“When God was a Rabbit” by Sarah Winman is an elegantly written book . Winman has that ability, so often lacking in an author’s portfolio; she grasps...more “When God was a Rabbit” by Sarah Winman is an elegantly written book . Winman has that ability, so often lacking in an author’s portfolio; she grasps your imagination the moment you begin reading. As soon as I read the prologue I knew that I was going to give this an A grade. It was refreshing to pick up a well written book that invited you in like an old friend. Winman is a master of majestic description. She makes reading effortless as she carries you through her narrative. Her Dickensian sentence length draws you in, as does her satirical, unique, matter of fact authorial voice. Using beautifully crafted real characters, Winman captures our hearts as, hand in hand with them, we traverse the pain and hope which reality holds.
Most people read books for the escapism they offer us from our daily lives. However, this book is different, it does the opposite. It forces you to analyse and live in your own world adding a clarity that may not have been there before. But it does it covertly. It is rare to enter a world created by a first time author that is so tangible that you become part of it, just as it becomes part of you. “When God was a Rabbit”, presents such a world. By viewing the world through, our protagonist’s eyes, the eyes of burdened innocence and later, the eyes of experience we are forced to examine our own realities, our relationships, our regrets and finally our futures. While it sounds daunting it can actually prove remarkably cathartic. In my opinion “When God was a Rabbit” should be required reading. It is a rarity, a masterpiece that embodies everything that a book should be because it encompasses what it is to live, to love, to hate and to weep.
Winman is an astute author. Her sentences unfold onto the page like living creatures. She crafts them effortlessly, evoking profound emotions in her reader. She enlists the full stop sparingly, powerfully. Her descriptions transport and ground the reader in the there and then of the narrative. Her characters are comforting and we become dependent on them, on their depth, their hope, their eccentricities. It is not often that a book has the power to reduce a reader to tears. This book had me sobbing, but it also made me laugh. That is the key to a character driven novel, they have to feel real and if Sarah Winman does nothing else she creates characters who are real and who you would be happy to call friends. They seem to adopt you into their household of eccentricity, accepting you, as they do each other, just as you are.
At the heart of this book is a puzzle, the puzzle o Elly’s life and the mystery introduced to us in the prologue. In part one, we see the world through the eyes of a child who while knowing too much for her age still cannot piece everything together. Winman challenges her audience to fill in the blanks of a childs worldview. But it never proves to be the arduous process that it has the potential to be. It does however ensure we are engaged throughout, because we know that each sentence may hold a clue to the bigger picture. There are secrets embedded in this book which remain unanswered to the end but that is what makes the story so real. Every life holds unfathomable secrets and Elly’s is no different. It is ultimately a story about overcoming those secrets and living a life beyond them.
When Kate pointed me in the direction of this book she simply said it was a book about childhood. I would argue that it’s a book about life in all it’s hues. I’ve never come across a book that contained a synopsis that was simultaneously vague and amazingly accurate. We are not given much to entice us to read this book but the few lines given do the book more justice than any review ever could.
“This is a book about a brother and a sister. It’s a book about childhood and growing up, friendships and families, triumph and tragedy and everything in between. More than anything, it’s a book about love in all it’s forms.”
It’s one of those books you never want to put down but one that invites you home every time you pick it up again. I’ll be re-reading this for years to come and recommend it to everyone.
I originally gave this 5 stars because I wanted to end the series on a high. I didn't want the last book to be bad, so I sugar coated all the cons. Th...moreI originally gave this 5 stars because I wanted to end the series on a high. I didn't want the last book to be bad, so I sugar coated all the cons. The eldunarí may have had a hand in it!(inside joke) I can't lie to myself anymore. This book was a compelling read don't get me wrong I never hated reading it but looking back I'm angry with how Paolini portrayed the characters and finished it.
The beautifully rich, 3D characters that he. created in 'Eragon' were reduced to shadows of their former glory. I get that Eragon had to evolve over the course of the novels but at the end, I kept feeling that he was either unfeeling or that he was forced into a situation/decision by Paolini. It may sound ridiculous but I do believe authors, especially authors who carry on a series for so long, can lose track of their characters and stop being true to their original portrayal. He also failed to use characters to their full potential and neglected the bond between saphira and Eragon, which is unforgivable.
