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Come to the Edge

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  38 reviews
She didn't mean to become a revolutionary. She thought she was going on a rural retreat.

Take one narrator looking to 'get away from it all'. Put her in a shambolic, draughty farmhouse in a scenic valley with two psychotic goats and a village-full of empty second homes and scores of poor and elderly people with nowhere to go...

ADD one widowed survivalist called Cassandra Wh
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published July 12th 2012 by Quercus
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(showing 1-30 of 367)
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[4.5] Wow. I seriously underestimated this novel. Just because it has a comic tone that's very easy to read, and begins with the female first-person narrator's husband leaving her - whereupon she abandons her perfect consumer lifestyle and drone job with absurd lack of difficulty - doesn't mean it's chicklit. There is a strapping younger man who turns up later, but as a lust-interest he's only relevant on about 5 pages out of 300. What this actually is, is a manic political satire.

The nameless
Vicky (Books, Biscuits, and Tea)
My original review:

Come to the Edge for me was one of those books that you instantly fall in love with. I was looking for a breezy, entertaining read the other day and thus I decided to pick it up, not having the faintest idea what to expect. Well, here’s what you can expect: a quirky, sarcastic and hilarious duo, a most unusual plot and roaring with laughter at 1 a.m when everyone else is sleeping and even though you need to get up for work in 6 hours, y
Cassandra White, you are amazing. What I wouldn't give to be your friend, you crazy bitch.

It all starts when the useless husband of the unknown narrator cheats on her and she has to find something else to fill her life with (other than pretty furniture from Ikea). She happens to answer an advertisement to help out a widow at her farm and ends up in hell where every day goes something like this: "I go outside again and as if nature is avenging the death of an innocent if foolish beetle it pisses
Haydn Morris
I have to admit this is not the type/style of book I usually read. I'm an historical fiction, historical fact type of reader.
I browsed this book in my local library and something about the summary drew me in. A perfect easy read for my impending holiday I thought and so it turned out to be.
The writing style and characterisation of the main protagonists made the pages fly by and I have to say the main plot hit a chord with me.
As someone who grew up in North Wales in the 1970's where holiday homes
I bought this book on an impulse, and because I've used Appolinaires quote many times in my professional career, because people are so afraid of risk taking.
This book certainly addresses the "big" issues such as risk taking, the meaning of self, other, and how one defines these concepts, finds personal meaning (or not) in them and then finds a way to integrate these aspects of self and live authentically. All set in a world that is riven with iniquity at all levels: financial,social, psychologic
Samantha Fraenkel
I had quite literally just read Cold Comfort Farm and my goodness the timing of this book coming into my life could not have been more perfect. Imagine Cold Comfort Farm, being a satirical pastoral novel, and mix it with Where'd You Go, Bernadette, with it's zany leading lady and you have Come to the Edge, a wonderful dark comedy by Joanna Kavenna. I had such a good time reading this book and found myself laughing in delight at many of the unnamed narrators observations and thoughts. Also, I kin ...more

Me ha gustado incluso más de lo que esperaba. Empecé sin expectativas, porque no había leído ni una sola reseña sobre este libro ni sobre ningún otro libro de la autora. Desde el primer momento me consiguió atrapar la prosa y la protagonista. He conectado más con la coprotagonista, Cassandra, la propietaria de la granja,que con la protagonista; porque es un personaje que me ha ENCANTADO: su forma tan excéntrica de ser, sus comentarios, sus ideales, su modo de vida... vaya, una tía rara de los
David Kenvyn
A female Jack Parlabane from any of the Brookmyre novels meets A female Blott from Tom Sharpe in a completely insane version of Cold Comfort Farm. There is no point in trying to explain the relentless remorselessness of the plot especially as it would spoil your fun reading this book. Just think of Margo Channing in "All about Eve" - "fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride".
Jane Goldsmith
I loved the first half of it but then it kind of disintegrated into too much absurdity. The character of Cassandra was a little too unlikeable. But then again - there are women like her around - totally stark raving bonkers. And it did make me think about complacency.
Boring, boring, boring.
I have no idea why I read the whole thing. Maybe beacause I paid for it.
But I'm selling the book as fast as I can.
The novel is about a women who has lived a mediocre, comfortable, middle-class life but when she receives some bad news she denounces her old life and goes to live with a widow in rural England who lives a far more...natural life to say the least.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, I love satire, especially British satire. This was also a book that I had picked up in an Oxfam shop based completely based on its cover and it had been on my bookshelf for over a year now.

For about 12
When the narrator's placid, materialistic suburban life is shattered by her husband trading her in for a new and improved model, she throws her habitual caution to the wind and answers an ad: widow seeks companion for help around the farm.

She arrives expecting a bucolic farm holiday spent with a sweet old lady in a cardigan only to find out the widow is a 6 foot tall, fiery red-headed warrior goddess with revolution on her mind. The widow warrior doesn't believe in government, state education, p
Lauren Kennedy

I didn't know what to expect from this book. I went in to it completely open minded and not knowing much; I'm glad because after reading the synopsis I realise it doesn't do much for this book.

