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Mutton [Kindle Edition]

India Knight
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Book Description

* 'Hilariously accurate. The funniest novel about the female mid-life crisis' The Times *



Clara Hutt is forty-six years old, and in pretty good nick, considering. She has kick-ass underwear, a large and loving family, and a healthy sense of what matters in life. Until Gaby moves in.



Gaby's an old school friend of Clara's who has just returned from LA. She may be a yoga mogul who lives off kale, and speaks a made-up fantasy novel language, but Gaby's no stranger to cosmetic surgery: she's almost fifty, but looks thirty-six at most.



What with Gaby, and Clara's son's leggy girlfriend, Sky, wafting around the house in her stripy pants, Clara starts to wonder if a little Botox, a little filler, a nip and a tuck, would be so very wrong. Should she ignore the fear? Or is there another way to grow old gracefully - and how far is she prepared to go to find out?



'Had me reaching for the hankie as I wept with laughter from start to finish' Evening Standard



'A brilliant mix of humour and heart . . . offers a witty take on the ageing process, delivered in Knight's usual pithy, thought-provoking style' Grazia



'Tear-inducingly funny . . . we love this story' Closer



'Gleeful. A frank and funny novel of Harley Street makeovers and matronly madness' Independent



India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.



Product Description

Review

Every so often you will hit a line so funny and true it will make you gasp out loud . . . sharp and bracing as a Claridges martini (Jenny Colgan Telegraph)

The funniest novel about the female midlife crisis (The Times)

Had me choking with laughter . . . Knight has pulled off a clever trick here. With humour and wit, she's addressed the serious subject of how to swallow the bitter pill of ageing not necessarily gracefully (Evening Standard)

The glorious fourth novel from Sunday Times columnist India Knight . . . An honest, funny book about the complexities of middle age and a reminder that life is for living, with passion and gusto, whatever your age (Hello!)

A very funny exploration of ageing written with the author's trademark wit (Sunday Mirror)

About the Author

India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 811 KB
  • Print Length: 252 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1905490844
  • Publisher: Penguin (29 Nov. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009K6DLS8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,527 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love it but couldn't. 11 Dec. 2012
Format:Hardcover
I am a big fan of India Knight's journalism, she usually comes across as an intelligent, warm hearted soul. Not so in this novel; a horrible character assassination of middle aged women where the only crime for a woman is to be over the age of 45. It was such a depressing and soul destroying read, that I could not finish the book for fear of slashing my wrists. It was cruel, vindictive, downright nasty in places. India Knight has her own issues with ageing, she doesn't rise above the parapet to offer us any new insight, she simply falls in line with what most sexist males think about older women. So what if the main character has a natural sex drive? In this book she is portrayed as desperate, sad and unattractive simply because of her age. Age is something we can do nothing about. So why not offer an enlightened approach, instead of this miserable self deprecating downward spiralling attitude to life?

Thanks to the media and films, older women already punish themselves enough for being middle aged, and feel unattractive if men are not falling at their feet. Middle aged men, on the other hand, are encouraged to hunt for women in their twenties and still think they're drop dead gorgeous. Instead of leading the way for a radical revolution, to empower women's thinking, or to contribute anything original to the subject, Knight lays into herself and other middle aged women, in a mocking, cruel manner, which serves only to further humiliate women and damage the feminist cause.

Sad, because I expected more.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Baffled 8 Jan. 2013
Format:Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this book - I like reading India Knight's column, enjoy her on twitter and have read some of her other books - but this book left me really baffled. Given the title and a couple of media reviews I assumed it was a light hearted take on reaching middle age and the ongoing quest for some to hold on to youth and it did indeed start off like that - funny and sharp - but then seemed to completely veer off course and become something else entirely. It may well be that I just didn't 'get it' and missed the point through my own fault. I have even wondered whether my book didn't download properly and there were a few chapters missing but Mutton seemed to shift focus from Clara and mid-life to another character's fantasy novels. The frequent references to language or characters from those novels was a tad irritating for me and dominated the end of the book so much that I was left wondering whether the author herself became bored with the initial subject.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars an extended version of the Sunday Times column 8 Jan. 2013
By emu_b
Format:Hardcover
India Knight writes very good non-fiction and comes across as a funny and feisty woman - I've been known to buy the Sunday Times just to read her column. But as a writer of fiction, she falls short. This story comes across as a very thinly veiled autobiography of Ms Knight with some minor fictitious points to the weak plot. The main character Clara is a similarly slightly overweight similarly middle-aged woman with a similar family set-up (several previous husbands/partners, all of whom she continues to get along with very well, and children of the same gender distribution and roughly the same age as Ms Knight's own children) who, like Ms Knight, enjoys cheese to the exclusion of chocolate, and who expresses very similar political and social views to those we've heard Ms Knight express in her column over the last many years. And therein lies the problem - we've heard this all before. So there is very little novelty and zero character development. Even her friend Gaby shows herself to be the person we knew she was going to turn out to be from the moment she appears on the scene (gosh - she's really thin and has had lots of plastic surgery in part because she's miserable after her husband left her for a younger woman, and - gosh, even more surprisingly - she's not childless by choice but in fact desperate to have a baby....). The cliches continue. Even the word choices are repetitive. Yes, India, we know 'nonplussed' means taken aback; in this short book, this word appears more than perhaps was strictly necessary...
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mutton 8 Jan. 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a disapointment, being of a certain age myself I was expecting a tongue in cheek belly laugh of a read. I would not say that it was tragic however it felt disjointed like several author's had contributed to it.
Not for me.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Bother! 9 Jan. 2013
By FionaH
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was dreadful - I had read mixed reviews but wanted to give India Knight and try and wished I hadn't. The main character was clearly Knight herself and she came across as unloveable and unbelievable. The 'story' was very depressing and basically felt you were written off by the time you get to your mid-forties. It was a depressing read and not enjoyable at all. Sorry for the poor review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Following one of Clara's remarks from the book, namely that "bluntness is the best solution: there seems so little point in shilly-shallying about with announcements" let me get right to the point: Mutton was a huge disappointment. Being in my mid-twenties I might not be the book's ideal target audience but that doesn't alter the fact that the book is miles away from being hilarious (as it's supposed to be) and if this really is an accurate portrayal of women in their forties (I highly doubt it) then it's even more depressing than I thought.

I wasn't familiar with Knight's books before I picked Mutton up but I've always enjoyed books with a similar subject matter. I read Sue Townsend's The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman when I was in my late teens (again, I was hardly the right target audience and yet...) and it's been one of my favourite novels ever since. It had me crying with laughter, which was definitely not the case here.

I suppose the biggest problem here is that almost every aspect of the book is just... `meh', and there's nothing that would make up for the lack of wit or accuracy. Clara - the main character and narrator - isn't particularly amusing or interesting. Gaby is downright irritating, to the point where you just want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her. Right until the end - when a famous writer is thrown into the crazy world of the two women and the book gets mildly entertaining for about twenty pages - there isn't much of a storyline either (apart from Clara's dilemma about having Botox).

I really wanted to enjoy this one but it didn't work for me at all. It's dull, unrealistic and sadly - harsh as it may sound - one of the most forgettable books I've read this year.
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