Read Mortals by Norman Rush Online


The greatly anticipated new novel by Norman Rush—whose first novel, Mating, won the National Book Award and was everywhere acclaimed—is his richest work yet. It is at once a political adventure, a social comedy, and a passionate triangle. It is set in the 1990s in Botswana—the African country Rush has indelibly made his own fictional territory.Mortals chronicles the misadvThe greatly anticipated new novel by Norman Rush—whose first novel, Mating, won the National Book Award and was everywhere acclaimed—is his richest work yet. It is at once a political adventure, a social comedy, and a passionate triangle. It is set in the 1990s in Botswana—the African country Rush has indelibly made his own fictional territory.Mortals chronicles the misadventures of three ex-pat Americans: Ray Finch, a contract CIA agent, operating undercover as an English instructor in a private school, who is setting out on perhaps his most difficult assignment; his beautiful but slightly foolish and disaffected wife, Iris, with whom he is obsessively in love; and Davis Morel, an iconoclastic black holistic physician, who is on a personal mission to “lift the yoke of Christian belief from Africa.”The passions of these three entangle them with a local populist leader, Samuel Kerekang, whose purposes are grotesquely misconstrued by the CIA, fixated as the agency is on the astonishing collapse of world socialism and the simultaneous, paradoxical triumph of radical black nationalism in South Africa, Botswana’s neighbor. And when a small but violent insurrection erupts in the wild northern part of the country, inspired by Kerekang but stoked by the erotic and political intrigues of the American trio—the outcome is explosive and often explosively funny.Along the way, there are many pleasures. Letters from Ray’s brilliantly hostile brother and Iris’s woebegone sister provide a running commentary on contemporary life in America. Africa and Africans are powerfully evoked, and the expatriate scene is cheerfully skewered.Through lives lived ardently in an unforgiving land, Mortals examines with wit and insight the dilemmas of power, religion, rebellion, and contending versions of liberation and love. It is a study of a marriage over time, and a man’s struggle to find his way when his private and public worlds are shifting. It is Norman Rush’s most commanding work....

Title : Mortals
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780679406228
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 715 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Mortals Reviews

  • Lobstergirl
    2019-02-16 13:55

    Two stars because:1. The author insists on using the term "pubic escutcheon" several times.2. The book is 400 pages too long.3. Lots and lots of cringeworthy sex and anatomy talk. Both our protagonist, Ray, and his wife, Iris, sometimes refer to her pubic region as her "shame."4. Ray, a CIA agent in Botswana undercover as a college professor, is hopelessly, embarrassingly, relentlessly, exhaustingly uxorious.5. Ray and Iris are obsessed with the cutesiness of their inside jokes, puns, and aphorisms, such as making the plural of Kleenex "Kleenices." When Ray is horny he tells Iris, "It's sex o'clock." Ray's gay brother back in the States is also obsessed with (what he thinks are) clever aphorisms, and writes a whole book of clever aphorisms which Ray uses in an interminable combat scene in the Kalahari desert late in the book.6. The book is deckle edged, which is tremendously annoying, not classy as Knopf would have us believe (it's a pretension bestowed on their finer literary selections).----------I loathed Mating, but this one was practically free and in perfect condition so I bought it.

  • Sam
    2019-02-07 19:13

    James Wood might argue that big books transcend their shortcomings - whatever that particular plea for ambition really means - but Mortals has a few, of which one is its sheer length. True, this novel about a small-time CIA agent/professor in Botswana and his long-suffering, possibly cheating wife does a great many things, but not enough to justify being 700+ pages long. The pages on religion, for instance, are great, especially a recorded debate between a militant atheist and an agnostic socialist, and they only take up about thirty excellent pages. What makes this book (over)long is its persistent focus on the marriage of Ray (the agent) and Iris (his wife). Not that the exchanges between these two aren't interesting, but they take up like two hundred pages of the narrative. Some of this is essential, since the fun of this book is being inside Ray's head and getting his crippled neo-liberal humanist perspective on things, a large part of which is being obsessed with his wife. But the whole first part of the book contains almost nothing but his relationship to Iris, and when the action finally picks up in the second section one almost breathes an audible sight of relief. I understand Rush's mission to expose the fissures in the good white liberal psyche, but enough is enough! It's a testament to how good Rush's writing is that I got through this sucker, and the excellent writing is what made me rate it so highly. Once Ray gets into the Kalahari it's all smooth sailing, and I found the ending particularly heart-breaking. But pgs. 200-300 are certainly a slog. Soldier on, and much good awaits you.

