- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Fourth Estate; New Ed edition (4 Mar. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007172885
- ISBN-13: 978-0007172887
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
An Experiment in Love Paperback – 4 Mar 2010
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‘The most powerful of her novels, a near-faultless masterpiece of pathos, observation and feeling … She writes like an angel.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Hilary Mantel is a wonderfully unsurprised dissector of human motivation, and in An Experiment in Love she has written a bleak tale seamed with crackling wit.’ Helen Dunmore, Observer
‘Funny, tragic and wondefully perceptive, this is a book to be treasured, for the sheer quality of its writing and for its honesty.’ Independent
‘Mantel writes prose of imperturbable aplomp, crisp with irony and highlighted with deftly places, elegantly surprising images … she has a penchant for caustic, spiky heroines and a sardonic ear for dialogue.’ Sunday Times
‘My favourite novel of the year: An Experiment in Love is written with subtle perceptiveness, sharp wit and canny wisdom’ Margaret Forster, Independent
‘Cool unsentimental, and unassumingly authoritative.’ Anita Brookner, Spectator
‘The time is 1970, and it is wonderfully well evoked … The skill with which Mantel manages her time-shifts, the precision of her writing, the acuteness of her observations, the seriousness of her themes, and the way in which she weaves them into a coherant whole, make this an unusually satisfying novel.’ Allan Massie, Scotsman
‘An Experiment in Love has much to say about its turbulant era, and is replete with the atmosphere of the cusp, with the prospect of irreversible change … It is also a profoundly sad novel, to which Mantel’s liberal sense of comedy and dazzling acuity for metaphor add an almost excruciating flavour.’ Rachel Cusk, The Times
About the Author
Hilary Mantel is the author of thirteen books , including A PLACE OF GREATER SAFETY, BEYOND BLACK, and the memoir GIVING UP THE GHOST. Her two most recent novels, WOLF HALL and its sequel BRING UP THE BODIES have both been awarded The Man Booker Prize – an unprecedented achievement.
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Top Customer Reviews
The author obviously feels there is great injustice in the lives of these girls, and this gives her always excellent writing a particular energy. The flashbacks to the girls' schooldays, and the relationships between Carmel and Karina and their mothers, are particularly well done.
More than just a story, this book explores the broader themes of girls' education and ambitions, and how they can be thwarted both by society and by nature. Although the ending is downright strange and I really wanted to know more about some of the characters' motivations, I found this to be a truly original and compelling book.
This is both a tragedy and a comedy. Mantel is very prescient about girls and their friendships, and about girls and their boys. There is much to enjoy in these pages and I found myself disappointed that this novel wasn't longer. Like her novel Beyond Black, this one too creates some wonderful characters, and in common with that novel it ends at a point that might also be a beginning. Her gift for storytelling is so strong that her created lives go on after the book has finished.
My only problem with the book was that the final scene almost felt tacked on from another novel.Read more ›
This is the story of Lancashire convent girl Carmel, dominated by a truly terrifying mother who famously `ran on wrath', an epithet which I think also applies to many post war women. As a school girl Carmel is condemned by proximity to befriend the chillingly self contained, sneering Karina, a stolid peasant like émigré from the Eastern Bloc whose chief purpose is to put others down and generally suck the life and soul out of all around.
Carmel observes her own life with an exquisitely wry humour. Her hen pecked beaten father with his jigsaw puzzles, model aeroplanes and cowed habits. Her own body and the trials she puts it through. Throughout, Carmel's phrases sing out and grip with recognisable reality. I loved her solemnly thinking: "My mother had heard this term `Oxbridge' and had begun to use it, and it was making me uneasy. I was afraid she thought it was a real place; when the time came, Oxford or Cambridge would not be good enough, only Oxbridge would be good enough for a daughter of hers." It can truly be wonderfully funny. I felt very much at home with the hierarchy, etiquette and snobbery, as I was a girl in the fifties/sixties too.
Karina glooms around Carmel throughout her schooling and even appears at the same `Tonbridge' University Hall, in London. Carmel chooses to study law; she is surprisingly determined and strong by then, even having a serious boyfriend at Glasgow University.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was the first book by Hilary Mantel I read, about two decades ago; it remains my favourite of all her novels and is perhaps her most approachable and accessible work. Read morePublished 3 months ago by M.D. Smart
It's hard to convey my feelings about "An Experiment in Love" - it just left me emotional and stunned. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lola
A vivid and grimly realistic depiction of the narrator's icy, feminine student world in the 70s. If reading this after 'Wolf Hall', you'll notice a marked difference in the prose... Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Horrex
Having much enjoyed Mantel's recent 'Wolf Hall' and 'Bring up the Bodies', I was intrigued to pick up this earlier novel, tracing a young woman's journey through late adolescence... Read morePublished 7 months ago by M BARNHAM
Quite frankly - a bit boring and nondescript. After I finished reading it I wondered if I'd actually read anything (that memorable) and can't understand what all the fuss is about... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Phoober
I did not love this book but I did not hate it either, it was a very quick read, I read it in an afternoon, but I agree with other reviewers that Hilary Mantel is capable of much... Read morePublished 10 months ago by rueyclem
captures the student environment of the time very well, and the sudden ending took me by surprise but was very well concluded.Published 11 months ago by P. N. Winfield
A thoroughly enjoyable read, would recommend it ! The book arrived well within the time stated.
Would use this seller again.
Arrived when satated. Good condition no problems well pleasedPublished 11 months ago by Ms. P. E. Hoath