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Nearest Thing to Crazy Paperback – 27 Jun 2013


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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: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (263 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback
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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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback
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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Aug 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a powerful, well written and disturbing read. Ellie Black, a glamorous novelist, moves into a small close knit rural community. She is quickly accepted by the group and involved in local events and fund raising activities. Everyone seems to like Ellie, except Dan's wife who narrates part of the book. Cassandra dislikes Ellie on sight and very soon finds her own life and place in local society is being insidiously undermined. Is it all in her head or is something sinister going on? Dan thinks she's losing the plot and says so.

If you have ever been in a situation where you know you've had a conversation with someone and yet they flatly deny it took place, or where you know you have not received a certain message even though everyone else has, or where you're told you're imagining undercurrents or insinuations then this book will send shivers down your spine. Reminiscent of the 1944 film `Gaslight', this novel explores the borders between sanity and madness and also the nature of reality. I found it an uncomfortable yet gripping read.

I found the characters well drawn and convincing. Cassandra herself who does her best to deal with an increasingly slippery and uncomfortable situation, her daughter Laura and her husband Dan who at times appears weak and easily led. I liked the way the interactions between the friends was portrayed with people rallying round to support Cassandra without really understanding what the situation really entailed.

This is a frightening and powerful novel and it shows how it is all too easy to upset a person's equilibrium and to make them question what they perceive as reality.
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