  • Megan
    2019-02-16 13:17

    Norman Rush is irrevocably added to my personal list of all-time great writers. For those who enjoy long, wandering pieces of dialog and introspection, I think Rush will endear himself to you permanently as well. The wonderful thing is, though his protagonists are wordy in their mental peregrinations, the plots of both of his novels (Mortals and Mating) kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end, at which point they both made me cry. Rush's genius, I think, is that he is concerned with two landscapes: the narrator's complex, prejudiced, sympathetic, and yet often irritating mind; and the similarly fascinating but deadly landscape of Botswana, and the Kalahiri Desert. Rush paints incredible vistas of both places.(Mortals, by the way, brought me to tears on a Portland-bound airplane, which enables me to add it to the list of books that have made me cry in strange places. The Yearling on an upstate New York train, and Magic Mountain while substitute teaching are also on the list.)

  • Jane
    2019-01-29 15:17

    One could be forgiven for picking up a 700+ page tome detailing a white CIA agent’s musings about, among other things, liberal guilt and the impenetrability of Botswanan culture to a western outsider and thinking, “You navel-gazing ass,” but it would be mistake to discard this book so quickly. This is an easier book to admire than to love, but I liked it very, very much.While this is perhaps the single most masculine novel I’ve ever read – even aside from the guns and competition for labia rendered in (unnecessary?) great detail, Ray’s penis is all over it, and I apologize to men everywhere but the scatological, too, is your special province, and there’s plenty of that -- it is self-consciously so, and not in an unduly arch way. Rather, it offers a serious examination of the way being a good old boy (our protagonist, Ray) can mute one’s perceptions and occasion real moral anguish. Rush effectively gets out in front of speculative postcolonial and gendered readings by allowing his narrator to directly formulate some of his more apt-to-offend thoughts (Ray used to think the problem of women was solvable by marrying someone – no more, with all this women’s lib! Ray does not like the way the what he thinks is the gift of western technology is being squandered in Africa). No reader need to torture the text to find the problems with Ray’s worldview.As other reviewers have noted, this is of a piece with Ray’s general narcissism, but part of what makes this a great read is Ray’s complexity, because anyone reading it by choice will likely hate some of his cluelessness even as she identifies deeply with Ray’s abiding faith in literature. Part of what makes this book remarkable has to do with the way literature figures in it in ways that should seem absurd, or at least coyly postmodern. But Rush isn’t playing games. Rush has a knack for making the preposterous seem plausible, without screaming “LOOK! THIS IS A FICTION, THIS IS WHY SOMETHING SO CRAZY CAN HAPPEN!” as many of his contemporaries seem to do. A lot of the best absurdities can’t be revealed without also giving away huge plot developments, but it’s fair to say that at one point a character recites “Dover Beach” out of politeness to his foe, to mask the sound of that foe’s defecating – and somehow, this scene is not ridiculous. Similarly, an unpublished manuscript winds up saving lives, and Rush manages to present this plot twist with a kind of touching earnestness. Ray’s love of literature makes him sympathetic, but his succinct disses of Joyce and then Flaubert endeared him to me in spite of his many failures. I hope that Rush hates them too.Perhaps the most important evidence that this is a novel premised on the idea that literature is a serious business is that, even though it does much to present warring ideologies and is full of gross sex and literary flourishes, it finally feels like the portrait of a moral awakening. I read this in part because of James Wood’s How Fiction Works and would like to restate one objection I had to that book (also voiced in my review of that book.) Wood says that readers too often demand “moralizing niceness” and take authors to task when they don’t present us with likable characters. I believe that he misunderstands readers’ objections, which generally have to do with the frustration of being implicitly asked by an author to have sympathy for an unsympathetic character; we love/hate Humbert Humbert because Nabokov doesn’t ask us to like him. It is interesting, having read this essentially at Wood’s recommendation, to find that Rush does what I and so many Amazon and Goodreads reviewers ask of our authors: he gives us a not wholly likable character and does not try to coax us into greater sympathy than the character deserves. And the novel is ultimately a moralizing one! At least, in my reading. And it is a moralizing novel in a very satisfying and even subtle way.This book requires attention in a different way than other books of similar length and difficulty, and it took me forever to read, but it was worth it. It does things that I thought twenty-first century authors had given up. I will certainly check out Mating.

