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Careless Paperback – February 8, 2008

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The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 303 pages
  • Publisher: MacAdam/Cage (February 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596922761
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596922761
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,000,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the bleak first novel from Australian Robertson (following the 1998 story collection Proudflesh), Pearl, at eight, already exerts a self-punishing precision on a world she cannot control. When her younger brother, Riley, whom Pearl's aloof single mother, Lily, charged Pearl with caring for, is mowed down (along with several other children) by a madman's car, Lily tries to peddle Pearl's grief to the media. She then gets involved with Adam, an artist who has created a scandal by making and showing a body cast of a dead teenage heroin addict. With Adam up for the design of the memorial to honor the children slain with her son, Lily morbidly attempts to secure his affection. A sideline follows Sonia, a recent widow of a famous woodcarver and furniture maker, from whom Adam rents studio space. Pearl, meanwhile, to deal with her grief and keep chaos at bay, draws Frank Lloyd Wright's house Fallingwater over and over again. Marked by lyrical prose, credible characters and some artful links between the several story lines, the novel stays too close to numb Pearl and calculating Lily and comes off as emotionally flat and chilly. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Compelling…Utterly unsentimental and warmly confirmatory of the resilience of the human spirit.”
Daily Mail (U.K.)

“Stunning…Robertson’s writing is beautiful, poetic and heartfelt. She explores, most tenderly, the self-discovery that can come with bereavement.”
Times (U.K.)

“She is best as a miniaturist, in the style of Helen Dunmore, her observations as carefully chosen and charged with feeling as pebbles placed on a grave…Careless is an elegy for the lost and the grieving, but it also offers hope…[it] should deeply affect the rest of us.”
Guardian (U.K.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 4FatPaws on May 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cleverly woven together narrative, beautifully written and touching upon not so beautiful themes, death, killing, depression, abuse, but art and humanity and hope.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Robertson explores the cratered terrain of loss in this thoughtful Australian novel, penetrating beneath the surface gestures of those who have endured death and must go on, day by day, reclaiming the fragments of their lives. The novel begins with outrage: a distraught father mows down helpless children at play, even his twin sons annihilated by the looming menace of his speeding automobile. Only eight-year-old Pearl survives the massacre, obscured from the man's vision as she crouches in the cab of a vehicle. An old soul at eight, Pearl has been five-year-old Riley's caretaker until his brutal and untimely death, the children regularly escaping their mother's chronic dissatisfaction and fits of temper, leaving the flat until it is safe to return. Lily is distracted without a man to define her, barely able to endure the two children who carefully monitor their mother's moods and adjust their behavior accordingly. Now Riley is gone, swept neatly out of Pearl's life; she has not yet found a way to cope with the long days without him.

Then there is Adam Logan, a sculptor newly inspired by the overdose of a young woman near his studio. His cast piece of the girl has brought Adam some success and cache in a competitive art world- and a taste for the intimacy of the experience with death as inspiration. Attending a meeting for a memorial for the dead children, Adam's eye falls on Lily, Pearl hunched quietly at her side. Attuned to the susceptibility of such females, Adam senses opportunity, moving slowly into Lily's orbit as the author explores the attraction of mourning to those touched only peripherally, but drawn into that emotional vortex. And it is Adam who serves as a bridge to another character, newly-widowed Sonia.
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