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Paperback Mooncranker's Gift Book

ISBN: 0393314782

ISBN13: 9780393314786

Mooncranker's Gift

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Farnaby, a young Englishman in Istanbul researching a thesis on Ottoman fiscal policy, is nervous at his reunion with the celebrated Mooncranker who once so fatefully influenced and disturbed his life. Mooncranker, a famous intellectual, is now a pitiful alcoholic deserted by his secretary and lover Miranda--the woman Farnaby secretly loved with the violence of youth. Mooncranker sends him to find Miranda at a notorious Turkish spa on the grounds...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

Mooncranker casts a spell, reels us in, and never lets go!

With Mooncranker's Gift, Unsworth creates a haunting, exotic, and ultimately erotic climate in which purity and corruption are engaged inextricably in simultaneous battles for the souls of men and women. Farnaby first meets the philosopher Mooncranker when Farnaby is a thirteen-year-old adolescent living with his uncle's family in Surrey and trying to deal with his parents' impending divorce. Relying heavily on his religious faith to sustain him at this time, Farnaby finds his life permanently affected when Mooncranker presents him with a bizarre and ultimately horrifying crucifix. Ten years later, his uncle sends him to search out the alcoholic Mooncranker in Istanbul, a search which finally allows him to confront Mooncranker and to explore the relationships between divinity and decay, freedom and obligation, sex and degradation, and love and death. Uniting these themes is the overriding question of what makes us happy, and why. As Farnaby reconnects with Miranda, his first love and eventually Mooncranker's secretary and lover, the separate strands of their lives conjoin. At a remote Turkish spa with baths and a variety of strange and troubled guests, the principals all meet, and Farnaby, and we, eventually understand Mooncranker's true "gift." Counterbalancing beauty with repulsion, innocence with violation, and idealism with cynicism, Unsworth creates a uniquely hypnotic vision of the moral turmoils which engulf us all. n Mary Whipple

Another Thought-Provoking Black Comedy From The Master

Despite its dark undercurrents(literally portrayed in the Turkish spa),I found this work to be irresistably amusing. I found multiple occasions for a chortle and more than one for a full guffaw. Unsworth has once again created(captured?)a surreal environment that keeps slipping from light to dark, daydream to brutal reality. Mooncranker's actual "gift" is a masterpiece of dreary satire, although I suppose that the truly religious might find it offensive. I immediately recognized Peter O'Toole as the prospective Mooncranker if this were ever to become a film. Thoroughly memorable and highly enjoyable unless you have a chronic case of sunny disposition.
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