Read The Typewriter's Tale by Michiel Heyns Online

Title : The Typewriter's Tale
Author :
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ISBN : 9781250119001
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Typewriter's Tale Reviews

  • Susan
    2019-03-30 17:17

    This is an interesting, literary novel, based upon real characters. Frieda Wroth is a young lady who, deciding against the life that has been laid out for her as the wife of a dull young man, decides to take a job as a typewriter. Having completed her training, she is employed by author, Henry James, and goes to board in the small town of Rye, so she can go every day and take dictation from him. Frieda is based upon Theodora Bosanquet, who worked for Henry James in such a capacity from 1907 until his death in 1916. However, this is very much a novel and cleverly takes minor characters from the life of ‘The Master,’ as Frieda thinks of him and weaves a story around them.Of course, typewriting was considered a very novel occupation in the early 1900’s and Frieda often feels she is treated as an extension of the Remington she uses. Indeed, she has a delicate position within the household of Henry James – if he invites her to stay for dinner, for example, she finds herself not quite a guest, yet not a servant. She also has literary aspirations of her own and so, day after day, life keeps to a pretty dull and comfortable pattern. That is, until the day that Mr James has a visitor – a young American named Mr Morton Fullerton, who is living in Paris and is a correspondent for The Times.Into Miss Wroth’s life comes intense feelings, guilt, intrigue and rumour. We watch events unfold and follow her story throughout this novel. I must say that the author did a wonderful job of keeping the writing style within the period. As befits the age, this is not an exciting, action packed read. It is slow and paced and there is a lot that happens beneath the surface. Beautifully written and a very interesting portrait of the author, the age and of a young woman trying to understand her place in the world. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-11 00:44

    BABT Michiel Heyns's novel is set in 1907 at Lamb House in Rye where Henry James, the great novelist, lived from 1897-1916. It's an intriguing story told from the perspective of Freida Wroth, his typist.'Live all you can; it's a mistake not to,' is the maxim of Henry James - and one that Frieda tries to live up to. Despite her admiration for her employer, she is marginalised and under-valued - seen merely as an extension of her Remington typewriter - and is lost between the servants and the guests who include the irrepressible Edith Wharton and the writer Hugh Walpole, as well as Mr James's extended family.The arrival of the dazzling Mr Morton Fullerton, Paris correspondent for The Times, brings Frieda into sudden focus. As she is drawn into his confidence, she finds herself at the centre of an intrigue, every bit as engrossing as the novels she types. Her loyalties tested, Frieda must choose between anonymity in the presence of a literary master and uncertain love with a man she barely knows. Read by Sian Thomas.

  • Cindy Burnett
    2019-04-09 18:22

    The Typewriter’s Tale started strong but could not keep that momentum going for the entire tale. Frieda Wroth, Henry James’ typist, has a wry sense of humor and plays entertaining games to keep herself occupied while waiting for James to utter his next words for her to transcribe. I liked her attempts at speculating what James might say next (she is never even close), and the fact that she wants to be viewed as more than a human typewriter. I think I might have enjoyed it more had it been shorter. Thanks to BookBrowse, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

  • Laura
    2019-04-11 18:42

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime:Michiel Heyns's novel is set in 1907 at Lamb House in Rye where Henry James, the great novelist, lived from 1897-1916. It's an intriguing story told from the perspective of Freida Wroth, his typist.'Live all you can; it's a mistake not to,' is the maxim of Henry James - and one that Frieda tries to live up to. Despite her admiration for her employer, she is marginalised and under-valued - seen merely as an extension of her Remington typewriter - and is lost between the servants and the guests who include the irrepressible Edith Wharton and the writer Hugh Walpole, as well as Mr James's extended family.The arrival of the dazzling Mr Morton Fullerton, Paris correspondent for The Times, brings Frieda into sudden focus. As she is drawn into his confidence, she finds herself at the centre of an intrigue, every bit as engrossing as the novels she types. Her loyalties tested, Frieda must choose between anonymity in the presence of a literary master and uncertain love with a man she barely knows.Read by Sian ThomasAbridged by Sara DaviesDirected by Alexa MooreA Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

  • Hristina
    2019-04-07 17:38

    I fell in love with the style Mr. Heyns showcased in this book. His eloquence is sure to broaden your vocabulary.However, this book fails at delivering a believable story. I am saddened to report that there a few cringe-inducing moments set as plot-points as well (I don't want to spread spoilers, so I apologize for not listing them). After all, this is a historical fiction book with characters that actually existed (shall we call it historical fanfiction? It's how I viewed it.). Their portrayal lacks authenticity, which takes away from the experience.I recommend this book for it's style.

