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I'll Go to Bed at Noon: A Novel Paperback – September 17, 2005


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My Struggle: Book Four
Eighteen-year-old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fishing village in the Arctic Circle to work as a school teacher. As the nights get longer, the shadow cast by his father's own sharply increasing alcohol consumption, also gets longer. Read the full description
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Meet the Joneses—a suburban London family you could never keep up with at the pub. Excessive drinking is a way of life for several of them, including the brilliant pianist son, his dour, newly widowed uncle, and eventually Aldous, who could be called the family patriarch if this motley collection of people, bound by genetics and affection, had a strong traditional structure. But this lyrical novel, set in 1970s England and a finalist for the Booker Prize, reveals just how untethered to each other individuals living under the same roof can become. The mother, Colette, is the heroine, a woman not without weaknesses herself, who tries vainly to care for her brother and to believe the best of her son. Woodward resists any temptation to aggrandize Colette, and, indeed, all the characters are portrayed plainly, but in a matter-of-fact style that leaves their motivations murky. No doubt plenty of families like the Joneses exist, but the reader's expectation of some redemption and evolution can't be ignored. The steady downward slide of a family, even one as finely sketched as this one, doesn't make for uplifting reading. (Sept.)
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Review

Far above the ordinary. Woodward's characters are wonderfully complex and rich. -- London Telegraph

The narrative is mind-bogglingly crisp, resourceful and sometimes hilarious….Remarkable. -- Sunday Times [London]
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton (September 17, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393328007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393328004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #836,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on November 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This second book of Woodward's trilogy is very sad. But, then again, one certainly feels after coming to its conclusion, perhaps life is very sad. The Jones family, or at least all of them with the mother Colette's Waugh blood in their veins - in other words, all save husband Aldous - are afflicted with what I suppose one would call an "addictive personality" if one knew what in the world this term meant in any concrete sense. Perhaps it says something that the most seriously afflicted of all, eldest son Janus, is a true artistic prodigy, but perhaps it doesn't. All these characters who end up drinking themselves to death in the end are rather disparate and impossible to categorise. But, contrary to most of the other reviewers here, I found the two characters around whom the story indisputably wends, Colette and son Janus, likable and fun, despite it all. I found myself pulling for both of them, especially Colette, in their altercations with other more sober members of the family. The feeling the book left with me was that life is an extremely plodding, spiritless affair, unless one indulges in, well, spirits in one form or another, even if it leads to death, which life is going to do, spirits or no. Also, Woodward's prose has so many moments of sparkling grace. Here's the description of the environs around which Janus finds himself stumbling in one of his many nocturnal, drunken perambulations:

"A rich odour of rotting pond life, of the sludge of countless fallen leaves, the sunken treasure of a hundred autumns, lurked in all the blind channels."

Truth be known, I'm not at all sure what to say of this book save that it is full of Wordsworth's "still, sad music of humanity.
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By Phil on July 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book was a bit slow going, I eventually got caught up in this disfunctional family's affairs. I discovered that this is only one novel of a trilogy and I think this is the last - so I read it in the wrong order. It is really well written and I could totally visualise the family members, their dishevelled lives and untidy house. I grew to care for and enjoy the characters even though their antics were incredibly frustrating. I knew it would all have to end in disaster. A good read. I recommend it.
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By B. Kaminski on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Again, enough with not allowing readers to review books with star numbers.
Would like to use the time to read more books instead.
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