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Case Histories: A Novel (Jackson Brodie Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 434 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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|Book 1 of 5 in Jackson Brodie|
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About the Author
— Stephen King
"A wonderful novel told by a great storyteller who knows just how to create a voice, an image, a metaphor. . . . This witty and literate tale deserves to be read and re-read."
— "The Globe and Mail
"Triumphant . . . Her best book yet . . . A tragi-comedy for our times."
— "Sunday Telegraph" (UK)
"An astonishingly complex and moving literary detective story."
— "The Guardian" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File size : 3039 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 434 pages
- ASIN : B000SEI07S
- Publication date : October 15, 2007
- Publisher : Little, Brown and Company (October 15, 2007)
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,078 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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First, Kate Atkinson’s books, while not really necessarily depressing, are certainly filled with depressing people. I’m thoroughly convinced after reading several of her books, that this author had a pretty miserable, warped childhood. When all you know is heartache, depression, and trauma, how can you really be expected to write about anything else? She always injects humorous observations and witty descriptions throughout the pages, which makes you laugh out loud at the same time as you’re reading about the lives of these sad lugs.
Next, we must remember that Atkinson’s strength is writing about people and their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. She doesn’t necessarily tell a linear story. This book was labeled as the first of one of her many “Jackson Brodie Novels”. Jackson Brodie is a detective, yet these books are not in the traditional “whodunnit” vein. If you’re looking for a good mystery novel, the Jackson Brodie series probably shouldn’t be your first choice.
Yes, this book does have a few crime investigations running through it. We get a missing child, a random murder of a child, and, what could be described as an “ax murder”. What’s unique is that these incidents happen in different times and in different places, and Atkinson’s skilled writing manages to somehow make all of these situations current, which is when we meet Jackson Brodie. Jackson (obviously) is just as miserable as all of the people affected by all of these tragedies. He had a rotten childhood, a rotten marriage, manages to get beat up a lot, and on and on and on.
Once we arrive at the book’s conclusion, many were disappointed at the abruptness of the finale, and felt that things were thrown together to conveniently to appear the slightest bit realistic. Those observations are correct. As stated, though, this book is about people and not necessarily events.
If you have the stomach for books such as this (and I haven’t even discussed the foul language, the sex, the suicides, etc.), you’ll probably find it enjoyable as I did. I’ll probably have to wait several months before I read the next book by this author. And when I do, I’ll ensure to have some Prozac handy.
I would like to say something good about the book but can't. Atkinson is an overprraised, incompetent writer. She may be able to put sentences together (oh please spare us the parentheses!) but she sure as heck can't tell a story. The promised intersection of the three cases never happens. What a misrepresentation.
In short, I felt bored, angry and robbed of my time. Shame on you, Steven King.
And Kate Atkinson . . . you need to take a few creative writing classes. There was no one to care about in this book. I disliked everyone. What a waste of time.
Top reviews from other countries
The plot centres around three crimes including a disappearing child, the senseless murder of a student and the murderous actions of a frustrated housewife. Needless to say, in the typical fashion of this writer things aren't always as clear as they seem and the three "plots" are tied together by the engaging character of Jackson Brodie, a somewhat put upon private detective. Ultimately there is not really a great deal of detective work that does on in this novel and Brodie is principally there to glue the three plots together whilst offering some wry and amusing observations at the same time. There is much to enjoy in this book and if it isn't quite as switched on as a piece of detective fiction as say Reginald Hill's excellent Dalziel and Pascoe novels, the pleasure of reading this book comes from encountering the panoply of interesting characters.
I quickly polished off this book but I felt it lacked the clout of the other three novels by Kate Atkinson I had read which basically knock the wind out of your sails when you have completed them. The longer narrative of these books plunge you in to an entire world whereas the Jackson Brodie book seems to follow a shorter trajectory. Like Hill, the book does have a few anachronisms which amusingly pick up on some cultural references of the 2000's however those reviewers alluding to this book being difficult are wide of the mark. Setting aside any reservations about some of the quite racy content of this novel, it is still a hugely enjoyable read.
The plot line involving attempts on Jackson Brodie's life is preposterous and one wonders whether Ms. Atkinson had her tongue firmly in her cheek while she pistol-whips him, tampers with his brakes and dynamites his house.
The hoho chuminess that threads through the three family tragedies didn't sit well with this reader. And you have to read the Laura Wyre story very, very carefully to figure out how Jackson came by the photograph of the yellow golfing sweater. We are left to guess what Laura's father did with the information.
BTW, the syndrome that Jackson can't remember, where the stalker imagines/insists that the stalkee is in love with him is De Clerambault's Syndrome (see Ian McEwen's "Enduring Love" for an extreme case) But . . the Jackson Brodie books are way better than Ms. Atkinson's "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" where the determined reader has to endure an interminable wait for something, ANYTHING - to happen
First published in 2005 it and others in this series have been rereleased with new animal-themed covers ahead of the highly anticipated release of Book 5: ‘Big Sky’ on 18 June.
Very simply the novel opens with three case histories and then the narrative moves to the present day as private investigator Jackson Brodie is drawn into trying to solve them.
I first read this novel in 2016 and loved it. It is very character driven drawing on the well established trope of the down-at-the-heels private eye undertaking quirky cases.
Although quite slow paced I was enthralled and found great pleasure in the revisiting Brodie ahead of the release of his next adventure.