The climax ultimately left me feeling cheated as did many of the outcomes. It felt as if Paolini would start something amazing that would get you excited but then dash your hopes by never following through. He was running away from his own storylines! While technically it's a great piece of writing, I think few ardent fans will be satisfied, even if we were expecting what was going to happen. I do honestly think it was either a case of Paolini growing tired of the series or an editor rushing the process. For the first time I'm actually finding it hard to accept a book and it's ending as canon because there are questions unanswered and the answers that were given, fall short of the hype.(less)
**spoiler alert** In my opinion this is the best Sherlock Holmes story. In the short stories, we hear the client's claim's and are often kept quite in...more**spoiler alert** In my opinion this is the best Sherlock Holmes story. In the short stories, we hear the client's claim's and are often kept quite in the dark alongside Watson, as Sherlock's deductions whirl around his magnificent brain at 90 miles an hour. We are also, occasionally allowed a glimpse into the domesticity of their relationship, the true friendship which is the back bone to these majestical studies in crime.
But for me this is more overtly expressed in this novel, while Watson narrates the vast majority of the stories, the fact that he is separated from his friend, his "master" and in so many ways his mentor and teacher, allows him to consciously or subconsciously let slip references that tell of the depth of their bond out of shear loneliness and longing for his guidance and companionship on the lonely moor.
"I wish that he were here."
But there is more than just Watson's reverence of his friend and their camaraderie, Holmes also speaks fondly and more openly here in my opinion than he did before.
"It may be that you are not yourself luminous, but you are a conductor of light. Some people without possessing genius have a remarkable power of stimulating it. I confess, my dear fellow, that I am very much in your debt."
He had never said as much before, and I must admit that his words gave me keen pleasure, for I had often been piqued by his indifference to my admiration and to the attempts which I had made to give publicity to his methods. I was proud, too, to think that I had so far mastered his system as to apply it in a way which earned his approval. "
“But I’m not easy in my mind about it.” “About what?” “About sending you. It’s an ugly business, Watson, an ugly dangerous business, and the more I see of it the less I like it. Yes, my dear fellow, you may laugh, but I give you my word that I shall be very glad to have you back safe and sound in Baker Street once more.”
"Good-morning, Holmes," said the baronet. "You look like a general who is planning a battle with his chief of the staff."
"That is the exact situation. Watson was asking for orders."
We are left in no doubt of Holmes' trust in his friend and his need and worry for his safety.
“Holmes laid his hand upon my arm. “If my friend would undertake it there is no man who is better worth having at your side when you are in a tight place. No one can say so more confidently than I.”
While he is presumptuous to a fault in regard to dear Watson, his trust in him is endearing and reaffirming and frankly why I began reading these stories in the beginning.
Even Lestrade is shown in a better light, while Holmes always speaks of his potential, as fans of Sherlock we could be forgiven for showing hesitations in trusting or liking his character because of his reluctance to sometimes believe our detective are laid to rest.
"I saw at once from the reverential way in which Lestrade gazed at my companion that he had learned a good deal since the days when they had first worked together. I could well remember the scorn which the theories of the reasoner used then to excite in the practical man."
We are also allowed to see Dr. John Watson in a new light. Not as a mere assistant or biographer but as a sort of competent detective in his own right. His character develops before our eyes at a great speed, until we see that the development we think we are seeing happened through years of watching and chronicling Sherlock's escapades and that we were too caught up in the stories to notice. Though he still longs for his friend's approval and shows a natural human fault when he believes Sherlock has not received or has merely dismissed his reports from Baskerville hall and when he relishes the thought of succeeding where Sherlock has momentarily failed.
"Then my reports have all been wasted!"—My voice trembled as I recalled the pains and the pride with which I had composed them.
Holmes took a bundle of papers from his pocket.
"Here are your reports, my dear fellow, and very well thumbed, I assure you"
"On the other hand, if I should find the hut and its tenant should not be within it I must remain there, however long the vigil, until he returned. Holmes had missed him in London. It would indeed be a triumph for me if I could run him to earth where my master had failed."
We are also allowed a wider view of Sherlock, where we usually see Sherlock the infallible detective through the eyes of a reverent friend and fan, here we see a more 3D view of him. We see Sherlock the art enthusiast,
"Watson won't allow that I know anything of art but that is mere jealousy because our views upon the subject differ. Now, these are a really very fine series of portraits."
the fallible Sherlock , "Watson, Watson, if you are an honest man you will record this also and set it against my successes!"
and even more than ever before Sherlock, the genius. More so because we, as an audience are allowed more time to digest the facts, the story and the claims than we are ever allotted in the span of a short story. This means we can marvel at the true brilliance of Sherlock's immediate, instant deductions which make him the interesting figure that he is.
