The Elected Member Hardcover – 1 Sep 1983
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She has a large compassion, and an intelligence which makes her compulsively readable. (NEW STATESMAN)
Splendidly sane, compassionate and often grotesquely funny. (DAILY TELEGRAPH)
The writing sparkles and flickers and blazes. (JEWISH CHRONICLE)
The novel moves from intense emotion to humour and pathos to the frightening realisation that those who are surrounded by the insane quickly become insane themselves. Read it. (DARTS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Bernice Rubens was born is Wales and worked as both a writer and a film maker. She is the winner of the Booker Prize for The Elected Member, and was shortlisted for the same prize for a subsequent novel: A Five Year Sentence. She died in 2004. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a superb book, the author having gone almost too far into such a taboo issue as mental illness and the culpability of the family of the sick member. I felt guilt, I felt sadness, I felt despair...then I read it all over again.
At the centre of the story is forty year old son Norman, whose descent from gifted, multi-lingual barrister to institutionalised drug addict is symbolic of the family's fortunes. The family's history unfolds while each member tries to come to terms with Norman's problems. There is the elderly father, as apparently naive as the day he stepped off the ship, his late wife who twists reality, the spinster daughter Bella who still wears the white socks of her childhood, and the outcast younger sister Esther who did marry. Their individual stories and guilt or lack thereof combine to make for a sad tale which is nevertheless shot through with humour.
Some of Norman's fellow inmates contribute to the story, particularly the drug pushing, self-styled 'Minister of 'ealth'. The reader's sympathies tend to shift with each revelation. Not a long novel, 'The Elected Member' is cetainly a worthwhile read.
His experiences in a mental hospital unfold and with them we come to understand how he got to this point; family secrets and a tragedy that scarred him for life.
Both moving and humourous, this is an interesting and unique work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant story. Clever. Intriguing. Funny/sad. Couldn't put it down.Published 10 months ago by Eileen
One of the most depressing books I’ve ever read, this won the Booker Prize in 1970. The title is strange, until you work out that he hasn’t been elected to anything, or rather, he... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Eileen Shaw
This was not one of bernice rubens` best in my opinion. I found it rather drawn out and oppressive, and could have put it down at any point - and almost did.Published on 11 Jan. 2008 by Leeds lass