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Death and the Seaside Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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!
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?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story is slow to unravel but the curiosity I felt about Sylvia is what kept me reading. I wouldn't call Death and the Seaside a page turner but it wasn't without merit, either.Published 7 months ago by Claire Daisy
I’ve followed Alison Moore’s writing since her first novel, The Lighthouse, which I loved. I’m a fan of the subtle, unsettling way in which Moore unfolds a story, the sense of... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This short novel opens with a description of a young woman, Susan, living in a run down seaside town. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Moira
I don't like meta fiction, who does? And I feel Alison Moore has taken several steps backwards from her excellent first two novels. Read morePublished 8 months ago by terence dooley
Completely brilliant, crafty, clever, unsettling AND funny. Loved itPublished 9 months ago by Megan Taylor
The 3rd novel from Alison Moore is probably her most ambitious to date. As with her first two novels, Death and the Seaside gives us a satisfying twist in the plot. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lee Wright