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Conversations with Friends Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 2018
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A novelist to watch: An addictive debut, with nods to Tender is the Night, heralds a bright new talent (Sunday Times)
A dazzling new talent. (Mail on Sunday)
A sharp, darkly funny comment on modern relationships. Required reading. (Sunday Telegraph)
This is a novel to set beside Lena Dunham's Girls, Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Fleabag, Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha . . . I can't wait to see what Rooney serves up next. (Sunday Times)
I love this novel . . . A contemporary love story so powerful, graceful and honest it left me reeling . . . It is, by turns, astonishing, heart-rending and perfect; there's not a word out of place. (Luke Kennard, author of 'Transition')
Fearless, sensual writing . . . A dynamic debut novel about the messy, overlapping relationships between four captivating characters (Irish Times)
An addictive, funny and truthful first novel about love and literature. (Metro)
Fascinating, ferocious and shrewd. Sally Rooney has the sharpest eye for all of the most delicate cruelties of human interaction. (Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies)
So good I felt something akin to grief the moment I finished it . . . Glimmer[s] with humour, compassion, insight and truth . . . Rooney shares with Plath a knack for particularising a feminine consciousness, and this novel is the best I've read on what it means to be young and female right now. (Daily Mail)
A book that will appeal to anyone interested in friendship, jealousy, the politics of love (so, everyone?). It is an intelligent and moving novel, a brilliantly accurate portrayal of what it is to be a young woman. (The Pool)
The critically-acclaimed debut novel by Sally Rooney, an exciting new literary voice, now in paperback.See all Product description
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Conversations with Friends is the story of four people and the shifting relationships between them. Frances and Bobbi are students in Dublin. Ex-lovers, they remain close friends and work the literary circuit as performance poets. Frances is introverted, a talented writer, while Bobbi is an extrovert, the more gifted performer. Melissa is a photographer who wants to profile the two young women. She invites them to a party at her home, where they meet her husband, Nick, completing the central quartet. Bobbi fancies Melissa, Frances is drawn to Nick.
As the story progresses, it shifts between Dublin and a holiday in France. Through the novel, each goes through ups and downs and the relationships between them are equally volatile. We also learn about their troubled pasts and present, especially Nick and Frances.
In a word, I thought it was terrific, absolutely terrific. I've read a number of more critical reviews and while I can appreciate a number (but not all) of the negative comments, I still think the book is terrific.
Is this a book in which none of the characters is pleasant? I would have to disagree with that. Frances is outwardly cold, snarky and aloof. But she is also insecure, damaged and sensitive. She might be difficult , but she isn't unlovable. There is one devastating scene near the end of the book where she is confronted by the difference between her own self image and the impression another character has of her.
It is true that this isn't a plot heavy book, but that isn't the point. This is primarily a book about relationships, and those relationships are superbly drawn. As the portrayal of friendship between two young women, that between Frances and Bobbi feels completely genuine and realistic. The sparks which fly between Nick and Frances generated by something between love and hate are thrilling.
The writing style is flat, functional, almost child like at times. Again, as the voice of this disengaged, alienated young woman that came across as completely authentic.
So, it a nutshell, this is a stunningly humane work about damaged, ambiguous, very human people.
The characters in this book aren't just badly written, I hated them all and they learned nothing from their experiences, they just repeated their loathing behaviour and terrible life decisions over and over again. The main character is so full of self loathing and yet completely self centred and so over privileged but treats herself like the endless victim of every situation.
I have no doubt that sally rooney can write, but these characters make me want to punch a wall.
The story goes nowhere and seems like it begins when it ends. I also didn't enjoy the conversation style without quote marks, it just made it unnecessarily difficult to distinguish between what characters were saying and what they were thinking.
Sorry I wasted my time reading it and I have no clue why it's so highly critically acclaimed.