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The Brainstorm Hardcover – 1 Feb 2007

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (1 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224078046
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224078047
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.2 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,518,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'a funny and inventive book' -- Scotland on Sunday

"Seriousness and farce are perfectly balanced in an elegant, thoughtful whole" -- Time Out, April 2007

'Eccentric and brilliant, this taps into the psyche of the modern
office and all its madness' -- Eve Magazine, February, 2007

'The Brainstorm is one of the best debuts he's ever read' -- Sunday Herald, Colin Waters on the Aberdeen Word Festival, quotes Alan Warner

'This is an original first novel, cruel and incisive' -- Sunday Express, February 4, 2007

'[An] astringent comedy of manners...This is a stylish novel that
finishes with a soft flourish'
-- The List, February 6, 2007

`smartly-written novel...the writing remains fresh and persuasive'
-- Observer

About the Author

Jenny Turner was born in Aberdeen and educated at the University of Edinburgh. Her journalism appears in the London Review of Books. She lives in south-east London with her family. The Brainstorm is her first novel.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed the opening chapter and was looking forward to a good read, with the promise of some laughs and a bit of philosophy thrown in. It soon became obvious though that the author's big idea didn't provide enough material for a novel. The idea being: what would happen if you forgot who you were and what you were supposed to be doing?

This is what happens to Lorna, who finds herself at work in the office of a national newspaper where everyone seems to know her but she doesn't know them. She gradually pieces her life back together, and the joke is that nobody notices that she's had this `brainstorm'.

It just so happens that several of the characters studied philosophy before landing jobs on the `brainy' section of this newspaper, so one might at least expect a few philosophical insights into life along with the humour (which soon peters out by the way, along with the story). But no, despite the fact that Hegel is mentioned quite frequently, there are no real philosophical insights to be found here, which is a pity.

I was at least expecting some link between Lorna having to piece together her own idea of herself, to rebuild her consciousness as it were, and Hegel's ideas about knowledge and appearances and how we can be sure that things are as they seem. But obviously this was too big a theme to fit into this story, which promises depth but in the end bobs along the surface. Perhaps her publisher threw the meaty stuff out on the grounds that most readers wouldn't get it. Or perhaps it was never there.

This isn't a bad read, but it isn't a good novel either. It has the feel of something that got published because it's a bit different and because the author was already in with the publishing crowd.
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By G. L. Haggett VINE VOICE on 19 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover
On the one hand, this is an original, incisive and very funny take on the petty jealousies. in-fighting and naked ambition of aspirational office life. Somewhere along the way, however, the author seems to lose her way and to become carried away in a self-conscious awareness of her own wit as the book descends into a half-hearted, opaquely philosophical tract, which sits very uneasily with the admirably light touch of what has gone before. The jibes at the cult of the misery memoir and the sideswipe at the values of 1990s London lose their impact as a consequence.
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