  • Maria
    2019-03-19 19:19

    A fantastic novel, incredibly well written. It does take a steady pace to read it in order to take it all in but it is absolutely brilliant. I received a copy from netgalley for my honest review. This in no way affects the way in which I review a title

  • Erin
    2019-03-21 01:28

    Dry, wordy, cliched...

  • Constantine
    2019-04-11 18:17

    Rating: 3.0/5.0I participated in a Goodreads giveaway for this book and won!. The synopsis of the book is very interesting and the cover is gorgeous and very intriguing too. I love historical fictions and the author in this story has blended facts with fictions. This is the story from the perspective of Henry Jame's typist Frieda Wroth. Sounds very interesting right?I was so pumped up to read this book but I cannot express how disappointed I was while reading it! I expected from all what I said above that this would be a five star book but it was not. I have several problems with story. First thing the writing style. This is the first book that I read for Michiel Heyns so not sure if all his books are written in a similar way. I had to use a dictionary a lot more than I need to use for reading old classics! I appreciate a book that teaches me new words but when it tries excessively to express a simple sentence or convey a simple emotion in a very complex way then I have a problem with that.Secondly, the story itself. Not a lot is going for it. Though I liked some major parts of it but sometimes I felt that nothing important was happening. I also felt that the telepathic communication through the typewriter that happened between the main character and Mr. Fullerton was silly and spoiled the story for me. It was not needed. The writer should have used actual letters instead. It would have made a vast difference to make things more believable and be taken seriously. The climax was nice though. Loved the scene before the fireplace. The book could be shorter and the story needs some more action to it. I would not rate this book more than a three stars. I think three is more than fair.

  • Nancy
    2019-03-28 01:15

    Michael Heyns' knowledge of Henry James is evident in The Typewriter's Tale. It is not biographical historical fiction as much as fiction inspired by The Master.In 1907, twenty-three-year-old Frieda has finished typewriting school and is hired to work for the novelist Henry James. Frieda has literary aspirations and is familiar with James' work, but he does not hold it against her; a typewriter is expected to be a mere mechanic, a conduit between the dictator and the machine.Life in Rye working for James is dull but agreeable. James is strapped for cash and working on a new issue of his work. Frieda waits as James composes in his head then dictates. He rewards her with chocolate bars left on her typewriter, which she connects with the biscuits James tosses to his dachshund Max.A visitor arrives at Lamb House, a Mr. Fullerton whom James insists has been a friend for many year but only in letters. Fullerton is charming, handsome, and notices James' amanuensis. He arranges to meet the girl with a request: he wants to steal back letters he has sent to James, for fear of their discovery after his death. Fullerton also beds Frieda, who imagines a love affair.Over the next two years, Frieda is a typewriter for her employer. She believes she is a spiritualist typewriter, transmitting messages from Fullerton.James is visited by Mrs. Edith Wharton and a quiet man, Walpole, who asks Frieda to warn her employer about gossip concerning his involvement with illicit going-ons between Wharton and Fullerton. She stands up for James' privacy but secretly does not believe Fullerton could be involved with Wharton, sure he loves her.Caught between her loyalty to James and her desire to be with Fullerton, Frieda comes to understand how the world works, the vagaries of love, and the trust of friendship.The novel is written in the style of Henry James, which will delight his fans but may put off the general reader. Frieda's internal world and moral education about life and the climax of the book may lack the fireworks required by many but the book left me satisfied, contemplative, and eager to revisit the author's work.

