William Boyd Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay


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Inhaltsangabe zu „Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay“ von William Boyd

Amory's first memory is of her father doing a handstand. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, and, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future. A spell at boarding school ends abruptly and Amory begins an apprenticeship with Greville in London, living in his flat in Kensington, earning two pounds a week photographing socialites for fashionable magazines. But Amory is hungry for more and her search for life, love and artistic expression will take her to the demi monde of Berlin of the late 1920s, to New York of the 1930s, to the Blackshirt riots in London and to France in the Second World War where she becomes one of the first women war photographers. Her desire for experience will lead Amory to further wars, to lovers, husbands and children as she continues to pursue her dreams and battle her demons. In this enthralling story of a life fully lived, William Boyd has created a sweeping panorama of some of the most defining moments of modern history, told through the camera lens of one unforgettable woman, Amory Clay. It is his greatest achievement to date.

Fictive auto-biography told by 70-year-old female fotographer Amory in 1978. Very realistic, especially with "her" pics - and a few lengths

— StefanieFreigericht

Stöbern in Romane

Schloss aus Glas (Filmausgabe)

Ein Must-have unter emotionalen Familiengeschichten


Nur zusammen ist man nicht allein

Ein unheimlich emotionaler Roman, der einen bis an der Seele berührt.


Mister Franks fabelhaftes Talent für Harmonie

Eine schöne Geschichte über die Liebe zur Musik und das fabelhafte Talent eines Mannes, der genau weiß, welche Musik jeder Einzelne braucht.


Leere Herzen

Eine Hymne auf die aktive gelebt Demokratie und eine düstere Voranhnung, wenn wir alle verstummen.


Die Perlenschwester

Der Vergangenheits-Teil war für mich, wie immer, höchst fesselnd. In der Gegenwart war mir CeCe leider nicht immer ganz begreiflich.


Die Hauptstadt

Ein bürokratischer Moloch mit menschlichen Zügen!


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  • „…it’s the complications that have engaged me and made me feel alive“

    Sweet Caress: The Many Lives of Amory Clay


    19. June 2017 um 11:08

    „…it’s the complications that have engaged me and made me feel alive“ p. 447 Strongwilled, photography-loving, impetuous, sardonic - Amory is born the first child of three. Traumatized, absent, socially aware, alienated – after his World War I experiences, her father will try to kill her. Photography-loving, fashionable, familial, similarly sardonic - her uncle will teach her how every person may be described with just four adjectives (sic!). He gives her the first camera. Many others will follow while Amory will ever strive to try and improve her art, while life – and love – sometimes rather just seem to happen. „Time is a racehorse, eating up the furlongs as it gallops towards the finish line.“ p 226 This fictional biography of this completely made-up woman will come with first-person narrator Amory, posing as a memoir written down by her in 1977/78, when she is in her early seventies. The majority of the story, though, will be historical, covering the ‘Great War‘ - traumatization of Amory‘s father, her start as photographer in London, still impeded by the fact that she is a woman, the Berlin nightlife in the Weimar-era, her transition to New York and back to London, twice, the next World War, Paris, Scotland, Vietnam,….Author William Boyd manages to give ‘flesh“ to that personality, time and class, in a way that makes the reader end up checking whether Amory has really been invented only. The large number of pictures strewn in to portray what Amory did portray help this effect a great deal and make up a large part oft he book’s charm. The novel comes in “books“ to go along with the diary-type setup, the chapters will be named after the places. “Sweet Caress“ of 2015 (German translation „Die Fotografin“ of 2016) is an easy read, rather a light summer novel than the Pulitzer Price maybe, without neglecting that it offers a nice number of pointed remarks, like when Amory decides about how to react to her lover’s future plans about the two of them: „Inertia is a very underrated state of mind. … If you feel you have to make a decision then decide not to make a decision. Let time pass. Do nothing.“ p 158 She noticably is a woman of her time and age, the Scottish author put a great deal of effort to this (I followed up on some interviews on how he does research for like two! years and accumulates often masses of books to be what he calls a realistic writer cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byiBqMpcdSE ) Talking about literature prices, I found it compelling what a broad span of works Boyd comes along with: from Booker shortlisted to James Bond! Still, back to this one, there were some lengths in “Sweet Caress“ and some moments when, though I did still enjoy the style, did still like the characters and how realistic everything was – but wondered on the ‘why‘: What does Boyd want to tell us with this book, why is he going all that way, what does the book want to convey, apart from being a compelling read. The final part will give you something of a clue, something of the the ‘why‘, at least, for Amory herself, for sure – but then, there were still those lengthier moments before. A good solid 4 star – read for me!

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