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Bed Hardcover – 2 Aug 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company (2 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781451614220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451614220
  • ASIN: 1451614225
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Hilarious and tragic; a perfectly brilliant debut - The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

David Whitehouse was born in 1981. His journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Independent, Esquire, Time Out, and the Observer Magazine. His first short film, 'The Archivist', produced by Warp Films and the BBC, opened the BBC Electric Proms in 2008 and screened at film festivals including Seattle and Munich. Bed is his first novel. It was the inaugural winner of the To Hell with Prizes award in 2010. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Canned Courage on 24 Jun. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Thoroughy enjoyed this book. Not a subject matter i'd normally go for but gave it a go and was quickly hooked on what is a beautiful and thoughtful love story. The style is such that you are moved back and forth between the years, always keeping the reader guessing and more importantly asking yourself the question the protagonist wants answering himself, 'why?'
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on 15 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
An extraordinary book, incredibly revealing of the human capacity for sadness and how it can destroy. David brutally and beautifully exposes the modern pressures and struggles we all face, leaving you feeling like you've read and experienced something very real.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By mnyberg on 14 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This debut novel is extraordinary. David Whitehouse writes in beautiful evocative language that one cannot resist. He builds the characters and their milieu in a way that makes you feel like you are there witnessing the events unfolding, and importantly, also makes you care deeply for all the main characters. Themes of love, unrequited love, quiet desperation, joy and tenderness are all integrated into the story and are handled with a maturity that belies the author's age of only 30 years. Throughout the book there are moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity that are set up expertly, derived from often absurd but entirely believable scenarios.
I thoroughly recommend this book and I look forward to what comes next from this young author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Both the Macs VINE VOICE on 21 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book starts before you open it, with a glorious cover.... It's a pyjama jacket, and the three buttons are raised, as is the collar. The title is woven between the stripes of the pyjamas - and it's inspired! For some reason I missed this book altogether last year, it was on the long list for the Booker prize, and maybe subconsciously I dismissed it (as I tend to steer clear of prize winners - and in this case, those on the list).

Suppose that you were Malcolm, a man who was disilusioned with life in general in his teens, and who takes to his bed as a protest? I found him an aggrevation and a half from the outset - a child who sought attention by removing his clothes at inopportune moments, and then I wondered if this was the kind of behaviour that might have meant he was in the Asperger's grouping.... but finally I decided that he was just a man who wanted his own way, despite what he said at the end. The story is told my his (unnamed) brother, who watches his family disintegrate under the strain, who is in love with Malcolm's girlfriend, and who loves his brother but doesn't understand why he has done this. The recurring theme here is why people do certain things for love, and what happens when they do those things - I think that all of us will recognise ourselves in at least one of the characters

I did think, for at least half of the book, that this was aimed at the YA market but ultimately don't think so - I think it might be a book that any age group might find fascinating. It does jump around, timewise, which may confuse, although it wasn't a problem for me. The chapters are short, and some of the sentences too, but I found the author's very odd style easy to read, and hard to put down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hollie on 22 Mar. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Quite a strange story! The book is centred around Malcom Ede. He took to his bed on his 25th birthday and has stayed there for the last 20 yrs or so. He is now morbidly obese! Malcolm's brother tells the reader the story of Malcolm and how the situation has impacted on his life and that of his family.

Parts of the book are quite humorous despite the subject matter. The story is well told and the descriptions are good but I just felt this book was lacking something. I found that I had lost interest by the end of the book and the ending left me completely unsatisfied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By iandliz on 20 Aug. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Malcolm is a precociously bright, attention-seeking, rebellious young man. Disillusioned with life, on his 25th birthday Malcolm decides to get into bed and never get out. Over time his sedentary lifestyle causes him to balloon and become the world's heaviest man, unable to get up if he wants to and dependent on his family rallying around to care for him. This book looks at the impact one extraordinary person can have on his whole family.

The story is told through the eyes of Mal's brother, whose name we never find out. The brother lives in Mal's shadow and struggles to find his own way in the world when his parents are so focussed on Mal and is even in love with Mal's girlfriend. The question we all ask when someone is mordidly obese to the point of being unable to look after themselves is 'who keeps feeding them?'. The answer here is the boys' mother, who likes to look after Malcolm to the point of obsession. She feeds him to excess, keeping him in this state so that he remains dependent on her even though she is slowly killing him. Without Mal what would her purpose be and would she finally turn to her younger son and lavish him with care instead?

This is an interesting read that takes Malcolm's predicament and examines it from all angles. I don't fully understand why a character such as Mal would take to his bed in the first place, it seems to be some sort of social experiment testing the reactions of his family while he escapes from life itself. But, if Mal was so afraid of the 3 bed semi, wife & 2 kids, 9-5 lifestyle, he of all people had the rebellious personality and capability to live an alternative life. Whilst his life turns out to be extraordinary it surely was not fulfilling.
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