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Little Monsters

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  16 reviews
How do you recover from something like that? Carol never quite does. Sent to live with her aunt, who barely tolerates her presence, Carol is grief-stricken, and all too aware she’s not wanted. Desperate for love, but unable to ask for it, she nonetheless – and almost despite herself – finds it where she least expected. Her Uncle Joey is the only one to notice her when she’ ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published (first published February 6th 2008)
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Jun 16, 2008 Kay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who enjoy fine writing
I have a particular yen for reading books about one place when I’m in another, very different one. I read ‘The God of Small Things’ in Rekjavik, and ‘The Bear Comes Home’ in Kerala (I refused to read Roy’s book while I was in her home state and it was a wise choice, revisiting Kerala through her words was magical, interpreting it via her narrative would have warped my view of an already puzzling and beautiful environment and culture), Middlemarch beguiled me in Melbourne and I kept ‘Dirt Music’ ...more
There are things about this book that made me want to give it three stars - despite the very fine writing - e.g. the situation was maybe too familiar: the 'orphaned' girl who goes to live with a 'bad' relative with a favoured but stupid son; there were odd jumps in the plot, we never learn for example, how Uncle Joey became Jozef the lover/companion in later life or much about the narrator's murderous father; massive events (eg Jozef's WW2 past) done in a paragraph. However the story is complica ...more
A very gentle and beguiling read. It had a distinctly feminine touch, despite being written by a man with a moustache!

The way we were introduced to the characters felt very natural, very life-like, more akin to the way you get to know a person in the flesh than through the pages of a book. You didn't know everything straight away and didn't learn it in a linear way, they gave you bits of themselves when they were ready.

I liked the two halves of the story, the past the present, the England, the I
This very strange and elaborate version of the wicked stepmother tale is totally engrossing. He's created a whole lot of characters that are really unpleasant and chillingly calculating in a very ordinary way, with a plot that moves unpredictably and swiftly. It's very readable.
Elizabeth Baines
I loved this novel: compassionate, moving and not the kind of novel you forget in a hurry. See my blog review:
Mar 15, 2008 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of contemporary literature
Shelves: mylibrary
Mellifluous prose, patient dementia, remorse and recrimination—all the stuff that keeps you up late. Reading, ruminating.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
With the attention-grabbing first line; "When I was thirteen, my father killed my mother" this story soon had me racing through the pages, wondering just how 13 year old Carol ends up marrying Uncle Joey.

Thirteen year old Carol is sent to live with her Aunt Margot when her father is jailed for murdering her mother. Aunt Margot runs a pub with Uncle Joey, also living there is Carol's cousin Nicholas, a few years old than her - fat, lazy and not very bright. Carol is confused, nobody talks to her
Part way through: I got this as a free gift with something completely different. It is written describing several stages in the character's life. So far I find I am really interested in her past - as a child - but not her current situation - which is rather odd. It is written by a man (at least the author has a male name) but the character is female; I might not have known this from the text but it seems to grate on me a bit.

At the end: Oddly, two of my all time favourite books (The Ginger Tree
I didn't really know what to think of this novel. It sort of left me with this empty feeling. Plus it was rather disturbing in parts. I never really understood the main character. Didn't know what she wanted, why she did things. Also, the changing between past and present happened out of nowhere and quite far into the book, which just deepened my confusion. It was well written but it just didn't give me any sort of emotions. I didn't laugh or cry. I did wonder a little about where the story woul ...more
A sad but enjoyable (I feel weird putting those words in the same sentence) tale. Carol is fostered to her aunt Margot after her mother is killed. There she meets her uncle Joey and cousin Nicholas, and the story jumps between her early adolescence and adulthood, where she works/volunteers at a refugee camp.

What struck me most was Carol's complete lack of insight about Kakuna's personality.

I think my enjoyment of this book was lessened because I took a long break while I was about halfw
Gary Murning
An accomplished novel that nevertheless left me feeling a little cold by the end.
Mar 10, 2008 Charles rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I wrote it. I love it. I'd love to know what you think.
It was a good book
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Charles Lambert was born in the United Kingdom but has lived in Italy for most of his adult life. Any Human Face (Picador), his second novel, is the first of a trilogy based on life in modern-day Rome, ranging from the world of politics and corruption to that of juvenile prostitution. The Bookbag has called it "a page-turning crime drama". For Scott Pack, it's a "cracking literary thriller from on ...more
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