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Nearest Thing to Crazy [Paperback]

Elizabeth Forbes
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

27 Jun 2013
Dan and a group of his friends enjoy a Sunday lunch together on a perfect summer's day. They're pleased to welcome their glamorous new neighbour and novelist, Ellie, who has rented a house in the village to work on her book. She likes to place herself in the centre of her plots, she says, although it's hard to see what she'll find to write about in this quiet country backwater. As Ellie slots effortlessly into the village social scene, Dan's wife begins to feel increasingly alienated from her friends and isolated from her family, but, for the life of her, she can't fathom why..

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cutting Edge Press (27 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908122587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908122582
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


As featured on BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour.
,/br> 'A wonderfully observed tale. Clever, compelling and utterly captivating.' - Caroline Smailes, author of The Drowning of Arthur Braxton

'...filled with a cast of intriguing characters who live and breathe on the page. I loved it.' - Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret

'A clever, unputdownable study of madness and manipulation.' - Hereford Times

'This psychological thriller, with complex plot twists and subtle characterisation, reprises the theme of the outsider trying to drive an insider insane or does it?' 4/5 - The Lady, 1st November 2013

'This is a book with the power to make you catch your breath whenever you think of it.' - Fleur in Her World

'There is no doubt that this is going to be one of my Top Ten Books of the year. There were times when I was actually a little bit scared of turning over the page, this is a mind-bending psychological head-f%!k of the highest order. I loved it!' - Anne Cater, New Books Magazine

'The Nearest Thing to Crazy took hold of me from the start and didn't let go until the end. In fact I am still thinking about this book and its themes a week after finishing. This is a great book and it deserves all the praise it could possibly be given.' - --Jessica Patient, The View From Here

About the Author

Elizabeth Forbes lives in Herefordshire with her husband, dogs and chickens. She studied with the Open University for a BA in Literature and graduated with First Class Honours. She is also the author of Who Are You??

Jacket image: Marcela Angarita copyright Alessandro Massarini

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Are you sure you're not imagining all of this?' 11 Sep 2013
I won't reveal too much about the actual storyline to this novel, because it would ruin things; I'm glad I didn't know too much about it before I read it and I'd advise you don't read too many reviews or features about it until you've read the book in case any of them tip you off a bit. I've tried not to disclose anything that would spoil it. For now, think about this: have you ever had a conversation with someone and then they've later denied saying things to you that you distinctly remember them having said? Do you begin to question your own memory, your own sanity? Imagine this, writ large, and you have the crux of this chilling tale.

The author pays homage to Rebecca in the manner in which the main character's name is not revealed at first. A newcomer, Ellie, arrives to rent a place in a small close-knit countryside village. She's a novelist who hopes to work on her book there and also makes an effort befriend the locals. Dan and his wife Cass are part of that circle, and they, along with their affluent friends, all welcome Ellie. However, Cass soon comes to see a different side to Ellie, finding unsettling things out about her and feeling Ellie is excluding her from things in subtle ways, and Cass can't understand why no one else sees it or indeed believes what Cass tells them. When the doubting extends to her husband Dan and their daughter Laura, Cass's world begins to crumble around her and she is caused to question her own sanity.

A nightmarish situation develops for the central character, Cass. She begins to feel alienated from her friends and family, everyone she thought she could rely on and trust. It was frightening to think that this could happen, but the way Elizabeth Forbes tells it, I believed that it could.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The best psychological thriller I've read for a while.

Cass and Dan, living in a quiet backwater where nothing much ever happens, have a new neighbour - Ellie, a glamorous and mysterious novelist working on her new book. But with Ellie's arrival Cass's life begins to crumble. She's accused of misdeeds of which she has no memory. She believes Ellie told her things about herself which Ellie and the rest of Cass's friends flatly deny. And then Cass stumbles upon Ellie's manuscript - Ellie seems to have been using Cass's own life story as the basis for her plot! What is going on? Is Ellie manipulating Cass because she wants to ruin her life? If so, why? Or is Cass's mind truly going?

