On the Black Hill

On the Black Hill On the Black Hill is an elegantly written tale of identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home They till the rough soil and sleep in the same bed touched only occ

On the Black Hill is an elegantly written tale of identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home They till the rough soil and sleep in the same bed, touched only occasionally by the advances of the twentieth century In depicting the lives of Benjamin and Lewis and their interactions with their small local community Chatwin comments moviOn the Black Hill is an elegantly written tale of identical twin brothers who grow up on a farm in rural Wales and never leave home They till the rough soil and sleep in the same bed, touched only occasionally by the advances of the twentieth century In depicting the lives of Benjamin and Lewis and their interactions with their small local community Chatwin comments movingly on the larger questions of human experience.

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On the Black Hill

  1. Charles Bruce Chatwin was an English novelist and travel writer He won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel On the Black Hill 1982 In 1972, Chatwin interviewed the 93 year old architect and designer Eileen Gray in her Paris salon, where he noticed a map of the area of South America called Patagonia, which she had painted I ve always wanted to go there, Bruce told her So have I, she replied, go there for me Two years later in November 1974, Chatwin flew out to Lima in Peru, and reached Patagonia a month later When he arrived, he left the newspaper with a telegram Have gone to Patagonia He spent six months in the area, a trip which resulted in the book In Patagonia 1977 This work established his reputation as a travel writer Later, however, residents in the region contradicted the account of events depicted in Chatwin s book It was the first time in his career, but not the last, that conversations and characters which Chatwin presented as fact were alleged to have been fictionalised Later works included a novel based on the slave trade, The Viceroy of Ouidah, which he researched with extended stays in Benin, West Africa For The Songlines 1987 , a work combining fiction and non fiction, Chatwin went to Australia He studied the culture to express how the songs of the Aborigines are a cross between a creation myth, an atlas and an Aboriginal man s personal story He also related the travelling expressed in The Songlines to his own travels and the long nomadic past of humans Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, his novel On the Black Hill 1982 was set closer to home, in the hill farms of the Welsh Borders It focuses on the relationship between twin brothers, Lewis and Benjamin, who grow up isolated from the course of twentieth century history Utz 1988 , was a novel about the obsession that leads people to collect Set in Prague, the novel details the life and death of Kaspar Utz, a man obsessed with his collection of Meissen porcelain Chatwin was working on a number of new ideas for future novels at the time of his death from AIDS in 1989, including a transcontinental epic, provisionally titled Lydia Livingstone.

194 Reply to “On the Black Hill”

  1. NOW AVAILABLE This will be the first time Bruce Chatwin s first novel has been published in e format, making it available for e tablet readers This edition also contains an illustrated biography of Bruce Chatwin, including rare images and never before seen documents from the author s estate He never thought of abroad He wanted to live with Lewis for ever and ever to eat the same food wear the same clothes share a bed and swing an axe in the same trajectory There were four gates leading into The [...]

  2. This one blew me away So simple so complex So small so big I finished it a week ago, but I ve been holding off on reviewing it until I could find the right words I still haven t Until I do, I ll just leave these stars here and tell you this is one is pure gold.

  3. I ve never read Chatwin before but his name immediately brings to my mind voyages and creates beguiling images of distant lands Meanwhile inOn the Black Hillwe receive ordinary though unusual in its simplicity story, set on the farm called The Vision on the english wales border Chatwin effortlessly and with great charm and discreet humor painted hymn to the unchanging rhythm of life, hard work and carefully cultivated Welsh separateness With keen eye described the small, closed community, unwill [...]

  4. A warm hearted and somewhat bleak tale of identical twin brothers, Benjamin and Lewis, living out their lives together on a rural farm on the border of Wales and England The initial scenes of their comfortable routines in their 80 s are followed by a step back to the origin of their lives soon after the marriage of their parents at the end of the 19th century They settle into the life of tenant sheep farmers, fixing up an old farmhouse they call The Vision close by the beautiful Black Hill.We ge [...]

  5. I mostly read this during our trip to Hay on Wye earlier in the month, and feel it is worthy of being called a modern classic It has echoes of D.H Lawrence and especially Thomas Hardy, and it s a pleasantly offbeat look at the developments of the twentieth century as seen through the lives of Welsh identical twins Benjamin and Lewis Jones Opening in the 1980s, when the brothers are eccentric old gents sleeping side by side in their late parents bed, the book then retreats to the beginning at the [...]

