Book info

The Lilac Bus (2007)

The Lilac Bus (2007)
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Rating
3.59 of 5 Votes: 3
ISBN
0099498642 (ISBN13: 9780099498643)
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English
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publisher
dell
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The Lilac Bus (2007)
The Lilac Bus (2007)

About book: I fell in love with Maeve Binchy’s person-to-person conversation in "Aches & Pains" and see the brilliance of her fiction in "The Lilac Bus", 1984. We think a novel needs extreme action, ghosts, treasure, or crime to attract a reader. No. The supremely gifted Maeve, rest her soul, pulls us in with 8 average people! The inner thoughts and dialogue of everyday folks are unbelievably interesting."The Lilac Bus" is a van that takes the driver and 7 other Rathdoon neighbours home from Dublin. We are shown one week-end from each perspective: what the work day was like before they boarded, their receptions at home, and a little personal history is filled in. They pass each another in their Irish town, with varied reasons behind their behaviour. You realize throughout, like in Maeve's "Dublin 4"; that when we know what a person is thinking behind the scenes; it is easy to develop compassion. Most of them improve something that is rewarding in this small space of time. I'd love another ride, to see them interact after the various resolutions they would carry back to Dublin.Our irreplaceable author has tapped into the most recognizable musings of family life and universal likelihood of relating to them, makes them satisfying to read. This one-of-a-kind writer has an astounding talent for drawing you to the most normal subjects in the world. All of her work defies the parameters of what should make a novel enthralling; what keeps us turning pages. I like a good haunted house and secrets to decipher. I seldom touch general fiction. Maeve is a unique blessing to the heritage of literature, who surpasses expectation and genre. Every time I finish any of her books, I feel like I've received and experienced a gift. I will surely read them all.

I loved this book. I was hesitant to read this at first because I am uncomfortable reading about people's thoughts and their worries, but Maeve Binchy seems to completely understand her characters and adds a touch of lightness to each story. The first half of the book is written with each chapter being narrated by a different person who rides the Lilac Bus. The bus is a minivan whose driver picks up people at 6 p.m. on Friday in Dublin (where they work during the week) and drops them at their doorstep in their hometown about 10 p.m. and returns them to the same stop in Dublin for the next work week. Family interaction (or lack thereof) is a huge segment of almost every chapter and it is viewed from all angles as each tale unfolds. The characters also comment on each other in their narrative and it is funny to see how each views the others.The remainder of the book is three short stories. I enjoyed the book for its old time "good" flavor (television was not common and neither was the telephone). This book was published in the 1982 and seems to be set in the 50s, although there is no mention of a year.
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Reviews
Kris
Ich habe das Buch von einer Freundin empfohlen bekommen und Maeve Binchy's Tod zum Anlass genommen, ein Werk der Autorin kennenzulernen. Leider ist die Story weit hinter meinen Erwartungen zurückgeblieben. Es geht um eine Gruppe von Leuten, die jeden Freitag zusammen in einem lila Bus von Dublin in ihren Heimatort Rathdoon im Westen Irlands fahren. Jedem Charakter ist ein eigenes Kapitel gewidmet, in dem die Geschichte aus dem jeweiligen Blickwinkel dieser Person erzählt wird. Außer der Erkenntnis, dass man die Personen nur Oberflächlich einschätzen kann, wenn andere Charaktere über sie berichten, und man mehr Einblick in die wahren Motive ihrer Taten bekommt, sobald der eigene Blickwinkel dargestellt wird, bietet dieses Buch nicht viel. Die Geschichte pätschert vor sich hin und während des Lesens fragt man sich immer wieder, wie der Bogen am Ende zum großen Ganzen gespannt wird. Jedoch folgt...nichts. Es gibt keine weitere Verbindung außer dem lila Bus, in dem die Charakter jeden Freitag Abend nach Hause fahren. Alles in allem ein Buch, das man schnell durchlesen kann, dessen Inhalt aber nach der letzten Seite auch schnell wieder in Vergessenheit gerät.
Knitme23
So, trying to recover from my "book hangover" after Art of Fielding, I dug up this little gem (free book bin at church). I enjoyed the first bit okay, though it was the predictable varied narrator schtick that Binchy has done to death; then, without a clear indication that this was a NEW STORY AND NOT MERELY A NEW CHAPTER, the book went onto another track. I read on, thinking it was another switched narrator. . . . but my! what a boring story. . . . and then ANOTHER. . . whereupon I figured out that my edition had four or so stories wedged into the same edition, and yes, indeed, the varied stories of the Lilac Bus riders had merged into the story of the lyin' cheatin' husband and whatever the heck else. Sorry, Maeve Binchy: when your story-lines are so muddled that a professional reader can be led wrong like that, you have some issues--and a low rating on the story.
April Brown
The author of this book has a similar problem to me - she writes the summaries, and tried to expand them into a story, or in this case, a group of stories.The novella is reasonably well done. Interesting stories, yet I feel the back cover copy did not accurately portray what the story was about. An interesting look at three days through the eyes of eight different people.The biggest problem with this book is the fault of the publisher: Once you reach the four short stories included at the end, you think it is an extension of the original novella - perhaps six months, or a year later. There is no notice at the beginning of the book that it is one novella with four unrelated short stories following.The four short stories are good, though a few could use more development.
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