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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest - and best - novel of the year.
It's rather simple - you must buy this book.

It's ferociously funny (I defy you not to laugh out loud while reading it), darkly satirical, deliciously well-written, and like its protagonist, Cassandra White, gleefully mad at times.

Imagine a cross between Thelma and Louise (two women driven to the edge by a stifling society and, perhaps, their own...
Published on 21 July 2012 by Multatuli

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall an enjoyable read
This book started really well and overall I enjoyed it. The background to the story is a campaign against second ownership of homes in the Lake District. The unsuspecting narrator gets mixed up in this when she leaves her disastrous marriage and moves in with Cassandra White in response to an advert. There are echoes of 'Cold Comfort Farm'. The characterisation is...
Published 18 months ago by Helen


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest - and best - novel of the year., 21 July 2012
By 
This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
It's rather simple - you must buy this book.

It's ferociously funny (I defy you not to laugh out loud while reading it), darkly satirical, deliciously well-written, and like its protagonist, Cassandra White, gleefully mad at times.

Imagine a cross between Thelma and Louise (two women driven to the edge by a stifling society and, perhaps, their own compulsions) and Withnail and I (a mis-matched pair raising merry hell in the Lake District), directed by Preston Sturges, and you have some of the flavour of this fine book. This being Joanna Kavenna there is also subtly intelligent commentary on romanticism (the rant against Wordsworth is priceless), on Greens and the back-to-the-land lobby, and on the unequal mess that is 21st century rural Britain.

But if the satire is biting it never threatens the pace and intensity of a hilarious story, nor diminishes the emotional power of the two strikingly well-drawn female characters. It is a long time since a book has given me such pure undiluted pleasure, nor been so hard to stop reading.

Joanna Kavenna is well-known as one of Britain's most talented and versatile young writers; anyone who has heard her radio appearances will also be familiar with her lively intelligence, and sharp and often hilarious conversation. But the seriousness and occasional melancholy of her earlier books is largely replaced here by a sense of wild, comic abandon, even if they are still quietly present (in the ghostly shape of Cassandra's soldier husband blown to pieces in a distant un-named desert, or the fading photographs of lost loved ones that fill her bedroom).

I can't recommend this book enough; you'll probably want to give a copy to all your friends too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly unusual - but great., 23 Oct 2013
By 
L. Barlow - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Kindle Edition)
This was written in an unusual style, but is very readable. When it started off I thought it was going to be a sort of Cold Comfort Farm rip-off, but it was something entirely different. The narrator runs away from a broken relationship to a rundown farm in Cumbria to help the lone farmer, Cassandra. I loved the way the narrator loathes Cassandra and everything she encounters - especially the dreaded thunderbox - and yet is irresistably drawn to stay. The two of them take part in a scheme to use the local empty holiday homes to house needy locals. It's a wild romp, beautifully written and with a lot of important points to make. I absolutely loved it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable satire on second home owners, 4 July 2012
By 
Ripple (uk) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
If you are fortunate enough to own a rural second home hideaway in the UK, this beautifully written book will probably give you nightmares. For the rest of us, it's a great read. The target for Joanna Kavenna's satire is the unused property, owned by the wealthy, depriving the local population of anywhere to live in the places they have grown up.

The great strength of the book is the voice of the unnamed narrator. Having been dumped for a younger woman by her chinless husband, on a whim she responds to an advertisement from Cassandra White, who it turns out is a widow intent on self-sufficiency. She's also possibly quite bonkers. But it is the narrative voice that is the strength here. Given to self-depreciation and ironic under-statement, she retains charm as she gets drawn further and further into Cassandra's plans to re-settle the local population in the unused holiday homes that have taken over the scenic valley, whatever the consequences might be.

It's a bright and breezy read and is frequently very funny. Some of the subject matter - like the brutal introduction of the suburbanite into the realities of rural life - may be well trodden but there's a freshness about the writing that is totally endearing.

One or two aspects perhaps work less well, such as the narrator's love life, either past or present. What is far better is the depiction of poor elderly people who are re-settled into these sumptuous houses with absolutely no idea that this isn't all perfectly above board. Unlikely as this might be, it is certainly very funny as wild Cassandra becomes something of a cult leader, worshiped by those who she re-houses.

As with all good satire, there is a serious point going on underneath all the fun, but that never gets in the way of what is a fast-paced story. It's great fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant satire, 24 Feb 2014
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Viktor Wynd (Miami, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Paperback)
i couldn't put it down - it is funny, but it is more than funny, when i did put it down my girlfriend picked it up and read it in one sitting
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant, 1 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Kindle Edition)
On first reading the product review I did'nt think I would enjoy this, but I took a punt after reading the customer reviews and I'm so glad I did.
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. It has a unique story line which tackles complex social problem which affects many (especially young, first time buyers in rural areas) and turns it into a hilarious, wonderfully written story with complex characters who really do come to life. It is just truely amazing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read!, 29 Aug 2012
This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
This is a brilliant novel. It is a fast-paced, page-turning, intelligent, beautifully crafted and extremely witty satire which made me laugh out loud and, more importantly, think. Kavenna's humour is rich and varied. She uses slap stick, astute observational comedy, black humour, scatalogical jokes on a Dickensian scale, and superb mimicry. Even the sounds of the novel are fantastic. I hope that there is an audio version produced very soon because I would love to hear this read out loud.

And like Dickens, Kavenna is attacking contemporary social attitudes. This is a satire on twenty-first century smugness, passivity, and me, me, me-ness. It is a disruptive and anarchic novel with a loveable but rather bizarre eccentric heroine and a narrator who could be, I am rather disturbed to admit, any one of us.

Another outstanding novel from one of the best writers around at the moment.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic summer read, 28 July 2012
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
I can't recommend this highly enough. I am a fan of Joanna Kavenna's work, and this book does not disappoint. It is in fact a revelation, because, while it resumes some of the themes from her other books, Come to the Edge is hilarious. A brilliant anarchic stab at the state of rural Britain today, it is by turns caustic, sensitive, thought-provoking and laugh-out loud funny.It's a fantastic summer read for those of you looking for something for your holidays. Buy it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale for our times, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Kindle Edition)
I came to this book not really knowing what to expect and was surprised and delighted in equal measure. Fast paced, witty close to the bone and with a cast of wonderful comic characters, Kavenna has managed to create the perfect tale for our straitened times. Satire, comedy - take it as you will, the net result is a compelling and extremely rewarding read, albeit a slightly uncomfortable one if you happen to be a banker or own a second home... I thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for a book that will entertain and engage this summer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars knockout, 25 July 2012
This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
Hysterically funny and painfully true. It's Tom Sharpe meets Michael Frayn, knockabout laughs and profound satire. And as with all the best comedy, it tells us more about how we live today than a shelf-ful of serious-minded tomes. Kavenna's range, from the Ice Museum to this is astonishing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, thought provoking and highly entertaining!, 25 July 2012
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This review is from: Come to the Edge (Hardcover)
This is an absolutely wonderful book. Beautifully written and a delight to read. I actually love books like this, it's provokative, darkly satirical and laugh out loud funny. I was gripped from the first page and savoured every moment to the last. The tone is playful and fun and it's a really accessible read. I would definitely recommend this as a summer read for anybody who wants to have a good laugh and a good think (often at the same time!)
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Come to the Edge
Come to the Edge by Joanna Kavenna (Paperback - 18 April 2013)
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