Trick Is To Keep Breathing and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading Trick Is To Keep Breathing on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Trick is to Keep Breathing [Paperback]

Janice Galloway
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.70 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Saturday, 19 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.31  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.29  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

7 Mar 1991
'An account from the inside of a mind cracking up. . . its writing is as taut as a bowstring. From brilliant title to closing injunction, it hums with intelligence, clarity, wit; and, its heroine's struggle for order and meaning seduces our minds, exposes how close we all of us are to insanity. Joy, as Galloway's heroine reluctantly lets us know that she's called, is simply that dangerous step or two nearer the edge' LISTENER.

Frequently Bought Together

The Trick is to Keep Breathing + Lanark (Canons) (The Canons) + The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black, Black Oil (Methuen Modern Plays)
Price For All Three: 22.38

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (7 Mar 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749391731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749391737
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 21,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janice Galloway is one author of three novels, three short story collections, two memoir/true novels and several extended literary works with sculptor Anne Bevan. She collaborates with a variety of artists from different disciplines including composer Sally Beamish, Sculptor Anne Bevan and Typographer James McNaught and often guests on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. Prizes and accolades include the MIND/Alan Lane Award, McVitie's Prize, The American Academy of Arts and Letters EM Forster Award, the Saltire Society Book of the Year and Scottish Book of the Year and has twice been listed as a New York Times Book of the Year. ALL MADE UP, her second volume of "anti-memoir", a radio 4 Book of the Week, won both the SMIT Book of the Year 2012 and the Creative Scotland Literature Award 2012. A new novel, set in 18th century Italy, is her most recent project.

For more information about this author, you can access her web site at www.galloway.1to1.org.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Janice Galloway's The Trick Is to Keep Breathing opens with a woman watching herself from the corner of a darkened room. Immediately, Janice Galloway sweeps us inside her heroine's confused psychology. Alone in her flat, the woman (ironically named "Joy") sits quietly in the dark, nervously checking the clock, jumping at the shrill ring of the telephone. We learn through a series of flashbacks that the twin deaths of her married lover and her mother have brought her to this state of intense neurosis: "I don't feel as if I'm really here at all". Fragmented sentences and an irregular typography help to capture her deepening sense of dislocation and bewilderment.

With such a depressing subject matter at hand, it would be easy for Galloway's prose to become irritatingly introverted. With her sharp wit, however, Galloway skilfully prevents her narrative from sliding into egotism and self-pity. There is a host of minor characters to provide comic relief--the overweight, awkward health visitor; the pompous, irascible doctor; the man from the bookies who is desperate to seduce her; and the ever-mad Ros, another patient on the psychiatric ward where Joy inevitably ends up.

Galloway is writing in a long-established tradition of confessional fiction with mentally disturbed women at its centre. Like Sylvia Plath in The Bell Jar and Susanna Kaysen in Girl, Interrupted, Galloway explores the complexities of the patient-doctor relationship. Where she differs is her sustained satire of the meagre attempts of doctors and psychiatrists to help their patients out of spiralling depressions. It is this sense of social critique that helped Galloway win two top awards--the American Academy EM Forster Award and the MIND/Allan Lane Book award--for this, her first novel. --Vanessa Cook

Review

"An account from the inside of a mind cracking up...its writing is as taut as a bowstring. From brilliant title to closing injunction, it hums with intelligence, clarity, wit; and, its heroine's struggle for order and meaning seduces our minds, exposes how close we all of us are to insanity. Joy, as Galloway's heroine reluctantly lets us know that she's called, is simply that dangerous step or two nearer the edge" (Listener)

"A real achievement; its dialogue sparks and its voice is true. For Janice Galloway the trick is simply to keep writing" (Scotsman)

"This remarkably original work has gained Janice Galloway an almost immediate reputation as one of Scotland's most interesting serious prose writers" (Glasgow Herald)

