On a weather-beaten island off the coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother, Nora, take refuge in the large, mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories. Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear--like who her real father was ...more
This is a novel most likely to be appreciated by (a) those who studied English literature at university during the 1970s (b) readers familiar with the conventions of postmodern fiction and (c) fans of Kate Atkinson's quirky style and predilection for writing about dysfunctional families.
In essence, this is a novel about words and story-telling. Effie and her mother (view spoiler)[ or possibly not her mother (hide spoiler)] Nora are the two narrators. Together in a rundown house on a desolate i ...more
More like 3.5 stars.
While I enjoyed this, I'm not at all sure what to make of it or how to review it. The first part was laugh out loud funny in places (especially if you've ever been a uni student--lets face it, we all knew someone like Bob) but I'm sure I missed the finer points Atkinson was making about post modernism and literature. In the end it all seemed to go nowhere but I'm pretty sure that was the point.
I'm glad I read it though as I love Atkinson's writing and loved how she played wit ...more
Although Kate Atkinson is rarely dull, this novel is meandering and comes perilously close to being self-indulgent.
It's as if the writer is having so much fun recalling her own time as an English student, satirising her would-be-radical classmates and dysfunctional lecturers, that she loses sight of the fact that this territory has been thoroughly covered by other novelists. (It's like a post-modernist take on David Lodge.) Despit ...more
- So, you’re reviewing Emotionally Weird?
‘Yes, it’s quite good, in a sorta-kinda way. It’s basically a bunch of comic portraits and situations along with some authentic-sounding local colour (if you know Dundee and the silvery Tay, that is). And it's packed with literary allusions, like that one. I didn’t actually laugh out loud, though some of it is quite amusing. But I think Atkinson must have had a lot more fun writing this than I had reading it.’
- OK, but that doesn’t e ...more
To be honest there was a section in the middle where I would have given up if I'd been the sort of person who gives up on books, this only happens when they are very,very dire. This certainly wasn't that, the writin ...more
Effie and her mother (or, rather, "mother") Nora are on a desolate, ruined Scottish island telling their life stories, while Effie's story of university life in 1972--complete ...more
I didn't l ...more
Our narrator is Effie. She's staying with her mother, Nora, on a rocky ...more
If that were all it was, it wouldn’t be much. But the post-modern pisstake is merely a framework to hang a much more humane and observational humour. The story is about a girl and her mother, a book she is writing and a story she is telling. Or somethng like that – it takes a little wh ...more
Perhaps not everybody's cup of char...
What I got so far: Effie is visiting her mother, who lives on a remote Scottish Island, telling stories about life as a student in 1970s Dundee, where she lives with a lump of a boyfriend she doesn’t like, and supposedly studies English.
She goes to a tutorial, then gets half-heartedl ...more
I bought my co ...more
As I was wading through that murky middle, I thought "This is what happens when an author is trying to write themselves out of w ...more
Effie, our lead character, is staying with her "mother" Nora on a tiny Scottish island in their inherited (but rapidly decaying) family holiday home and they tell each other stories of their life to pass the time. Effie's focuses on her life as a student at the University of Dundee. Nora slowly reveals the secret of Effie's ...more
I really enjoyed Behind the Scenes at the Museum for its twisted up story and uncertain narration but I could never get into Atkinson's second book Human Croquet, I must try again. I picked up this book in the book shop in two minds about whether to try it and it grabbed me instantly and I've really enjoyed reading it.
As in Museum I was never quite sure where this story was going or what the main storyline was but the writing pulled me in and carried me along on a tide of interesting happenings...more
However, 'Emotionally Weird' becomes a tangled self-conscious mess as Atkinson tries to weave those elements in with the use of the frame narrative technique and an unreliable narrator, Effie. The interlocutions between her and her mother, Nora, sometimes jar, rather than add to ...more
The story has the disturbing elements present in her other books, but they were revealed later in the book and they were more third-person descriptions which made for a more indirect imp ...more
She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, ...more