  • Jamie
    2019-01-19 19:19

    Welcome to the mind palace of Ray Finch. It is obsessive and intellectual and full of quotes that non-academics will find annoying. And it is utterly charming in its weaknesses, namely its abiding love for Iris, his wife, and in its strengths, its amusing combinations of curse words: "...anything like this hellfuckshit hell going on."Norman Rush has a truly amazing gift of writing us deep into the minds and lives of hyper-intelligent, politically involved, and normally neurotic people. I thank him for sharing it."Ray thought he would be willing to die if it was going to be pitch black, hello zero, diving through the zero like a clown through a burning hoop and then nothing. He hoped to God the atheists were right. Because if there was an afterlife it would be institutional because somebody would have to run it and he couldn't go through that again. And the only worse thing would be reincarnation and back to the ocean of human institutions again." Word.

  • Rossandra White
    2019-01-22 20:04

    My daughter-in-law turned me on to this book; she thought I would enjoy it because it was set in Botswana. That was definitely part of my enjoyment. It took me back to my childhood, when Botswana was Bechuanaland. But it was Norman Rush's seductive writing that captured and entranced me. How does he do it, I kept asking myself, how is he able to just keep going inside a character's head, off on tangents not related to plot or to moving the story forward, making a point over and over again in different sometimes hilarious ways. It swept me along. To some readers this is a turn-off, to me it was icing on the cake, a deep penetrating way to connect with the characters; it was like I had a ringside seat, one I could slip back into after being away a while and pick right up where I left off. I knew these people. I wanted to know more.I just ordered Norman Rush's "Mating," which takes places before "Mortals." Can't wait.

  • Stephanie Henkel
    2019-01-21 12:05

    This book might have been interesting for its insight into the politics and country of Botswana if it hadn't been filled with page after page of repetitive and boring discourse. How many ways can one say the same thing? Ask Norman Rush and he will give you a quick 25 page answer. I kept hoping that I'd like it better, but in the end my feeling was that it was not particularly interesting and not particularly entertaining. It's not often that I skip pages of a book, but in reading this book, I started skipping a page, then two or three, then more. Funny thing is that the plot hadn't progressed an iota after skipping several pages. If it weren't for some thought provoking insights on religion by Dr. Morel, I would feel that reading this book was a waste of time.

  • Marie
    2019-02-01 20:15

    I couldn't finish this book, but wish I could have - the premise is very interesting - a scholar in Botswana who is really CIA agent struggling with his career, philosophical issues about race, religion and life, his overwhelming love for his wife .... it is NOT a spy type thriller at all. Rather, it is very intellectual - and at times, the long-ish conversations between people on philosophy just seemed totally out of synch with rest of book's plot.... and it was just more than I could finish. But if someone gets farther than half way through and tells me it's worth it, I'll believe it, and would go back and finish b/c it is promising.

  • Wendy Mathewson
    2019-01-23 14:54

    I read Mating a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed it, so was looking forward to Mortals. I didn't make it. After 300-400 pages, I had to return it to the library. It's heft made it a bit of a drag to read in bed (my only reading place apres le bebe)--but I could have overcome that if the narrative had pulled me along. It had occasional amusing shades of Our Man in Havana (small time spy, expat experience, funny), but was mostly a lot more information than I needed to know about the protagonist's fervent attraction/love(?) for his wife.

  • Kimberly Uchimura
    2019-02-03 12:18

    The story was good but way too long. The characters might have been engaging if it weren't for my boredom with the length of every description, which had too much interior dialogue and not enough about surroundings, reactions of others, etc. If the author's goal was to show how the protagonist was too wrapped up in himself, he nailed it. I did not like this book well enough to recommend it to anyone else.

  • Gina
    2019-02-03 14:53

    I can't quite get on why this was less engrossing for me than other Rush novels, but I know that I'm a bit exhausted now.Okay, it is very likely because I can't get past Ray's cutesy and obsessive love for Iris when there were much more interesting things to be explored with Kerekang and Morel. Mortals is very set within its own present, which made it hard for me to follow the political intrigues of countries I know very little about. And yes, that is my own failing and I shouldn't expect to get southern African history from a white novelist but could we replace the odes to Iris' breasts with more info about Kerekang's motivations?

