Top Marketplace offers for ISBN

9780385720175

The Death of the Heart

Bowen, Elizabeth

3.69 avg rating
( 3,975 ratings by GoodReads )
Not the book you're looking for? Search for all books with this author and title
9780385720175: The Death of the Heart

The Death of the Heart is perhaps Elizabeth Bowen's best-known book. As she deftly and delicately exposes the cruelty that lurks behind the polished surfaces of conventional society, Bowen reveals herself as a masterful novelist who combines a sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations.

In this piercing story of innocence betrayed set in the thirties, the orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother's home in London.There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and her fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal--and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Five words of advice on reading Elizabeth Bowen: Resist the urge to skim. In The Death of the Heart, Bowen's writing rolls ever onward, accruing the sensations and ironies of conscious living till the final effect is massive. This is not prose for people who like their fiction with a cool, Calvin Klein-like minimalism. Bowen's people are keenly aware, and she seems to catalogue every sweaty moment, every betraying glance. The reader must stay right there with her, because hidden among lengthy descriptions of sea air and drawing-room politics are pithy asides worthy of great humorists: "Absence blots people out. We really have no absent friends." Skimmers miss out.

The Death of the Heart is Bowen's most perfectly made book. Portia, an orphan, comes to live in London with her half-brother, Thomas, and his wife, Anna. A child of sin raised in a series of shabby French hotels, Portia is possessed of a kind of terrible innocence. Like Chance the Gardener in pigtails, she literally can't comprehend evil or unkind motives. Unfortunately for her, she falls in with Anna's friend Eddie, who seems to be made entirely of bad motives. Though the plot follows Portia's relationship with Eddie, the novel's real tension lies between Portia and Anna, as the girl comes to grief against the shoals of Anna's glittering, urbane cynicism. But the book transcends the theme of innocence corrupted. As in Graham Greene's The Quiet American, Bowen inverts the formula to show the destructive power of innocence itself:

Innocence so constantly finds itself in a false position that inwardly innocent people learn to be disingenuous.... Incurable strangers to the world, they never cease to exact a heroic happiness. Their singleness, their ruthlessness, their one continuous wish makes them bound to be cruel, and to suffer cruelty. The innocent are so few that two of them seldom meet--and when they do, their victims lie strewn all around.
Bowen has a fine eye for such shadings of morality, but finer still is her understanding of the way humans bump up against the material world. Her writing on weather, both emotional and meteorological, compares with the best of Henry James: "One's first day by the sea, one's being feels salt, strong, resilient, and hollow--like a seaweed pod not giving under the heel."

Always a sensitive observer of the way we live, in her lesser books Bowen deals in mind games and then delivers trumped-up, bloody endings. In The Death of the Heart, she keeps all the action between her characters' ears, and comes up with one of the great midcentury psychological novels. --Claire Dederer

From the Back Cover:

"A witty, lucid, and beautiful psychological novel.. . . By far her best book."
-- The New Yorker

"Bowen is a major writer. . . . She is what happened after Bloomsbury . . . the link that connects Virginia Woolf with Iris Murdoch and Muriel Spark."

--Victoria Glendinning

"Bowen writes with both art and skillful artifice. . . . [The] quality of restraint, of the unsaid, gives her novel its curious tautness and intensity."

--The New York Times

"[The Death of the Heart] manages to make a major statement about human character. . . . We finish the book with that sense fiction nowadays rarely communicates, of life's having been mysteriously enlarged."

--The New Yorker

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Random House Inc (2000)
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Secaucus, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Random House Inc, 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # KB-9780385720175

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.01
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by ANCHOR (2000)
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Quantity Available: 6
Seller
PBShop.co.uk Ltd
(Secaucus, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description ANCHOR, 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780385720175

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Anchor
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 12
Seller
Movie Mars
(Indian Trail, NC, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Anchor. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385720173 Brand New Book. Ships from the United States. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee!. Bookseller Inventory # 4282610

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Anchor
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Anchor. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385720173 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI210887542

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anchor Books.. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The Death of the Heart is perhaps Elizabeth Bowen s best-known book. As she deftly and delicately exposes the cruelty that lurks behind the polished surfaces of conventional society, Bowen reveals herself as a masterful novelist who combines a sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations. In this piercing story of innocence betrayed set in the thirties, the orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother s home in London.There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and her fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal--and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780385720175

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 832556

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.92
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States (2000)
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Anchor Books.. 201 x 132 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The Death of the Heart is perhaps Elizabeth Bowen s best-known book. As she deftly and delicately exposes the cruelty that lurks behind the polished surfaces of conventional society, Bowen reveals herself as a masterful novelist who combines a sense of humor with a devastating gift for divining human motivations. In this piercing story of innocence betrayed set in the thirties, the orphaned Portia is stranded in the sophisticated and politely treacherous world of her wealthy half-brother s home in London.There she encounters the attractive, carefree cad Eddie. To him, Portia is at once child and woman, and her fears her gushing love. To her, Eddie is the only reaason to be alive. But when Eddie follows Portia to a sea-side resort, the flash of a cigarette lighter in a darkened cinema illuminates a stunning romantic betrayal--and sets in motion one of the most moving and desperate flights of the heart in modern literature. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780385720175

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Anchor (2000)
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New Paperback Quantity Available: 6
Seller
Murray Media
(MIAMI SHORES, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Anchor, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 0385720173

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.92
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 0.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Anchor
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Qwestbooks COM LLC
(Bensalem, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Anchor. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385720173. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385720173ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Bowen, Elizabeth Author
Published by Anchor
ISBN 10: 0385720173 ISBN 13: 9780385720175
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 2
Seller
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Anchor. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0385720173. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385720173ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book