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Death and the Seaside by [Moore, Alison]
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Death and the Seaside Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

packs a mighty, subversive punch neverimitate So I've ended up with the thought that it's a psychological thriller about life, art, and inescapable fate - lets hope the author thought it was too! In another writer's hands, this would easily have turned into a high drama psychological thriller, Moore takes an altogether subtler approach, letting the menace slowly ooze out; I rather found myself wishing that she'd written Gone Girl ... Our Book Reviews Moore weaves a particular kind of magic from everyday details, and her way of making the banal thrilling reminded me of Alice Furse's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, albeit with a rather macabre slant. Death and the Seaside is a story of manipulation and imagination, peppered with literary references, as much about the creative process as it is about the characters. The blend of genres and influences makes it feel, as many great novels do, quite unlike anything else I've read. Learn the Phrase Death and the Seaside is a psychologically astute novel of power, control and influence which will make you wonder how real your memories are and where your fears come from. Blending layers of memory and imagination there are signposts to the end everywhere, if you only know where to look. Clever and really quite disturbing. -- Mel Mitchell New Books It is a gripping tale of two women, of stories, memories and suggestibility. -- Nat Marshall The Owl on the Bookshelf Moore's masterful blend of genres and influences makes her third novel feel, as many great novels do, quite unlike anything else I've read. In entwining Bonnie and Sylvia's tales, Death and the Seaside delves deep into its characters' psyches; the result is quiet and brilliant, unsettling yet thoughtful, dreamlike and thrilling. -- Blair Rose Nudge Death and the Seaside is a tense, tightly plotted and darkly comical novel about writing, creativity, the power of suggestion and the quaint postcard version of the British seaside. Moore's writing is electric, it sizzles, and is alive with things unsaid. Though it's not a long novel, it is powerful and it certainly lingers, moving in and out of your mind like the tides. -- Eleanor Baggley Book Smoke Book of the day. Dense, complex, thought-provoking, it manages to be at once a fairytale and a philosophical treatise, high-octane thriller and literary interrogation. Like the dreams that haunt Bonnie's night-times, it holds its secrets close, and repays careful rereading. The end of the novel, abrupt and death-haunted, feels as neat and tight as a key in a lock, and sheds light on the mysteries that have gone before. -- Sarah Crown The Guardian She is both gifted stylist and talented creator of a new English grotesque. -- Isabel Berwick Financial Times

Review

'Dense, complex, thought-provoking, it manages to be at once a fairytale and a philosophical treatise, high-octane thriller and literary interrogation. Like the dreams that haunt Bonnie's night-times, it holds its secrets close.' (The Guardian)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3086 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Salt (1 Aug. 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01D5MPBV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,528 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At one point in this charming yet quietly unsettling novel, a pivotal character, Sylvia says: "Dreams rarely have proper endings.... They just move on or suddenly stop, like life." And just like this apt observation, fiction and reality are superimposed on one another in protagonist Bonnie's life as she steps in and out of the stories she writes.

We are introduced to her by way of her story's character, Susan, a teenager who escapes from home to work in a pub in a sleepy seaside village. Bonnie, though she is on the brink of her thirtieth birthday, shares many similarities and almost symmetrical contrasts with Susan, and we suspect even early on that the story she is writing is autobiographical.

Bonnie is a deceptively placid character, because of her acceptance of failure - she has dropped out of courses and third rate universities, slipping in and out of dead end jobs (her latest a cleaner in a medical facility), and is all but forced to move out of her parents' home to move to a groundfloor unit in an old house situated along the eerily named Slash Lane. But she betrays an intelligent mind through the notes of an abandoned dissertation that explores the sea and its connection with death, which belies her vacuous demeanour. Bonnie is such a passive character she just lets whatever rubbish left off by previous tenants overrun her rooms without protest. We soon find out that she has had strange childhood experiences of jumping off piers into the sea, which goes against the grain of the adult Bonnie we know, who is more likely to organise a birthday dinner for which her presence is optional and secondary to the paltry handful of guests made up of her detached parents, a surly work acquaintance, and her landlady Sylvia.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Slightly disappointing after the first two books by this excellent writer. Felt I was being lectured to about the powers of autosuggestion! Too many quotes. However, she is a very good writer and carries it off well! Agreed with the conclusion! Worth reading!
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Sept. 2016
Format: Paperback
When I was a child we would make family visits to Wallasey, the town the other side of the Mersey from Liverpool, where my mother's family came from. Sometimes we'd go to New Brighton, the seaside bit of Wallasey. It's probably been tidied up now but in the 70s it was a wonderful example of a tawdry, decaying seafront. The pier had gone, but there was a boating lake, a shabby amusement arcade ("The Bright Spot"), fish and chip shops, and a windswept promenade.

So at an impressionable age my image of the British seaside took a murky turn. That may explain why I picked up this book with its rain spattered cover and retro lettering when I saw it in the shop.

And immediately, we're at the seaside, a down at heel resort in the late summer. Susan arrives on her motorbike and takes a room over a pub, working in the bar and living apparently on crisps. She spends her time in the arcade losing money and drifting along the seafront smoking.

Then she begins receiving strange notes which might be telling her to "fail" - or might be blank.

Meanwhile, in a nameless inland town, perhaps in the Midlands, Bonnie, a disappointment to her parents, moves out of her their house and into a scuzzy flat - the sort of place where the carpet doesn't quite fit and previous tenants' belongings fill the cupboard. Bonnie has a couple of cleaning jobs, between which she tries to write. Her new landlady Sadie takes an interest in Bonnie's life and writing (indeed, something of an obsession) and pushes her towards completing her story.

Bonnie and Susan are alike in many ways - aimless, fixated on failure (but failure at what?) and there begin to be echoes between their stories. 'Susan' is Bonnie's middle name.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Didn't like it...then I did.. then I didn't then I did...
A spiders web of deceptions and stories within stories, past and present all coalescing. Or is it simpler or more complex? For a short novel this had me in a page turning spin. Every character is irritating and yet the devil is in the descriptive detail.
I was there in this story or its parallel reality and/or fictions. The book ends suddenly but just in the right way, half-expected yet completely unexpected. Haunting and deceptively dense. Feel it will continue to slap me around the face for a while to come!
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Format: Paperback
Hardly a work of fiction with all the quotes from more famous authors liberally strewn here and there, as if this is supposed to impress me. At one point I turned to the back cover just to see whether this was actually non-fiction and was practice for a PhD thesis or something. The turning point came when I realised that the Susan character, who opened the story, was not what it was about, but about her creator. That spoiled everything. In fact, the first few pages were very good, and I was keen to discover more about how Susan fared in Seatown in her own words, not in the words of Bonnie, goaded by Sylvia, and everything authored by Alison!

Nope, sorry. Didn't work for me, I'm afraid. I've got "The Condition of the Working Class in England" by F. Engels (sorry about the name-dropping...) to read next. Maybe that's a work of fiction, not fact?
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