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The Missing Shade Of Blue [Kindle Edition]

Jennie Erdal
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

When translator Edgar Logan arrives from his home in Paris to work in Edinburgh he anticipates a period of enlightenment and calm. But when he is befriended by the philosopher Harry Sanderson and his captivating artist wife, Edgar's meticulously circumscribed life is suddenly propelled into drama and crisis. Drawn into the Sandersons' troubled marriage, Edgar must confront both his own deepest fears from the past and his present growing attraction to the elusive Carrie.

Moving, witty and wise, The Missing Shade of Blue is a compelling portrait of the modern condition, from the absence of faith to the scourge of sexual jealousy and the elusive nature of happiness.

Product Description


Absorbing . . . This is a writer of rare assurance and intelligence (Cressida Connolly Spectator)

Compelling. Jennie Erdal has a fine eye for the dynamics of sexual relationships (Kate Saunders The Times)

The Missing Shade of Blue is fascinated with big ideas , full of lively wit and a tender eye for the foibles of human nature (Adrian Turpin Literary Review)

The subtitle 'a philosophical adventure' really captures the mood of this beguiling, clever, funny and humane novel . . . All of [the characters] are well drawn, but the wounded, crumbling figure of Harry Sanderson, the academic philosopher who prefers fly-tying and fishing to the examined life, especially so . . . Jennie Erdal has written a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking book. (James Robertson, author of THE TESTIMONY OF GIDEON MACK)

Cleverly constructed novel, it gives us an outsider's view of a marriage that's complex . . . a beautifully written novel (Scottish Review of Books)

Deep waters and dense themes, marshalled with a light touch and dry wit. Elegant, humane (Guardian)

Book Description

* A wonderfully engaging novel about happiness, set over a summer in Edinburgh

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1093 KB
  • Print Length: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost in Translation 26 Mar. 2012
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Adopting a philosophical stance on life and relationships and dealing with "the suffering that comes with knowledge of the world", The Missing Shade of Blue inevitably takes an elevated literary view of its subject, but that doesn't mean that it is in any way detached from the reality of day-to-day matters or lacking in any sense of real human characteristics. Rather it is in the conflict between living through the complicated matters of life, relationships and marriage - particularly one that is breaking up - and the idea that we can make sense of it all as being part of some grander scheme, that Jennie Erdal's novel engages with the reader, attempting to reconcile those complex thoughts and feelings herself through the less than precise form of language.

These conflicting viewpoints in the novel come in the form of two figures - Sanderson and Edgar - but each of them, in a very human way, face a struggle within themselves to maintain their own position and, in some ways, they want to believe that there can be a truthful medium, and consequently a form of happiness or contentment that can be found. It's Sanderson who is the philosopher, a University lecturer in Edinburgh, while Edgar, significantly, is a translator, from France but of Scottish heritage, who has come to the city to work on a new translation of the works of the philosopher David Hume. It's through Edgar however that the reader witnesses the breakdown of the Sanderson's marriage and the unravelling of his friend and colleague and his beliefs.

It's far from an impassive and distanced perspective however, and far from straightforward. As Eddie observes, "there are mysterious forces at work" in the act of translation and in the relationship of the translator with their subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A good novel is like a small miracle..." 22 July 2012
By Sabina
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Edgar Logan swaps his Parisian flat with a philosopher in Edinburgh's New Town, in order to work on his translation of David Hume's essays. He meets Harry Sanderson in the faculty, a rumbustious, heretical and increasingly troubled philosopher who is married to the beautiful Carrie, a considerably younger artist. Edgar's long studious days, include imbibing the spirit of Hume by visiting his grave, and following in Hume's pre-breakfast footsteps to Salisbury Crags. Sometimes he has an inkling that somebody comes to the flat while he is out. Edgar becomes intrigued by the elusive Carrie, while Sanderson introduces him to his passion for fly-fishing. Interaction with the Sandersons and their unravelling marriage, draw Edgar out of his role of perennial observer of life. He thinks about the breakdown of his student days, the precariousness of his French mother's mental state and of the relationship with his Scottish father who was dedicated to her and to his bookshop in the Latin Quarter.