  • Perry Whitford
    2019-02-09 18:09

    Ray Finch is a contracted CIA man working under cover as a school teacher in Botswana, neighbour to South Africa and the ANC, considered the most significant communist battleground after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the USSR. Botswana is a country which, in American eyes, "was working, in a continent where almost nothing else was." Things are about the stop working for Finch though, both in his work and his home life, as he loses respect for the methods of his superior and starts to suspect that his wife might be having an affair.Finch wants to investigate Dr Morel, a man with a mission to destroy the influence of religion in Africa, Christianity in particular, which is a powerful source of the white man's control. But his superior wants him to focus on an engineer called Kerekang, who Finch sees as a moderate socialist and not a genuine POI (Person of Interest). The plot thickens when Finch's wife, Iris, starts seeing the Dr, becoming both evangelized and attracted to him. The spy story is interesting, in an unusual setting, with a culture and history mostly new to me. But my oh my, the love story! Ray and Iris are probably the most nauseating couple a novelist ever puked up all over a mountain of pages. They are forever telling each other about how "beautiful" they both are whilst in bed, basking in how wonderful their love is, making ridiculous references to each others prowess. Perhaps this is unfair to Iris because, though it's not strictly a first person narration, it may as well have been because the book only follows Finch, spending most of the 700 pages inside his ridiculous head. So much of this bloated novel is crammed to bursting with his internal thoughts, which are largely either inane or infantile, occasionally enlivening the narrative but much more frequently cluttering it, effectively ruining the plot and even, criminally, the action scenes, which left to themselves were well written. Why did Rush make Finch such a congenital clod? Well, I guess he never thought he was. He gives pointed thanks to his editor in the books acknowledgments. What for, going on holiday? I usually love books like this, meaty, literary, sprawling, but not this time. It brought to mind another book cut from the same thick cloth I had read recently, Denis Jonson's Tree of Smoke. However, Jonson's doorstep, though it had even less of a plot, had a crazy power coursing through it, whereas Rush's endless noodling merely had the power to infuriate.At one stage, about 2/3s through, Finch suddenly realises that he "had to concentrate, to get away from the extraneous". If only Rush could have done the same!

  • Adam Cherson
    2019-01-30 15:03

    I rate this book a 3.68 on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being best. This refreshing novel sometimes appears to be three rolled into one. First there is the married, often steamy, love story between Ray and Iris, then the surreal spy thriller, and third the playful novel within the novel, which we only glimpse from time to time. That all three manage to drive ahead together so successfully is only one of the signs that this is a masterwork of American fiction. The setting is Botswana around the mid to late 1990s, the post-cold war and pre-war on terror period— a hurricane’s eye. Not having experienced either, I am persuaded that this novel presents an authentic view of what married love and international espionage feel like to those wrapped up in their machinations. There is a good deal of marital sexuality revealed here in all its humdrum glory. The climax of the spy section is phenomenally bizarre and metaphorical. But on top of this, perhaps the highest artistry comes during the snippets of the novel within the novel that protrude through the regular plot. If Rush has not already done so, I encourage him to complete and publish this novel within the novel as a standalone work of Pessoan-like fiction. Extraordinary wordplay and feeling combine in this superb work, a kind of ‘Things Fall Apart’ from the American point of view. Of course, I would not be happy without a good dollop of theo-philo-sophy thrown-in so I’m happy to report that the Morel’s ‘neoteny theory’ has that base covered. I had always thought of cultural ‘neoteny’ as being the all-pervasive, Brooke Shields/Mariel Hemingway ideal of post-pubescent beauty, so having Morel apply this term in an entirely new philosophical context is a thoroughly inspired piece of cultural criticism.

  • Steve Mayer
    2019-01-22 13:02

    The reviews were mostly correct: this is not as good as Mating. To me, at least, that's because one of its central subjects (for at least the first part of the book) is religion. Indeed, there are about twenty pages of dialog about Christ as a Jew that is the most boring interlude about religion since the Grand Inquisitor scene in The Brothers K. More fundamentally, the two halves of the book don't hang together very well. Once Ray goes into the wild the focus of the book changes from his interactions with his wife and his employer--the "agency"--to his search for Karekeng and the battles with the evil Koevet. Other reviewers found Ray's uxuriousness hard to take; it did get a little cloying after a while. Yet this reader did get involved in the fate of Ray and his wife, in Ray's desire to find more meaning in his life as he confronts what he and the agency have wittingly or unwittingly done, and in the hope embodied in Karekeng as he attempts to bring about change in Botswana. Perhaps part of the weakness of the book is that no character holds a candle to the narrator of Mating, who was one of the most fully realized characters whose mind I've ever inhabited (and who makes a cameo appearance here with her husband). Moreover, both Karekeng and Morel are pale shadows of Nelson Denoon, whose insight lit up Mating. Morel, in particular, never quite jells, perhaps because we always see him through Ray's eyes, who for obvious reasons is not particularly objective. Still, for a 714-page book it was a good, entertaining, and captivating read. Mating was just a hard act to follow. Subtle Bodies, anyone?

