Reviews of ‘Destiny’

Chronicle of a Death

Sunday Times, 12 September 1999

By Lucy Hughes-Hallett

Tim Parks’s masterly new novel Destiny opens with a sentence with which Vladimir Nabokov would, I think, have been pleased. Containing no fewer than nine subordinate clauses, four of them folded parenthetically into others, it describes with aloof and scrupulous formality the circumstances in which the narrator received (and these words – abruptly plain – form the sentence’s long-delayed thunderbolt of a climax) ”the phone call that informed me of my son’s suicide”.

The bravura of that beginning is sustained throughout. Destiny takes us inside the mind of Chris Burton, a British journalist who has lived in Rome for most of his adult life, and who has an Italian wife whom he immediately, by taking that call. resolves to leave. They are in London when they get the news. Over the next two days they travel, ever-hampered by air-traffic-contro1 strikes, atrocious weather and Chris’s undignified disorders of the bowels and bladder, via Milan to Turin, where their son Marco died in a home for chronic schizophrenics, and via Novara to Rome. where he is to be buried, and where Chris happens, coincidentally, to be due to interview former prime minister Andreotti. At 10 points in this tragi-farcical progress we are made privy to everything that is passing through Burton’s mind. Immediate experience, reminiscence and anticipation merge. Keeping vigil by his son’s body, trying hard to keep his mind fixed on his loss, he cannot help recalling – in an abrupt, brief sentence – his mistress and the words with which, years ago, she dismissed him. Half-listening to a pair of strangers talking on a train, he is also wondering whether the pain in his gut is likely to kill him before the night is out, attempting to tease out the meaning of a note found among his dead son’s papers, wondering what to ask Andreotti, quoting Leopardi to himself and – because the consciousness through which these thoughts are streaming is a very clever, verbally adroit one – toying with puns and correspondences that link the state of the Italian railway system with the care of schizophrenics, and tax-law with the theology of pardon.
All of these flickering thought-processes are simultaneous. Parks contains them brilliantly in a narrative that moves from one to the other as sure-footedly as a circus rider changing horses. This is not a book to open at random, or to read drowsily late at night. But it offers the attentive reader generous rewards.

Burton’s grief is shattering. His all-too-human inability to rise to it, to become tragically ennobled, to forget the humbling demands of his body and of daily social intercourse (the kipper that keeps returning on him – the otiose politeness that prevents him cancelling appointments on the day of his son’s funeral) is grimly funny. And for all its intricacies and detours, Parks keeps his story moving steadily with a concealed but rigorous coherence, towards its unexpectedly forgiving conclusion.
Chris is in the process of writing a “monumental” book (tombs and memorials are omnipresent in this novel) about national character and the way that, in his opinion, it renders all human behaviour predictable. He himself, though, seems to have no idea, from moment to moment, what he will do next and why. At the outset of the book this is an irony to which only author and reader are privy – a joke on Burton. But gradually, as he becomes increasingly and explicitly aware of the extent to which he is out of control of his emotions – and even, as he becomes more and more distraught, of his actions – the joke becomes broader, more farcical and more heartbreaking.
Parks, like his protagonist, lives in Italy. He has translated Roberto Calasso. He is a professed admirer of Thomas Bernhard. This fine novel, intellectually sophisticated, formally ambitious, belongs to a cosmopolitan European tradition. But it is one that pays honour to the heart as well as the mind. It begins with a sentence of elaborate convolution and proudly buttoned-up cleverness. It ends with a sequence of short, nakedly declaratory ones, including the tritest and, for a man of Burton’s relentless self-consciousness and scepticism, the hardest to utter, “I love you.”

162 thoughts on “Reviews of ‘Destiny’

  1. Marquita Kahoun

    May I simply say what a relief to discover somebody who reallyunderstands what they’re discussing on the net. You actually understandhow to bring a problem to light and make it important.A lot more people should look at this andunderstand this side of the story. I was surprised you’re not morepopular because you definitely possess the gift.

  2. free gg hack

    Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  3. pubg lite online download

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100 certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  4. h1z1 hacks

    This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

  5. Desire

    After reading your blog post, I browsed your website a bit and noticed you aren’t ranking nearly as well in Google as you could be. I possess a handful of blogs myself, and I think you should take a look at “seowebsitetrafficnettools”, just google it. You’ll find it’s a very lovely SEO tool that can bring you a lot more visitors and improve your ranking. They have more than 30+ tools only 20$. Very cheap right? Keep up the quality posts

  6. minecraft

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable process and our entire group will
    probably be thankful to you.

  7. minecraft

    Thanks , I have just been looking for information approximately this topic for ages and yours is
    the greatest I have discovered till now. But, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to
    the source?

  8. digital skills

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  9. Apex Legends

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

  10. Emma Love

    Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Jewish people deny Jesus as their Messiah and have stated that their Messiah has been identified and is waiting to be revealed. They say this man will rule the world under a one world religion called “spiritualism”.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    The Bible says this false Messiah who seats himself in the Third Temple will be thee antichrist that will bring about the Great Tribulation, though the Jewish people believe he will bring about world peace. It will be a false peace for a period of time. You can watch interviews of Jewish Rabbi’s in Israel speaking of these things. They have their plans set in place. It is only years away!