  6. Twin boys, Lewis and Benjamin Jones, were born in 1900 on a farm on the border of Radnorshire, Wales and Herefordshire, England The identical Welsh twins spent than eighty years together with the stronger Lewis doing the heavier work on the farm, while Benjamin handled the finances and birthing the lambs Their one push into the modern world was buying a tractor They had a telepathic relationship, knowing the other s thoughts and feeling the other s pain.The book is composed of experiences of th [...]

  7. This is a nice, quiet little novel to pick up when you don t want anything upsetting or scary or suspenseful to read It s very much place driven and character driven rather than dependent on an exciting plot Chatwin covered 80 years in 250 pages, so there s no excess prose or boring passages The beauty of the book is the way the author carries you away to a sheltered little farming community on the border of Wales and England With very few words he richly creates all the small town provincial ch [...]

  8. Take Haruki Murakami s novel, Kafka on the Shore A delight to its juvenile readers, and why wouldn t it Lots of props here cats talking to humans, frogs falling like rain from the sky, a son having sex with his mother, a brother and sister love scene, killings, ghosts Even the title hints of fantasy After reading it, however, you feel empty Like you ve spent new year s eve all alone, you ve watched the fireworks in the sky consume themselves, then you sleep with no remembrance of any joy.Now loo [...]

  9. The story of a Welsh farming family focusing especially on twin brothers, Lewis and Benjamin Having recently read a biography of Chatwin by N Shakespeare, I had already encountered several of the characters here LB are based upon two farming brothers introduced to Chatwin by his friend, Penelope Betjeman Similarly, some of the other characters evolved in this way It was therefore difficult for me to see this always as a work of fiction.Beautifully written in spare clear prose it is entirely abso [...]

  10. Se este romance tivesse menos oitenta personagens, talvez o relato dos oitenta anos de vida dos g meos Jones fosse muito mais interessante.

  11. Nabokov once states that all great stories are fairy tales in the sense that each work of fiction was a magical creation of a new world, On The Black Hill is broadly speaking a realistic work of fiction but Chatwin is able to imbue it especially the depiction of the Jones brothers childhood with a magic, not with the magic of fiction but the magic of life On The Black Hill is the story of the lives of two twins in rural Wales Nothing much happens in their lives, neither travel further than 100 m [...]

  12. From BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime Iestyn Jones reads from Bruce Chatwin s novel about the lives of identical twin brothers Lewis and Benjamin Jones, on their farm in the Welsh Marches.1 5 The courtship and marriage of the brothers parents Mary, their literate and well travelled mother, and their ill tempered, inarticulate father Amos.2 5 From earliest childhood, the twins seem to feel each other s happiness and pain, and often speak in a private language By adolescence, differences begin to emerg [...]

  13. This was a novel of almost unutterable beauty Chatwin s writing is beyond lyrical and has a real rooting in time and place Oh, to be in Wales at the turn of the last century I can just imagine how bleak the winters were, and how spectacular the summers It was poignant to view the passing of time and the changes it wrought This story felt different because of the time span covered I ve read plenty of novels set in the rural 1900s, but have not yet seen one modernise this world as Chatwin did, end [...]

  14. Chatwin had a beautiful way of writing, usually described as spare I collect sentences that please my ear and write them out by hand in a hard backed notebook I read On the Black Hill in 1982, when it was published, and among the half dozen or so sentences I copied were the following Crossing the pasture one evening, he watched the swallows glinting low over the dandelion clocks, and the sheep standing out against the sunset, each one ringed with an aureole of gold and understood why the Lamb of [...]

  15. Always I have associated Bruce Chatwin s work with travel to far off places This time, with On the Black Hill, he threw me for a loop We the a whole lifetime lived in one place, on the border between Radnor in Wales and Hereford in England The lifetime is of a pair of twins named Lewis and Benjamin Jones, two bachelors who slept with each other in their mother s bed on the old farm called The Vision Because I had a suspicion of what the book was about, I did not expect to like it Not only did I [...]