  • Chanpheng
    2019-02-10 20:10

    This book is both a psychological study of the break-up of a marriage and an action-thriller. Jay Finch is a spy and a teacher in Botswana but what he really wants to do is write poetry. Rush captures the feelings and conversations between husband and wife, a thousand changes of mood and feelings within each conversation.The 'action' in the middle of the book moves it along well enough, and while there are some crazy scenes, it weakens the plot. Jay becomes more of himself - neurotic and paranoid - which threatens both his safety and sanity. He says that he knows he shouldn't do something - and goes ahead and does it. Maybe that's how "Mortals" is different from other spy books, where the agent stuffs his true feelings and gets on with his work. Jay is a bumbling agent, who discovers that he's disgusted with the work he's asked to do.The book is also about redemption, though the last section doesn't quite fit with the picture of Jay that evolves during the book.Rush's writing is inspired in many places. He captures the contradictions of being an expat in a foreign place, of being in a country but separate from the culture. Some of it is just too long, and I gloss over many of the sections of tormented internal ramblings.

  • Sheila Grinell
    2019-02-09 18:06

    Rush's "Mating" took my breath away. Reading this book was like drinking at the well a second time--a good, long draft but not as refreshing. "Mortals" immerses you in Ray Finch's head, and it's an interesting one--he's an American Milton scholar working as a teacher (and covertly for the CIA) in Botswana on the eve of revolution in neighboring South Africa. Finch perseverates endlessly. He worries that his beloved wife may be having an affair with her shrink, and he takes off across the desert on a heroic errand but is captured by mercenaries. He (and the shrink, whom the wife sends after him) eventually escape, and Ray changes the plan for his life.You've gotta love literature, and politics, and the vagaries of a long marriage, and African sensibilities, and word play to get through all that ratiocination with pleasure. I admired Rush's world-building in this novel and the tensile strength of his sentences. But the book did not deliver on its theme the way "Mating" did, at least for me.

  • Ben Bush
    2019-02-01 15:52

    There's some pretty great descriptions of being in love in here, both the good and the bad parts of it. Rush also has a habit of including more terrible puns than the plot necessitates. I found the book more emotionally engaging than I expected and also almost shockingly traditional in terms of literary style. Rush's depiction of Botswana is an interesting one but, with the exception of Kerekang, it mostly evades having to delve into much characterization of the locals. It's a fast read at 700 pages, which embarrassingly almost made me suspicious—"wait, is this a John LeCarre novel?" To be fair, it's a very smart book that has plenty of interesting things to say about the history of Christianity, masculinity and the possibilities for revolutionary action. Also, almost all of the physical details in the book seem thoroughly imagined in a way that's very satisfying. I'm told his other novel Mating is better.

  • Siddharth Manay
    2019-02-05 20:14

    I didn't know what to think about this book; I still don't. I'm glad that I've read it, but I'm not in a rush to read more by Norman Rush, and I'd think a bit before recommending it to someone. It would depend on what you wanted from a book.It's about a CIA contractor in Botswana; but Rush is not like Clancy or LeCarre at all. I think he belongs in a category with Wolfe, DeLillo, or maybe Updike, because he writes about modern Men... but unlike the others, his Men aren't unreconstructed jerks, and he seems to feel some sympathy for them. I had flashes of recognition and kinship with the lead's insecurities.SPOILERSI think this is a book about male insecurity. I thought the guy was just paranoid until he turned out to be right. That was the moment the story went from being about an annoying whiner to being a parable about male fears.

  • umang
    2019-02-09 19:11

    Another interesting psychological exploration by Rush... however the plot really gets in the way, at times. There is a 300 page digression of questionable value and relevance. My impression of this section is that it was included to position the book to be made into a movie. It is possible I didn't appreciate this part of the book b/c I skimmed it so fast-- but it was very hard to get interested in it given the other things happening. The portrayal of the breakdown of the marriage is compelling and well-written-- with the exception of the narrator's perseveration on his wife's perfection. The worshipful passages about her physical attributes got old, fast, but kept coming. At one point, I think he actually describes her breath as delectable.

