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August Frost: A Novel
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August Frost: A Novel

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  208 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
August is a tall, pale, painfully shy young man with blood-orange hair and sun-shy eyes, who hides his awkwardness behind the counter of a gourmet deli in London's diverse Shepherd's Bush neighborhood. One December day, August notices something unusual-a rash on his skin that exactly resembles the frost on his windowpane. The same day, into the peace of the deli and August ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Grove Press (first published 2002)
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Her Royal Orangeness
Quaint and quirky….those are two good adjectives for this book. Though not as accomplished as Roffey’s later work (The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, 2009 and Archipelago, 2012) August Frost is quite good for a debut novel.

August Chalamin, the protagonist of the novel, is a shy awkward man in his 30s who works at a gourmet food delicatessen. Two events occur which cause him to begin reflecting on his childhood growing up in a commune with a promiscuous mother and a mysterious (and absent) fat
Oct 10, 2014 Stargazer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plenty to feast on in here, I do like a book where I have to re-read sentences, although a couple of times when I did have to do this, it was in puzzlement ('his father was 2 weeks old when he died?? oh, HE was two weeks old when his father died' kinda thing) but most of the re-reading was to be savoured.
'Often sleep deceived him, soothed him, appearing to rearrange reality overnight. August frequently dreamed he was someone else and would wake up with this possibility faintly traced, as though
Rita Hyland
Feb 22, 2017 Rita Hyland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enchanting and magical it will draw you in from start to finish as you follow August, the main character, and how he deals with his weird but strangely ordinary life. A modern day supernatural fantasy you won't want to put down.
Whoa. One of the weirdest books I've read in a long time. I was dragged along by the poetic words, both fascinated and repulsed by them. What got me to read this book was my interest for August's character. I like reading about shy, awkward guys. He was both adorable and pathetic. I couldn't choose which. I liked him, but was a bit put off by him as well.

I did however, like how the story fell together in the end. *spoilers* Finding out that Rose used to be Ross was an interesting shocker. Havin
Jan 24, 2017 Henry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
The next book you read after a Kate Atkinson is always going to suffer. Unfairly. Probably.
This had many enjoyable aspects and I always prefer to read sexy bits written by a woman - love Monique's 'the music of the female orgasm' and 'curves from the inside'.
Strange sometimes the serendipity of literature - that this book (like God in Ruins) features a commune, and York (Sun Dog came first; do you think Atkinson has read it? Did it percolate in her subconscious? Is it total coincidence, the only
Jun 27, 2011 Dana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Way too much going on in this book - too many themes - too many secondary characters that don't get explained, etc. The idea of a man's body that mirrors the seasons, with symptoms that respond to mood, is kinda cool. But not sure what this has to do with his journey to discover the truth about his parentage or why there is also a clear food/culinary theme throughout the book as well. The language itself is very simplistic and almost as if the author is ESL, with use of some adjectives that I"m ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Mariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be succinct, "August Frost" was very good. The novel was heartfelt, whimsical and actually quite sad, though in pleasant, wistful sort of way. This book was filled with imagery and emotion. The colorfully painted imagery and symbolism was strange yet beautiful, conveying the real world in a sadly realistic yet amazingly magical light. I believed in the characters; their personalities and lives were very believable. Each was distinct and their individual stories touching, especially the main c ...more
This book is defintiely going to be "different", but I know this author can do magical things. Maybe I should just be happy with The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, and leave it at that!

