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When God was a Rabbit [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Winman
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT is an incredibly exciting debut from an extraordinary new voice in fiction. Spanning four decades, from 1968 onwards, this is the story of a fabulous but flawed family and the slew of ordinary and extraordinary incidents that shape their everyday lives. It is a story about childhood and growing up, loss of innocence, eccentricity, familial ties and friendships, love and life. Stripped down to its bare bones, it's about the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.


Product Description

Review

'At times laugh-out-loud funny, at others gut-wrenchingly sad, the book is peppered with unique and complex characters who are so original, well-observed and believable that you'll be completely absorbed into their world' -- Easy Living 'A story of siblings, friendship, secrets and love, told with sadness and humour' -- Marie Claire 'A genuinely captivating read' -- Glamour 'In the way that David Nicholls' ONE DAY follows two people through their lives, this traces a family story over four decades in the most unexpected way' -- Red Magazine 'Mesmerising' -- Good Housekeeping

Review

'At times laugh-out-loud funny, at others gut-wrenchingly sad, the book is peppered with unique and complex characters who are so original, well-observed and believable that you'll be completely absorbed into their world'--Easy Living

‘It perfectly captures the hazy, magical nature of youth and all its mysteries, against a backdrop of real-life events'--Elle

'A story of siblings, friendship, secrets and love, told with sadness and humour'--Marie Claire

'A genuinely captivating read'--Glamour

'Mesmerising'--Good Housekeeping

‘In the way that David Nicholls' ONE DAY follows two people through their lives, this traces a family story over four decades in the most unexpected way'--Red Magazine

'Exciting debut...a fabulously quirky novel'--Woman & Home

‘It's rare to find a novel you're recommending to friends, family and colleagues by page 60 but When God Was A Rabbit is just that kind of book... it's funny (embarrassingly so on public transport), recognizably true and heart-breaking in equal measure... A truly great book to lose yourself in; prepare to bore everyone else around you by telling them just how much they need to read it'--Stylist

'Winman's narrative voice is beautifully true, with a child's unsentimental clarity. A superb debut'--The Times

'I think what I liked most about this novel is that it was a rollicking family story - in which we get to know a fairly large cast of eccentric characters and follow them through some tricky decades. What was extra appealing to me was that the years covered by this debut novel by Sarah Winman are those--almost exactly--of my own life'--Paul Magrs

‘When I got to the end I had to immediately contact a couple of other people who had also been given proof copies, just so I could talk about it. What I particularly liked was the possibility of interpretation of events. Winman reels you in to her world and makes you work for resolution. What she does not do is manipulate you or lay it all out on a plate'--Booktopia.com

‘There are books that tug on the heartstrings, and then there are full-on tractor pulls. When God Was a Rabbit falls into the latter category...[Winman's] prose also has an elegiac, simple beauty, which she uses to nimbly guide her characters through 30-odd eventful years of history...Winman really proves herself capable of making camp inside our tear ducts--and of, one hopes, writing other novels in the future'--Globe and Mail (Toronto)

‘Savour the fragile beauty of the writing. Another Mark Haddon in the making? We reckon so'--Irish Times

‘Gloriously offbeat... Winman's narrative voice is beautifully true, with a child's unsentimental clarity. A superb debut'--The Times

‘Winman pulls a good number of rabbits from her hat in a picaresque coming-of-age tale...[An] affecting and original debut--Library Journal

‘A heartbreaking story of the secrets and hopes of a sister and brother who share an unshakable bond. Winman shows impressive range and vision'--Publishers Weekly

‘Winman's fiction debut, spanning the late 1960s and early 2000s, boasts one of the more endearingly unconventional families in a while... [Winman's] quirky voice maintains its energy; even at her most precocious, Elly never wears out her welcome'--Kirkus


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 835 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: Review (3 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004MPRDZ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (552 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,704 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Sarah Winman grew up in Essex. She attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and went on to act in theatre, film and television. WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT is her first novel. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise 7 Oct. 2011
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously. Read in two evening sittings, the pages turned themselves. I had avoided the book a little due to the title, but Atheists can rest easy, this is not a God book. I found that I did connect to the characters, although they were not always totally likeable. If I had to sum this book up in one word it would be Pathos. It fulfilled the criteria for "something different". I read two or three books a week and unlike many others I found myself describing this book to my husband. I understand many of the criticisms levelled at this book and in many cases agree. However, this book entertained me, made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think. What more?
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153 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 10 Aug. 2011
Format:Paperback
A very unusual book, told from the perspective of a young, then older girl / woman as she moves through her life. As the book states, though it is written very much like an autobiographical account, it really only focuses on the key moments of her life - the moments that hold the most impact, the most important or pivotal moments. For that reason, one could easily be forgiven for thinking it a more sensationalised life story - but it really isn't. Take your own life as an example, think of the biggest and most influential moments of your life - be they positive or negative, if you put them into a story, but omitted most of what was in between each event, you'd probably have quite a sensational story of your own!

