Fiona Robson's Reviews > The Children's Book

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: 1001-books
Read in November, 2011

This book irritated the life out of me and if I could give it less than one star, I would. It took AGES to finish because I hated every bit of it. I only persevered with it because it was on the "1001 Books you Need to Read Before you Die" list, otherwise, it might have gone into the recycling bin. The writing style was intensely irritating and obviously written by a woman with bizarrely named individualys interracting randomly with way too much descriptive narrative. I would have loved to have yelled at the author "FOR GOD'S SAKE GET ON WITH IT"!!! It wasn't the type of story I assumed it would be when I began reading it, and instead was a group of well-meaning upper class people having various meetings about people's rights. I tried to be more tolerant by rationalising that if these well-meaning posh people had not had these meetings, I would not be enjoying the freedoms I do today ... but that tolerance lapsed once Byatt lapsed into ever more descriptive twaddle. Felt VERY depressed when I noticed that she has another book on the list. I have absolutely no idea why. I'm sure my life would be more complete without the angst of having to endure another one of her energy sapping novels.
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09/19/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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K.D. Absolutely Oh, I rubbed you differently than what my experience with the book was. I liked the story about the children. It's been two years since I read this and I can still remember the boy who went inside the ground or the tree. Well, I was not yet a voracious reader than so I am not sure whether I will like it if I read it now. :)

Nick Towers You should never persist with a book you hate. Life is too short!

message 3: by Nove (new) - added it

Nove hahaha for some reason, your review made me laugh out loud. I'm currently five chapters in and honestly, I didn't enjoy all the "adult talk" at all. I don't know if it's because I'm too young to understand them...

Jo-Lynne Lockley Descriptive twaddle says it all. Am still hoping to find redeeming qualities.
It is not densely woven. It is not sweeping. It is petty and gives far to much attention to precious people whose company one would in real life go to any extreme to escape. I wonder if those who love it managed to escape the Victorian craze of the seventies.

Jo-Lynne Lockley I quit after another hundred pages. How can you say that a writer loves to hear herself talk, when talking (writing) is what they are supposed to do. I learned early that the art of fiction was somewhat as in poetry to give the most in depth image with the least amount of drivel. At this Byatt fails miserably.

Hannah Websper Sums up how I feel!

Suzy Espersen No need to feel depressed. There is absolutely no need why one should read a book simply because it's featured on some random list. :)

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