Voss (book review)

A new book review from The Movie Snob.

Voss, by Patrick White (1957).  According to Wikipedia, White is one of the most important English-language novelists of the 20th century.  I had never heard of him until recently, when this novel somehow came to my attention.  It is a weird book.  Set in the mid-1800’s, the novel is about a German explorer named Johann Ulrich Voss who decides to set out on an expedition to explore the unknown Australian interior.  Before he leaves Sydney behind, he makes the acquaintance of a young woman named Laura Trevelyan, and although they meet only a few times, some sort of spiritual bond quickly forms between them.  Then Voss sets out, and the book then shifts back and forth between the two.  As I say, I found it a weird book; White goes to great and unusual lengths to try to convey precisely the flitting mental and emotional states of his characters, Voss and Laura especially.  And they are odd characters themselves, with deep and intense interior lives, so it’s a little exhausting to try to keep up with them.  I can’t say I loved it, but it’s definitely different.

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