  • Al Sevcik
    2019-01-26 12:05

    The writing and sentence structure is a bit unnerving at first until one realizes that most of what is going on is inside Ray’s mind. And Ray is a compulsive analyzer of detail. The story is placed in Botswana by an author who clearly knew the country well. Ray is a school teacher, but he also leads a secret life – that turns out not to be much of a secret. The plot develops too slowly for my taste, though there are interesting twists. The descriptions of the country, the land, the people, the society are excellent. After finishing the book I felt as if I knew Botswana. The book is beautifully written but should have been pared down.

  • Kallie
    2019-02-08 20:05

    This became, for me, a slog through the protagonist's obsessions: with his wife, with what anyone more prone to act than cogitate might feel, believe, take from him, with the machinations of all. However, I thought the writing excellent and funny and honest (Rush does not protect or fawn on his characters as some writers do their fictive selves). I loved the irony of a CIA agent too wrapped in his obsessions to actually observe what others say and do and apparently feel. I also liked the descriptions of South Africa and people, and the absolute pickles this narrator got into, which -- ultimately -- redeemed him. At least, he realized he needed redemption.

  • eric
    2019-02-13 19:06

    I was a little skeptical about this one for a hundred pages or so. It seemed like the main character was self-absorbed and paranoid and lots of other things. And, it turns out, he is, which eventually makes this really enjoyable. Hard to read maybe sometimes but only because you have so much invested in the characters. It's sort of interesting how I didn't really like the main character all that much most of the time but I ended up being really attached to him anyway. Somehow the book manages to feel a lot less dark than it really is. This author has a couple other books I'm now very interested in reading.

  • Dan
    2019-02-08 13:08

    I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I finished it last night, but I skipped almost 200 pages in the middle. I just really needed to know whether the protagonist's wife was cheating on him. There's a 300 page chuck in the middle where the relationship plot gets put on hold while 'things happen in Africa,' and I didn't have the patience. That part of the plot was just moving too slowly - and with little context.On the other hand, the details of the dying marriage seemed to be just right - and felt true enough to be supremely cringe-producing.

  • Laura
    2019-02-06 13:00

    I was happy to see Mortals at the library, after enjoying Norman Rush's first novel, Mating, so much. The first 2/3 of Mortals took me forever to read - I couldn't relate to the characters and did not find them likeable. But I found myself thinking about them a lot in spite of that, so it seemed worth continuing on. When the plot finally picked up, reading the story became enjoyable. I love Rush's use of language and moments of absurd humor.

  • Charles Finch
    2019-02-02 15:14

    Some books are imperfect and you give them five stars anyway, because they're extraordinary enough that their imperfections don't ultimately reduce their impact. MORTALS is like that to me - aspects of its story of a marriage of two Americans in Botswana irritated me, but it's such an intelligent and interesting book that it didn't really matter in the end. I'll wanr people that it's slow in parts, though the last third goes by incredibly fast...

  • Kris
    2019-02-08 12:03

    This was part of my reading in prep for my trip to southern Africa. The first third of the book was very slow reading with way too much philosophizing. It did not really connect well to the rest of the book. Once the protagonist got out into the bush and into some trouble it was much more interesting to me. It did provide me with some beginning understanding of the culture, politics and geography of the region.

  • Rinoa Right
    2019-02-11 13:54

    “Paradise Lost” runs through “Mortals” like blood through the vein. “Mortals” _is_ “Paradise Lost”. Every part and every symbol of the former has its correlation with the latter. Thus, the sadness. The futility. And the imminence of things to come. “If you love hell so much you should have done Dante instead of pitiful Milton. He was surprised at the thought. It was too late to do Dante”.But maybe it isn’t. "A paradise within thee, happier far".

  • Bob Reutenauer
    2019-01-28 15:04

    Rush knows Botswana very well it is easy to see. He also knows the emotional world of long term marriage partners. And he knows the outlines of a low key LeCarre style plot setting a minor CIA officer among a shifting alliance of political and religious rebels in Southern Africa around the time of Mandela release. Long book 700 pages.. not a page turner. Heavyweight. This book will be read for a long time.

  • Larisa
    2019-01-22 13:53

    The description inside the book jacket made this book sound exciting, full of spying intrigue and passion. And maybe it is, later on. But after three chapters I found Ray and Iris and their marriage so irritating that I just could not bear to spend any more time with them, so back to the library this went.

  • Ana-Catrina
    2019-01-29 17:09

    This book made me feel angry. Angry at... what?... the characters, I guess, but maybe also generally angry. But mainly angry at the... main character, for lack of a better word. I'm writing in the style of the book, to give you, dear reader, an example. An example of the material I had to work with and henceforward the decision to give it, ...well, ...2 measly stars.