Popular Answered Questions
i) I do not care about sexuality in fiction. It's been done to death (primarily, I suspect, because it lets writers, who like to think they're pure as the driven snow, feel like victims. Most writers, of course, are wealthy beyond the wildest dreams of the rest of the human population and got that way because of a wide range of hi ...more
At the heart of this novel (written when Catton was 22) is an illicit male teacher, female pupil relationship.
We hear little from the 31 year old teacher, so we can’t determine whether he is a latter-day Humbert Humbert.
Catton is more interested in the context and the aftermath than the act itself.
Almost all of the novel is told from the perspective of secondary school girls or young women. Hence, it's primarily an exploration of female adolescence and maturity, whateve ...more
Since this book is partly about a bunch of teenagers trying to get accepted into a top dramatic academy, I have an excuse to tell you a recent sad-but-true anecdote, which featured my daughter’s fellow-Corridor (that’s their band) named Helena. If you’ve seen the youtube videos (and they really want you to!) she’s the very tall, very thin, quite pretty and extremely blonde one. She’s a good actress (I’ve seen her in school plays) and a good singer & dancer and she’s totally in love with acti ...more
Silently seductive and unapologetically bold, a novel that carefully ensnares poetic opulence and exquisite exposition, The Rehearsal is.
"Remember that it’s in her best interests for everything to go wrong. It’s in her best interests to slip up now, while she’s still safe in the Green Room with the shrouded furniture and the rows of faceless polystyrene heads and the cracked and dusty mirrors and the old papers scudding across the floor. Don’t wait until she’s out in the savage white light o...more
What could of been precious at best, pretentious at worst, instead thanks to superb storytelling is shocking, funny and poign ...more
We could start with the plot, though that might be something of a red herring. There’s a scandal involving a girl at Abbey Grange school and one of the teachers there. The stu ...more
My initial impression was that the book was intriguing. Here's the saxophone teacher addressing a mother: "I require of al ...more
However, if you are sometimes more intrigued by the way a tale is told than the events described; if you oft find yourself lingering over a sentence of remarkable clarity and precision, wondering at the delicate interplay of consonance and connota ...more
And that's fine.
But I can't imagine, for the life of me, teenage girls talking like Catton's characters. And what was that with the saxophone teacher?!
The non-linear narrative didn't make things easy, but it wasn't that much of a problem. My trouble was with connecting all the events and knowing what happens with the characters, mainly Isolde, Julia and Stanley. In the end ...more
I actually really like the writing and the descriptions in the book. There were parts where the writing and language was really beautiful, and there were some interesting descriptions of things that I would never expect.
I was def ...more
I had a very hard time getting myself interested in The Rehearsal. For much of the first of the book I struggled to become engaged in the story. The Rehearsal begins as two different storylines overlapping and eventually merging into each other, however the chronology of events isn't always in order and I found myself periodically getting lost.
I did find the chapters that centered around the saxophone teacher and scandal at Abbey Grange to be far more compelling than those ...more
This is a very hard book to rate. And for a few reasons. I want to preface a little though, by saying this could have very well had a higher rating from me if I had chosen to read it at a different time. My three stars is a bit deeper than just "I liked it".
I think it's important to state that The Rehearsal is a piece of experimental fiction. The synopsis on the back cover was a little misleading (for purposes I completely understand). If I hadn't read and absolutely adored The Luminar ...more
I wanted to read something from the Orange Prize shortlist and this title really interested me. It wasn't what I expected, which honestly wouldn't matter except that, unfortunately, the story I did get disappointed me so much.
This is the kind of book I dread, because it leaves me confused on so many levels - not least of which is a lack of a definitive reaction from me. I ...more
Looking at other GR review ...more
What kept me reading?
Bloody mindedness and because it was a birthday present and I felt I should at least finish it. Because it was a debut novel, an award winnin ...more
The Head of Improvisation said,...more
Although not set in a named geographical location, it is definately Christchurch. I sus ...more
Je volgt verschillende personen die door het verhaal heen steeds meer verwikkeld met elkaar raken. Het jongere zusje van het meisje dat bekend is van een seksschandaal met haar docent, een saxofoonlerares met een mysterieus verleden en nog mysterieuzere intenties, een willekeurige jongen die naar de toneelschool wil, een meisje dat gewoon heel ...more
Several reviewers mention that they had a hard time “getting into” The Rehearsal. I agree that the novel is hard to penetrate, that the story jumps from one narrator to another, and that the border between the real and the fictional shifts rapidly, with little warning. Nevertheless, I found the structure very engaging intellectually. The author makes the whole story a play, a drama within a drama. Gradually, we recognize that we too play roles and that few people can see the private person withi...more