The story is superbly well done. The reader is kept wondering who is in the right here, Ellie or Cass. The characters leap off the page and the psychology is frightening and truly plausible. I thought the beginning of the book was a little pedestrian, but it got better and better as the story unfolded. My only quibble is that Forbes might have chosen a LESS apposite name for the main narrator - for readers with a Classical background it's a bit of a giveaway.

Excellent read, however, and thoroughly recommended.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Bending - Amazing! 27 Jun 2013
Sometimes a book comes along that totally blows the mind. Nearest Thing To Crazy by Elizabeth Forbes has done just that, my head is spinning, my heart has been beating so fast that I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. I've been so angry with the characters that I've actually shouted at them - out loud.

Published by Cutting Edge Press on 27 June 2013, there is no doubt that this is going to be one of my Top Ten Books of the year. There were times when I was actually a little bit scared of turning over the page, this is a mind-bending psychological head-f*** of the highest order. I loved it!

Set in a small Worcestershire village - a group of middle-class families are happy to welcome novelist Ellie into their tight-knit group. Glamorous Ellie fits nicely into their glossy lives, with their fancy houses, smart cars and perfect gardens. She tells them that she is here to write her next book, she's rented a cottage for a few months and is looking forward to getting some inspiration for her story.

Cass and Dan have been married for years, their only child Laura has gone off to university and Cass is happy to potter around the garden, growing vegetables, collecting eggs and making chutney. Everyone seems to love Ellie - except Cass, she is the only one who feels uncomfortable around her. And for very good reason. Slowly and gradually, Cass sees her life unravel - her past insecurities come back to haunt her, but nobody else can see that this is all because of Ellie. First her husband, then her friends and finally her daughter - all of them - beginning to doubt her, believing in Ellie, slowly driving her mad.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CRACKING GOOD READ! 24 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started reading Nearest Thing to Crazy on a train journey and was unusually disappointed to reach my destination, thereby having to stop reading this gripping tale of marriage, friendship, lies and deception! Prior to starting the novel I read the author's inspiration notes and immediately felt connected to the themes of the story. I think there must be many women who will have experienced some of the 'gaslighting' techniques in their personal relationships and I confess that I sometimes get irrationally jealous and become paranoid that I've been left out of friends' activities and wonder where my husband is when he says he's working late!! The characters were truly flawed which meant they were credible and you were swept along wondering what the consequences might be from each twist and turn. I have recommended the book to my friends and hope to read more from Elizabeth Forbes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this was fascinating
Published 4 days ago by Abbey Green Nursery School
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy but real.
Gripping book. These things really do happen in people's lives. I think this is what makes it a compelling read.
Published 17 days ago by Maxine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really great read. Could not put the book down.
Published 24 days ago by Pammy 1
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and rivetting
This book has a fascinating storyline with a fabulous twist. A must read particularly for women aged 35+. I couldn't put it down once I started.
Published 24 days ago by D. Linsey
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to rave about
A textbook perennial victim desperate to keep her husband mainly through submissiveness and neglect of own emotional needs meets a textbook psychopath whose intention is to steal... Read more
Published 25 days ago by A reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Gift for a friend
Published 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped from the start
I haven't read anything like this before. Very clever and I didn't know what to expect next, it had me questioning myself! Will definitely read more of this author's books.
Published 1 month ago by Crystal
4.0 out of 5 stars Persevere through the first couple of chapters
Took me a couple of chapters to get into it, but once I did I was hooked. A good read
Published 1 month ago by S. Townsend
5.0 out of 5 stars Slightly implausible at times but amazing how people are drawn to a...
This modern day Rebecca tale kept me gripped from beginning to end. Slightly implausible at times but amazing how people are drawn to a complete stranger appearing in their... Read more
Published 1 month ago by didunn1
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling and nerve wracking
I was recommended this book and I'm really glad I took the opportunity to read it. It was a really unsettling read but in a clever way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by puddyandpo
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