Kirkus says it is a bit slow.... It isn't always good to read everything just b/c you loved one book by an author. I really don't know what to do. I can imagine how the author describes icicles hanging from a body, snow flakes dusting the skin.
K.B. Walker
This was a fascinating book, rich in description and ever so slightly fantastical. For my tastes (I accept this is entirely subjective) it was a little too rich. I like my books to be fast and minimalist when it comes to description. This was dreamy and moving with a cast of tremendous characters. You could feel yourself in the cafe/deli and experience the seasons. There was a deep sadness to the story in the pain selfish behaviour can cause others but also a hopefulness and an uplifting ending ...more
Suzanne B
Nov 15, 2016 Suzanne B rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange, surreal book. The protagonist, August, experiences the four seasons in and on his body. Many times, the sprouting, shedding, cracking and peeling he feels get a bit gross and unsettling. The novel, ripe with August's loneliness and confusion about his past and identity, also gets a bit depressing and ponderous after a while. While Roffey's language is certainly unique and vivid, it becomes too dense and cloying at times. At the end of the story, I felt no release, only a heavines ...more
Sep 26, 2012 Jacqueline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i have read this several times and although i am yet to fully reconcile myself to the plot (to be honest the first time i read it i missed the arc completely) the vivid, fantastical, exquisite imagery is enough to make this a solid 5 stars for me. monique roffey has painted pictures in my mind that will last a lifetime.
I initially enjoyed the book, the characters.. the fact that the protagonist changed with the weather was quite unique. However everything went downhill pretty quickly.

The book turned repetitious. Every chapter began with the weather. Then the Cafe.

The writing was oddly too descriptive and yet not enough.

I did not get past the second chapter.
Apr 22, 2012 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just didn't get this book. Although the writing is descriptive using all of the senses and the obvious links to nature I thought is was leading somewhere but never quite got there. I like strange or quirky books but didn't like this one.
Mom (Belinda)
May 05, 2010 Mom (Belinda) is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
very strange so far. The writing is very descriptive and there is a lot of tasty sounding food discussed at length. Amy, I would love for you to read this one and let me know what you think of it. I should be done with my copy soon and I can let you read it.
Nov 28, 2015 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book purely because I want to read the authors 2nd novel "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle", and this comes before it.
Was a tad too far fetched for me, but by the same token it was engaging with likeable characters.
Oct 28, 2008 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One of the strangest books I have ever read. I did finish and it made me go hummmmmm what the heck was that all about?
Manuela M
Jun 13, 2010 Manuela M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was spellbounding and enchanting. Roffey created such powerful and amazing metaphors. I recomend this book to everyone.
Jun 08, 2016 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
one of the best books I have read in a while that gives you a fantastic version of what it feels like to be" different"
Mar 13, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite authors! This is one of her early works, and very good, but my favorites are "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle" and "Archipelago," which were amazing.
Nov 15, 2012 Els rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a "nice and warm" book. I enjoyed it!
Anita Sethi
Mar 20, 2012 Anita Sethi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Monique Roffey, Trinidad and Tobago/UK: writer, writing instructor
Tori Walker
Aug 14, 2014 Tori Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't enjoy this book at all, don't know how I finished it.
Book Bazaar
A quirky read set in London - this one is full of the love of food and nature as well as being a kind of coming of age story.
Feb 09, 2012 Adri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting and well written, but not my cup of tea!
Natasha Sharon
Jan 01, 2013 Natasha Sharon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ending was a bit shoddy, plot wasn't that developed, but I have to give it props on the writing! The food sounded absolutely delicious!
Jan 19, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it, liked all the London references, and although I found the surreal aspect unusual I did like it. Good characters. Will look out for more by this author.
Aug 24, 2016 Hayley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, it was something different from your usual fayre, but was disappointed with the ending didn't bring any real conclusions for me.
Sep 23, 2011 Jodie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this book kept leading somewhere, but never got there. It just stopped. I would have like a little more closure!
Deana Luchia
Nov 08, 2016 Deana Luchia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant writing with wonderful descriptive passages and unique characters. Loved the London setting.
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Monique Roffey was educated in the UK. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Sun Dog, was published in 2002. Since then she has worked as a Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation and has held the post of Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Sussex and Chichester universities. In 2010, her second novel, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
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“Travelling, he'd always thought, was where he'd meet his other self. Somewhere in a foreign place, he would bump into the bit of himself which was lost.” 1 likes
“He had a strange relationship with books. He had the notion that people who wrote novels were also lonely. He believed this more and more, reading between the lines of the novels he'd loved. Most books were about one kind of loneliness or another, about people who couldn't get what they wanted, people who found things hard, who were slow, or sad, or difficult. So he read most evenings, finding a comfort in following words written by someone like him.” 0 likes
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