Antonia's Reviews > The Children's Book

The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
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Feb 17, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011
Read from March 21 to April 22, 2011

overwhelmed, really. hard to put into words what i would want to say about it. it did not give me a lot of pleasure, except the one of reading a very well thought out and executed novel. with the missing pleasure i merely mean that it is not there to be uplifting or solely to entertain you. there does not seem to be a big agenda or lifted index finger either. it exists in its own right, unapologetically. not trying to catch the reader by fluffiness or deliberate "grimness" as e.g. crime novels do.
at the beginning, everything seems ordered and happy, and it is simply masterful how this is being deconstructed bit by slowly bit. it takes its time and the novel's style is dazzling, a completely different world and feeling - detached and intense at the same time. that was great.
what i didn't like too much was the insertion of some of the stories (of the children's book[s]) but this turned out to be integral for the later storyline. very little of what was written was wasteful. it all served a purpose. even though it does have many many pages, they are all needed to achieve one big overall dazzling narrative.
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Reading Progress

03/24/2011 page 48
7.0% ""grown-ups always think we don't know things they must have known themselves. they need to remember wrong, i think.""
03/27/2011 page 95
14.0% "hyndman, who founded the social democratic federation in 1882, was sceptical about the motives of these high-minded people. they came in waves of fashionable concern, he said [...]."
04/02/2011 page 167
25.0% "dobbin, remembering his brief visit to edward carpenter, and his naked air-baths and river-baths in the derbyshire countryside, asked whether frank would ever be tempted to take the sun, in that way. frank said, no. he said, after further thought, that the human body was not lovely, seen uncovered."
04/10/2011 page 277
41.0% "but julian was clever and observant enough to see that love was at its most intense before it was reciprocated."
04/16/2011 page 328
49.0% ""i do love you, my florence. will you always be so sensible?" "no. i quite expect to become very silly as i grow older. everyone seems to.""

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

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message 1: by Viktoria (new)

Viktoria i know what you mean with the pleasure. it was the same for me with "Spieltrieb".


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