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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Painful stories of loneliness, disappointment and disillusion, 22 Oct 2013
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien (Hardcover)
These stories are typical O'Brien, concerned as they are with the interior lives of women.

This isn't a modern collection but though the settings may at times feel less than contemporary, the emotions are still acute and poignant.

Like her more famous Country Girls trilogy, these are set in a mix of Irish rural and urban settings and deal principally with moments where female characters confront the loneliness, disappointment or disillusion of their emotional lives. Not the most upbeat of reads, then, though there are moments of dark humour.

This is a quiet collection where the drama is restrained and muted - but the emotional impact can be quite devastating. If you haven't read O'Brien before, this is a fine introduction to her subtle, controlled and intricately-calibrated writing.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Love Object, 9 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien (Hardcover)
great read what would expect from such a great writer.She brought everything to life .You thought you were in some of the places in this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Love Object Eda O'Brien, 31 Oct 2013
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Immediately captures atmosphere and detail and one world. Great to read these fantastic snippets of life and love and people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irelands greatest living writer, 20 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien (Hardcover)
No one writing today understands and writes about love better than Edna O'Brien. This beautiful book is a rare treat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Impressive Collection, 21 Oct 2013
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Susie B - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien (Hardcover)
This collection of Edna O'Brien's short stories is aptly titled 'The Love Object', for love is an enduring theme for the author, a theme which is beautifully portrayed in many of these deftly-composed stories. The story from which the collection takes its name, tells us of the sad love affair between a well-known, older married man and a younger woman, but these tales reveal love in all its various forms: passionate love; first love; mother love; unrequited love; however love is not the only theme - loneliness and alienation also appear in this collection. In 'The Connor Girls' the narrator of the story, due to her new husband's unfriendliness, misses the longed-for opportunity of going to tea with the two Connor sisters. Immediately she defers to her husband, she realises that she is saying goodbye to her own world and those in it, and how by making such choices, she tells us, we gradually exile ourselves and become quite alone.

One of the most poignant stories is 'The Rug' where a thrifty, hardworking woman, who longs for a carpet instead of linoleum, is sent a luxurious black sheepskin rug from Dublin; she does not know who it is from, but believes someone has chosen it especially for her and she spends hours in happy contemplation of who has sent it. When she discovers the rug was delivered to her house by mistake, she weeps, not so much for the loss, but for her own foolishness in thinking that someone wanted to do her a kindness. She tries to cover her disappointment by undoing her apron strings and then retying them in a tighter knot, after all, life is life and we live and learn. In 'The Doll' we meet a very unpleasant teacher who harbours an intense dislike for one of her pupils, taking pleasure in making the little girl's life a misery. For the school play the teacher borrows a precious doll belonging to her small charge, and delights in refusing to return it to her, and everyone, including the girl's parents, are too frightened to ask for its return - but what effect does this have on the young girl? There are witty and darkly amusing stories here too: in 'The Widow' the bereaved woman is Bridget, who does not behave in the way her neighbours think a widow should: "She played cards like a trooper and her tipple was gin and lime." And Bridget keeps lodgers and throws parties attended by gaudy women with nail varnish and lizard handbags. Where possible, her neighbours try to watch her every move, so Bridget retaliates by buying some Venetian blinds to keep prying eyes out, but now her neighbours want to know just what it is that she is trying to hide. And these are just a few of the thirty one stories in this collection for prospective readers to discover.

I've found from experience that most short story collections can be a bit of a 'mixed bag', but I am pleased to say that virtually all of the stories in this compilation (with its interesting introduction by John Banville) are wonderful examples of the art of shorter fiction, and even the author's earlier pieces continue to work well - in fact reading these stories has made me feel almost ashamed that I have not read more of Edna O'Brien's full-length fiction. This an excellent collection to dip or dive into and it's one to keep on the bookshelf for future enjoyment, but it's also a collection to share, because these short stories are too good to keep to yourself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage O'Brien, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien (Hardcover)
A masterpiece by one of Ireland greatest writers.Edna O'Brien has the unique gift of getting into a characters heart and then going beyond into the depths of their souls.I would urge anyone who has ever loved to read this collection .
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The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien
The Love Object: Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien by Edna O'Brien (Hardcover - 3 Oct 2013)
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