The Blue Book: A Novel and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $10.00 (40%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Blue Book: A Novel has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Ex library book complete with plastic cover, stamps and stickers. Book itself looks to be barely touched with only discoloration of the pages from age.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Blue Book: A Novel Hardcover – March 12, 2013


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$15.00
$4.37 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of January
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.


Frequently Bought Together

The Blue Book: A Novel + The End of the Point: A Novel
Price for both: $34.82

Buy the selected items together
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $0.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Little A / New Harvest (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0544027701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0544027701
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,266,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Beth boards a cruise ship with her boyfriend, Derek, and is almost immediately interrupted by a stranger showing her a magic trick. But is he really a stranger? Who’s tricking whom? And who is really carrying the mysterious, titular blue book? Enigmatic and sensual, Kennedy’s latest novel is full of outright lies and various forms of deception and misdirection. Kennedy deftly weaves an intricate tale, cleverly leading the reader’s attention back and forth in the past and present until the end, when she reveals a kernel of truth: a secret of heartbreaking loss linking Beth and the stranger, Arthur, a psychic medium who specializes in communicating with strangers’ departed loved ones. In stream-of-consciousness passages, Kennedy’s characters reveal their deepest, most intimate thoughts and feelings, which are in sharp contrast to the halting, inarticulate conversations that happen outside their internal monologues. At its heart, this bracing novel is an exploration of the secret feelings we keep from each other and ourselves, the havoc that dishonesty can wreak on a life, and the sometimes futile way we grasp at redemption. --Sarah Hunter

Review

"We don’t, in America, have any writers quite like the Scottish novelist A. L. Kennedy...[The Blue Book] presents us with multiple complicated lives that in the end are woven together into a single coherent tapestry....How their various stories connect can’t be explained without giving away the plot, and since outcomes do matter in an A. L. Kennedy novel, I won’t spoil the suspense. Suffice it to say that the conclusion, when it arrives, is watertight." —Wendy Lesser, New York Times Book Review

"Kennedy is as disconcertingly accurate at tenderness as at wildness... A passionate writer, on the edge and at risk." —New York Times Book Review

"A virtuoso of prose. Her phrasing is fine-tuned and supple to the highest degree: intuitive and subtle about the multifarious sensations of being alive." —London Review of Books

"The Blue Book is a bold novel of unique design…and an abundance of dazzling prose. At its core, The Blue Book is a meditation on love. [It is] a novel that is heavily abstract, structurally complex, metaphorically rich and ultimately…impressive." —San Francisco Chronicle

"Starting from page one, an untrustworthy narrator addresses you, the reader, as a friend. It’s an arresting and fun literary technique that hooks you into the plot right away. And the story itself is as fast-paced and funny and keeps you guessing." —Real Simple

"Kennedy’s prose, always elegant, never showy, remains so in The Blue Book…[it is] unflinching, even-keeled, beautiful, and true" —LA Review of Books

"AL Kennedy is almost unique among British novelists for her ability to write fiction that is at once challengingly experimental, luminously beautiful and utterly readable. It helps that she is fiercely observant and very funny... If you want a guide to the rough contradictions of the heart, AL Kennedy is your woman" —Jane Shilling, Evening Standard

"An amazing conception, one that will make you want to turn back and start again the moment you have finished... the writing is as taught and thrilling as Kennedy's prose always is and there is her usual wry laughter chuckling within it all" —Joan Bakewell, New Statesman

"This is a masterful novel, imaginatively crafted, shaped by big, precisely articulated emotion" —The Times

"Kennedy is a fine stylist and single passages are exquisite"—Financial Times

"Offers the pleasures of a work in which form and content dovetail with extraordinary skill, and in which narrative tricks are utilised to enlarge on the theme of deception rather than for the sake of tricksiness itself" —Edmund Gordon, Sunday Times

"This woman is a profound writer." —Richard Ford

"Kennedy writes with flaying precision about the things we won't often admit to ourselves, let alone speak aloud." —Daily Mail

"A.L. Kennedy's novel The Blue Book is a brilliantly told love story, one filled with riddles, deception, and razor sharp prose."—Largehearted Boy

Customer Reviews

I was getting a headache trying to figure out what was going on.
Stephen T. Hopkins
This book was extremely slow to develop and I had a really difficult time following the plot.
Keli Jacewitz
I started the book three times and must admit I still haven't finished it -- a first for me.
annie mouse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ripple on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If terms like "post modern novel" sends shivers down your spine, then AL Kennedy's "The Blue Book" won't be for you. It's intriguing, at times challenging and often frustrating, but at times brilliant and often very funny - as befits a writer whose other activities include stand-up comedy. The story takes place on a stormy transatlantic sea voyage, and while the obvious metaphor of the storm on the protagonists lives is clear, the metaphor also holds true for the reading experience - at times it feels like the author is on the crest of a wave and you are swept along with her skillful writing, while at others it's easy to get lost and feel, well, all at sea. Her writing style is, well, choppy. There were passages where I felt that this was one of the best things I've read in a long time, and others where it felt perhaps a little too clever for its own good and maybe even a tad pretentious. Ultimately the final twist hits you in an unexpected way though.

Beth Barber is taking a trip to New York with her boyfriend, Derek, who we believe plans to propose to her on the trip, but the encounter with an apparent stranger called Arthur, and the onset of a bout of seasickness rather destroy Derek's plans. Beth was formerly involved, romantically and professionally, in a con trick double act as fake mediums - of which poor Derek is completely unaware. It's here that Kennedy starts to really play with the reader's mind. She presents arguments that seem to morally justify Beth and her partner's efforts to provide reassurance to the living from the land of the dead. Can it ever be morally justified? Almost certainly not, but there are passages where Kennedy will have you wondering.

The con trick was carried out using a system of hidden codes and these feature throughout the book.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Bell VINE VOICE on February 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Blue Book is difficult to review without giving the story away -- it only makes sense when the reader reaches the last few pages. Then everything falls into place: why Elizabeth is with the wrong man; why she has stream of consciousness anxiety attacks; why she has written "The Blue Book" for her former lover who she now wants to reunite with.

The writing itself is outstanding. But the subject matter, while interesting, is often difficult to fully comprehend. Near the end, the dreadful occurrence is revealed and this reader felt sad, felt empathy and finally understood the reasons for Elizabeth's anxiety.

The description on the book jacket belies what a serious novel this is, with only a hint of the true nature in the last sentence: "It's a heartbreaking novel in which the stakes are fact and ficton, life and death."

Readers who are looking for a reading challenge, who relish unconventional writing, don't mind cryptic meanings and who also don't mind waiting 'til the very end for it all to make sense, will like this story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on April 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The writer here had to have had a purpose in writing this. She is a daring writer with use of stream-of=conciousness writing, and use of the 2nd tense. And I even hope she tries again. But thsi time around, there's nothing I find to recommend. The characters are thoroughly unsympathetic. The plot is negligible, and, well, the writing style is confused to say the least.

Darn it, I hate writing stuff like this for a book, and anyone who honestly liked it is welcome to his or her opinion. In fact, I recommend reading the positive reviews because there are indeed those who liked this.

However, there's no way I can recommend this book. It's just too far off the track.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
`The Blue Book', according to the description on the back of the book is the story of a transatlantic trip taken by Elizabeth with her future fiancé, but also on that ship is a former lover, with whom she used to con people.

It is almost impossible to relate this clear description with the words and storyline (such as it is) that unfold within the covers. The voice of the narrative switches frequently and is disconcerting. The reader is addressed directly as you and then the narrative switches to her thoughts or descriptions of what is happening or what she wants to happen, or what happened in the past. It all runs together. Reading becomes an ordeal instead of a pleasure. We are left trying to figure out Elizabeth's stream of consciousness and the scattered thoughts that fill the pages.

The author doesn't seem to care whether the reader understands what is occurring or if they develop any empathy and perception of the characters that inhabit the storyline. Insight and empathy is unobtainable other than the relief one feels as you finally reach the end of the book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By annie mouse on January 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was so confusing that I really thought maybe I had had a stroke and the words were just nonsense. It was a bit frightening. Giving it one star is a gift. It should be no stars or minus 5 stars. I'm 72 and have read maybe two to three books every month since I could read and this is absolutely the worst. I wish I could get my money back. What is it about? Who knows. I started the book three times and must admit I still haven't finished it -- a first for me. I can't imagine how it was ever published. Whatever kind of drugs the editor had, I want some. Do not waste your money as I did!!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?