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Cardboard: A woman left for dead Paperback – January 18, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fiona Place has always been interested in women, language and identity. Her short stories, poetry and essays appear in various literary journals and anthologies. She has worked as a financial commentator for various fund managers and major newspapers. Her focus on making investment and economic concepts accessible to the general reader. Today she combines motherhood with her work as a writer and an advocate for children with intellectual disabilities. Her essays on motherhood and genetics appear in peer-reviewed journals and other publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (January 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1450502024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1450502023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,661,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When I first received this book and realised it was part prose part poetry I was a bit worried. Not because I don't enjoy poetry, I do, but because I wondered how it could be possible that a story could flow well while jumping between the two styles. I discovered very quickly however that this is not a problem - the prose has a very poetic form and the poetry fits in very well, exploring the paragraphs with greater emotional depth. I had several moments whilst reading the poetry that I was in awe of Fiona Place's ability to capture the subtle nuances of the emotional experience with words.

If I could explain this book in one word it would be experiential. The story begins with the protagonist in a desperately fragmented state, close to death from her eating disorder and her mind shattered. As the book continues and the reader follows her journey towards healing, the prose and poetry change in structure to reflect this. Ms Place has managed to capture the inner experience of a person suffering from an eating disorder and her journey through different styles of therapy that seem to either trap in her disorder or help her to find her way through towards health and well being. The way the book is written made me feel that I was following the protagonist so closely and experiencing her revelations at the same time she was. This is not an easy read, it is intellectually challenging and also challenges the reader to go within and experience the emotional journey from fragmentation to healing. This is a fascinating story, and lovers of poetry and language will enjoy this story immensely.

I have given this book 4 stars and not 5, because of the way my rating system works. My rating system is based on my enjoyment of a book.
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Format: Paperback
It's been a long time since I've read a book that really put me into a life I've never known, into the shoes of someone whose path I've never traveled, and into a mind that I could both relate to and not understand at all. That's what Cardboard did for me. The book is written in what feels like stream of consciousness narrative from a woman who struggles with anorexia, which leads to other pyschological and social disorders (e.g., afraid of employment, afraid of relationships with men). Parts of the narrative are written in paragraph form and other pieces are written in short chunks of what really feels like a random thought in the woman's mind. The different types of narrative mixed together perfectly matched what I imagined the main character's mind to be like. I love modern literature, and this fascinated me.

This is also one of those books that is both hard to read and hard to put down. I kept getting caught up in Lucy's almost recovery and then heartbroken as she continued to falter on that path. Even though it was fiction, the story felt very real, like it was written about someone in particular or from the author's own personal experiences. And even though I personally don't have an eating disorder or suffer from any other pyschological disorders (that I know of), I could relate to Lucy's desire for control and her nervousness and fear when she sensed a loss of control. I probably wouldn't pick this book up to read again but I'm glad I read it in the first place because it was eye-opening, insightful, and definitely worth reading. 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Lucy, a young woman in her mid-twenties, is in and out of hospitals for her Anorexia and Panic Disorders. This story chronicles her journey with a cast of different psychiatrists with whom she has very strange relationships, doctors, fellow patients, and even her parents, who seem careless about her. Lucy tries to come to grips with her problems involving her health, parents, and friendships, but continually struggles.

This book is very disorienting, complex, confusing, intriguing – definitely experimental. It is written in both prose and poetry, and has random words beginning with capital letters – a very unique writing style that I’ve not seen too often. I’d say it’s somewhat like stream of consciousness. The story is told from Lucy’s perspective, and I believe the disorienting and confusing style of writing really meshes well with her personality and goes along with it. Lucy suffers from an eating disorder, and also what she refers to as Panic, which causes her own mind to be a complex and disorienting place to be in, which is absolutely reflected in the writing style.

While I was confused a lot of the time while reading, it really enabled me to get a glimpse into the mind of someone like Lucy who suffers from multiple mental health disorders – all the confusion and complexities. It was very psychological, sad, frustrating, and even hopeful at times. I’d recommend this book if you’re looking for something very different, and if you’re interested in both psychological and eating disorders.
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Format: Paperback
Cardboard took me to places in Lucy's inner life that at times I knew very well and at times I had not even the remotest of clues. Fiona's writing drew me into the story straightaway and I saw the movie on the first page! (I'm an extremely demanding fiction reader.) And best of all, I thank Lucy for sharing her poetry with us.
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