- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (16 Oct. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330451324
- ISBN-13: 978-0330451321
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 999,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Almost Moon Hardcover – 16 Oct 2007
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It is a truth universally acknowledged that an author in possession of a good story must be in want of an arresting first sentence. Alice Sebold s new novel, The Almost Moon, contains one of the best opening lines of any book published this year: When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. It is eerily reminiscent of Albert Camus s L Etranger and certainly had me hooked from the start. --Evening Standard
`A gripping, disturbing, authentic tale, this is one that will keep you reading until late into the night'
-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
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Top Customer Reviews
Both Dave and I have read The Almost Moon and, I believe, have pretty similar views. We loved the actual writing throughout the novel. The prose isn't always grammatically perfect, but it flows at a great pace which makes The Almost Moon a page-turner. I loved Sebold's evocative descriptions and her ability to allow her readers right up close to the family's madness. From questioning Helen's sanity, I began to understand why she might have been driven to such an extreme act by the decades of provocation she endured. Looking back over her childhood allowed us to see the folie a deux of her parents, her mother's extreme agrophobia which alienated the neighbourhood, and - in a powerful scene - the pathetic poignancy of the figures in her father's sanctuary.
What spoilt this book for me though and the reason why I have only given an on-the-fence three stars is that some of the behaviours exhibited seemed so unreal that they jerked me out of the story's reality. Why go to the tub instead of bringing the tub to the house? Why does Helen's husband so blithely accept what she's done?Read more ›
Women tend to have complicated relationships with their mothers. It's part of the cosmic order. So for me, and my female friends that read this book, it was pretty hard going. Matricide in all its glory is the subject of this particular novel, and as always, Alice confronts you head on with the murder and its consequences.
Helen Knightly spent her life controlling and being controlled and her life unravels when she finally snaps and murders her mother. Given the shocking subject matter, it seems strange that the most disturbing part of the novel for me is the description of her mother's head banging on the stairs as she drags her to the cellar.
The rest of the novel moves back and forward covering Helen's life and choices and showing us just how she came to be where she is today. She's a picture of normality, until something inside her snaps and all the resentment towards her mother comes hurtling out. Helen then makes a series of choices that seems almost bizarre, until you realise that she's acting on every desire she ever suppressed.Read more ›
It wasn't the subject matter i had a problem with, it was indeed a thought provoking insight into the effects of mental illness and the impacts it has on relationships, but that was about it. I thought with such a hook at the start it would be an intense and thrilling read, unfortunatly it was too uneventfull, the jumping back and forward seemed irrelavent at times and having forced myself through the book expecting something to finally happen at the end...nothing did.
It has to be understood that Sebolds writing is threaded with complex issues, and is not intended to be a light-hearted read, i maybe would have enjoyed it more if there had been more to keep it moving.
I don't think it deserves the amount of low ratings it's got, but doesn't deserve a high rating either. Don't read it if you're bored easily, this is a book for people who like to analyse the deeper meanings of thier books and really think about the weaving of complex issues.
The two chapters that follow the initial revelation and a short lead-in to the dastardly deed seem particularly morbid and depressing. The novel then becomes a series of flashbacks which go some way towards providing an explanation. Brought up in what sounds like a depressingly run down small American town amid an atmosphere of mental instability, deprived of natural affection, and subsequently feeling responsible for her mother, it is not surprising that Helen's own marriage failed and her relationship with her children was less than satisfactory. The problem is that I can't imagine anyone actually liking Helen, the main protagonist, and she doesn't become any more likeable as the story proceeds. Because I never warmed to her I had difficulty feeling sympathy for her, even though I could see how it was her past that shaped her present actions, rather than any innate evil in her character.
The book is generally well written although it occasionally loses pace. It's a thoughtful exploration of the effects of mental illness on those who have to cope with sufferers. And the ending is sufficiently ambiguous to leave a question mark over what might happen next. One of three obvious possibilities seems to be ruled out in the last couple of pages, which still leaves two plausible outcomes - to say more would spoil the ending for anyone still tempted, despite the reviews, to read the book. But....Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This novel I feel I could compare with the writings of Margaret atwood (award winning author and poet) as I read the book I found myself relating increasingly towards the main... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
A thought provoking but rather depressing read about motherhood, family, identity and mental illness. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Char Louise
I'm sure this is a book that has literary merit and speaks to some people, but unfortunately one of those persons isn't me. Read morePublished 12 months ago by John M
didn't enjoy at all and was really disappointed as I have read The Lovely Bones and that is one of my Favourite books. I'd recommend giving it a tryPublished 16 months ago by bookworm
I can usually cope with a dark novel. I love the complexities of human behaviour. Perhaps I just wasn't in the mood today. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Katie H
Having purchased Alice Sebold's 'The Lovely Bones' for a work colleague and it receiving high praise, I decided to purchase 'The Almost Moon' when it cropped up in my local charity... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mr. M. Richardson
The first ten or so pages of this held my interest. Helen kills her dementia-suffering mother. I kind of thought this would be a story based on the killing and whether or not we... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Zoe
This has got to be one of the best books I have read. It is rather dark....but I identified with the characters and laughed out loud and also cried. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Karen Browne