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically Revelation 13:16-18:

    He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we need two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    VISIT https://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM TO SEE PROOF FOR THESE THINGS AND MUCH MORE! TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. SHARE THIS MESSAGE!

  11. DMC5

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  12. DMC5

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t fail me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I genuinely thought you’d have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

  13. minecraft

    I blog frequently and I seriously thank you for your information. This article has
    truly peaked my interest. I’m going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  14. tinyurl.com

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more
    often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?
    Superb work!

  15. minecraft

    Link exchange is nothing else except it is
    just placing the other person’s webpage link on your page
    at appropriate place and other person will also do same in support of you.

  16. Boat Lights: Kick It Up A Notch With Led Xmas Lights

    I’m realⅼy enjoying the theme/design of ʏour websіte.
    Do you ever run into any browser compatibility problems?
    A number of my blog readers һave complained about my blog not wrkіng correctly in Explorer but looks
    great iin Firefox. Do you have any solutions to help fix this proЬlem?

  17. download minecraft for free

    Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make
    my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks a lot

  18. Like

    autoliker, Photo Liker, Status Liker, Autolike International, Autoliker, Auto Like, Photo Auto Liker, auto liker, Autoliker, Autolike, Working Auto Liker, auto like, Auto Liker, Increase Likes, Status Auto Liker, ZFN Liker, autolike

  19. vn hax

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  20. gamefly free trial

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with
    the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  21. Lindsay Tavella

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any ways to help stop content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

  22. gamefly free trial

    Great beat ! I would like to apprentice while you
    amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog site? The account
    aided me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of
    this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

  23. how to get help in windows 10

    It’s appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be
    happy. I have learn this put up and if I could I wish to recommend
    you some attention-grabbing things or advice.

    Perhaps you could write next articles regarding
    this article. I desire to read more issues about it!

  24. gamefly free trial

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems
    of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either
    created myself or outsourced but it seems a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know
    any ways to help prevent content from being ripped off?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

  25. Garden Lights

    Hello there, I found your blog via Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your web site came up, it appears to be like great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  26. gamefly free trial

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop,
    just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad
    is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to
    share it with someone!

  27. gamefly free trial

    I got this web site from my friend who told me concerning this web site and at
    the moment this time I am browsing this web site and reading very informative posts here.

  28. gamefly free trial

    I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem
    on my end? I’ll check back later and see
    if the problem still exists.

  29. Municipal Lighting

    Chat Rooms to Meet Women – A fairly easy Way to speak with Community Females!You will find wonderful and negative boards to meet Females. The ideal rooms are very handful of. This article is right here to manual you within the proper path. What You will need to do is obtain a membership at the big-name relationship Local community that has a population inside of tens of millions. You may normally be a part of these providers cost-free and use almost all in their characteristics (a little something very little people today know). Something else Lots of people are usually not mindful of is Net Internet websites possess the most significant chatting rooms to satisfy women on earth.These web pages have various customers. At only one instances they have got a tendency to possess 10 or tens of A large number of Guys and girls web with their chatting rooms. And also the rooms are varied By natural means. You’ve geographic rooms; ones based on fetishes; Some others which could be for individuals of your respective certain sexual persuasion; and so forth.What separates these chatting environments from Other folks You may have found are with the additional features. You can click an individual’s title and think about their profile, see their Picture albums, check out their films, and likewise deliver them personal messages, emails, and talk to them on webcams.The rooms created readily available from these well-liked courting companies truly are The easiest method to satisfy Women of all ages inside a chatting ecosystem. But you can do significantly more than just meet Gals. You’ll be able to satisfy Gals who truly Reside in your town or share your pursuits or sexual proclivities. So Lots of people ignore these destinations to have a chat as It’s important to come up with a profile to make use of them and at times fork out a membership price.Specified these rooms offer, although, chances are you’ll invariably master actually absolutely the proper position on the net for chatting to ladies. Chat Rooms to satisfy Gals – An Easy Way to talk with Nearby Females!

  30. playstation 4 games 2019

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting
    things or tips. Maybe you can write next
    articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things
    about it!

  31. quest bars cheap

    The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad
    and tested to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so
    she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she
    has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it
    with someone!

  32. quest bars

    First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I’ve had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

  33. tinyurl.com

    When someone writes an post he/she keeps the thought of
    a user in his/her mind that how a user can understand it.

    Thus that’s why this piece of writing is outstdanding.
    Thanks!

  34. tinyurl.com

    Hello every one, here every person is sharing these kinds of know-how, so it’s fastidious to read this weblog, and I used to pay a quick visit this web site daily.

  35. no credit check loans houston tx

    It’s rare to find come across an article like this, that shows the writer is commited to providing value! You honestly made me think! Thank You-I hadn’t seen things this way otherwise. I have to share this…

  36. quest bars cheap

    I’m really inspired with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid topic or did you customize it your self?
    Either way keep up the excellent high quality writing,
    it’s rare to peer a great weblog like this one today..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *