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Half of the Human Race [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Quinn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.95 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


"Powerful and touching" (Clare Clark Guardian)

"Excellent and surprising... wonderfully rich... A thoroughly absorbing and moving novel and it is a testament to the author's adaptability and energy that he is equally at home writing about feminist civil rights, cricket, prisons, art and medicine. And love. Especially love. A good all-rounder indeed" (Melissa Katsoulis The Times)

"An exhilarating love story" (Sunday Telegraph)

"What lights up Half of the Human Race is not only the Suffragist movement in all its glory and lunacy, but Quinn's affection for his cast... So often, historical fiction relies on research for its colour and depth of interest, but these are people who feel absorbingly real in their misunderstandings, jokes, troubles and passions...and this makes the novel equally interesting to both sexes...moving... compelling... satisfying" (Amanda Craig Daily Telegraph)

"Quinn's impeccable eye for detail, perfect pitch for the nuances of dialogue, and the quiet, understated passion that enlivens his writing combine here to make his considerable achievement seem effortless... The Rescue Man won prizes. Half of the Human Race should follow in its footsteps and establish its author as one of our most impressive novelists" (Peter Stanford Independent)

Book Description

'Half of the Human Race is the sort of novel one presses on a friend in a spirit of happy envy, confident of the fictional treat that lies ahead of them' - Evening Standard

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 694 KB
  • Print Length: 500 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0099531941
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006MY5MXS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,885 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bowled over 30 Jan. 2011
By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER
At heart, `Half of the Human Race' is a `will they, won't they' love story featuring an upper class, emerging county cricketer, Will Maitland, and a middle class strong, educated, cricket-loving woman, Constance Callaway. But this is so much more than a question of will the cricketer bowl a maiden over? It's a novel about friendship, love, fighting for what you believe in and, also, surprisingly, about celebrity.

The book is set in that fascinating period of British history from the end of Queen Victoria's long reign to the Great War. It's no surprise that this is an attractive period for writers as this was an age of such contrasts and emerging political and social change. It was a period of that British idyl of the idle rich having the freedom to not grow up, until of course the outbreak of war when those that survived had to grow up fast, while so many never got the chance. It was also a period of ideas, not least among them the key theme running through this book of the issue of the suffragette movement and the opportunities for women to be more than homemakers. Constance is an educated young woman but her nascent career in medicine has been cut short when the family falls on hard times and all the available funds are diverted to her brother's education. On a family holiday she meets for the first time the young cricketer, Will, but their mutual attraction initially founders due to Will's traditional views that a woman should be seen and not heard.

I've mentioned the cricket theme a number of times already and I confess that as a cricket-lover, there's no doubt that enhanced my enjoyment of the book. However, aware that probably more than `half of the human race' do not share this passion, it's fair to point out that there is no need to share this cricketing enthusiasm.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars County Cricket - Jane Austen style 2 Jan. 2012
By Isola
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This novel is beautifully written and I absolutely loved it. I've become an instant Anthony Quinn fan and am about to dive into his debut novel 'Rescue Man'.

At the heart of 'Half of the Human Race' is a compelling 'will they - won't they' Austen style English romance, which takes place from the end of Queen Victoria's reign through to the first world war - which not only blighted human life but changed the role of women in society.

Will Maitland, a rising county cricket star; a man of traditional means and patriarchal opinions meets Constance Calloway; an unwavering suffragette, would-be surgeon working in a book shop. The author tells his excellent tale from the point of view of both protagonists, portraying their gender specific worlds equally.

His significant other characters are engaging and well drawn; especially Will's hero, a legendary batsman and Connie's friend, a Bohemian artist. Descriptions throughout the book are vivid and true, from the horrors of Holloway to the terror of the trenches. Quinn also covers the misunderstandings of mental illness during that period; highlighting the fact that failure and suicide issues are not a 'modern' medical disorder.

The entire novel is well crafted, thoroughly researched and detailed in development. The prose is elegant and the pace a perfect pitch. If Anthony Quinn holds a tight rein on his novel, it would make a wonderful British film.