  • Linda Zagon
    2019-04-15 19:16

    I would like to thank BookBrowse and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC of “The Type Writer’s Tale” by Michiel Heyns. A typewriter according to the Oxford English Dictionary is “ 1. A writing machine 2. One who does typewriting,esp. as a regular occupation. In this historical fiction genre, Michiel Heyns discusses the typewriter as someone who does typewriting as an occupation. Enter the fictional main character, Frieda Wroth, who becomes Henry James typewriter, or his “amanuensis”.(Dictionary:”A literary or artistic assistant, one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”) The author uses much of Henry James’ history, family and friends as part of this novel. The story takes place in the early 1900’s at his estate ,Lamb House in Rye. Henry James writes and dictates his stories to the typewriter, Frieda Wroth. Frieda is an intelligent woman, but shows her naivete in many ways.Frieda is witness to all the company at Lamb House, and meets the James family, Morton Fullerton, Edith Wharton, and other characters. Frieda is charmed easily by Morton Fullerton, who has his own agenda. He would like Frieda to “retrieve” letters that he wrote to Henry James. Frieda often thinks of Henry James’ words , “Live all you can, it’s a mistake not to.” from his novel ,”The Ambassadors.” I find that the author writes about loyalty, betrayal, friendship, family and love. What I like best about the novel is the aspect of telepathy which is observed when Frieda uses the typewriter(machine) to have telepathic conversations with Morton Fullerton. Telepathy and mediums are evident and gives a mystical feel to the novel. The author also discusses quiet Rye and travels to France, and America, and the new mode of transportation “the motor car”. I would recommend “The Typewriter’s Tale as an intriguing historical novel.

  • Priscilla
    2019-04-10 01:24

    The Typewriters Tale is a wonderful telling of a bygone world where typists did their masters bidding typing exactly every word that was dictated by the author. They were essential to the success of the author as without the typist there would be no novel. No novel no famous author. This novel tells of one such typist Frieda who is the fictional typist of the celebrated author Henry James. Frieda is a very loyal employee who quietly carries out her duties whilst absorbing information and making observations on her master. This is a tale of social manners, etiquette and morals and values in an age where woman were often the invisible. Frieda is one such woman who sees her future linked to her master until an acquaintance of Henry James shows her the possibility of an alternative life that she could never even begin to dream of. Does she dare to break free or stay loyal and unseen, invisible to the world and continue with the life she knows? The author skilfully draws the characters so that you are there with Frieda as she ponders this dilemma and becomes involved in series of events that could quite easily be mistaken for one of the books she types for her master . This is a treat that I was not expecting- moving, emotional, funny and engaging in equal measures. A very enjoyable read.I was so lucky to receive this book through goodreads giveaways

  • Mary
    2019-03-31 21:37

    This book!! ((Screams with anxiety)) This book was a complete book-block! After two re-starts and several attempts to engage, well, I never could get comfortable. Honestly, the entire reading (and, yes! I did lots of skimming) felt like a chore. I get that the writing style was a shout out to Henry James. I've no doubt that Michiel Heyns is intelligent and creative. I mean, c'mon. Heyns is Professor Emeritus in English at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His writings have earned him awards. He's done radio adaptations of James's novels. Who am I to judge his book, right? So, I'm going to explain my two star reasoning. While initially excited to receive an ARC, I realized after slogging through ten pages that this book and I would not be friends. The writing is eloquent. Indeed it is, but it made me uncomfortably numb. There were too many breaks, pauses, and thoughts thrown into one sentence. I thought I used lots of commas. I dare say, I've met my match. By the time the sentence ended, oft times a paragraph long, I'd forgotten the original thought. Quite frankly, I bored easily whilst perusing this high-minded tome. I think the subject matter could have been more interesting, IMO, if Heyns had simply told the story with out trying to make me feel inferior. Seriously, I felt like this book went out of its way to laugh at me. The old fashioned prose that I enjoy in some of my classic faves was dry, lacking an entertaining quality. Then again, maybe I'm just not smart enough to appreciate this book. Maybe a bit of both. Meh. I'm over it. * Received an ARC through a Goodreads giveaway. Opinions are my own. I feel like an ungrateful schmuck for not liking this book which was given to me. Filled with shame. Honest. :(

