Many reviews for "Paradise" and one lonely voice for "Everything...," what a shame. Exceptional writing, fascinating characters, the antithesis of chick lit, and funny in the blackest sense. Ms. Kennedy's writing makes my brain feel like it's been subjected to a good fire hosing. It's probably not good to have her imagery in my head, but it leaves a lasting impression. Most other novels are ingest-and-forget; you won't forget this book. Thankfully, the lasting impression is not of the Irvine Welsh please-dip-me-in-a-vat-of-acid-so-I-can-feel-clean-again variety. But it is a bracing read.
If you're deciding which of Ms. Kennedy's books to read, do read this book (not that I don't highly recommend "Paradise," I just suggest reading it after this book). The "Editor" character in "Everything" serves as introduction to the "Hannah" character in "Paradise." If you can't stomach him, you won't want to read an entire book on the subject.
Although the length of this book may seem daunting, there is not a superfluous word. Every page holds a gem of a phrase, an idea. This is the first of Kennedy's books that I have read, and it makes me want to read all of them. This book has extreme depths and, in a rare combination, is laugh out loud hilarious. Highly recommended.
I read "Everything You Need" when it came out in 2002, and now nearly a decade later, it remains at the top of my list of very favorite books. Kennedy's writing is exquisite. Her story deep and rich, it cut me to the heart.
or if she does she writes about it with such compassion and tolerance and understanding that it is impossible to dismiss her extraordinary characters as anything so simple as just "weird." She allows her readers to understand what might appear to be unlikely connections between human beings formed around, in, and over suffering. I'm a fan.
This is a book that made me laugh and feel sad sometimes at the same time. The main character is a novelist named Nathan who lives on an island in the UK with as many as 6 other writers in a kind of Fellowship. They are the only residents on the island. There is considerable bad behavior involving mostly alcohol and purposely taking risks. Nathan has been estranged from his daughter for most of her life and arranges to have her come to the island as one of the writers but doesn't find it easy to confess he is her father. I enjoyed the book. The writing is excellent. The reason I don't think this is for everyone is that there's a goodly amount of foul language and unusual behavior. Nathan's literary editor has some behavior in his free time that most people would find shocking. The authors on the island do some odd things that don't qualify as normal.
This is an amazing book. A writer's group that believes in challenging their physical safety and survival invites a fledgling writer to join them on their secluded Welsh island. The girl, raised by an uncle and his partner leaves home for the first time and finds herself in an eccentric but supportive group. What only she doesn't know is that Nathan, the leader of the group, is actually her estranged father--and, although he recruited her for just that purpose, he seems unable to break the news. Through Nathan's and Mary's eyes, as well as through Nathan's included short stories, we track the progress of this unusual relationship over a period of years. Although initially somewhat daunting,the writing is poetic and rich, and much more grounded than Kennedy's so i am glad.