This story focuses on the key moments from the life of Eleanor Maud, a young girl from a nice, loving family. Her parents love her and she has a very close relationship with her older brother Joe. Despite coming from a loving and protective home, Ellie still sees the ugly side of life, her parents placing trust where it doesn't belong, or brushes with death of family / friends. However the biggest exposure to the darker side of life for Ellie is when she meets Jenny Penny. Jenny is a girl of roughly the same age but who doesn't come from a loving or responsible home. Jenny struggles with life and though she never really envies Ellie and her family, she longs to be a part of it. Ellie's realisation that not all families are the same, and not everyone is as lucky as her is a key theme throughout the book. Even later in the book when she is older, this idea that, through all life has thrown at her, she should still feel fortunate really holds true.
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288 of 311 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure what the fuss is about... 9 Jun. 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Firstly, let me say that I did enjoy this book, and I realise I'm in the minority in not thinking it is amazing. So, fully anticipating a lynching, I will list what I thought was wrong with it:

- Simply far too much happens. It seems as if the author has taken everything she has ever thought about and splurged it on the page. She touches on a wide range of topics, each one of which could occupy a whole book by itself, but she barely skims them. This is not only overwhelming to the reader, but it serves to trivialise these important issues. There also doesn't appear to be any uniting theme. There is an element of 'and then this happened, and then this happened' and the reader is left wondering why.
- I couldn't identify with the main character, who appeared to be a wry observer who was unaffected by the events in her life. I think this would have worked better told in the third person, as we never really get under the skin of the narrator.
- The narrative is all over the place, appearing disjointed and unedited - something which really isn't helped by the gap between each paragraph, which gives the impression of a change in scene/time and causes the reader to readjust every time it happens.

So onto the good stuff. Firstly, the book was extremely funny, in a very subtle way. Several times I laughed out loud and I applaud the author for this: genuinely funny writing is hard to come by. Secondly, the writing and the descriptions are very beautiful, and some of the similes are spot on and breathtaking. These two things alone deserve three stars, and I was so impressed with them I would like to give the book more. However, a beautiful style and impeccable comic timing do not, unfortunately, make up for unlikeable characters, disjointed story telling and a lack of unity. Sorry, guys.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution - You may fall in love with this book 18 Sept. 2011
Format:Paperback
Engaging, affecting, moreish and skilfully written. This book moved me more than anything I've read in quite some time.

A very realistic account of the trials and tribulations of family life sprinkled with enough fairy dust and some cutting humour which binds it all together into a hugely entertaining story that follows Elle, a kind hearted young girl wise beyond her years into a confused adult and tries to make sense of the world around her.

I really felt the glow of her family's love and her pain in times of despair. The author must have a beautiful if at times manipulative heart as she pulls you full the full range of emotions. As a man reading parts of the story in a hotel lounge at times I had to stop and compose myself to avoid tears. I was surprised upon reading other reviews to find so many people felt the characters had no depth. For me this novel contains some really memorable characters, Arthur for one is a gem. At times Elle can seem emotionally sterile, almost a blank canvas but that is a huge part of her character and made it easier for me to step into her shoes and become enveloped in her world.

In my opinion this book is well worth a try and I will be recommending it to all and sundry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars when readers were lemmings.
I found it very superficial and riddled with cliches. It read like a first draft for a screenplay, a workinprogress which i hoped would never reach the screen, but going by the... Read more
Published 18 days ago by bettyparry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book I really enjoyed it!
Published 18 days ago by Mrs L D Hutton
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
Book club choice. A good read.
Published 19 days ago by Linda Peace
4.0 out of 5 stars A sweet taste of childhood
Manages to capture the highs and lows, and mysteries of childhood. How the people we love sometimes let us down, but mostly turn life into an adventure if we let it happen.
Published 22 days ago by Sonya McLeod
5.0 out of 5 stars It had me in tears! Beautiful..
I loved this book, the writing, the characters, the storyline. Being of a similar age to the narrator, it struck lots of chords and it had me in tears making me think of time... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. A. L. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Paws for thought.....
Shouldn't be glib about this book because there is a lot to think about; easy to ready yet thought-provoking. Read it!
Published 1 month ago by Clare O.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Delightful book
Published 1 month ago by Ness
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Strange
Published 1 month ago by Foxy
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, sad, mysterious and a satisfying read
The book takes the narrator's relationships with her close childhood friend, beloved brother and his first love through into adult grief and tragedy and on to a satisfying... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. Ea Buchanan-rown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Read it for the nativity scene alone. Well worth it.
Published 1 month ago by ella
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