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The Cloning of Joanna May
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The Cloning of Joanna May

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  435 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A scintillating, exuberant, ruthlessly acute observer of her time, author Fay Weldon leaps into a future where individual identity is infinitely more elusive. In The Cloing of Joanna May, she has created an enthralling novel about male control and female power, and a new age of women for whom almost anything is possible.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 1st 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 683)
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Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People needing a few hours light distraction
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
This could be the next step on from Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives. The perfect woman. But this one has intelligence. Its a story of how she leaves her creator, her lover, and her adventures on her way to taking over the world. Its quite amusing to see the sex industry from the point of view of one who has no knowledge of morals. The end of the story is predictable, somewhat disappointing, but actually the only possible end.
Feb 06, 2016 Margo rated it it was amazing
This is excellent.
So the science is wacky and a little dated, but the characterization is spot on.
This is an easy to read modern paperback which asks some pretty unsettling and challenging questions about privilege and personhood.
Our lead, Joanna, switches enticingly between icily distant and sympathetic and keeps you guessing. She is a brilliant portrait of a upper class woman who has isolated herself to such an extent from anyone she considers inferior that she really doesn't know how interac
Nancy Lewis
Jan 14, 2016 Nancy Lewis rated it liked it
Categorizing novels in one genre or another is often based on arbitrary criteria, like the author's previous work, or the lack of a better label. Many authors who are labeled 'science fiction' would argue that their stories are not sci-fi in the least, but rather explorations of the human condition. The Cloning of Joanna May falls into this category, I think. It's not so much about cloning as it is about the dissatisfaction after a life spent dedicated to a self-absorbed man.
Aug 08, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joanna Parsons, upper middle class w/o a care in the world, married Carl May, who started his life in a kennel. Based on his tragic childhood, Carl didn't want children. Joanna was okay with this until she wasn't; she had a hysterical pregnancy when she was 30. Carl found this to be the ultimate betrayal - her unconscious had rejected him. He therefore played a trick on time and on hysterical pregnancies - he and Dr. Holly practiced parthenogenesis - asexual reproduction. They took one of Joanna ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Nov 04, 2009 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
This is one of those books that everybody else has read but I just hadn't managed (everyone has lists of those, I know), so when I was walking along a shelf in the library and saw it looking at me I thought that "now is as good a time as ever" and borrowed it.

I'm just looking at the back of the book and there's a little quote from some reviewer (EXPRESS, it says), who says "An outrageously funny novel" and I'm having a real puzzling time about humour. I didn't for one moment find this book humor
I liked this novel.
After she divorces her controlling husband Carl, sixty-year-old Joanna May finds that her ex had cloned her thirty years ago. She searches and finds her four clones, the sister/daughters she has never had. Though their genes are identical, the five women are not as alike as one would imagine. They all have different interests and life-styles, and the new generation of Joannas now actually has the choices pioneered by the old. This book is more about the interaction of the wom
Jan 29, 2015 Ben rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Male domination and loss of control over one's own body and identity are frequent themes in science fiction that often yield enjoyable tales. But this one, for me, lacked a believable plot and relatable characters.
Mar 01, 2016 Suzette rated it liked it
I can't believe I hadn't read this before, but it is still a timely and chilling story. Carl May sounds and acts like Donald Trump which makes this book even more chilling in terms of it's impact on women.
Dan Purdue
Feb 08, 2013 Dan Purdue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I wrote a longer review, but got a message that Goodreads was over-capacity, and it vanished. Not a great start!

Essentially, I found this booked flawed. The characters were weak and annoying, particularly the female characters, the plot was slow, the science of cloning in the book was iffy. It didn't really convince me, but I read to the end to see how it would turn out. Not a book I'd recommend personally, but if you want a fairly light melodrama with a tiny bit of (dodgy) science thrown in, yo
Made it to page 38, leafed through the rest.
Aley Martin
Aug 23, 2012 Aley Martin rated it it was ok
Meh. I thought it would be as good as She Devil, but I really plodded through it, wishing it would end. She had a great premise, it just was not as focused as I would have liked it to be.
Apr 10, 2008 Karschtl rated it did not like it
Back cover sounded interesting, bit like "The third twin". But I gave up after 60 pages, didn't like the story up to there and especially not the style.
Kathy-Ann Fletcher
Apr 26, 2011 Kathy-Ann Fletcher rated it it was amazing
It is funny in spots but can seem dreary at others. But the subject matter is definitely intriguing yet it ends in an unbelieveable manner.
Jan 01, 2009 Ray rated it liked it
I found this is an hostel in Vancouver all a bit creepy the thought of cloning and a bit depressing.
Sep 20, 2010 Bookguide rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Feminists
Better the more I read. See my full review:
Dec 09, 2009 Dee rated it liked it
This was an odd book. I enjoyed the story, but it was somehow unfulfilling.
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Tim Cashmore rated it it was amazing
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Fay Weldon CBE is an English author, essayist and playwright, whose work has been associated with feminism. In her fiction, Weldon typically portrays contemporary women who find themselves trapped in oppressive situations caused by the patriarchal structure of British society.
More about Fay Weldon...

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