  16. To be clear I listened to the abridged reading on BBC radio, not the book itself Difficult to describe this About closeness and loneliness all at the same time can that be It felt as if something sad was always imminent, a suspended state of unease the brothers were real enough to me that I worried about them Don t think I can write a proper review without having read the full book, though.

  17. 2.5 stars Metaphorosis ReviewsBrothers, twins in body and spirit, spend much of their lives together on a farm at the Welsh English border.I ve not read Bruce Chatwin before, but have heard of him mainly as a travel writer Certainly, in On the Black Hill, his prose is simple and unembroidered However, he demonstrates that it is also possible to be too plain The events of the book, tangled and of great potential interest, pass by like notes in an almanac On this day, this happened on the next, th [...]

  18. A beautifully written, rather brooding story that s set in the wild but beautiful Welsh countryside and follows the lives of two twin brothers who were born at the very beginning of the 20th century From the start they were inseparable and so closely bonded that they seemed to have been able to sense when one or the other was in danger or pain They remained bachelors all their lives, sharing everything as they continued to live on the farm that their father had bought years ago The book s charac [...]

  19. This took a while to grow on me I expected to be about two twin men aged 80, but actually it s about from before they were born up until they re 80, and the farming community they live in, and so has to move very speedily through the years without much pause to look around and reflect And that s what I found difficult it was only by the time the book finished that I got used to this speed It s full of odd characters which I loved, the kind of people I remember from my rural childhood, tramps and [...]

  20. This was a fine novel and I enjoyed it but it was radically unlike anything else I ve read from Mr Chatwin More measured, less eccentric, but a very warm and mildly humorous and satisfying read It reminded me somehow of G.B Edwards The Book of Ebenezer LePage Chatwin was a famous traveler, but On the Black Hill is a story about staying put His two main characters, Benjamin and Lewis Jones, spend their whole lives on or near the family farm in the Welsh borders The story spans a period from rough [...]

  21. For forty two years, Lewis and Benjamin Jones slept side by side in their parents bed at their farm , 20 Dec 2014Set on the Welsh English border, this is the story of elderly twins in a remote rural community, opening in the late 19th century, with their parents courtship, and concluding in the 70s, with the twins in old age.As other reviewers have observed, nothing massive happens there is interaction with the local aristocrats, the Bickertons with various neighbours, notably the unfortunate Wa [...]

  22. Reading this book is like taking a trip to a farm on the English Welsh border There isn t much happening and the everyday things that are normal happenings to us are a big deal at The Vision Farm Chatwin s writing is very gentle and gives us a feeling of adoration for the two brothers that have such devotion to each other Without much of a plot, the book is place driven and character driven I would recommend it to anyone who loves to read about rural nature.

  23. Brilliant book A gentle, meandering story about the lives of twin brothers who live out their years in a rural farm on the Welsh border It s one of those quiet books where not much actually happens, there s no big story arc as such A story that is very much rooted in the beautiful minutiae of everyday life.

  24. I read In Patagonia years ago, but, other than that, I do not know Bruce Chatwin s books On the Black Hill seems to me like a Hardy novel without the coincidences This is not me being clever or trying to be This is an image called into being by Chatwin himself, where his female protagonist, Mary, sits reading She was reading The Mayor of Casterbridge She liked it less than The Woodlanders , which she had read the week before, and Hardy s coincidences had begun to grate on her nerves So Chatwin a [...]

  25. they would stand over her patchwork quilt and peer at the black velvet stars and the hexagons of printed calico that had once been her dresses Identical twin brothers Lewis and Benjamin sleep in their parent s 1899 oak four poster bed, hung with the cretonne hangings of larkspur and roses their mother made as a newlywed, with linen sheets worn to holes, the mattresses sunk into two troughs On the bed was the patchwork quilt their mother had made, to remember me by, cut from the calico dresses of [...]

  26. This is the story of identical twins Lewis and Benjamin and their curious life on an isolated farm in the shadow of The Black Hills on the border between England and Wales It opens in 1979 as they live their isolated life in the farmhouse they have lived in since their birth at the turn of the 20th century The book then details their life through the century and the events and people that shape their story This includes the strange romance of their parents and the life of a mother who despite in [...]

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