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City of the Mind


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Architect Matthew Halland is tuned into the physical world. London's night sky asks him unanswerable questions about time and space. The dilapidated old buildings and blackened brick walls resound with human experience. Everything Matthew knows of London pulls him out of its present and into its past, leaving him spellbound by the realization that some things will never change for its inhabitants. Matthew is surrounded by family and friends, rivals and colleagues, but none is as aware as he. Like countless Londoners before him, he is tested by the pressures of city life, and his knowledge of the past sustains him until a chance meeting with Sarah Bridges focuses his sights on the future. Lively's narrative is a tribute to late-20th-century London. Matthew, who shares the author's fascination with collective memory and time, seems more real than the typical inhabitant he represents. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/91.-- Janet Wilson Reit, Univ. of Ver mont Lib., Burlington

London architect Matthew Halland recovers from a traumatic divorce and muses about the nature of time in Booker Prize winner Lively's ( Moon Tiger ) elegant and satisfying novel. (Aug.)

"Lively is a magical writer, and her sensuous prose tempers the metaphysical abstractions... Her uncanny empathy and ability to evoke emotion make the reader feel more like a participant than like an observer."

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