|Print List Price:||$21.00|
Save $11.01 (52%)
Price set by seller.
Emotionally Weird: A Novel Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Like a Borgesian labyrinth, with other stories thrown in, including a laughably convenient introduction of magic realism, it is impossible to know what to take seriously--or "jocoseriously," to paraphrase another of Atkinson's influences: the Joyce of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. In her third novel, much of Atkinson's humor is incidental, even parenthetical. (We are told in passing, for example, that Effie's dissertation is called "Henry James: Man or Maze?") She is at her best when introducing her eccentric characters, such as the elderly Professor Cousins, who is sometimes lucid, sometimes not. "As with anyone in the department," Effie explains, "it wasn't always easy to distinguish between the two states. The university's strict laws of tenure dictated that he had to be dead at least three months before he could be removed from behind his desk." Professor Cousins, like the author, enjoys word games along the order of those in Alice in Wonderland, and Atkinson's use of Scottish idiom comes to function as a sort of word game. She also brings in a few killjoys (a militant feminist, a militant Christian, a literary theorist) to complicate an already loopy narrative and to spike the punch.
Janice smelt of piety and coal tar soap. She had recently become a Christian, a neophyte of a student Christian fellowship whose members roamed the corridors of Airlie, Belmont and Chalmers Halls looking for likely converts (the afraid, the alone, the abandoned) and those who needed to use the Bible to fill in the spaces where their personalities should have been.As Emotionally Weird develops, Atkinson relies more and more on the postmodern gag of characters commenting on the unfolding action. There is no telling how she finally draws these disparate threads onto a single spool, but in the end, even the slightest subplots are neatly tied up and the most transient characters accounted for. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
From the Back Cover
“Sends jolts of pleasure off the page… Atkinson’s funniest foray yet… a work of Dickensian or even Shakespearean plenty.”
– The Scotsman
“Funny, bold and memorable.” – The Times --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- Publication date : March 29, 2013
- File size : 803 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 370 pages
- Publisher : Picador; 1st edition (March 29, 2013)
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B00BFQ7BXW
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #232,796 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
She describes a character as: "Tall and thin and as sensual as a cod." (Brilliant!)
"Kevin was staring at the space Olivia's feet would have occupied if she had been there." (Oh, to say without saying!)
"She had a hangover and she hadn't even finished drinking yet." and ' "Your mother sounds kind of cool", Andrea said. Misguidedly.'
Her funny, easy style of writing is sprinkled through the book - irrespective of the plot: it seems to exist purely for her (and eventually our) enjoyment!
I struggled some with the interweaving timelines, characters, pieces of fiction and non-fiction within 'Emotionally Weird'. But, Kate Atkinson's jaw-dropping and laugh-out-loud skill with our language held me to the end. Not her best story-telling - but possibly her best writing.
The writing is brilliant; the sketches of characters are clever and funny. But the bizarre incoherence of the narration makes the book tough going. There's the story of Effie's weird experiences in college, and the story of Effie's life with her mysterious mother on a remote Scottish island, and snatches from a detective novel that Effie's writing, and excerpts from dreadful novels being written by other students and teachers. There are several characters (students) who are constantly falling asleep at odd moments. I'm afraid this kept happening to me too as I read the book.
Nothing significant happens for over three hundred pages. Then we encounter not so much a happening, as a revelation of what happened in the past. Is this a plot? I'm not sure. According to Effie, plot development "is not necessary in this post-modern day and age." But I like plots.
And so I did not find this book very satisfying, despite the dazzling charm of the prose style. Perhaps this is a literary satire, and in my hedonistic desire for entertainment, I missed the point.
If you're new to Atkinson, I'd suggest reading her Jackson Brodie books, which are wonderful, instead of this book. The first one is Case Histories.
Top reviews from other countries
Essentially a book about a mother and daughter revealing their lives to one another while holed up on a remote Scottish island. The mother is itinerant, the daughter a student at Dundee.
This, we are reminded quite often, a comic novel. Except none of the anecdotes are funny Atkinson drobes on clearly thinking she's given us a tale worthy of the laugh out load accompaniament to a Bill Bryson. But it's all terribly forced.
Almost all the characters are writing books and we get copious excerpts from them. Obviously they're not very good. Is that the point so we see how well Atkinson writes by comparison? Just bizarre.
And the mother often interjects during the daughter's narrative to say 'not another character's and 'but there's no plot '. And she's right.
The author herself puts it best when one chapter ends with the mother saying 'absolute gratuitous nonsense'. Quite.
To be honest there was a section in the middle where I would have given up if I'd been the sort of person who gives up on books, this only happens when they are very,very dire. This certainly wasn't that, the writing was proficient and it was well edited and so on, but it was so gloomy and a bit depressing to be honest.
Head Hopping!!! well, the anti head hoping brigade would be having kittens.
The characters were fascinating, all of them and there were many. I did get tired of the muck and the awful food and the dreadful experiences. There were times when I wanted to shout at Effie "Get a Grip Girl" and times when I wanted to wrap her in a nice warm blanky.
The ending however was good, I had an inkling a very short time before the reveal but not too long before.
Taken all round I would say yes I enjoyed the read, it was different and it was well done but there's no getting away from it it was WEIRD.
With most novels the reader feels sympathy or identity with at least one of the characters but I didn't. Its a few weeks now since I finished it and I'm struggling to remember their names or the gist of the story - and this doesn't happen with her other novels.
I liked the reflections of student life - the staying in bed, arguing over politics, petty rivalries and changing lovers but other twists were less easy to accept or relate into real life.
As an exercise for creative writing students on different styles of writing and approaches to character this is a good read, but for an normal reader I'd go for one of Kate Atkinson's other novels first.