On a weather-beaten island off the coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large, mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear--like who her real father was....more
I didn't l...more
Effie and her mother (or, rather, "mother") Nora are on a desolate, ruined Scottish island telling their life stories, while Effie's story of university life in 1972--complete...more
I bought my co...more
I really enjoyed Behind the Scenes at the Museum for its twisted up story and uncertain narration but I could never get into Atkinson's second book Human Croquet, I must try again. I picked up this book in the book shop in two minds about whether to try it and it grabbed me instantly and I've really enjoyed reading it.
As in Museum I was never quite sure where this story was going or what the main storyline was but the writing pulled me in and carried me along on a tide of interesting happenings...more
A thoroughly original and hilarious novel about mothers, daughters, and love, by the author of Behind the Scenes at the Museum.
On a weather-beaten island off the coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large, mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really want...more
In the beginning, I was drawn in by the complexity of the stories and the narrators telling them. Things were interesting and progressed steadily enough so that before I knew it I had reached the middle of the story. At that point, if you count the stories being told by Effie's classmates, I think there were about seven plots going at once. I was lost, and I'm pretty sure my brain nearly exploded, but I continued on, having already invested so much in the story.
Although Kate Atkinson is rarely dull, this novel is meandering and comes perilously close to being self-indulgent.
It's as if the writer is having so much fun recalling her own time as an English student, satirising her would-be-radical classmates and dysfunctional lecturers, that she loses sight of the fact that this territory has been thoroughly covered by other novelists. (It's like a post-modernist take on David Lodge.) Despit...more
On a peat and heather island off the West Coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear, such as the identity of her real father – variously Jimmy, Jack, or Ernie. Effie tells o...more
The story has the disturbing elements present in her other books, but they were revealed later in the book and they were more third-person descriptions which made for a more indirect imp...more
However, 'Emotionally Weird' becomes a tangled self-conscious mess as Atkinson tries to weave those elements in with the use of the frame narrative technique and an unreliable narrator, Effie. The interlocutions between her and her mother, Nora, sometimes jar, rather than add to...more
Effie, our lead character, is staying with her "mother" Nora on a tiny Scottish island in their inherited (but rapidly decaying) family holiday home and they tell each other stories of their life to pass the time. Effie's focuses on her life as a student at the University of Dundee. Nora slowly reveals the secret of Effie's...more
It was in many ways the best and worst of Atkinson's style - once again you are on some sort of magical realism journey, and because she is so talented at weaving a hillarious narrative I just went along with it, which is something that amazes me about her because few authors can get me to do that.
That being said, it was an extreme example of her plotlessness, and all the more so because the overall premise...more
Effie, the first-person narrator of Emotionally Weird...more
Emotionally Weird was a really fun book. I have read and enjoyed Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series and was delighted by her sense of humor in this spoof. Efie, the main character, and I were both 21 year old English majors in 1972 and I'm sure that added to my enjoyment . Her spot on descriptions of campus radicals, self impressed academics, and eccentric classmates were very funny. While the characters were stock (the Trekie, the druggies, the hard nosed feminists, the earth mother, religi...more
I am a devotee of Kate Atkinson and even though it's Ides of March-y, I have just finished reading Emotionally Weird. It is neither. And I'm not sure as some other reviewers are that one of the multiple stories is true, or being told, or being written. I read it as parallel, simultaneous, and fantastic all at once.
This is a novel about novels, about fiction, and about life and fiction and the strongest thing I can say tod...more
Devotees of my reviews will know that Kate Atkinson is one of my favorite authors; her mystery novels beginning with "Case Histories" are extremely well-written. While I had read some of her previous novels (including "Behind the Scenes at the Museum"), I hadn't read this creatively told novel of a 20ish year old university student in Scotland. She's foundering at school and in her personal life (her live-in boyfriend is a loser), and trying to figure...more
She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, and...more