The first 100 pages or so was very enjoyable, I was laughing out loud now and again at Cassandra's crazy-ness and at the narrator. After that, it went a little downhill. It was all very crazy and dramatic and I didn't really know what was happening. I think the whole thing about the empty houses and the 'p
Ilyhana Kennedy
Joanna Kavenna has written a wonderful romp of a tale, everything taken to extremes. It's a brilliant comedy, laced with all the daunting issues of our time.
The characters are highly visible. We might easily recognise them. It's clear from the start where this story is going, so the reader is more engrossed with the question of "how does it arrive at that outcome?"…and that is precisely the protagonist's agonising issue.
It's hilarious, and quite serious, as all good comedy can be.
Oh, wunderbar. Eher zufällig bin ich auf dieses Buch gestoßen und war entzückt! Eine tolle schräge Cassandra, eine immer bedenkentragende Erzählerin, mit der frau sich identifizieren kann, und eine wahnwitzige Story. Leider ein trauriges, aber schlüssiges Ende mit einem Spruz Hoffnung. Ich bin begeistert! Mehr von Joanna Kavenna bitte!
Johnny Zombie-writer
Not my usual cup of tea, i wouldn't have picked it out, however i won it of first reads and thought i'd give it a go....
I was laughing in the first few pages, it's a hard sell because it doesn't really sell itself but it is an original jem of a book.
It all comes across as a 2 finger salute from the working class to the rich upper class.
It's got eccentric characters, a rural feel yet because of the way it's written, smothered with satire, it never gets boring.

Well worth a read if you want somethi
genuinely funny in its absurdity- and yet Cassandra White's extremisms and radical project though cause for much humour also calls out the consumerism, capitalism of the time...a very good satire in that sense.
3.5 I think. At the moment I'm not quite able to decide how I feel about it. It started out being weird got a bit weirder and then ended weird but it was also really entertaining and good.
Wonderful book! Set in England's Lake District, it is narrated by a woman who has separated from her husband and who answers an advertisement to act as a 'companion' for another woman living in the Duddon valley who has very decided views about the modern world, contrary to most of received opinions and views. The story basically tells of the take over of a large number of unoccupied second homes which are given to deserving locals. of course, it all ends unhappily. Much of the story is told by ...more
This absolutely did not work for me. Unfunny and I couldn't stand her writing style. Very disappointing.
And on those days I stop typing, "Dear Mr Bellow, We would like to offer you an altogether better deal on your life insurance" and instead I type

Everything will burn and the rich will find their houses burned
And the land will be ours
We will be free
The houses will burn the fat fucker houses with their mahogany tallboys and their rosewood serpentine desks and Mr Sooke will lie snivelling in is cell
And we will take back everything
And one day we will rise again"

Yuet Chiu
i really appreciate u westerner who are willing to spend a lot of time writing a book review contains several thousand words. It is my first review so please forgive my grammatical mistakes. One star is the least score we can give. I give it one more just because some ideas in this books echo mines. Organic farming, rural lives, anti- rich people, anti- chemicals.
The sex scenes are mainly for commercial needs but nothing more. And the nook is quite short.
Struggling with how to rate this book. I really wanted to like it, and I really did, for a while. It was a breeze to read. I loved its irreverence, wit, and the sharpness of the critique of consumerist culture. But I wasn't always sure I liked the style of Kavenna's prose. And ultimately the novel felt too light, too thin - as if it could have, and should have, been so much more. I was left feeling slightly confused and disappointed.
Tasha Williams
I was going to give this 3 stars but seeing as 2 stars apparently means 'it was ok', and that was my overall thought of this. Really strong beginning, really funny but then after the first 50 pages I found it to grow quite dull and didn't have the same hilarity as before. Wasn't that pleased by the ending either so 2 stars based on a good beginning and an interesting premise.
Pleasantly insane.

A small cast of characters you sort of want to punch in the face but at the same time, you don't want anything really bad to happen to them. Mostly. You know the type.

Quite evocative of the grim, damp terror of a winter Up North. Goats not as belligerent as you might expect. Not enough tea. Not enough knitwear, for that matter. But a good read,
Plausible characters take part in a rather improbable romp of a story, set in the English Lake District. It's highly readable entertainment, although one does wonder whether the book has much value beyond that. However, it's also short, so feel free to indulge without worrying to much why you are reading it!
Neil Forbes
Superb. Belly-fired bloody knuckle satire. Easy to underestimate at the beginning. This is not Rachel Johnson. Look forward to reading more from Ms JK. Style with purpose. Reminded me of film Walkabout at the end. Not sure another author has made readers miss the baser smells of the country.
Entertaining if somewhat far fetched tale of anarchy in the Lake District. I really liked the idea that someone would reclaim all those second homes and put them to use. A quick light read that glides nicely past the eyes - no clunky dialogue and a brisk plot.
I picked this book up randomly. I quite enjoyed it it was funny and although quite mad some of it actually made sense, maybe that's just the Northerner within me! The only bad thing was that the ending was a bit abrupt and a bit odd to be honest.
A delightful and amusing premise about the evils of income disparity. This novel makes you wonder why the valleys aren't already burning ...
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Joanna Kavenna is a prize-winning British novelist and travel writer.

Kavenna spent her childhood in Suffolk and the Midlands as well as various other parts of Britain. She has also lived in the United States, France, Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic States.

These travels led to her first book, The Ice Museum, which was published in 2005. It was nominated for the Guardian First Book Award in that
More about Joanna Kavenna...
The Birth of Love Inglorious The Ice Museum: In Search of the Lost Land of Thule Arc 2.2: Chromewash Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark

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“You won't get extra marks for being teacher's pet. You won't go to the top of the class. There is no class. There is no teacher. Or if there is then you have to understand that he or she doesn't actually like you. You are not being marked out of ten for how neatly you sharpen your pencil and how lovely your handwriting is. You are not going to get a gold star. You are not the fucking flower monitor and no one cares what you do.” 2 likes
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