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279 Reviews
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242 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Although one should never buy a book for its cover, I must admit that I was drawn to this book by the photograph on the front and by the title: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?' Jeanette Winterson chose this title because it was her adoptive mother's response to the news that Winterson was gay - so the title might just as easily have been: `Why me? What have I done...
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by Susie B

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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Partial autobiography?
Easy reading and great chapter division in true Winterson style. Summed up by her self- "I never could write a story with a beginnning a middle and an end."

It was intriguing to see what was her and what wasn't from Oranges- particularly after all the speculation in the 80's. I also enjoyed considering her reflection of what Oranges represented when published...
Published on 4 Feb 2012 by Germilken


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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A very me, me, me book, 15 Feb 2013
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I didn't rate it as a fiction book. Very self absorbed and I was glad to finish it. The good news is that I actually read it.
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Curate's egg, 15 Nov 2011
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There are some lovely passages in this book but there are some obscure ones that verge on the self-indulgent. On the whole I think I enjoyed it as I wanted to finish it and I created a few highlights to re-read them, as they were really poignant.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disturbing Book, 24 Dec 2012
This review is from: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Paperback)
There is no doubt that the author is a fine and entertaining writer. But parts of this book leaves me with serious problems. On the cover we see a smiling girl on a beach somewhere, presumably on holiday. This image belies the content of the book. She has scarcely a good word to say for the family that provided her with food and shelter for many years. Some of the criticisms she makes of her step-mother are hurtful and bizarre. I feel it is unfair to criticise and belittle someone who can no longer defend herself. Also, I have doubts about some of the stories in the book. She mentions being locked out all night till the milkman came. In a road of terraced houses news of such cruelty would quickly get back to social services, even if the milkman said nothing. I have personal knowledge of the Elim church at the time she mentions. The church tried to present itself as very sound and central in all that it did. Other Christian groups that they were a bit too safe and orderly. She describes her step-mother as a gun-toting fanatic driven by apocalyptic fantasies. I find this caricature frankly unbelievable. Also, she mentions that seances were held in their front room, a practice totally rejected by her church leaders. The Elim church in Accrington as described is totally different from the churches I knew in the sixties. It amazes me that the liberal intelligensia has swallowed everything she writes. There is a ready market for harsh critiques of Christianity, however biased and ridiculous. The whole story is angrily fuelled by her rejection of her Christian step-parents and all they stood for
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing, 10 July 2013
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While I admired her intelligence, courage and determination, I found the book quite depressing, even though there were flashes of humour.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 28 May 2013
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Sorry I just couldn't get into this book. Was just about nothing really. Had to read it for book club may be just not my thing.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A must read, 17 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Paperback)
Found it hard going at first but persevered was not happy with how JW portrayed her adopted and birth mother. I wonder what their version would be?
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book, 24 Dec 2012
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I did not really enjoy this book. Beautifully written but just not my thing. Felt like I was listening in to someone recalling random events in thier life. A book you can pick up and put down easily.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Santa Present, 3 Jan 2012
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Mr. JS SAINI "Jazz" (Corby, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this book for a Secret Santa present this Christmas. Even though I didn't actually read this book myself I was impressed by the super duper fast delivery I received from Amazon.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not My Cup Of Tea, 27 Dec 2013
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Not my thing at all - very disappointing. I was not keen on the way it was written and there was no storyline that I could figure out - just a catalogue of memories in no particular order.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars most hated book, 25 Nov 2013
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I could not get into this book and could not see the point of it. I found the style of writing very annoying
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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (Paperback - 12 April 2012)
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