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No Bones

3.06 of 5 stars 3.06  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This is a book about feelings, family, sex, and Ireland—but don't tell Amelia that. She's the one growing up in the mad family, in the mad society, who doesn't want to know what's going on. But things are going on: eight-year-olds collecting very peculiar treasure; babies who might be, or might not be, bombs; schoolgirls bringing guns into schoolyards; and, of course, lots ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2001)
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Not Quite White by Simon ThirskThe Lucky Ones by Rachel CuskThe Sorrow's Garden by Anthony CarinhasHarbor by Lorraine AdamsA Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li
Tell the Publisher!
58th out of 101 books — 4 voters
Bel Canto by Ann PatchettThe White Family by Maggie GeeNo Bones by Anna BurnsThe Siege by Helen DunmoreFingersmith by Sarah Waters
Orange Prize For Fiction Longlist 2002
3rd out of 20 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

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Marguerite Kaye
I didn't know what to think of this book. I've given it three stars because it was compelling and at times hilarious and really well written, but it also made me very, very uncomfortable and occassionally confused and I was left completly - I just don't know. I really admired the writing and the author for writing it, and to treat such sensitive subject matter in such a way was bold, really bold. Overall, this book was an experience, I just can't say what kind.
Tom Byrne

Burns uses her experience growing up in Belfast to present an unsentimental, realistic, and troubled perspective that is bound to make readers squirm.

Northern Ireland is an enigma for many readers, with a past, present, and future understood only through sound bites and partisan scholarship. WIthout apology, Burns allows readers to come to their own conclusions.

I don't really know where to begin or what to say about this book. It was hot mess from the start.

The story begins with a young girl, and her life growing up in troubled times in Ireland. If the story kept with that theme it really could have been a good story. But every chapter was a completely different story (none of which had anything to do with the next or previous), at times different people, and all of it was so over the top, raunchy or just stupid. Most of the chapters did nothing for t
This started out well.."Amelia remembered when the Troubles began." The way troubles is capitalized, I felt excited to learn what they were. At first, there were typical Troubles like her brother stealing her chest of "treasures" when she was six or the new puppies having to be drowned because no one wanted them or could care for them, then the Troubles escalated to things like one girl hitting another girl in the face with a typewriter, a Dad hanging himself for losing someone else's money and ...more
This book covers the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland from the 1960s to the 1990s. It is told primarily from the perspective of one young girl who grew up in the midst of Belfast in those years.

I don't usually mind reading about difficult things. The perspective of this book is really interesting, and eventually turns into an analysis of mental health as much as a tale of Ireland. It's all of the despicable characters who eventually made me not love the book. I'm glad I read it, but wouldn't reco
Fragmented, disjointed but with a heartbreaking resounding truth. Through a mess of stories and thoughts Anna Burns takes us into the Amelia's world without trying attempting sentiment...watching the effect of the troubles on the children who grew up "unable to write about peace" we watch Amelia innocently digress from boys, to starvation to alcoholism...we watch those around her fall apart and yet refreshingly there is no point when we are meant to pity any of these characters. We understand mo ...more
I hate this book.

I'm almost done and can't even finish it.
In fact. Not only can I not finish it, but I can't even bring myself to start another book. That's how much I hate it.

It started out fine. I liked it in the beginning. But then it just fell apart. It turned into utter chaos. I'm sure I'm supposed to like it. I'm supposed to think that the deteriorating clarity in the novel reflects the deteriorating mental and physical situation of the characters, but to me it just seems like a mess. It f
Dimitris Dubois
I couldn't finish it... even get through 1/3 of it. The topic was so interesting but the writing is horrible.
I have a hard time rating disturbing books because often I don't like them in the end, but this book kept me interested and going back for more.

Amelia Lovett grows up during the turmoil in Ireland fomr the late 60s to the 80s and the story proceeds from horror to horror. It's hard to remember that that happened and how many peoples lives were destroyed.

For some reason, the cover of this book inspired me to pick it up. When I was about two chapters into it, I realized that I'd already started this book once and gave up. This time I stuck through the entire thing, but I just didn't care for the way that the way that time flows in this book. It was choppy and I just couldn't keep the characters straight.
Jul 27, 2011 Jayne added it
Set in Northern Ireland shortly before "the Troubles" descend. Reads more like a set of short stories with one person being the thread the binds them together. A bit weird and unsettling. i really struggled to finish this book but if you persevere you'll understand why it;s written this way. Not a feel good book.
Clara Givens
Jun 15, 2007 Clara Givens added it
Recommends it for: no-one i can think of :0(
This book wasn’t for me... I really didn’t enjoy reading it at all; the only thing that got me through to the end was my stubbornness to finish it! (all the time hoping that it would soon get interesting/good)
How do the individuals that make up this community survive the daily thump of violence. The answer is they don't. We know this from the beginning, but still it breaks our heart.
I leave for Belfast in 3 days and am currently reading everything involving Northern Ireland that has ever been written... with mixed reviews.
This book was far too difficult to read (emotionally) -- I didn't finish. The Troubles. What an inadequate name for a horrific time.
Rachel Penso
This is a book about a girl growing up in Belfast during the Troubles. It is an interesting book, sometimes humorous, often sad.
What better setting for a f***ed up childhood than war torn Belfast? This book does not pull any punches. Reader beware.
Aprille O'Neill-Kemp
Ugh, I struggled to finish this one. It just wasn't that interesting, and I found it a bit hard to follow as well.
A friend from HS introduced this too me. It's good in a weird Catch22 way.
I did not like it at all and couldn't even make it through half.
Apr 19, 2009 Casey marked it as will-return-to-later
Meh, I probably won't return to this. But who knows.
Quite a disturbing story but very well written
I think the author is bipolar.
Atmospheric and sad.
Jul 29, 2011 Sara marked it as to-read
02 short list-orange prize
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Anna Burns (born 1962) is an Irish author. She was born in Belfast and moved to London in 1987. Her first novel, No Bones, is an account of a girl's life growing up in Belfast during the Troubles.

Winner of the 2001 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize
Shortlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize (No Bones)
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