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Female Ruins [Paperback]

Geoff Nicholson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jan 2000
The product of a fleeting 60s marriage, Kelly Howell leads a solitary if occasionally wild life in Suffolk, nursing a sense of failure and driving a taxi to get by. Into this existence limps an enigmatic young Californian, tempting Kelly to search out wider and farther horizons.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 221 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (6 Jan 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753809168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753809167
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,676,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Educated at Cambridge. Was a bookseller before becoming a full-time writer.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Basically a novel about a womans search for the truth about her dead father,who she idolised.People who like modern architecture and architectural argument will love it. It is also a sort of mystery story.Hard to categorise,just read it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another surprising wonder 8 Mar 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Geoff Nicholson is the sort of writerr you wouldn't go looking for, but when one comes across, and reads, any of his novels (or excellent travel writing) they're total enjoyment. (In this respect, I find him similar to the equally superb Rupert Thomson.) Female Ruins draws the reader in from the first page, and the only criticism of it is that the novel isn't long enough. The writing, and the pace, is very well done, and it can only be a matter of time before we see the movie of this novel on screen.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Female Ruins a Fun Read 19 July 2000
By Miriam M. Lain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Geoff Nicholson's latest book is a fun read that doesn't amount to too much. And while the protaganist is likable and nicely drawn, there is little movement or development in her character.
In general Nicholson is a cultural critic, a sort of poor man's Roland Barthes. And his observations about architecture in "Female Ruins," are funny and astute. One gets the feeling, after reading a lot of Nicholson, that this is the reason he writes novels. He wants to talk about some subject that is obsessing him. Whether it be the electric guitar, VW bugs, foot fetishism, or the city of London, it's always some external subject that drives the story. Sometimes this is successful (Hunters and Gatherers, Bleeding London, Everything and More) and sometimes this drive to explain and expose the facts gets in the way (Flesh Guitar).
Here we have a story that carries the reader through, but doesn't ultimately satisfy. Female Ruins won't bore you, it's a nice ride, but when you close the book you'll be finished with it.
Female Ruins is a forgettable book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Architectural Madness 2 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am so addicted to Mr. Nicholson! I own pretty much everything he's written, except for a few out of print pieces I'm still searching for. This new piece has his signature style of taking something common and twisting your perspective so that you see things in ways you never could in everyday life and you become just as intertwined with the subject as the characters are...
This book deals with the world of architecture (not the typical art history terminology and styles I memorized in college) and what it says about our human condition, especially about the coincidence and sometimes wimsy of it all.
I found myself completely thrust into the world of the characters and even though things seemed a bit predictable, the way things are revealed through Mr. Nicholson's twisted and descriptive language kept me completely inthralled and waiting to see what happens next.
If you liked his other books, this is a definite must-read. If you've never read anything before, try the Food Chain, Hunters & Gatherers or Bleeding London first and then go for this one.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mythical erections 24 July 2006
By D. P. Birkett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Architects these days just build things, and they don't even get to be very famous. There used to be architect-gurus back in the twentieth century, who said things that got quoted a lot - people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Kelly Howell is the daughter of one of these architect-philosophers, who was famous for not having built anything until he got crushed by one of his creations (a concrete hand).. She is conflicted about her feelings for her parents, makes a living driving a cab, and keeps trying to avoid giving interviews to biographers. A persistent American admirer of her father inveigles his way into her life.

It's mostly set in rural Norfolk, England. It is brilliantly satirical but also very cleverly plotted, especially in the last few chapters (set in California) that twist and turn and set the story on its head.
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