Finished it last night, I was a snivelling wreck. Always a sign of a good book. I notice in the praise bit, you know the quotes which say "Unable to put down blah blah" that Alex Clark from TLS said it was "exuberant and joyful". Maybe he or she watched Bargain Hunt instead?
I got it in paperback. It won the Costa Book Award. Now it's a good book but can be tough going. Favourite line in it: "All that remains of me now is a rumour of beauty" I know exactly how she feels, except it my case it was a wild rumour indeed.
Ooh, it's brilliant. Just BRILLIANT. I read the reviews last year and steered clear because it sounded soooo depressing - then read it when it got onto the Booker list. It is really sad, but one of those books where the writing is so incredibly beautiful that quite a lot of the time you don't really notice just how awful the things are that are happening.
"Exuberant and joyful" is interesting... although having heard Barry read it in May last year (audio is online here if you're interested), it was really interesting how much more energy and spirit he gives Roseanne when he's reading than she had in my head.
That ending though... I do feel you have to knock off at least half a star for that. All that beautiful stuff about the unreliable nature of truth and memory and history and then... sigh.
Beautifully written and very evocative. BUT I'm finding it a bit depressing (halfway through at the moment). Does it cheer up at all? Please tell me it's worth carrying on with as it's making me feel a bit miserable when I go to sleep at night. Or should I just get over it and read something funny next time?
OK it's good I discovered this thread because I'm just reading this now & am disappointed so far. I was actually going to post a new thread about it but did a search & found this thread so thought I'd write here. I've read the first 50 pages or so (my rule is that I usually think whether I really want to continue a book when I'm 50 pages in) & with this one I'm undecided. I expected it to be much better than it seems so far. Everyone raves about how 'beautifully it's written' and yet so far I'm finding the writing a bit stylized & slightly pretentious (not much). Mainly stylized.
Would love to hear what others think about it? Should i persevere?
I thought it was just amazing and one of the best-written books I have read in ages. Superb use of evocative language. But then I was hooked from very early in the book. I'd probably say read it for the enjoyment of the journey rather than to find out what happens "in the end". I liked the end and didn't feel cheated (I may have done had the rest of the book not blown me away though). It's definitely a book I will return to.
I found bits of it very moving, well written and memorable. The rats incident and the birth bit have stayed with me. But the plot sucked (that ending is dreadful) and the character of the Dr REALLY annoyed me after a while.
I thought it was Curate's Egg-ish. An enjoyable read in parts.