Highly recommended (even if you don't like cricket!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suffragettes and Cricket Whites 18 Mar. 2013
Suffragettes and Cricket Whites, goes some way to describe Half of the Human Race. Whilst not a bad novel overall, it is, I feel, deeply flawed. For much of the novel, in particular the opening half, reading it was a mechanical exercise. Just reading one word after another, assimilating what I assume was meant to be a story. There were characters, there was description, there was conflict, there was history; sadly none of it was terribly interesting.

The story follows the on-off relationship between two members of well-off English families. Connie is a woman who knows her own mind. Considering the book opens in 1910 or thereabouts, this isn't particularly considered a good thing. Will plays cricket professionally, but is otherwise pretty useless. The conflict in the opening half of the novel is generated by Connie's involvement with the suffragette movement. She rubs up against various society males, chafing them like grit under the foreskin.

As her involvement with the suffragettes deepens Connie's ideology hardens, causing her to clash with the affable, but blinkered Will. Things reach a head when she is arrested for window-breaking. Will does not understand her motivation, and their relationship founders.

It may be unfortunate that I read HotHR just after Kate Atkinson's new book 'Life after Life'. This accomplishes much of what Quinn has set out to do, with considerably more skill. Then it does a whole lot more. In comparison, Quinn's novel seems staid and verbose. I found his descriptions, though full, leaden and uninteresting.

Beyond the rather flat Will, Quinn's characterisation is good. Will's best friend Tam, is a brooding elite sportsman. Awkward but sensitive, he adds a sympathetic counterpoint to Will's indifference.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best in Years 9 May 2011
By Smith
I attend a reading group where we simply choose books we fancy, read them and report back to the rest of the group. Thus we read a wide variety of - mostly - modern fiction and have no "set books" that everyone has to read. However, when I reported back on Anthony Quinn's "Half of the Human Race" I urged everyone to read it. Quite simply, it is the best novel I have read in ages. Quinn assembles a wonderful set of characters and sets his book in Edwardian England when women are fighting for the vote. He weaves together fact and fiction - I would say his research is impeccable - and produces a multi-layered love story that grips right until the end. I found myself slowing down as I read as I didn't want the book to end!My one quibble is with the prologue - it just isn't necessary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional
There are occasionally books which draw you into the story so completely that once finished you are left with a sense of loss and this is one such, so good you simply do not want... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic. That is all.
Published 25 days ago by MR TIMOTHY D EVELEIGH
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book.
The book arrived in good time and was as described. Thank you.
This was a book recommended from our book group. Really enjoyed it.
Published 11 months ago by Mrs Pauline Hinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Tale of an Independent Woman
This is a well-crafted and balanced novel, but is not especially original. In 1911 we find Connie Callaway, a bright, independent girl who supports women's suffrage. Read more
Published 16 months ago by gerardpeter
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming story
I really enjoyed this Edwardian love story set within a dramatic backdrop of female suffrage and the horrors of World War One. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rj Alder
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea
I was attracted to this novel by a number of its promises. It featured cricket, the suffragette movement, the Edwardian age and the carnage of the 1WW, all of which, as themes,... Read more
Published 16 months ago by John Brain
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Boring read. couldn't recommend it unless you're keen on cricket, and boring war stories. Sorry, I couldn't recommend this as a good read at all.
Published 19 months ago by Charlyt
2.0 out of 5 stars Creative writing overdose
The basic plot was interesting, with some interesting characters. The style was laboured and it felt as if the writer had been on too much of a creative writing course. Read more
Published 21 months ago by variety reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating read!
The first of Anthony Quinn's books that I've read, but it won't be last! Captivating from start to finish; this beautifully written novel captures the horrors of war, both abroad... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Judi
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I read the review of this in the Daily Mail and was very interested. It did not dissapoint, its now on its way around our book circle.
Published 22 months ago by Lesleye
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