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Poor Things [Paperback]

Alasdair Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2002
What strange secret made rich, beautiful, tempestuous Bella Baxter irresistible to the poor Scottish medical student Archie McCandless? Was it her mysterious origin in the home of his monstrous friend Godwin Baxter, the genius whose voice could perforate eardrums? This story of true love and scientific daring whirls the reader from the private operating-theatres of late-Victorian Glasgow through aristocratic casinos, low-life Alexandria and a Parisian bordello, reaching an interrupted climax in a Scottish church.

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Poor Things + Loitering With Intent (VMC) + The Good Soldier (Wordsworth Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; New edition edition (4 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747562288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747562283
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"It wouldn't be an exaggeration to hail Alasdair Gray as one of Scotlands greatest living novelists." -- The List Festival Guide 9-15th August 2001

"The greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott" -- Anthony Burgess

'A marvellous, endearing book ... a virtuoso feat of literary ventriloquism' -- New Statesman and Society

'The greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott' -- Anthony Burgess

'This work of inspired lunacy effectively skewers class snobbery, British imperialism, prudishness and the tenets of received wisdom' -- Publishers Weekly

'Witty and delightfully written' -- New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Alasdair Gray won the the Whitbread and Guardian Awards for POOR THINGS. He is also the author of THE BOOK OF PREFACES, the story-collection, TEN TALES TALL AND TRUE, and the groundbreaking modern classic, LANARK.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and intelligent text 8 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Fascinating, intelligent and entertaining. These are just some of the conclusions that I have come to in the year since I first read Poor Things. Is Baxter a man or a creation himself?Why does he have such bizarre eating habits? Similarly, is Bella quite the woman she believes herself to be? What happened to her daughter? Why can she not write using vowels? How does she learn to relate to the world around her? This is a very clever re-write of Shelly's Frankenstein, itself a text that is very concerned with issues of language and how we aquire it.That, however, is not all it is. It's also a really good romp around such key areas of examination such as class divide,feminist issues and Empire in the Victorian world of the Industrial Revolution .You be the detective sifting through the authors 'found' collection of journals and letters ( a classic Victorian writing device). Enjoy the artwork and take time afterwards to ponder what you have read. How can you ignore a novel in which the main female character (Bella) turns a noted philanderer into a Bible-bashing lunatic as a result of her insatiable nymphomania? I'm still thinking about what I've read and that doesn't happen often with me. A modern classic!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, cheeky and poignant 28 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
This is a kooky story, told with warmth and charm. Gray's imagination is never less than fecund and highly flavoured, his characters are so real you can smell them. Another reviewer mentioned that there's a distinct flavour of Scot, but it doesn't get in the way of the text so don't let it put you off. He reminds me of Anthony Burgess in terms of his sense of fun, confidence and style, and the way he will make a story into something original and lovely of his own. Enjoy the ride.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure 16 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not my thing or not the right time for me to read it. There were bits of this story that I really enjoyed but more bits that I just couldn't get my head around. I didn't finish it but I'm not sure if it was the book or just that when I had chosen to read it I was really busy and couldn't give it my full attention.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 26 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovable characters, intriguing plot, unusual topic - what else do you want for a good read? One of the very few recent uni reads I have actually really enjoyed.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very well written political novel , with lots of intertexual references to other Scottish novels, history & culture ; wrapped up in a reasonable ,but deliberately derivative, plot.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Had to keep reading. 6 Oct 2011
By JanG
Format:Paperback
This is a strange little book. Bizarre characters and an even more bizarre plotline, would on most occasions be a big turnoff for me. Yet I found myself unable to put this book down, and a month after first reading it I found myself reading it again!
Quirky Characters, and a certain depth of feeling, combine to instill within the reader a certain warmth. I honestly can't put my finger on it as to why I enjoyed 'poor things' quite as much as I did? But it is certainly a book I would recommend.
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