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Cassandra At The Wedding (VMC) Paperback – 18 Jan 1982

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New edition edition (18 Jan. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860682447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860682448
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,631,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I-whose usual bed time is ten o'clock-stayed up all night reading that exquisite CASSANDRA AT THE WEDDING, dazzled by the pyrotechnics of such an artist (Carson McCullers)

A novel of exceptional quality (THE TIMES)

Flows and sparkles like a spring freshet (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE)

Belongs with Salinger's CATCHER IN THE RYE and McCullers's THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING as a modern American classic (Georgina Hammick)

Book Description

*Cassandra at the Wedding was first published in 1962, but its freshness and immediacy place it with the best of contemporary writing. *A fresh, insightful, moving and funny portrayal of sisterly love.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a book I cannot recommend highly enough. Cassandra could be the big sister of Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye, with her pithy one-liners and caustic asides that hide a sad, sweet vulnerability. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because Cassandra at the Wedding is a modern classic it is an earnest, dusty old tome - it is an absolute joy to read, and so fresh and accessible that it could have been written today. Witty, wry, poignant and beautifully written, it is the story of two sisters, twins, and their search for identity. Their verbal sparring is second to none - and it also has the best hangover scene I've ever read (see chapter 3).
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Format: Paperback
Never judge a book by it's cover - never more true than with this book. Why they chose the chit-lit look is beyond me... but luckily what's inside is a treasure! It's quite common for sister's when they're young to promise to spend the rest of their lives together, for their husbands and families to all live together, or at worst to live in the same neighbourhood - but what if those sister's are twins, and part of a kooky family that are isolated from wider society, and then one twin moves away and falls in love? Cassandra is the "left behind" twin, a funny, selfish, impulsive, heavy drinker. This is the story of when she returns home for the wedding, or if she has her way - the non-wedding. A short, fun, and moving novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant exploration of the nature of identity which moved me to tears and caused me to laugh out loud on numerous occasions. The style was - as mentioned by another reviewer - fresh and easy to read, and I found people and places formed easily in my mind's eye.

The protagonist Cassandra is a fantastic character, very complex and real, with more than her share of flaws; but I loved her all the more for them. I also particularly liked the girls' Grandmother and the way Cassandra related to her. The author is obviously adept at portraying emotions and drawing people sympathetically, but somehow still showing them in a brutally honest light.

I have to admit that while reading this book I recognised certain aspects of myself in Cassandra, along with aspects of my own relationship with my sister in her and Jude's relationship - and that this wasn't a particularly pleasant experience. However, this is exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading and don't consider a waste of time or money - because I feel I feel I gained something from reading it. Also, thanks to it being so entertaining, I know I'll read it again.

Highly recommended - 4.5 Stars.
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By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 May 2013
Format: Paperback
How do you react when your identical twin sister announces her intention to get married? Particularly if you have spent your entire childhood in the self-contained bubble of a rural backwater, with an academic philosopher for a father, encouraging you to dissect every thought, and a novelist mother to feed your preoccupation with words? What if your parents have laboured to make you different in superficial matters, overlooking the fact that you differ in the deep sense that one twin wishes to share the same life forever whilst the other wishes to break free into adulthood?

This recipe for high drama is a gripping page turner. I could not wait to get to the end, knowing that I would need to go back later to milk Baker's keen prose for the full sense of all her sharp and original observations. It often reads like the plays for which the author was well-known, with the advantage that a novel gives scope for the deeper introspection and exploration of the characters' inner thoughts.

The book is written from the alternating viewpoints of the two sisters: Cassandra and Judith, which gives you in time their very different takes on the same situations. Cassandra is neurotic, manipulative, a keen observer of others, with a biting wit, but an utterly unreliable narrator who lacks a sense of proportion, a source of huge irritation but also great sympathy to the reader. This is a tragi-comedy with many moments of great humour, and a light touch which adds to the pathos of the sadder events without making them too heavily dreary or depressing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this listed in the New York Review of Books as a "forgotten masterpiece" or something similar. So bought it as a birthday present for my highly literate and discriminating brother. Who loved it and praised it so highly for the sophistication and elegance of it's writing, that I'm about to read it myself.
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