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Cat's Eye: 21 Great Bloomsbury Reads for the 21st Century (21st Birthday Celebratory Edn) Paperback – 2 Jan 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 21st Birthday Celebratory ed edition (2 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747590125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747590125
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,262,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Atwood conceives Elaine with a poet’s transforming fire; and delivers her to us that way, a flame inside an icicle.' (Los Angeles Times)

'Irresistible ... This book is about life for all of us.' (The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

* An exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you only read one Margaret Attwood book this should be it. This was the first of her novels that I read and I have been gripped by her work ever since. Cat's Eye is, on the surface, a first person documentary of a young girl's progression from childhood to her life as a moderately successful artist of a certain age.
Attwood's use of stream of consciousness may confuse an unwary reader. However don't be put off. Attwood reminds us from the outset that time is not a line but more like a pool of water into which our memory dips a hand from time to time. In fact this method of writing is aptly suited to Elaine's journey through the infulences and relationships which explain the woman she has become.
It would be impossible for anyone to read this book as a story. It is a series of memories. The backdrop to our journey is set in the present where Elaine, our navigator, is being 'honoured' with a retrospective of her artwork in a small gallery Toronto, the city of her upbringing. By way of a parallel to this Attwood gives us glimpses of Elaine's life in retrospective showing how each of the pivitol moments in her life have shaped her ability to interact with her environment and with those around herm, both men and women. To emphasise this point Attwood has dispensed with the uniform chapter titles and numbers. Instead there are numerous sporadic switches between the past and present, each of which is segmented under what could be the titles of paintings/artwork, the pictures of which we are encouraged to form in our own minds as we experience the world through Elaine's senses.
In particular Elaine centres on the influence of Cordelia her childhood 'friend' around whom her early attempts at stability were centred.
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Format: Paperback
`Cat's Eye' is the story of Elaine Risley, a painter who returns to Toronto for a retrospect of her work and finds herself flooded by memories of her past. Probably the first half of the novel focuses on Elaine's childhood, especially the complex relationship with her `friend' Cordelia, while roughly the second half shows her growing up and coping with the difficulties of more adult relationships.

`Cat's Eye' captures the pieces of childhood, and especially the complicated power games that girls play with each other, absolutely perfectly. While reading moments of my own past came back to be, rather like the older Elaine holding her marble and suddenly remembering a past she'd forgotten (if not put behind her) such a long time ago. Never before have I read a book that truly illustrates how subtle and nasty little girls really can be while in a believable and realistic context.

If I have a criticism it's that I enjoyed the early parts of the novel far more than the later when Elaine was older, however, being eighteen, it may only be that I was able to identify with the earlier incidents far more than troubled marriages and in twenty years I may feel differently.

Overall a hugely enjoyable book that really seems to chart how women act towards one another. Perhaps it wouldn't mean quite so much to men but I think many women would recognise moments and behaviour in this interesting and absorbing novel.

I've read a number of Margaret Atwood novels and short stories and while the writing possibly isn't as well done as `The Handmaid's Tale' it's still up there with the best. A must if you're a fan, probably a good place to start if it's your first.
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Format: Paperback
I had to read this novel for my A-levels at school, but since we had already done 'The Handmaids Tale' (another winner), I wasn't apprehensive in the slightest.
The emotions it stirs up in you are amazing, and if you study the language and way it's written, as I had to, then you begin to see it's different levels.
This is the story of Elaine, the girl who is bullied by her 'friend' Cordelia. I found myself getting totally immersed in this story and making myself read faster just so I could find out how Elaine prevails. She's a strong little character, but with flaws that allow the bullying to continue. Once she has ridden herself of it, we begin to see how it effects her life and how she deals with it years after it has ended.
I think I had a week to read this book, and it only took me 2 days. Every spare second was taken up with it.
I admire Margaret Atwood's writing a great deal - there's an honesty and a sense of poetry in the tales she tells, and she has a gift of sweeping you up in them. This novel is definately one of her best, and worth keeping on the bookshelf to read over and over.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the most absorbing books I have ever read. As a (young) adult, it stirred up many memories and emotions that I had long buried of how difficult growing up can be. It is not a particularly easy book to begin, but once I did, the story gradually sucked me in to the point where I could think or do nothing else until I had finished the story. The book is an emotional marathon and at times is a little harrowing. When I finished I felt as if I had just been through an intensive psychotherapy session! You MUST read this book.
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