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The Almost Moon Hardcover – 16 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (16 Oct 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330451324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330451321
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 511,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones (now a major motion picture) and Lucky, both of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers. Her most recent novel is The Almost Moon. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Sebold grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended Syracuse University, as well as the University of Houston and the University of California, Irvine. She now lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.

Product Description


It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author in possession of a good story must be in want of an arresting first sentence. Alice Sebold s new novel, The Almost Moon, contains one of the best opening lines of any book published this year: When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. It is eerily reminiscent of Albert Camus s L Etranger and certainly had me hooked from the start. --Evening Standard


`A gripping, disturbing, authentic tale, this is one that will keep you reading until late into the night'
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Sharpe on 7 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after absolutely loving 'The Lovely Bones'. The opening page, which I read in the bookshop, had me gripped and I had high hopes for it: I couldn't wait to start it. Sadly, I have to say it is one of the most awful books I've ever encountered. It was difficult to read, not because of any flamboyant language, but because it was so 'lumpy', with no natural flow. I found it impossible to relate to any of the characters or the circumstances they found themselves in. I detest giving up on a book but had to really force myself to finish this. It was a chore, a nasty one at that, from page 2 until the end. For me, this book is more like a first-time attempt from a particularly inept author. I do wonder what Ms Sebold was trying to say with this book, what feelings she was experiencing to produce a novel such as this. Perhaps with this insight, I may have understood the story and its purpose a bit more. As it is, I just feel let down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mooji on 17 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
Let me begin by saying how much I adored the Lovely Bones. It's a book I reread every year for the sheer depth of emotion thats conveyed in it's pages, despite the horrific subject matter. Lucky was a novel I read twice - I found it so disturbing that I haven't been able to read it again. I was expecting something dark from Alice Sebold, but to give her her dues, there's usually some form of upliftment or empowerment for the protaganists. Almost Moon starts dark and gets darker.

Women tend to have complicated relationships with their mothers. It's part of the cosmic order. So for me, and my female friends that read this book, it was pretty hard going. Matricide in all its glory is the subject of this particular novel, and as always, Alice confronts you head on with the murder and its consequences.

Helen Knightly spent her life controlling and being controlled and her life unravels when she finally snaps and murders her mother. Given the shocking subject matter, it seems strange that the most disturbing part of the novel for me is the description of her mother's head banging on the stairs as she drags her to the cellar.

The rest of the novel moves back and forward covering Helen's life and choices and showing us just how she came to be where she is today. She's a picture of normality, until something inside her snaps and all the resentment towards her mother comes hurtling out. Helen then makes a series of choices that seems almost bizarre, until you realise that she's acting on every desire she ever suppressed.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By F. Henderson on 15 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this from the library, thankfully, and was glad to see i wasn't the only person that was dissapointed with this book! Having read and enjoyed the lovely bones, i thought i too would enjoy this.

It wasn't the subject matter i had a problem with, it was indeed a thought provoking insight into the effects of mental illness and the impacts it has on relationships, but that was about it. I thought with such a hook at the start it would be an intense and thrilling read, unfortunatly it was too uneventfull, the jumping back and forward seemed irrelavent at times and having forced myself through the book expecting something to finally happen at the end...nothing did.

It has to be understood that Sebolds writing is threaded with complex issues, and is not intended to be a light-hearted read, i maybe would have enjoyed it more if there had been more to keep it moving.

I don't think it deserves the amount of low ratings it's got, but doesn't deserve a high rating either. Don't read it if you're bored easily, this is a book for people who like to analyse the deeper meanings of thier books and really think about the weaving of complex issues.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Suzie on 5 May 2009
Format: Paperback
An opening line that refers to killing one's mother does not presage a light-hearted feel good story, so if you're not interested in the why and wherefore of human behaviour this book is not for you. Even then, I defy anyone to actually enjoy reading it - interesting it may be, but enjoyable it is not.

The two chapters that follow the initial revelation and a short lead-in to the dastardly deed seem particularly morbid and depressing. The novel then becomes a series of flashbacks which go some way towards providing an explanation. Brought up in what sounds like a depressingly run down small American town amid an atmosphere of mental instability, deprived of natural affection, and subsequently feeling responsible for her mother, it is not surprising that Helen's own marriage failed and her relationship with her children was less than satisfactory. The problem is that I can't imagine anyone actually liking Helen, the main protagonist, and she doesn't become any more likeable as the story proceeds. Because I never warmed to her I had difficulty feeling sympathy for her, even though I could see how it was her past that shaped her present actions, rather than any innate evil in her character.

The book is generally well written although it occasionally loses pace. It's a thoughtful exploration of the effects of mental illness on those who have to cope with sufferers. And the ending is sufficiently ambiguous to leave a question mark over what might happen next. One of three obvious possibilities seems to be ruled out in the last couple of pages, which still leaves two plausible outcomes - to say more would spoil the ending for anyone still tempted, despite the reviews, to read the book. But....
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