"Poignant and original...a wonderfully sensitive portrait of a woman who doesn't give up trying to find the "trick" to making life go on" (Ms)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great style, and a worryingly good read. 21 July 2003
By CJANI
Format:Paperback
An excellent book that shows how fragile the human mind is, and how little it can take to push someone over the edge. If you take a little time to read it, it's easy to see a bit of oneself - those slightly "irrational" things you do for your own reasons that no-one else knows of or understands. The writing style - fluid, personal, yet coherent enough to make a good book - is a pleasure to read and a welcome break from traditional novels. The only complaint I would have is that the ending is a little twee, but luckily this doesn't detract from the main content of the book.
Whilst this book isn't hard to read, for me it is a more significant read than the lighter "Girl, Interrupted". I found "Girl, Interrupted" a little too disjointed in its storytelling, and somehow doesn't get across the feeling of personal distress that is apparent in The Trick is to Keep Breathing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult, Innovative, Brilliant 14 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
The tense, fractured, unorthodox, brilliant prose takes us into a mind that is slowly cracking apart, despite the narrator's heroic, nail-shredding efforts to maintain a grip on reality. Throughout the book, she teeters on the edge of madness, fit neither for life, nor for the strait-jacket, going in and out of an asylum, in a troubling, disorienting, see-saw journey. I found myself feeling for with the tortured soul, and I often rooted desperately for her recovery. The taut, frenetic, often foreshortened, sentences (which sometimes abruptly cut into white space) make for a challenging, unorthodox, sometimes telegraphic, read. We get the sense of the narrator's life cracking, melting, and breaking apart, in a series of crafty, disturbing, surreal images. Appropriately, there is no sense of a 'whole' life, only of its fragments and remnants - often strewn across a whole swathe of days, like the maimed pieces of a jig-saw puzzle. The book is disturbing, sometimes funny and Galloway has created a language of her own. It is the book that the author of 'Prozac Nation' might wish that she had written.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a truly amazing book. I'd like to be more literate in review, but this book puts me in awe. The book is about a 27 year old woman named Joy Stone. Her illicit lover has just recently died and it sends her into a spiral of depression. Janice Galloway is one of the best authors around right now, and captures the human mind wonderfully. She has the ability to switch around perspectives, and making the reader (willing or not) venture into the character's mind. Her ability to mix dry wit with such a sad story make for a great read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great fearless little book 9 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'The Trick is to Keep Breathing' is one of my favorite books. It is beautifully constructed: a gripping story, powerfully told. The prose is deceptively simple, using a variety of forms (including the typesetting itself) with elegance and poignancy. Although the subject is bereavement and loss, it is ultimately about forgiveness and recovery. And quite a journey. Very moving. Highly recommended. BTW: has also been adapted for stage and radio.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Filled with darkness but a really good read 24 April 2009
Format:Paperback
This book is a really good read from start to finish. Galloway tells the story of Joy, who is a woman who lives in constant fear and darkness. She spends most of her days going through menial tasks in a haze where everything feels stark and unappealing. Galloway really shows the fragility of the human spirit and how difficult it is to live with a mental illness. Her style of writing is immediately captivating and you are drawn into Joy's neurotic world. One that I would definitely recommend!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lasting out grief 5 Dec 2009
By Jo Bennie VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
How can you heart keep beating when the man you love is dead, a man who you're not even permitted to grieve for because although he had left his wife it is she who claims his body and is named at the funeral. This is the story of the ironically named Joy 'lasting' this ordeal after her lover drowns, her complete breakdown in the face of the shattering of her world consigning her to a psychiatric ward, and the men and women who love her and despite her continue to reach her. Reveals the true horror of grief and the dangers of wrapping a life around a single person. Deeply moving, Galloway traces a narrative through a blasted emotional landscape with skill and feeling.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bold and believable 25 Sep 2011
By shiney
Format:Paperback
I first read this book back in the 90's and immediately passed it on to a friend with my recommendation. After reading Janice's book, "This is not about me" I bought "The trick is to keep breathing" a second time and enjoyed it even more.
For me it was a story of survival, of clinging on, of waiting for time to heal. Janice Galloway uses words like an artist uses a brush, painting pictures of emotions. The characters were all believable and her descriptions and dialogue evoked so many emotions in me - sympathy, empathy, anger, sorrow. I read this book quickly and felt I really was in the flow with the story. Janice Galloway deserves her place as one of the most talented contemporary British writers.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid character study 14 Sep 2010
By Shane
Format:Paperback
I bought this book on impulse for just 20p when I was at college and it's turned out to be one of the best books I've ever read. What we've got here is a solid psychological character study of a young woman cracking up. She guides us through her fractured mind and world in a really effective atmospheric way, through descriptions, encounters with others, thoughts, and - at times - even humour. If you like 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath, (another great book), then you'll probably like this as well.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Love this book interesting typography, and interesting personal story. Fab and easy read. Short but intriguing story times. Wonderful work.
Published 3 months ago by Sam
3.0 out of 5 stars jumped about a bit for me
I enjoyed both memoirs so much. I found myself wanting to know what the relationship between the fiction and the fact was. It jumped about a bit for me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. Jackson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
some nice analogies and metaphors to keep the mind busy. i stunning insight into the sparcity of care for mentally ill patients.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it'd own!
This book was recommended by BBC's "Open Book". I'd never heard of Janice Galloway before and I'm glad I've found her writings. Read more
Published 10 months ago by LISA ROSSETTI
3.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
Very dark, but ends on a high (I think). Enjoyed the way that it was written. Certainly made me think
Published 11 months ago by Angela Tunstall
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable ish
Used on my kindle. Scottish text which will most likely be taught in schools soon. Not an amazing teaching text but nice insight to depression.
Published 14 months ago by Miss Eleanor M E Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars New York Times book review said it best
The front of my paperback edition carries the following strapline from a NYT book review :

'Resembles Tristram Shandy as rewritten by Sylvia Plath'

That is... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Lady Fancifull
5.0 out of 5 stars impressed
The book came very quickly and was in nearly new clean condition. What a fast and cheap way to enjoy good books.Many thanks
Published on 4 Oct 2009 by Mrs. M. L. Macrae
4.0 out of 5 stars The trick is to keep breathing
well written initiating deep emotions and heart felt agonies for the reader. A thought provoking novel.
Published on 4 Mar 2009 by Jane Austin
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xaf42b444)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback