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Country Girl [Hardcover]

Edna O'Brien
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Sep 2012

I thought of life's many bounties, to have known the extremities of joy and sorrow, love, crossed love and unrequited love, success and failure, fame and slaughter, to have read in the newspapers that as a writer I was past my sell-by date, yet regardless, to go on writing and reading, to be lucky enough to live in these two intensities that have buttressed my whole life.

Born in Ireland in 1930 and driven into exile after publication of her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, O'Brien has created a body of work which bears comparison with the very best writers of the twentieth century.

In Country Girl we come face to face with literary life of high drama and contemplation. And along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans -- all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy.

In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginitive insight of a poet. It is a book of unfathomable depths and honesty.


Frequently Bought Together

Country Girl + The Country Girls (Country Girls Trilogy 1) + Girls in their Married Bliss (Country Girls Trilogy 3)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (24 Sep 2012)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 0571269435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571269433
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'[An] exemplary, pin sharp memoir.' --Sunday Times

'Edna O'Brien is a bewitching and remarkable talent.' --Helen Davies, Sunday Times

'Get ready to applaud, ladies and gentlemen, because there is no one like her. O'Brien, in her 80s, may look like an icon and talk like an icon, but she writes like the thing itself.' --Guardian
'Wonderful, crystalline and true.' --Observer

'An emotional roller-coaster of a book.' --Spectator

'Edna O'Brien's Country Girl shimmers with heart, soul and literary brilliance.' --Arifa Akbar, Independent, Books of the Year
'Compelling. [O'Brien] tells a story that is wild and thoughtful, full of glamour and considerable pain... riveting... [O'Brien] presents what amounts to a personal history of the past half century.' --Mail on Sunday

'The entire narrative leaves you with an enchanted feeling of having been drawn into a life of great internal richness.' --Irish Independent

'A terrific, gripping read.' --Irish Times

'Get ready to applaud, ladies and gentlemen, because there is no one like her. O'Brien, in her 80s, may look like an icon and talk like an icon, but she writes like the thing itself.' Guardian
'Wonderful, crystalline and true.' --Observer

'An emotional roller-coaster of a book.' Spectator

'Compelling. [O'Brien] tells a story that is wild and thoughtful, full of glamour and considerable pain... riveting... [O'Brien] presents what amounts to a personal history of the past half century.' Mail on Sunday

'The entire narrative leaves you with an enchanted feeling of having been drawn into a life of great internal richness.' Irish Independent
'A terrific, gripping read.' --Irish Times

'Get ready to applaud, ladies and gentlemen, because there is no one like her. O'Brien, in her 80s, may look like an icon and talk like an icon, but she writes like the thing itself.' Guardian
'Wonderful, crystalline and true.' --Observer

'An emotional roller-coaster of a book.' Spectator

'Compelling. [O'Brien] tells a story that is wild and thoughtful, full of glamour and considerable pain... riveting... [O'Brien] presents what amounts to a personal history of the past half century.' Mail on Sunday

'The entire narrative leaves you with an enchanted feeling of having been drawn into a life of great internal richness.' Irish Independent
'A terrific, gripping read.' --Irish Times

'Get ready to applaud, ladies and gentlemen, because there is no one like her. O'Brien, in her 80s, may look like an icon and talk like an icon, but she writes like the thing itself.' Guardian
'Wonderful, crystalline and true.' --Observer

'An emotional roller-coaster of a book.' Spectator

'Compelling. [O'Brien] tells a story that is wild and thoughtful, full of glamour and considerable pain... riveting... [O'Brien] presents what amounts to a personal history of the past half century.' Mail on Sunday

'The entire narrative leaves you with an enchanted feeling of having been drawn into a life of great internal richness.' Irish Independent
'A terrific, gripping read.' --Irish Times

Book Description

An astonishingly honest and compelling memoir from one the greatest names in twentieth century literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great day's read 27 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this down when I got it and as I am under doctor's orders to rest, it was great to do so and not feel guilty. I first read Edna O'Brien when I was young and before my children arrived. I loved it and bought the rest. Her later books did not do it for me but I loved this biography. I'm Irish and there was so much I recognised from my grandmother's stories in Rural Ireland. She was a great beauty and is still elegant and witty, but most of all she is a wonderful wordsmith.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful in parts... 8 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the early parts of the book, the reminiscences about O'Brien's childhood, the conflict of being a young woman ahead of her time, incurring the wrath of her family, the church and Irish rural society. The later parts were a little vague at times, as if the writer, having decided, under pressure, to finally write her autobiography, was reluctant to do so. She certainly does not lay her emotions bare before us, or to share an in-depth view of her take on life. It might have been better for O'Brien to have written another novel instead. I am going back to re-read her earlier work.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country girl ...... 12 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
i have waited eagerly for this book to be published, I consider Edna o'brien to be an exemplary writer who is responsible for my love of literature. she tells her story, of her life, with honesty and vividness and to read it has been a joy. She writes with such depth and from the soul. you follow her through chapters of her school days, home life, first feelings of love and can see how through observations of others and of nature, how her descriptions come alive. I think Edna lives in the present, in the true sense of the word, not many people observe to the degree of awakening the senses. She remains true to herself and a gift to the reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So much left unsaid 1 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fascinating person but in this autobiography Edna O'Brien flits through her life, never landing long enough to tell us the whys and the wherefores. I feel she has tried to cover too much ground and cram it into a reasonably-sized book. I bet she has enough material for several volumes. Ultimately, I don't feel I know her any better now than I did before.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seemingly honest with a dreamy quality 5 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Seemingly honest with a dreamy quality. I enjoy her Irishness and turn of phrase. I found there were lots of questions left unanswered but that adds to the dreamyness.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Wait! 25 Oct 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This has come at quite an apt time as I have had the great pleasure of seeing Edna O'Brien in conversation last night as part of a Literature Festival at UEA(Norwich University)and got my copy signed by her. I have waited a long time for this memoir and wasn't disappointed, it's not like the usual autobiographies with lots of specific detail going back in history, but all the better for it, in my opinion. The title "Country Girl" gives you a clue as this goes back to her earliest novels and it's a time in her life she goes back to again and again as it formed the person she became in later life, I feel. I think this book will build on what fans probably already know about her character more than anything, as that is what makes her such a great writer and a lover of language. There is no one quite like her and I love her independent and take no prisnors attitude to life and love!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FASCINATING READ 5 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This was amost fascinating read and gave a real insight into the life and background to Edna O'Brien. I was particularly interested to hear of the famous people that she met. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A Very Honest Writer' 17 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the afterword to her extremaly honest autiobiography. Ms O' Brien says she had mixed feelings about writing it. I can well understand why. Reliving the latter part of her relationship with her husband must have been very painful. Yet she relives that period with unflinching courage.
As a young man Ms O'Brien's novels were encouraging especially ' Night' and "Johnny I hardly Knew You'. Her shoet stories also inspired me especially her early collection 'The Love Object'.
Again in 'Country Girl' Ms.O'Brien demonstrated her control and love of language. Every sentance she writes is poetry.
Anthony Kirby,Montreal,Canada.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but I remember when I wrote articles It too over my life like it did...
I haven't quite finished this book yet, but I remember when I wrote articles It too over my life like it did with Edna's. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Christine Hacklett
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Edna O Brien is always worth taking another look at.
Published 13 days ago by Kathleen McGuire
4.0 out of 5 stars Country Girl review
I am enjoying the read, I'm old enough to recognise many names and places. Must try the original sometime. Thanks
Published 1 month ago by John Grant
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
Possibly the most tedious book I have read for a long time. Lots of name dropping. My expectations were quite high (as were others in my book group). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars very good
Edna O'Brien is a brilliant writer I have always loved reading here books and this is still just as good
Published 4 months ago by adrienne
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow
I found this a bit of 'look at me - didn't I do well'. Fans of Edna may enjoy it.
Published 5 months ago by yogamichele
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
To say I loved Edna O’Brien’s books is mild. I read all her books, the Country Girls, the Girl with Green Eyes, etc. I consumed them. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Zelda
2.0 out of 5 stars Was ok but not thrilling- probably best for fans only
Wordy... Probably not a reliable narrator but an 'ok' story if a little egotistical
Read for a book group some adored it - were already Edna fans.
Majority did not.
Published 7 months ago by Miss BB
4.0 out of 5 stars a varied life
I enjoyed this book a lot. I read her first book 50 years ago, as a teenager. This is a comprehensive account of her life and, though the pace and interest varies at times, I found... Read more
Published 8 months ago by wilda
4.0 out of 5 stars This lady is in her late 80s so much kudos to her
Hoped she would get a little but further down and dirty but she didn't. As I have read her books since the 70s not much that is new. A heroic life and gutsy writer.
Published 8 months ago by Living9
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