Brilliant departure from Richard Adams' other novels. This book is suspenseful, beautiful, poetic, paranormal, sexual (not in a tacky way), and mysterious. Excellent!
Good book, horrible movie. Did I say Good Book??
Quite a bood book with some unusual twists that keep you wondering about certain aspects of the characters. One of those things where you think you know; but you don't want to know or aren't sure you know.
I am impressed (?) If you ever wanted to know everything about ceramics, china, porcelain, this is a book for you. How about getting around Copenhagen? This is a book for you. Name dropping? Your author knows the classics, as well as many obscure authors. You'll be introduced to many of them. Don't care to brush up on your French. Not to worry this guy amazes you with his German. So all in all this tale of Alan, an obscure, unattractive retailer of ceramics, has a lot more to offer than meets the eye. It is a story of mutual love between him and a German Venus, Aphrodite, Ashteroth, Asarte, Ishtar whom he meets on a business trip to Copenhagen; whom he marries some ten days later; of whose history he knows nothing (and she won't tell). Alan has an innate ability to sense the past and future. Little by little the author, through Alan's perceptions, hints of Kathe's history, until the bubble bursts in the chilling climax and denouement. But, even then, expect reader that you will have to fill in many of the blanks to your own liking. All in all, the culmination is worth the effort of reading the bulk of this tome.
One of the things that sets The Girl in a Swing apart from the Adams's other work is that it involves human characters from our time in a setting we can readily recognize. The action takes place in Copenhagen, in a small English town and, briefly, in London and Florida. The chief protagonists are Alan Deslands, a young, learned and earnest dealer in porcelain and china and Karin (or Käthe in some editions), a beautiful and prodigiously talented German woman he meets on a business trip to Denmark.
Since Alan is the narrator, and a skillful one, the reader readily forgives a certain priggishness in him, perhaps even enjoying it a bit. He is clearly a person to admire and, despite his manner, to like. In his adolescence he acquired a kind of second sight in the presence of strong sexual energy. The resulting visions, though usually unwelcome, have not seemed of great importance to him before the events of the novel. As the story unfolds, he experiences them more often, but is not always able to separate them out from the more mundane realities of his life.
Karin, whose beauty is almost unearthly, is well educated and cultured. She possesses every brilliance and talent one could wish. But when we meet her, she is rather poor, earning her living as a multilingual stenographer. At first she cannot quite believe that the distinguished and desirable Alan would be interested in her and, for that matter, he dares scarcely hope that a woman as beautiful and seemingly perfect as Karin would be interested in him.