A must read, I was in tears for a lot of this book, but kept coming back for more. I loved how truthful Jim Beaver was in his descriptions of what was...moreA must read, I was in tears for a lot of this book, but kept coming back for more. I loved how truthful Jim Beaver was in his descriptions of what was happening and how he felt, anyone who reads this can only get a taste of what the experience was like for him, but that in itself is heart breaking and will have you holding your loved ones tighter. Ultimately it is beautifully written and I can't do it justice in my description.
I adored this story when I read it and just now realised it's by the same author who wrote the famine stories my teacher read us in school. :) nice re...moreI adored this story when I read it and just now realised it's by the same author who wrote the famine stories my teacher read us in school. :) nice revelation!
I have to try and make this review sound impressive :) so I'm not killed by my friends who adore this author even more than I do, which is a lot. So h...moreI have to try and make this review sound impressive :) so I'm not killed by my friends who adore this author even more than I do, which is a lot. So here goes.
Got this book off my aforementioned friend in June not really expecting to like it, to be completely honest. While I don't mind young adult books in general I had hesitations about whether or not I'd enjoy this kind. But I did. :) Books don't win me over often, I'm stubborn in my opinions and my mind goes about 90 miles an hour whenever I try to read, buzzing with things I should be doing. Life presented more opportunities to read peacefully when the big bad world wasn't knocking on my front door. :)
I think the reason I loved the book, was that it spoke to where I am in life. I'm graduating this year, I'm begining to see that people don't see the 3D version of me, just what I choose to portray to the world, the 2D version. That's what this book is about. It's about how we see people everyday and build up this mental image of what they are, who they are, without any space for them to grow up or reinvent themselves in. It explores how our vision of them would change if they left us in a little to the inner sanctum which is their world.
I'm sure it says a lot more, but to me that's what the story held for me and it's what won me over. Overall the main character Quentin is brilliant. He has a perfect attendance record in school but dosen't completely stress over school. He's friends are loyal while being real characters who can get ticked off like the best of us. The story of margo's disappearance is a true mystery John Green gives you enough clues that you can theorise for yourself. Basically the book is brilliant and you'd be mad not to read this wonderful book written by a genius author.
P.S check out his and his brother's youtube videos at their vlogbrothers channel :)(less)
This is a beautiful book, in the purest sincerest possible way. You cannot help but fall in love with Anne and the band of characters which Montgomery...moreThis is a beautiful book, in the purest sincerest possible way. You cannot help but fall in love with Anne and the band of characters which Montgomery illustrates with ease as if they were real tangible people waiting to be brought to life on the page. They are us in so many ways. Anne, the child who dreamed of a wonderful life and was given it. Marila, the mature woman who has learned the hard way that life is not easy but still holds the ability to humour Anne while still shaping her into a sensible respectable woman. Mathew, the shy, sensitive man with a heart of gold, knowing when to stand up for what he believes in but also when to let things be. I laughed, cried and felt for each and every character supporting or otherwise, an achievement rarely won by an author.
The imagery alone leaves one daydreaming of life in Avonlea when reality proves too much. It evokes the most vivid images that I have ever been fortunate enough to read. I can be a lazy reader on occasion and have been guilty of glossy over descriptive paragraphs when it delays the real story, but I did not get the urge to commit that crime once during this book. I remember my mom reading this to me when I was younger, or I imagine she did as I had vivid memories of certain aspects of it. It did not disappoint and though deemed a childrens book, like many classic novels relegated to the childrens genre it transcends this typecast and falls into the lap of anyone willing to take a chance on it.
This was one of the very first books that I got and read to myself. It was also one of the first that ignited and fed my love for the mystical, the ol...moreThis was one of the very first books that I got and read to myself. It was also one of the first that ignited and fed my love for the mystical, the old, the mythological in a setting not too foreign from my own. As a children's book it was perfect! Who doesn't want to believe that they can go into a strange little store and find the creature they love but have been told is a myth, a dream. The end was the first, most gut wrenchingly sad which I had read in my short reading career and still brings a tear to my eye. What a book!
I've read this time and time again, it was my first real novel and I adore it. It truly transports you into a new world and the characters come alive....moreI've read this time and time again, it was my first real novel and I adore it. It truly transports you into a new world and the characters come alive. It really made me laugh and cry. Even my mom loved it, so don't think your too old to read it.