Shortlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize and Whitbread Novel of the Year Award In the summer of 1997, four people reach a turning point: Alice Valentine, who lies gravely ill in her West Country home; her two sons, one still searching for a sense of direction, the other fighting to keep his acting career and marriage afloat; and Laszlo Lazar, who leads a comfortable life in Paris yet is plagued by his memories of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.
For each, the time has come to assess what matters in life, and all will be forced to take part in an act of liberation - though not necessarily the one foreseen.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 336 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
- Publication Date: 20/06/2002
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780340728260
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by dylanwolf
Andrew Miller, I think, is less assured in this contemporary setting. Although I enjoyed Oxygen, it doesn't quite reach the heights of his two historical novels - Ingenious Pain and Casanova. The oxygen of the title is recurring theme - Alice is dying and dependent on her oxygen supply, her son Alec is translating a play called Oxygen written by an Hungarian called Lazlo Lasar. Larry, her other son is a failed soap star returned from America. Each character is struggling to assert themselves - starved of oxygen. This is still a good read but I would recommend going to Miller's other books first.
Review by David_Berlin
Miller effortlessly writes some of the most aesthetic descriptions I've read in a while without bogging down the narrative.