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Mr. Chartwell

por Rebecca Hunt

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
4715152,402 (3.53)64
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There's a dark, mute "presence" in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell's strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?

In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell's motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

From the Hardcover edition.

.… (mais)
  1. 10
    The Other Hand por Chris Cleave (sarah-e)
    sarah-e: Little Bee is the story of how an unexpected visitor brings memories of a dark time; the tone is more serious than Mr. Chartwell but some similar issues are discussed.
  2. 00
    Lily and the Octopus por Steven Rowley (Litrvixen)
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» Ver também 64 menções

Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I'm not sure what I think about this book yet. I might add more stars after thinking about it for a bit because I think I'm giving it fewer stars because I started with very high expectations.

Originally I was influenced by the artwork on the cover. It's the silhouette of a black dog (looking like a Newfoundland) holding a black hat in his mouth against a yellow/orange background. The dog looked so cute that I wanted to know more about the book. The synopsis begins "July 1964. London. Esther Hammerhans, a young librarian in the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger....." The visitor is Black Pat (the name Winston Churchill used for the depression that visited him throughout his life.) This all sounded interesting to me.

The story bounces back and forth between Winston Churchill on the eve of his retirement and the young librarian who works in the House of Commons. They are both currently in the middle of visits by "the black dog."

As I read, I kept hoping Esther would overcome her depression. I really liked the character but I wish she'd been developed even more...and I wanted to know more about her husband and their life together. But the book focused more on the hold the black dog had on her.

The idea I had the most difficulty with was a big, black dog representing depression. I associate animals in general and dogs in particular with good things in people's lives so I had to continuously remind myself that Black Pat was an evil character in the story and that was very hard to do.

( )
  ellink | Jan 22, 2024 |
This was a bit of an odd book, but in a good way. Whenever someone asked what the book was about, I had to think a bit trying to come up with something a bit more coherent than "the personification of Winston Churchill's depression." I never did, actually. But as I read the book in under two days, I probably didn't have enough time to truly formulate my thoughts. It took me a long while to fully comprehend that this wasn't a book about a dog, or the lodger from hell, or even Winston Churchill. This is a book about depression and how it comes onto people and how they either overcome it or live with it -- or not. I wish the cover blurb was a bit less circumspect about that aspect as it would have greatly improved my reading of the book. I may have to give this another go in a few months and see if it improves with a second reading; I suspect it might.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  wisemetis | Dec 28, 2022 |
Tricky book to evaluate impartially and I'm probably being a little hard on it. ( )
  nick4998 | Oct 31, 2020 |
Esther Hammerhans lives a mild life although lonely since her husband, Michael, died. When she opens her house to a lodger, she gets someone she did not expect. Her lodger is a large black dog, known as Black Pat, who not only speaks to her, but also runs roughshod through her life. Through conversations with Black Pat, she learns that this dog is on assignment and his client is Winston Churchill.

Winston Churchill is about to retire from office in a few days. With this, a dreaded companion throughout his life has re-emerged. Black Pat is back to wreak havoc on his psyche. The dog wanders in and out to cause sorrow and angst.

When Esther and Winston meet, they find that they are the only ones who can see this awful animal. Winston implores Esther to fight the dog because this is a war. She realizes what a drag Black Pat has been on her mind and takes his advice to fight back.

Black Pat is the embodiment of depression. This depression has haunted Winston and Michael their whole lives. It even drove Michael to take his own life. Now it is stalking Esther. Armed with good friends and resilience, Esther refuses to be taken down.
1 vote Carlie | Jul 1, 2019 |
I did not like this book at all. I found it disturbing. Before choosing this book, I read a few brief reviews and comments. The phrases that made me want to read this were "exuberant fun-house ride," "brilliantly original and thought-provoking," "marvelously original, tender and funny." It is not any of those things! It's fiction that includes real people with depression and the story describes how depression affects people, their families, and many other lives. The black dog of depression is Mr. Chartwell (who also goes by the name Black Pat). He is huge (the size of a mattress), smelly, slobbers and sheds all over everything. This repulsive and oppressive presence haunts Winston Churchill and others in his family (i.e. a daughter who committed suicide two years before this book takes place). The other (fictional) character who is haunted by Black Pat, Esther, had a husband who committed suicide two years prior, and was also haunted by this same macabre dog. The only reason I finished this mercifully short book was to find out what happened to Esther - does she succumb to the overwhelming and debilitating depression Black Pat instills? Or does she break free? ( )
  PhyllisReads | Apr 27, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 51 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Despite these shortcomings, it is the irrepressible exuberance of the novel that wins through. Mr Chartwell is undoubtedly flawed but it is also bold, original and frequently very funny. I
adicionada por lkernagh | editarThe Guardian, Clare Clark (Oct 23, 2010)
 
Hunt's debut is charming, funny and moving.
adicionada por lkernagh | editarThe Independent, Peter Carty (Oct 22, 2010)
 
Although there are nagging doubts about whether or not Hunt’s admittedly striking narrative conceit can match the weight of her themes, the required response may be a simple, uncomplaining surrender to the prevailing eccentricity.
adicionada por lkernagh | editarThe Telegraph, Anthony Cummins (Sep 24, 2010)
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Rebecca Huntautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Nash, PhyllidaNarradorautor principalalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bresser, MaryTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Duerden, SusanNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Grandi, LauraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Möhring, Hans-UlrichÜbersetzerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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This book is dedicated with love and thanks to my parents.
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Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill's mouth was pursed as if he had a slice of lemon hidden in there.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

July 1964. Chartwell House, Kent: Winston Churchill wakes at dawn. There's a dark, mute "presence" in the room that focuses on him with rapt concentration.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Soon after, in London, Esther Hammerhans, a librarian at the House of Commons, goes to answer the door to her new lodger. Through the glass she sees a vast silhouette the size of a mattress.

It's Mr. Chartwell.

Charismatic, dangerously seductive, Mr. Chartwell unites the eminent statesman at the end of his career and the vulnerable young woman. But can they withstand Mr. Chartwell's strange, powerful charms and his stranglehold on their lives? Can they even explain who or what he is and why he has come to visit?

In this utterly original, moving, funny, and exuberant novel, Rebecca Hunt explores how two unlikely lives collide as Mr. Chartwell's motives are revealed to be far darker and deeper than they at first seem.

From the Hardcover edition.

.

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