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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly Accurate, 28 Mar 2005
By 
Ella (London, Europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Life-Size (Mass Market Paperback)
'Life-Size' is an excellent piece of fiction, using black humour and artistic originality to create a gripping dramatic prose.
The book is narrated by Josie, a severely anorexic young woman. The book is essentially a static one, with little plot except the memories and flashbacks in her mind. Starting off in the hospital where Josie has ended up and working backwards, we piece together the steps and events it has taken to get to this point.
Written with complete accuracy, the author manages to effectively convey the thoughts and mentality of a person with anorexia right down to the specific details. As we see the world through Josie's eyes, we see everything from the persepctive of a disordered mind. And Josie's extreme polarised thinking is made bearable (and even enjoyable) by a sharp wit and a deeply dark sense of humour. It is crafted almost like a piece of horror, a piece of black humour where the reality presented to us is so horrific that it becomes almost funny. It is similar in a way to Bret Easton Ellis's 'American Pyscho', where the mentality of a pyschopath becomes the 'norm' for the reader, and you become used it.
The narrative switches back and forth between past memories and present day, which gives the reader a brief and snatched reasons as to why Josie has become the way she has. Short insinuations about paternal abuse quickly appears only to disappear just as quickly again, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. This is an effective way of writing, as it accurately mirrors the way Josie's mind works - brief memories quickly pushed to the back of her mind, so as not to dredge up past horrors. It makes for a gripping read, always leaving you wanting more information.
A truly great piece of fiction - and an inspired choice using an anorexic as a protaginist without resorting to using the novel as a piece of anti-anorexic propoganda.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josie is sick, but thought that everyone else was ill., 27 Mar 2004
This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
This book follows the life of a 25 year old woman called Josie who is suffering from anorexia. You see everything through her eyes and her thoughts. This story is not morbid at all, but full of laughter and tears. It shows another angle to how someone suffering with anorexia might think and feel. After reading this story, I can see a little of Josie in everyone. I recommend everyone reads this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good., 10 April 2005
This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
This book follows the story of Josie, who is in hospital suffering from anorexia. She doesn't believe she has a problem and finds it extremely difficult to come to terms with her problem.
This book explains carefully what it is like to be anorexic, and explains her thoughts well.
The only thing that I didn't like was things that were hinted at but not explained properly, such as what really happened with her Dad, and a trip to the hospital, which I'm assuming was after she ate the glass?
I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to know about eating disorders, or just for general reading it's definitly worth a look.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing achievement. Compelling., 22 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
Life-size is a fictional first-person account told from the perspective of its anorexic protagonist. Taking place mostly in the hospital in which the central character, Josie, is resident, the narrative is interwoven with her memories, both imagined and real, from life before hospitalisation in addition to her observations about her current surroundings. Far from being macabre, as its subject matter might suggest, Life-size is humorous as well as poignant, moving and beautifully written. The language is as witty and incisive as the novel's central protagonist. Jenefer Shute avoids polemicising or directly politicising anorexia but instead provides an insightful story which raises awareness of the distress and isolation that accompanies the disorder. This is a compelling novel which you will want to devour in one sitting but will also want to savour again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 Feb 2012
This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
This book is amazing, really well written and it was gripping from start to finish. It gave a perfect insight into the mind of someone with an eating disorder, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone, whether they're interested in eating disorders or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily one of my top ten favourite books of all time, 20 Dec 2008
By 
Lucia Donofrio "fattychocolate" (Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
Jenefer Shute is an incredible writer.
she uses graphic detail in every description without losing your interest.
A perfect ED book for those wanting something gritty to read and true-to life without useless stereotypes propping up the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my best ever reads, 15 May 2009
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This review is from: Life-size (Paperback)
For me this is the most perfect novel since "the Bell Jar" and I have reread it many times. It is excellent, extremely funny as well as poignant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars replacement for a friend's stolen book!, 12 April 2011
By 
Maureen A. Jeffs "lyrical lady" (Gt. Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life-Size (Paperback)
This was a friend's book that some 'nice' person stole when I was in hospital. Story eventually becomes tedious on and on and on, but maybe that's how someone who is anorexic is.
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Life-Size
Life-Size by Jenefer Shute (Hardcover - 10 Dec 1992)
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