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The miniaturist

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by AnnFrankenstein, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Has anybody read this book?

    "Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam-a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion-a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

    On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

    But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

    Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand-and fear-the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

    Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth."
     
    Dre Space Age likes this.
  2. cyberfairy

    cyberfairy http://unicycle-emptiness.co.uk/

    Liked the sound of it but read a review which said it was appallingly written so will look for it in library.
     
    AnnFrankenstein likes this.
  3. Buddy Bradley

    Buddy Bradley Pantheistic solipsist

    Borrowed it from my mum - think it will probably be next on my reading list after I finish my current one this week.
     
    AnnFrankenstein likes this.
  4. Dre Space Age

    Dre Space Age Sage Mode

    Is there a movie?
     
  5. Ah great, do keep me updated :)
     
  6. Not yet x
     
  7. catinthehat

    catinthehat Failed VK = Replicant

    It was on Radio 4 a while ago, very agreeable.
     
    AnnFrankenstein likes this.
  8. existentialist

    existentialist Spartacus? No, never heard of him.

    Did anyone watch the TV adaptation? I've seen the first part - visually very lush, and full of brooding stares and meaningful looks...
     
  9. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    I did. I haven't read the book, and though I liked the idea, I didn't think it was satisfactorily realised. I didn't feel I had got to know the characters, especially the brother/husband: what were his motivations? The outcome of his story seemed more like something that suited the author rather than suited him. I was disappointed.
     
  10. existentialist

    existentialist Spartacus? No, never heard of him.

    I've reserved judgement, as I'm waiting to see whether they're setting us up for Big Mysteries, to be resolved in part 2. But yes - I got the feeling of being somewhat manipulated by what they're telling us or not, so Part 2 is going to have to come up with the goods...

    I watch very little TV, and a big part of that is the manipulation thing - I start to get an antsy feeling that they're trying to make me think something is/isn't going to happen, and I get slightly resentful of it. Which is probably why, of the TV I do watch, much of it is factual rather than drama.
     
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  11. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model The word of Sin is Restriction

    style over substance i thought
     
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  12. bimble

    bimble noisy but small

    The tv show was very lovely to look at wasn't it, painterly, but yep a bit shallow and surfacy, too much in love with its own appearance so it lacked any interiority or depth (book was better though nothing special, and it didn't come with the beautiful colours).. That scene when she's kneeling on the harlequin hallway in the yellow-gold dress though. :thumbs:
     
    existentialist likes this.
  13. danny la rouge

    danny la rouge This is definitely the darkest timeline

    Yes, it looked like a series of dioramas based on Dutch Master paintings. Which was nice to look at.
     
    trabuquera, bimble and existentialist like this.
  14. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    Tableaux vivants surely, Danny. Tsk.
     
    danny la rouge likes this.
  15. Chilli.s

    Chilli.s Well-Known Member

    Telly version was nice to look at but lacking in plot depth. A bit too pleased with itself and silly.
     
  16. trabuquera

    trabuquera Modesty Bag

    Also the two halves (of the telly drama) didn't seem to have too much to do with each other. Marin seemed to have undergone a complete personality transplant for no real reason between pt 1 and 2.
    And while I'll go a long way for feminist-ish takes on period drama the end line just completely ruined it for me. Lead female character takes over existing business in a man's world, looks at her desk groaning with paperwork and steels herself by saying reassuringly "I can do this" ... ???? .... fine for Los Angeles or London 2017 (maybe even for New York 1961), but not in keeping at all with Amsterdam 1686.
    Also the "dramatic" reveals were signalled a mile off while there was still loads of stuff I wanted to find out but never did.
    Visually absolutely gorgeous, actors doing their best, but this needed a far-better script to work properly IMHO.
     
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  17. existentialist

    existentialist Spartacus? No, never heard of him.

    I've watched the second half now, and I completely agree with the comments about the plot. I came away feeling that the gruel-like thinness of it was in stark contrast to the rich and lavish production values, and the blend was the worse for that. The bleak dockside scene at the end was incredibly evocative, visually, but had the sense of anticlimax about it, which seemed like an opportunity missed, not helped by the rather neat tidying up of various loose ends...and yes, that bit with her in the office, which had me wondering whether we were being set up for "Miniaturist 2: Return Of The Small People".
     
  18. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    Oh. Was that it? I watched both parts and didn't realise it had finished.
     
    existentialist likes this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Me too. I was waiting for the next installment!
     
    existentialist likes this.

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