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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: 19.6 x 12.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (271 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Sept. 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beadyjan on 7 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
This is a fast paced psychological thriller set in an idyllic middle England country village where Cass has a cosy home which she enjoys pottering about in, a close knit circle of friends, a loving husband and since their only daughter Laura flew the nest to University has started her own little gardening business. Life couldn't be much better .... but it COULD get a whole lot worse!

Enter Ellie, glamorous, bright and sophisticated she swans into town in a sports car and instantly fits in with the local crowd. Of a similar age to Cass, she makes friendly overtures towards everyone, Cass included and during a heart to heart Cass instantly feels Ellie understands her and believes she has found a new friend and confidante, but things rapidly become strained between the 2 women when a series of misunderstandings mean Cass gets her nose pushed out by Ellie and old insecurities begin to surface making her feels she is deliberately being usurped. Things rapidly go downhill for Cass and her life begins to feel as if it's no longer safe, she feels vulnerable and threatened.

Cass is the main narrator but we are also treated at intervals to Ellies very different point of view on events and as both women are persuasive and believable we begin to waver as to which one we believe most - who should we trust? The narrative switches effortlessly between the 2 women and events which begin gradually and insidiously soon become terrifying and terrible.

It really scared me how quickly things can change and how difficult it can be to make people believe you once doubts are in their minds. I was actually quite worried that at times I couldn't see a way out of the increasingly desperate situation.

This is a taut and terrifying page turner of the very highest calibre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful 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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