The Iceberg

The Iceberg Review

In 2008, Marion Coutts' husband, the art critic Tom Lubbock, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and told that he had not more than two years to live. The tumour was located in the area of the brain that controls speech and language, and would eventually rob him of the ability to speak. Tom was 53 when he died, leaving Marion and their son Eugene, just two years old, alone. In short bursts of beautiful, textured prose, Coutts describes the eighteen months leading up to Tom's death.

The Iceberg is an unflinching, honest exploration of staring death in the face, finding solace in strange places, finding beauty and even joy in the experience of dying. Written with extraordinary narrative force and power, it is almost shocking in its rawness. Nothing is kept from the reader: the fury, the occasional spells of selfishness, the indignity of being trapped in a hopeless situation. It is a story of pain and sadness, but also an uplifting and life-affirming tale of great fortitude, courage, determination – and above all, love.

Title:The Iceberg
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Rebecca Foster

    (I have posted a concise version of my review at The Bookbag.)“Something has happened. A piece of news. We have had a diagnosis that has the status of an event. The news makes a rupture with what we...

  • Imi

    I feel utterly privileged to have been able to read this book. Of course, a memoir about a husband's illness and eventual death from a brain tumour is by no means an easy read. It's personal, intimate...

  • Laura Gotti

    In questo periodo attiro come una calamita libri che parlano di morte, di malattia, di chi rimane e sente la necessità di raccontarlo. Non se se questo libro sia stato tradotto in italiano, ma vi inv...

  • Andrea James

    Perhaps it's because, like the author's husband, my dad's final life-ending tumour affected his language centre that I was particularly drawn to the writing in this book. I can see how some people may...

  • Claire Fuller

    I tried to savour this beautiful book; to allow myself only a little taste every day, not just because I knew how it would end and I wanted to delay that, but because the writing is rich, full-flavour...

  • Kaitlin

    DNF-ed this one as it just wasn't my kind of read sadly. ...

  • Elizabeth

    Marion Coutts's memoir about her husband's diagnosis, treatment and eventual death from, a brain tumour is an incredibly accomplished book. The prose is dense, poetic, sometimes hard and often require...

  • Lynda

    This is an awesome but privileged book. Awesome in the sense that Courts chooses to expose herself and her family in their most intimate dance with death. She accomplishes this both passionately and d...

  • Kirsty

    The Iceberg by Marion Coutts was my book of the year in 2015. Never have I read an illness narrative which is so poignant, nor a reflection on life which sings with such beauty and sadness. A recent p...

  • Shawn

    Haunting. Poetic. Brilliant. An artistic retelling of love and incomprehensible loss. Lyrical, with word pictures that make you catch your breath. Not something you're happy about reading, but somethi...