  • LillyBooks
    2019-04-13 21:19

    This is the perfect example of the difference between liking something and respecting something. I respected this book, but I did not like it.It was initially a title/cover pick for me, but then I read enough on the flap, etc., to realize it was ode to Henry James and thus would be an attempt to write in that style. For the record, I'm not a Henry James fan. He was old-fashioned even in his time, with his staid novels full of grandiose sentences and rumination in which nothing really ever happened. But I was still intrigued and I took it on because it's been too long since I've read a book that required a dictionary. I viewed it as an exercise for my little gray cells.In its goals, it succeeds. This novel reads exactly like a Henry James novel, even if it seems too meta that he himself is a character. The obscure vocabulary is there, the stuffiness, the pompous sentences, the over-thinking, the barest of plots. I didn't even mind the thread of Victorian spiritualism in the form of automatic writing, because James was great believer in such nonsense in his lifetime.However, it reminded me of why I never cared for James. Nothing ever really happens, and the reader is left disappointed at best.

  • Bertha
    2019-04-10 22:29

    I had a very hard time reading this book because of the long sentences and longer paragraphs. I also don't enjoy having to have a dictionary close by to understand the meaning of some of the words.I won this book from Goodreads and voluntarily wrote this review.

  • Linda Chambers
    2019-04-07 19:24

    This book started out promising enough. Frieda is a 23 year old typewriter for Henry James. She wants to be known as more than just that, she wants more to her unfulfilling life. She thinks that she is on her way to something better when one of Mr. James male acquaintances, Mr. Fullerton, comes for a visit and appears to take an interest in her. But, his interest has ulterior motives.The story starts to lose momentum(for me) when Frieda starts having telepathic transmissions with Mr. Fullerton through the use of her typewriter. This theme becomes interspersed throughout the book, producing long winded conversations that seem only to cement Frieda's naivete' when it comes to Mr. Fullerton and his other relationships.I pushed myself to finish the book because I wanted to find out the outcome of the betrayals. The climax of the story was rather lackluster. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it had been somewhat shorter and not weighted down by so much dialogue and very little action.

  • Care
    2019-03-27 23:42

    The Typewriter's Tale is a very well-written, beautifully articulate and historically researched novel. Written in charmingly witty and ironic prose, The Typewriter's Tale is composed of long sentences and thick vocabulary that, while necessitating a steady and patient reader, never comes across as excessive or weighty. Frieda Wroth is the typewriter for the author Henry James, spending her days in the sleepy, monotonous English town of Rye waiting for his dictation. Treated as little more than an additional instrument to be utilized in the process of writing by the author and his household, she finds herself intrigued and entirely compelled by one of the author's guests: the magnetic, elusive, and charming Morton Fullerton. This meeting catapults Frieda into reconsidering her role in life, battling her admiration for Mr. James and her frustration at his treatment, and becoming embroiled in ongoing intrigue without the involved parties even realizing it. Through her interactions with other guests, her exploration into psychical phenomena, and her at times willful ignorance, Frieda finds her assumptions about life challenged and forever changed. The novel is a beautifully written work that masterfully utilizes Frieda's perspective to both tell her story and introduce readers to the underlying plot that she does not (or refuses to) acknowledge. The historical context - the burgeoning women's suffrage movement, the scientific world's obsession with telepathic transference and automatic writing, the proprieties and scandals - are realistically and believably interwoven into the text. The use of Henry James' writing style for the novel itself is ingenious and serves the plot well. The pace of the work is steady, and the novel is focused on Frieda's own thoughts and introspection which, while seeming at times slow, shows an incredible command of capacity to fully flesh out a character. The secondary characters are equally well-described and attributed, even with Frieda's own biases and misunderstandings. An intriguing, wonderfully written work that is definitely worth reading. Thanks to the publisher for an advance digital copy!

  • Minka Guides
    2019-04-19 22:20

    This is a book I should have liked: historical fiction; a cast of well-known literary characters; a central protagonist who is trying to find her way in a world littered with icons of her era. But man it was weird. Just really strange and kind of boring, unfortunately. I gave up on it at one point, but then persevered and finished it finally. Despite the initial (quite surprising, rather sexy) event that launches the story, pretty much nothing happens and most of the dialogue is an imagined conversation between the protagonist and someone in another country. That is unless you believe telepathic typewriters - then you will love this book. Otherwise, a bit of a miss sadly.

  • Kris McCracken
    2019-03-24 20:33

    An interesting exercise in taking a couple of marginal historical characters (literary types in the orbit of author Henry James), and conjuring up a novel. Some odd stylistic choices aside (telepathy as narrative device? Really?), this is a worthwhile exploration of gender and sexuality.Worth a look.

  • Kathleen
    2019-04-16 19:40

    What a tedious read! Apparently the author was trying to prove how erudite he is by writing a novel which required a dictionary at the ready. I appreciate an intelligent read but this author seemed pompous and pretentious. I did like the "idea" behind the story but it was way too long and "wordy."

  • Anna
    2019-03-24 01:32

    A typewriter will always be a typewriter.This one the first, resonant message emerging from the stunning, beautiful novel The Typewriter's Tale published today by St.Martin's Press and written by Michiel Heyns.Written superlatively well, figurative writing-style, the writing is maniacally cured, researched, elevated, the atmosphere of the years taken under consideration vivid and very well portrayed.If you can think at first starting to read it that the book can't absorb you, the intrigue will conquer you immediately.I choose this book because I love Henry James' books.Her Portrait of a Lady enchanted me when I was 18 years.James a genius in discovering lacks, greatness, goodness and badness of the human soul.Thanks to this book I discovered many anecdotes of this writer and his family that I didn't know: from the Fletcher's theory of mastication to the funny, absolutely funny observation that made me laughed a lot and that the typewriter will put on the "mouth" of her lover in the Journal she was writing in about health and James' family's relationship with it:"The whole family [James] is obsessed with health, and as a result suffer from a variety of ailments unheard of in the annals of medicine. It is my theory that they positively bring on ailments in each other."Said that, you will be curious to discover something more of this precious, very researched novel.The story is real, the conspiracy realistically existed and involved the typewriter of mr.James here called Frieda and Morton Fullerton one of the best Henry James' friends, let's use this euphemism.Mr.Fullerton worked at The Times of London during that time, and he was a guest at the house of Henry James like also Mrs Wharton with which he established a passionate relationship in th while.People of great culture, very rich, their life has never been difficult in the common sense of the word, and they have always had the best. Best men, best women, best clothes, best travels, best everything. A privileged circle of people.Frieda, chosen by Mr James thanks to her qualities as typewriter was working for him from various months when one day she meets Mr Fullerton who stopped by for a visit at Mr.James' house.Of course the man a fascinating one. Let's imagine the man of experience, the 23 years old and a bit shy girl conquered by him. Maybe Frieda imagined that it could have been possible.Possible also for her to being loved by someone of that privileged circle.She donated her body to Mr.Fullerton with great simplicity but Mr.Fullerton didn't want the body of a typewriter because in love for her and let's imagine that it wasn't for sex urgency either, considering the lovers he had and reputation as libertine he developed with the time, but simply because he wanted to use this ingenuous typewriter for his purposes and Mr.Fullerton knew how powerful could be sex for obtaining something in return.In which way?He wanted to return in possess of some letters according to his point of view too much compromising sent to Mr.James and considering the frequent illness of Mr.James it would have been great to have them back.Just in case...If Mr.Fullerton considered the sexual meeting with Frieda like a routine and another woman without importance added to his conquests, laughing of the availability of this girl with his rich and acculturated friends, including Mrs. Wharton, the girl still ingenuous started to fall in love for Mr.Fullerton.The idea of this wonderful, absolutely perfect man who was asking her to destroy a precious word as trust between her and Mr. James didn't alarm her. No: she started to searching for these letters.In the while and waiting for the return of her "Prince Charming" of the situation she started to write a Journal . The protagonist: herself and her beloved object of desire: Mr.Fullerton.Mr. Fullerton didn't have any kind of serious purpose on Frieda and I think that he hadn't never thought for a second that he could have taken in consideration a choice like that one: the typewriter, a girl socially inferior respect him, culturally, sexually and with a different background but the insanity of his gesture, followed enthusiastically by the typewriter, repeated, brought the typewriter in a condition of perennial ecstatic dream able also to ruin her good relationship with Mr.James based on trust.I found impressive to seeing Henry James in action while he was writing a book. Or better: imagining how a book was written at that time. There was more life, not a desktop, not a PC, not solitude in a word, but interaction. Someone real in front of us with which sometimes to speak, to interact.A human world.I loved when the relatives of Mr.James William and family afforded from Boston where they lived to England in vacation.They brought the typical energy of that city I love so badly in the pages of this book as well.The typical enthusiasm of Bostonians always ready for fighting for new causes and new injustices and new goals to reach.Miss James, the daughter of William was fighting as a suffragette for trying to obtain more space for women. We are at the beginning of 1900.Miss James interested in a medium able to connect her with her beloved aunt Alice.She asked at the typewriter...Also in this part of the book I must try to understand if miss James was honest with the typewriter or simply she used her for trying to see if the girl was honest or a manipulator, manipulated by Miss James in this case without to think who she had in front of her. Miss James could simulate surprise or shock or astonishment with simplicity.I think I later found the answer when Mr.James burned some documents.The Typewriter tested also from James' family.It's a book, The Typewriter's Tale that will let you think a lot about manipulation, manipulative people, hidden purposes, broken friendship and trust.Not only:when the typewriter discovered that an affair was going on between Mr. Fullerton with Mrs. Wharton and the adopted sister (in this second case she was his girlfriend) she was shocked, maybe thinking that a man like Mr.Fullerton would have become in the while a friar waiting for another encounter with her after more than a year or two.It's a book that will let think of being more prudent in choices, and more diffident if a novel can teach something.Under some aspects I would compare it at Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos although in very little measure.Highly recommended for sure!I love this cover so badly! I thank NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for this book.

  • Shristhi
    2019-03-22 17:38

    I have been wanting to read a fiction book about olden times, and being an author. I would totally read this book on a day when it is snowing, and I have some hot chocolate!

  • Patricia Linville
    2019-04-01 18:41

    The Typewriter’s Tale by Michiel Heyns“…nothing inhibited Mr. James as painfully as the need for conciseness…” laments his typewriter, 23 year old Frieda Wroth. In 1908 rural England, Frieda is employed by Mr. James to transform his dictation to written word by means of the new invention by Remington, typewriter referring to the person who uses the mechanism rather than the modern application of the word to define the machine itself. Frieda, being the person most qualified to comment on Mr. James penchant for wordiness due to the nature of her position.Heyns, a South African English professor and James expert, has written a novel from the perspective the typewriter, who Mr. James assumes to be a tool to make his writing task more efficient. Yet, the typewriter is privy to all comings and goings in the rustic abode and gets caught up in the trite intrigues that appear to have occupied Mr. James and his literary colleagues when not attending to their creative profession. The best, though for some quite possibly the worst, aspect of The Typewriters Tale is the verbose nature of the prose. “These great cosmopolitan caravanserais combine in the most absorbing way in the world an air of cynical lawlessness and extreme fastidiousness; one feels they would countenance everything except one’s being late for breakfast.” is but one example. Heyns has considerable depth of knowledge about Henry James and utilizes it to craft a rather ordinary story. But his understanding of James artistic talent of molding the English language into feasts of words is coveted. This book is recommended for those who enjoy gorging on the language used to create the story as opposed to lunching on the tale

  • Claire
    2019-04-07 21:15

    WRY ALONG THE ROTHERLike all the dressmakers, shop girls, handmaids and paid companions before her the typewriter is afforded a view into another world. Her reticence is her passport into the creative mind of novelist Henry James. The reader sits on Frieda Wroth’s shoulder as she types the great man’s words and hears her thoughts as she anticipates the next word beyond his pause. In her workday as amanuensis she scarcely has time for thoughts of her own, and James is oblivious to her inner life. He occasionally offers her chocolate bars to keep up her strength, as she observes, a reflexive gesture similar to the treats dispensed to his dog.What will she choose in her life outside the elegance of James’ Georgian home in the Rye countryside? As a top student at her typewriter course she learned to become one with her machine, a seamlessly discrete recorder of the great thoughts of others. Exceptionally pragmatic Wroth accepts her need to work, retaining her own private ambitions. How will she act on these? Will she chose the safety of her constraints or step outside them and pursue her passions? This novel intricately reproduces James’ milieu and presents the reader with a tale both modern and mannered. As Mr. Heyns imagines the life of Wroth and James, so does the typewriter imagine hers and comes to the recognition of a truth - people collude in their own deception. Book Group Readers who enjoy re-imagined classics will be intrigued by the world of Henry James seen through the eyes of the unsung typewriter.

  • Minerva Spencer
    2019-04-11 17:44

    I loved this book. I've read my share of James, but it was years and years ago. When I started reading this book the first thing I had to do was sloooooow the heck down. This is a book to be savored, like rich chocolate or fine booze. I was also thrilled to see my old friends, adverbs, back in such abundance. When is the last time somebody in the literary world dared to use so many adverbs? Each sentence is like a mini work of art and you get the impression Heyns lovingly considered the worth and meaning of every single word before it earned its place on the page.Heyns has a wicked sense of humor and a poison pen which is very reminiscent of James and Wharton. The internal reflections of the main character, Frieda, are what really make this book great. She is at once innocent and very insightful.Heyns is enamored of James but is still capable of portraying him "warts and all" and I found I liked him more and more as the book went on. It is sometimes easy to view the artist as self-indulgent and affected, but Heyns's characterization is sensitive and avoids the obvious traps.Possible SPOILER****I wish it had ended better, but fans of James will expect an ending like this. You get the feeling Heyns is making Frieda suffer so she will have something to write about, something to push her on her way to becoming an author.Anyhow, I really enjoyed this book and am grateful something this elegant can still find its way into a publishing house and then out again, without giving in to twenty-first expectations. Beautiful.

  • Rachel
    2019-03-28 22:31

    I couldn't finish it.It wasn't bad, per say, as it was dry, monotonous, and dragging. I understand that the writing style is an ode to Henry James but for the love of God and all that is holy, the author here is trying too damn hard. The majority of what I read (79 pages) was mostly purple prose, internal dialogue and the like. You don't need 6 pages to talk about what a woman thinks about when she loses her virginity. Or 5 pages to drone on about opening three desk drawers.I gave this book so much hope, because it's about a Typewriter in the early 1900s! But instead I was disappointed. Maybe if the author didn't try so hard and didn't add a metaphor every other sentence I would have enjoyed it.It's my second DNF of the week, and damn it, I'm upset, and I'm hoping that it shows in this review.

  • Kim
    2019-04-09 01:18

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And my honest review was that I really wanted to like this book, but I couldn't. It was challenging to read a book full of archaic words, but I didn't mind looking up the many, many words as I read. It was tough to read the lengthy paragraphs, especially the ones that included dialogue within them. But my main disappointment about the book was that, in reading all about Henry James' life, I didn't care about the main character, Frieda Wroth. I wish that the book had focused more on Frieda's feelings and emotions, and a little less on Henry James' life.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-23 18:38

    Schureman The Typewriter's Tale- This is a Goodreads giveaway. I found this book difficult to read as the flow was very choppy. The story with the complicated relationships between Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Morton Fullerton was interesting as well as the way Frieda thought she was channeling Morton Fullerton and Alice James through her typewriting. Then there was the James family's practice of "Fletcherising" which entailed chewing the daylights out of each morsel of food and was named after Horace Fletcher. I'd never heard of this before. A slow read

  • Carol Lander
    2019-04-04 01:38

    If I were a Henry James fan, I might have more thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters in the book speak as James wrote, which makes for heavy conversation. Still, the fictional story of the relationship between James and his real-life typewriter, "the medium between my thoughts and the paper,” held my attention, although I wondered half way through the book if she wasn't mentally off.Also, Edith Wharton figures into the story since she is a friend of Henry James, though she is not shed in a very favorable light.

  • Pam Jankowski
    2019-04-06 23:22

    This book starts out ok but the momentum and the ability to keep the reader encodes not continue for this book. I struggled to get to the end of this book due to not keeping my interests in the story's journey.

  • Janet
    2019-04-14 17:41

    This was a Goodreads giveaway. This was a nice story.