A woman writer goes to Athens in the height of summer to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives.Beginning with the neighbouring passenger on the flight out and his tales of fast boats and failed marriages, the storytellers talk of their loves and ambitions and pains, their anxieties, their perceptions and daily lives. In the stifling heat and noise of the city the sequence of voice begins to weave a complex human tapestry. The more they talk the more elliptical their listener becomes, as she shapes and directs their accounts until certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the nature of family life, the difficulty of intimacy and the mystery of creativity itself.Outline is a novel about writing and talking, about self-effacement and self-expression, about the desire to create and the human art of self-portraiture ...
|Number of Pages||:||249 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A tactic familiar with professions as diverse as interrogators, lawyers, and psychologists is to resist the polite urge to fill silences with small talk, to refrain from being your conversation partner's crutch, in the hope that the other guy will be sufficiently destabilized by the solecism to overcompensate with his own palaver. Interrogators hope to get access to secret, front-of-mind information; attorneys seek an uncharacterized narrative; psychologists aim to obtain insight into thought pr ...more
5 “pristine, refreshing, clear” stars.
2016 Bronze Award - Third Favorite Read (Tie)
I am a man that resides in the world of emotion. They are here with me always and are always acute, not in the background. Emotions often make me soar to the heavens or shiver in delight, but other times they make me flounder, weigh me down like the experience of walking in the cold snow with a hole in my boot that leaves my precious foot frigid and lonely.
I am unsure why the last paragraph came to my consciousn ...more
Nothing much really happens in Outline. A writer, Faye, goes to Athens to teach an English-language writing workshop. She befriends the man sitting next to her on the plane, who tells her of his failed marriages. The stories Faye hears - from this man, from her co-teacher, from her students and friends - make up the narrative, and in between we learn a little of her own life. So it's not terribly eventful, and there certainly isn't a plot, but the characters' conversations are fascinating, havin ...more
It's meandering, and subtle, and subtextual. I liked Outline so much more once I'd jettisoned the audiobook and settled down with the printed words so that I could read slowly, re-read, circle back. I haven't read Cusk's Aftermath, her memoir about her divorce, but apparently she kicked up a real shitstorm with it, and this oblique fictional experiment is a result of that. It's a sequence of linked conversations with a female character - who is not Cusk but also not unlike Cusk - who listens to ...more
Seemed too soft for me at first, kept thinking it was pillowy, aerated, possibly thanks to the large type and space between lines and comfortable margins of the paperback I read. It's probably a 165-page double-spaced manuscript at most, formatted to 249 easily turned pages, a good idea on the part of the publisher to accelerate a reader's progress since it's not plot-driven at all and only over time does the outline of the narrator, her history and pain, become more and more apparent. At best, ...more
One interesting book. For the reader, I mean. In the first place, there's our narrator. She's going to Greece to teach a writing seminar, and yes, we get some of that, but there's the plane trip over, the man sitting next to her, and other folks she meets in Greece.
It takes getting used to, this interesting book. The first-person point of faceless, for the most part. Weaned on self, we humans don't know what to make of a writer slash narrator who focuses almost exclusively on others. At times, t ...more
Damn you, Rachel Cusk. This book was absolutely infuriating. As I was reading it, I kept telling myself that I hated it. And so, I burned through it in a a little more than 24 hours. It bears little resemblance to any other novel I've ever read. The characters seem vague and unformed, but they come through with periodic startling observations about life and human nature that hit me like a punch in the stomach. The "star system" here on Goodreads is totally useless for this book. (Yeah, it's prob ...more
The protagonist is a British novelist, who goes to Greece for one week, to teach creative writing. She, *Faye*, is divorced, and has 2 sons who stayed back in London.
That’s about all we know of her for awhile. Actually we never learned her name until late in the book. We are slowly piecing together stories about Faye.
The uniqueness of this novel is cerebral and gorgeous.
Before the narrator even arrives in Athens, she engages in an intriguing-intimate conversation with an older man sitting next ...more