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Kind of Intimacy, A Paperback – 27 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: BLISS (27 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906413061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413064
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 659,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'An intense and intriguing novel that never quite lets the reader get comfortable. It understands about the fuzzy boundary between the normal and the strange, and weaves them together in a gripping, ever-darkening narrative' Jenny Diski

Book Description

The prize-winning debut by Jenn Ashworth, which led her to be picked as one of the 12 Best New British Novelists by BBC TV's The Culture Show in 2011, a blackly funny and compelling tale of obsession, misplaced passion and one seriously mixed-up young woman - the kind of neighbour you would not wish on your worst enemy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
From the very first page, I was completely engrossed in this psychological novel of obsession - and totally fascinated by its rather unhinged narrator Annie.

It's dark and suspenseful yet contains flashes of great humour, and it's very well-written. Despite the story sometimes stretching things a little too far, I only occasionally found aspects of the characters a bit unconvincing, and overall I was able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the ride.

It somehow manages to show Annie as monstrous, dangerous and obsessive, yet at the same time she gains our sympathy as she reveals details of her past and her many vulnerabilities. As the story develops and reaches its climax so do her feelings of being misunderstood, and her ability to justify her own hideous actions. It's a terrific story - and since it was author Jenn Ashworth's debut novel, I can't wait to see what she produces next!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Mathias on 15 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the story of Annie, overweight, damaged and with a past we learn about in fragments. We see everything through Annie's eyes. She plays with our emotions, arousing both sympathy and repulsion. She has flashes of excrutiatingly acute observations but also a distorted reality which forces us to follow her, even though we may not want to.
A stunningly accomplished debut novel.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bakey on 12 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
This book starts with the main character Annie moving into her new house and she soon becomes obsessed with her neighbour.
I felt sorry for her at first but as her past is gradually revealed throughout the book I found her more and more disturbing.
A Kind Of Intimacy is difficult to put down and keeps the reader in suspense to the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed Jenn Ashworth's debut novel and if her other books turn out to be half as good as this one then we're in for a treat. Definitely an author to look out for in the future.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Colin J. Herd on 5 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
Jenn Ashworth's debut had me hooked from the first page. In Annie, Ashworth has created one of the most interesting, mysterious, endearing but at the same time terrifying characters I have ever had the uncomfortable pleasure of encountering in a book.

There are times when I felt that I simply wanted to hug Annie and make it alright. Tell her that everything's o.k. and that she IS beautiful. I balk when I read that sentence back, too, but that is what Annie does to me... I had that feeling a lot reading this novel, and each time i had it it made me feel uncomfortable, sensing that Annie was more than she seemed, feeling inadequate and arrogant: my hug wouldn't be enough, and would i be able to give it, and would i be able to cope with the consequences.

Ashworth really keeps her cards close to her chest, maintaining mystery and surprise throughout, revealing pieces and dropping hints of the fullness of Annie's past, the horror of her present, past and future.

This book is a love story of sorts, a crime novel of sorts, but most of all it is a tender and compassionate portrait of a lonely young woman, emotionally battered and psychologically disturbed.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Edward Wilson on 26 Aug 2009
Format: Paperback
Jenn Ashworth succeeds in doing what most authors only dream about. She has written a literary novel that also has wide popular appeal. A Kind of Intimacy is a quality read. Ashworth's prose never misses a beat or strikes a false note and her plot leaves the reader breathless. Few writers are brave enough to go into a place as dark and dangerous as the mind of Annie, the first person narrator of A Kind of Intimacy. Annie is one of the most convincing portraits of psycho-pathology in recent fiction. She compares favourably to Frederick Clegg in Fowles's The Collector - and the calm logic of her self-justification is even more chilling. Final advice, brace yourself for the ending. The gripping conclusion of this Hitchcockian novel - tantalisingly drawn out over the final 60 pages - is one of the great white knuckle rides of recent literature.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 7 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
"Evokes a damaged mind with the empathy and confidence of Ruth Rendell," says the quote on the front cover, thereby revealing, if not the whole plot, the main feature. How much better it would have been to be slowly made aware, by using one's own faculties, that the central character of this novel is one of the most unreliable characters you are ever likely to meet in the pages of a book. I wish publishers would be more aware that giving the game away is highly counter-productive in this genre.

Not that this is solely a mystery or crime novel. In fact, it cleverly subverts the genre, as we read of Annie's move into a new house in a new neighbourhood. She's a lonely woman, obese and rather pathetic, but though Neil, next door, does his best to be kind, Lucy, his girlfriend never takes to her new neighbour at all, but slowly the past is catching up with Annie, and not before time. Jenn Ashworth has written an unusually creepy and well-plotted crime book. I sat up with this until I got to the end, feeling, at times, as if I was holding my breath.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Harrison on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This book really got under my skin and I literally couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. There was not a moment when my attention wavered, it is so well-written. Annie is an incredible and unforgettable character who is pathetic, delusional, and actually pretty repulsive. Her growing obsession with the man next door is narrated in her own voice, with glimpses into the seedy past she's trying to put behind her. I don't want to say too much as I think this is a book which people will draw different things from, so all I'll say is, read it! One more thing - I was shocked to find that the author is quite young, for some reason I imagined this book had been written by someone a lot older. I'll definitely be reading her next one!
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