This is a literary novel of ideas and suffused with intelligent humour in its ponderings and discussions on the nature of happiness, loyalty, memory, sanity/madness, art, philosophy, imagination, passion (suppressed and erupting), jealousy, translation and love. Somewhere in the middle my monkey-brain wanted a little more action, but this phase passed. In the Sanderson household disaster seems unavoidable, but the energy changes in the final part of the novel. The sojourn on the Scottish island with all its weather and radiant light brings creativity, a fragile healing, a human hope.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Philosophical Adventure 29 Mar. 2012
Arriving in Edinburgh from Paris to work on a translation of the philosopher David Hume, diffident Edgar Logan looks forward to an academic sojourn. Drama is the last thing he expects, yet when, soon after his arrival, Edgar comes into contact with the academic philosopher Harry Sanderson and his beautiful artist wife, Carrie, the translator's meticulously circumscribed life is suddenly propelled into chaos.

Survivor of a solitary childhood with a French mother (consumed by grief for the miscarried babies she keeps in jars) and a Scottish father who runs a bookshop in Paris, Edgar had wanted to be philosopher but suffered a nervous breakdown while studying at the Sorbonne. So he becomes a translator and is very much an observer of life, keeping the messiness of human interaction at bay. Harry Sanderson is Edgar's opposite- larger than life, brilliant and paranoid (particularly about his younger wife) and he is hurtling towards calamity, in furious rebellion against his colleagues and on the brink of a nameless mania. Drawn into Sanderson's dangerous orbit by his irony, intellectual clarity and fearlessness, and by the secrets that underwrite his marriage to the lovely, elusive Carrie, Edgar must engage not only with the philosopher's deeply hidden fears, but with his own too. Through his relationships with Sanderson and Carrie, Edgar subtly moves from the periphery of the human race to become a major player.

The Missing Shade of Blue is a most compelling novel; a portrait of sexual jealousy and a profound meditation on the human capacity for happiness. The writing is excellent - inventive, intelligent and absolutely involving. The characters are very deftly and subtly drawn. The book is also about language, secrets, emotional engagement - and fly-fishing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars 'One day you're a peacock, the next you're a feather duster'
It all looked so promising - philosophy and the novel do share common territory - but this is neither philosophy proper nor a serviceable parody of it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Simon Barrett 'Il Penseroso'
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great title! Found the book interesting but not one I'd recommend except to someone interested in academic philosophy.
Published 6 months ago by Lakes lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written
A philosophy of life and love as translation, art and fly fishing ... but not philosophy! Sensitivity, awareness and insight, wrapped in beautiful phrasing. More please Jennie.
Published 10 months ago by Ozman
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
My book group chose this to read. I enjoyed it but I wouldn't say I loved it. Its well worth reading though
Published 13 months ago by Maisie98
2.0 out of 5 stars Dirty pages in supposedly new book.
This is a great novel and I enjoyed reading it. So, it would be 5 star.
However, I was disgusted to find that a book that was meant to be new and from amazon direct rather... Read more
Published 20 months ago by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars A good and subtle read
Well written, clear and sharp style, poetic, psychogically wellobserved, a page turner of admirable depth and subtlety. Not the usual cliches about art and love. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Helen
3.0 out of 5 stars Flatteringly deceptive
Edgar is translator of mixed Scottish - French parentage, raised in a Paris bookshop and working at the Sorbonne. Read more
Published on 4 May 2013 by Peeking Man
5.0 out of 5 stars Quietly gripping
Thoughtful, measured storytelling that with a light touch explores an evolving life, friendship and love. Very wabi-sabi - flaws are integral to beauty. I loved it.
Published on 25 April 2013 by WT Softie
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
I could hardly put this book down. The characters were well drawn, the setting was atmospheric, I live in Edinburgh, so I know the places and I fish too. Read more
Published on 6 Jan. 2013 by Mrs J L M Crichton
4.0 out of 5 stars the missing shade of blue
Beautifully written

The Missing Shade of Blue is a beautifully written book and you feel you can absolutely see the characters.
Published on 29 Dec. 2012 by Lois-May Donaldson LM Donaldson
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