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The Red Book

The Red Book [Kindle Edition]

Deborah Copaken Kogan
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description


'Compulsive reading' (Meg Wolitzer, author of The Uncoupling)

'Destined to be a classic . . . a sharply funny, clear-eyed examination, in the vein of Mary McCarthy's The Group, of the power and burden of privilege, the reality of being a modern woman and the lasting bonds of female friendship' (Vanity Fair)


'Compulsive reading' (Meg Wolitzer, Author Of The Uncoupling )

'Destined to be a classic . . . a sharply funny, clear-eyed examination, in the vein of Mary McCarthy's The Group, of the power and burden of privilege, the reality of being a modern woman and the lasting bonds of female friendship' (Vanity Fair )

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 857 KB
  • Print Length: 481 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1844089002
  • Publisher: Virago (3 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007TH3G3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,473 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what it was cracked up to be 23 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Think a cast of characters with names like Bucky, Clover, Addison, Trilby...(to name but a few) set the scene. I wonder why this was long listed for Womens Prize. Whilst an OK read - I struggled to find any literary merit amid the overindulgent Harvard grads on their reunion weekend. Privileged but flawed lives and relationships and just shedloads of money, spent on jail bailouts and similar. Even the husband who has a heart attack brought on by financial stress has his family doing OK whe they sell the house in Antibes, move to a cosy (?) place in Venice Beach and she has to go out to work...Your heart bleeds, not! Long but easy to read and totally unmemorable
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book. 8 April 2012
By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWER
I bought and read "The Red Book", by Deborah Copaken Kogan, on the advise of some good friends - (Hi Betz and Bonnie!) - and was really not expecting much. Oh, maybe a four star look at the typical group of old college buddies - peopled with the standard WASP, Jewish, black, and Asian characters - each described with the short-hand caricatures of age-old womens' novels. And it was set at Harvard, no less, where everyone starts out brilliant!

But Kogan's novel was a much deeper, better written book than any of the genre I've read before. She cleverly and deftly draws her four main characters - Harvard grads who are reuniting for their 20th year reunion - with nary a caricature. (Except, maybe, the WASP character's name. I mean, "Addison Cornwall Hunt"?) By using the form of entries written for the class "Red Book" which describe each character from the basics of address, spouse/partner, job, children, and then going into what has happened since the previous "Red Book" entry five years previously, Kogan is masterful in her introduction to Addison, Mia, Clover, and Jane. But Kogan doesn't end with the main characters. She draws her secondary characters - in most cases family members of the four - as well as other Harvard alumni, who she also sketches by using the "Red Book" entries.

Set in those financially shaky days of June 2009, the four women return to Boston for their 20th reunion. All are involved in relationships - some shaky, some strong - and they are accompanied by their significant others and their children. The women are also accompanied by secrets; secrets they're holding off from each other and from their loved ones. Some secrets are of a financial nature and others are of more personal and intimate nature.
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By Natalie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this as a throwaway beach read but have since recommended it to everyone looking for an easy read with a bit more substance.

Writing is emotive and it has character profiles that make you engage.

Really enjoyed it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The perfect novel for the nosy! 2 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There was something unnervingly Sex and the City about this novel and though I am not a big fan of the programme, I have watched every episode but am not enamoured by anybody in it, I found Kogan's characters brilliant. I particularly liked Mia and there was a close affinity with a lot of what she said and did with her children. She had four and her fourth ten years after her third and there's lots of discussion about her relief as being a mother means she doesn't have to feel like she's not becoming the person she should be as a Harvard graduate. I also adore Jane, much of the discussion about her character, history and past is brilliant and she seems key to understanding the point of the whole novel. She discovers infidelity after infidelity and rather than staying shocked and hurt, even when one of the discoveries is her own late husband's, she seems to become a stronger and more rounded person because of it. I really love the concepts explored through Jane's character.

The only thing that jarred slightly is Kogan's teenage characters. There's a touch of tongue in cheek "I'm a mother so I know what teenagers are like" tone when she plays with her characters which makes them a bit less believable. Trilby's choice of grindcore, horrorcore type music including an obsession with the extremely obscure band Vaginal Discharge seems a little off, especially with the inclusion of phrases such as "omg I love vaginal discharge" in an odd makeshift Facebook conversation in the middle of the novel. This is my only gripe however.

My obsessive nosiness meant I couldn't not enjoy this novel and unlike others the yearbook format means I even got a chance to see where the characters were in five years' time - bliss!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad 8 Oct 2013
By scotgal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was the local book club choice so I felt obliged to read it to the end even though I was tempted to give up early on. Unsympathetic characters, ghastly Americanisms, gratuitous sex scenes and overall bad writing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 14 April 2013
By Heather
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am still reading this book but dread finishing it as I am enjoying it so much. From the title, it sounds as though it may be 'chicklit', which it definitely is not - in fact, it is very well written and its structure is unusual and works really well. There is a wonderful range of characters and I have been captivated throughout.
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