the rituals taking place under the blood orange sky representative of the late afternoon of life. Cyril, in the maroon silk robe which he seems to wear at all times, also describes himself as a "sex-singer" and the reverie is a retrospective one; it all seems faintly decadent and foolish which is inevitable when the vital impulse is reduced to a fever blister of the imagination. (Kirkus Reviews)