I have read Katherine Anne Porter’s collection of short stories, in fact even taught some of them in my college class. What a treat. The sprawling story, which Porter originally anticipated would be a novella, was started in 1940. Porter demonstrates her unfailing understanding of people’s character in her exquisite portrayal of their new found happiness and gemutlichkeit.

The story covers a period of twenty-seven days in the year 1931. While there isn't much plot outside of a ship's journey from Mexico to Germany, the book is a page turner, impossible to put down. I was a bit skeptical, but since the price was not much higher than those advertised as lesser quality, I went for it. I just can't finish this book after getting more than a quarter of the way through. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter on Amazon. For one example, a German man passionately in love with his Jewish wife waiting for him when he arrives is seated at the captain's table.

Only the truest artist could create fiction that is superior to reality in its deft observational accuracy. In her note prefacing the novel Porter notes that : People aren't really this bad, are they? The world was then on the edge of catastrophe and people were blind to the imminent disaster.

Porter is a skilled writer with deep psychological insights about human nature, love, death, and human emotions such as envy, jealousy, pity, desire etc.


Porter exposes all of the vicious petty class hatreds of the first class passengers and the captain, towards the steerage passengers, and also towards each other, as they obsessively try to determine who is of the higher social rank.

. Porter exposes all of the vicious petty class hatreds of the first class passengers and the captain, towards the steerage passengers, and also towards each other, as they obsess. I didn't really like this book but kept reading anyway because of Porter's relentless character detail and her staunch refusal to add any redeeming qualities to her characters as the book progressed. Ship of fools is a book with no main character or consistent central plot line.

I think the four stars is possibly more enthusiasm than I actually possess, but I did like it more than not.

It features large cast of international characters on the German freight and passenger ship, the Vera, most on a pleasure trip from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. A few critics like Robert Drake in the, Stanley Kauffmann in the National ReviewNew Republic, Granville Hicks in the Saturday Review, and Howard Moss in the New Yorker decided that Ship of Fools fell somewhat short of greatness, but only after taking the book’s claim to …

It introduces us to a conglomerate of people from many different social, economic and ethnic backgrounds, traveling from Mexico to Germany in the closed confines of an ocean liner.

The characterization is remarkable and refreshing. This book took me a long time to get through. Each of her many characters has his or her own individuality, depth and dimension, and their own truth. it’s the early 1930s, anti-semitic sentiments against a couple of passengers who are segregated during dining foretell the outcome of soon to be held german elections. nor do their prejudices bind the northern europeans as a group, as everyone on board finds fault with someone else. Miss Porter portrays the assorted travelers aboard this “ship of fools” with impressive insight and psychological authority. In 1931 a disparate group of travellers sail to Europe on a German passenger ship, amongst them Americans, German, Mexicans and many other nationalities. Let me count the ways." Certainly Porter has no love for her characters, whom she portrays with all their faults and foibles. I gave up about a third of the way through. When I have a book I will be glad to have it published.” Ship of Fools was made into a film that was released in 1965. But I’m glad I got my second read, 30 or so years later. She based some of the details on a sea voyage she herself took in 1931 on the very same route.

. Poor Betty, no wonder she was depressed. (If there were a movie version, costume design would be great fun.) After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. I wasn't able to empathize with the miserable lives of these petty, bigoted characters. An enviably seamless omniscient narrator carries us through this meticulous study of human frailties. It starts slow and never picks up speed.

This ship of fools is a crucible of intense experience, out of which everyone emerges forever changed. Start by marking “Ship of Fools” as Want to Read: Error rating book. He mentioned to a lady he met that he was married to a Jewish woman and she tells the captain. Refresh and try again. The next he is moved to a table with the one Jewish man on the boat. The Fellini-esque setting and portrayals also drew me along. Having kept a journal on the trip, she based some of the characters on the people she met during the trip. Or a Japanese guy tells you that the actions of the Japanese army in mainland Asia in World War II were fully justified. The ship’s crew and first class passengers are mostly from Germany; but there is also: a corrupt Spanish zarzuela … (This was given to me as a masterwork to contemplate as I revise my own, far poorer, fleet of vices.)

A fantastic exploration of racism, hidden racism, and the world pre-WW2. the germans and british travelers perceived mexico as a third world country, pretty much a dirt hole; once aboard ship, their tongues unleash their prejudices on a spanish troupe of performers, cuban students and a woman of dubious royalty from mexico being transported, the rumor is as a political exile, to santa cruz for her role in a revolution. I never don't finish books... until now. But the problem for me is that there are just too many characters, and no main one to identify with, and too many sub-plots and no major one to carry the story along.

Is it possible to write well if you are a “starving artist”? Good argument for this as the #2 work of world literature for the entire first half of the 20 c.; second only to Thomas Mann's, Too many characters for my addlepated brain to keep track of. I was very dis appointed. It’s rare that a debut novel gets the kind of love and attention that Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, which spanned centuries and continents, received. It's an ensemble book, too--a rare feat: no single protagonist--and it works. I give it three stars, though, for stellar writing and (painfully) astute observation of human failings. Among them are a proto-Nazi named Siegfried Rieber, who, with his bald head and hard little ball of a stomach, romps vigorously in pursuit of the strident Lizzi Spockenkieker. analysis/opinion: ship of fools: how a selfish ruling class is bringing america to the brink of revolution. Instead, it's about many characters all interacting with each other In very poorly depicted and boring ways. Despite its rambling length and the distasteful qualities of most of the characters, I still found this a fascinating read.

Reviewed in the United States on March 13, 2018. Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2016. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.

There's a mix of mostly German, a few Americans, and some Cubans and Spanish. The Fellini-esque setting and portrayals also drew me along. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2018. The answer to their question, that Porter makes brutally apparent, is: no one. Though the ship is presumably the ship of humanity, and many passengers are representative of the many aspects of human nature, Miss Porter is ever the novelist rather than the symbolist. You can still see all customer reviews for the product. In 1931 a disparate group of travellers sail to Europe on a German passenger ship, amongst them Americans, German, Mexicans and many other nationalities. It *is* a generally depressing view of life, but it is rich and deep and thought-provoking.

“Could she fall so low? It is one of those old fashioned literary classics written with excruciating attention to detail, character, and physical descriptions that few of us are used to reading anymore, or have the patience or time to sustain. Oh, and I remembered Betty Draper reading this book in an episode of Mad Men. . This ship of fools is a crucible of intense experience, out of which everyone emerges forever changed. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Such elegant savagery!

In addition to the Germans, there are the Americans aboard. Each one of them hopes to be sailing towards a better and brighter future, but they are of course, quite unwittingly, sailing towards a Europe that will shortly explode into war and mayhem and only disappointment and disillusion await them.

Harmless fun and almost better than the show itself. RELATED POSTS Katherine Anne Porter biography 6 Quick Writing Tips from Katherine Anne Porter Katherine Anne Porter at Work Forthright Quotes by Katherine Anne Porter, More about Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter.