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3.7 out of 5 stars25
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 September 2007
This is msot definitly a book to make you think. Though it is blessed with Winterson's always spectacular writing, the style is very different. If you are looking for a basic structured novel simple telling a story, then this is not for you.
Sexing The Cherry is an unusual book, filled with numerous little tales that all add to the brilliance of the book.
Interesting characters, fantastic writing, and ideas to play on your mind, this book is truely unique.
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on 11 January 2000
Jeanette Winterson's "Sexing the Cherry" is a genuinely original novel. A short, incredibly dense collection of interwoven tales that never fail to amuse, amaze and enrich your understanding of the English language. This is Winterson's great gift - her wonderful command of the language which allows her to pull off 'tour de force' linguistic tricks that will leave you begging for more. The main part of the novel concerns the Rabelasian character of a 17th century giant woman in London, but there are frequent asides and passages set in the modern day. This book will change the boundaries of what you previously thought prose writing could convey.
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on 14 June 2002
If you've never read any Jeanette Winterson before, this is a great place to start. It is very indicative of her style and will lure you into her unique literary world. The narrative is split between two very likeable, magical characters who let you explore their fantastically bizarre lives. Don't be afraid of the idea of a fantasy read; Winterson's dry, cynical humour and visual characterisation grounds the book in a way that means even if you start to think 'erm, just what's going on here' your laughter will drown it out. The novel tackles issues on time, gender and history and I would certainly recommend it to all English Literature students (particularly those studying magic realism and the Fantastic). Even if you're not academically involved, read this book to sweep you away from whatever you are involved in.
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on 25 September 2010
If you are literal minded and like a story to have a beginning, middle and end (and in that order), I would give this a miss.

The story, which is set roughly in the time of the War of the Three Kingdoms (often known, wrongly, as the English Civil War) and the Restoration, although it moves backwards and forwards through time, is ostensibly about the gargantuan dog woman's life and the quest of her adopted son, Jordan, for the twelfth of the dancing princesses. Really, it is more about the power of the mind to transcend the mundane, about the contradictions of life and love, and of the need to keep searching, even if you don't know what for.

There are a few comic scenes, the dog woman's encounters with men for example, and some more thought provoking ones. I thought that the novel was at its weakest when it was being preachy, for example when the modern (but much thinner) version of the dog woman is dreaming about what she will do about bankers and generals (not that I disagree with her, it's just that it didn't sit well with the tone of the book, the dog woman for example is much less interested in politics, having a simple faith in royalty).

The changes in perspective, and the zany digressions told in a matter-of-fact way make this a bit of a hallucinatory novel. I thought that it was both fun and thought provoking, and well worth a read.
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on 9 July 2012
Parts of this book are written as historical novel, about Jordan who becomes assistant to the King's gardener, Tradescant, and travels the world bringing home exotic fruits (such as the banana and pineapple), and his mother who played not a minor role in the Great Fire of London. The characters are larger than life with a wicked sense of humour, and the dirty, smelly London is vividly depicted.

Other parts of the novel float through time and space, meditating on the nature of both of these things, and passing through some unique interpretations of the fairy tales of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and Rapunzel, and the Greek myth of Artemis and Orion. The characterisation in these parts was less rounded (more archetypal), but interesting nonetheless.

It sounds a bit bizarre (and it's certainly not a standard novel by any stretch of the imagination) but it reads well, and even made me laugh out loud in places. I preferred it to Winterson's more popular, perhaps 'easier' 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit'.
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on 27 February 2004
For me, this is Winterson's best work. It is a book I have read many times but never once tired of. Winterson covers a great many truths without making the reader aware of it! It reads like a wonderful, fluid story of wonder but reveals much more on closer inspection. Highly recommended.
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on 6 March 2012
Sexing the Cherry is a post-modern classic of the highest order. Winterson mixes allegory and complex philosophy with such art that, even having read the novel four or five times, it is easy to miss quite a good deal of the beauty and complexity of the piece. As ever with Winterson, gender and sexual politics play a part in the novel but they are handled by such a likeable protagonist that you can simply chose to enjoy the story if you don't want to think to much. As I said, it is post-modernism of the highest order; an astounding piece of literature that is too often over-looked.
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on 13 October 2008
'Sexing the Cherry' is a fantastic novel full of rich, beautiful dream-like imagery that you don't have to study literature to appreciate. Easily readable in an afternoon, the book left me hankering for more, as I have never read anything quite so vivid or easy to identify with. Well worth reading and re-reading!
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on 17 May 2009
A beautifully confusing, strange and fascinating collection of interwoven stories. The Twelve Dancing Princesses was fantastic. The underlying sarcasm and humour was very subtle and clever. Really enjoyed this book.
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on 3 December 2014
Great book, love the very abstract feel of the story although it can be a little confusing at times. Would recommend it for a short trip, and the length is short and sweet but gives the reader much food for thought.
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