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Then by Julie Myerson?.. With spoilers

(18 Posts)
Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 20:30:26

Shall we talk about it?

HarderToKidnap Tue 26-Mar-13 20:35:53

Right, firstly I would like to say this book has really stayed with me and haunted me, but NOT in a good way. I didn't actually enjoy reading it or think it was particularly good. There was no development particularly of the post apoc world or exploration by characters or author as to what actually happened. The reasons it's stick with me is because it was so fucking BLEAK and just downright nasty really. A bit misery porn!

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 20:41:46

I finished it yesterday and I too find it haunting.

I have to say that I enjoyed reading it, even if its style is not a favourite of mine and I enjoyed the bleakness of it all.

Bizarelly, when I was reading the Road I was mildly irritated by the fact that there wasn't any explanation of what actually happened, whereas here it didn't really bothered me.

What bothers me is: does she die after her aggression, and is the building some kind of Limbo or what???

HarderToKidnap Tue 26-Mar-13 20:46:15

Exactly, she relied heavily on the unreliable narrator device didn't she? At the end I looked back and had absolutely no idea what had actually happened!! I THINK in my mind I've resolved that there was some sort of disaster, she did the initial killing children bit, wandered off with Katie, got raped, Katie died, had a psychotic break with reality, got taken in by someone, then had lots of visions/hallucinations and was considered the tower block weirdo. Wandered about a lot. Then remembered everything. I don't know who Matthew was though, whether he (the boy in the tower block) was real or a figment.

Ragwort Tue 26-Mar-13 20:47:34

Love this writer, thanks for recommending a new book smile.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 20:56:30

Oooh Ragword soooorry I hope you haven't read the spoilers shock!

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 21:04:02

-- spoilers-----

Yes, the end totally threw me, I thought she was in the building, with a bunch of people, she wanders about, no memories.
Then, slowly she starts remembering, and we get to the horror of the attack and rape, then the accident itself, the killing of the children, then the attack again... And at the end she says to whoever rescued her that she was already in the building? So, I thought that maybe the building is just a limbo where her soul wanders about? And the kid is obviously Natthew, her lover, when they were young?

HarderToKidnap Tue 26-Mar-13 21:08:07

Yes, but I didn't know if there was a kid called Matthew really there, or whether he was a figment of her imagination? I hadn't thought about her being dead, I guess she would have died after childbirth in that case but what was the rape etc all about then? I think she'd been to the building before cos it was Matthews office block where they had a shag on the balcony.

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 21:18:17

It's confusing grin

i thought that probably she was allucnating about living in the building, and she chose it as a place to "live" because that's where she had sex with M. and conceived Arthur. In fact the people living there were Sophy, who she bumped into on her way to the building with Matt, Graham, who was Matt's colleague, snd Matt as a young boy. But then who is Ted??

Anyway, I thought the part where she describes her attack and rape (the first time) and the walk home with her ghost children were gripping.

HarderToKidnap Tue 26-Mar-13 21:24:57

I think we might be disagreeing over this book a bit Franca, as you liked it and I didn't! My heart was thumping with dread though when I realised what was going to happen. The children were incredibly well drawn though, Katie is of a similar age to my son and it was him to the life.

I did find the child killing bit incredibly [i]unbelievable[/i] though. Think of it, everything is on fire and then snowing. Weird, panicky. You've given birth. No one is visible outside. Would you kill you children within literally hours of these events? I mean, days, weeks later when you've run out of food, possibly, but so quickly? No attempt whatsoever made to get everyone's wellies on and strike out for a bit? I mean, she did it with Katie after all in the end.

So I searched for the comments I knew I'd made about this before and this is what I've found so far:

"Ugh at Julie Myerson too. I read one of her novels - it was Not Very Good -and contained a completely self-obsessed central character who I suspect was actually the author."

Not profound perhaps, but I stand by it. I had no sympathy for the woman at all, so maybe that makes me a hardened cow but I found her witterings and wanderings both boring and annoying. And the writing style seemed somehow smug and self satisfied even in its mediocrity. Nope - I didn't like it.

Sorry I can't add any more but I can remember virtually nothing apart from the sense of seething resentment I felt!

Oh and it has (clearly!) not stayed with me, or haunted me...

Sorry. blush

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 22:15:20

I am not sure I liked it, I really liked the bleakness of it, as that's what I want from post apoclyptic novels grin, but I am irritated by the fact that I will never know what's up with the building and those characters like graham, ted etc.

I agree re the killing of her children, so sudden... Though, in an apocalyptic event tht is the kindest thing you can probably do to your children, but only after just one day and when you are haemorraging (sp?) after childbirth!

Remus, yes, I see. I know there's been lots of controversy on JM, I used to read living with teenagers when we lived in the Uk.

I didn't dislike this book, I think that some parts worked very well, but I would like to know what happened grin!!

Francagoestohollywood Tue 26-Mar-13 22:17:01

But not only after just...I meant, sorry, I am crap at typing on the tablet.

anonymosity Wed 27-Mar-13 00:00:38

She started so well as a writer but I don't think she ever fully developed. Lots of her characters are too one-dimensional, functional-for-the-sake-of-plot rather than richly drawn and that just seems amateurish to me.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 00:05:01

< shields eyes from text of thread >

Is there a new Julie Myerson ?

Please tell me it's so, I love her work

Francagoestohollywood Wed 27-Mar-13 07:30:27

Eggy, don't look grin! Yes, I think Then is her latest novel, it was published in 2011. It's a post apocalyptic novel.

EggyFucker Wed 27-Mar-13 09:30:27


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