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The Female of the Species (P.S.) Paperback – 1 Aug 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006171139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061711398
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Terrific-a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accountrements of love." -- People

"Lionel Shriver is a vastly talented writer...This book deserves to be read."--Kansas City Star

"Stunning . . . wide in its horizons, interesting in its insights, and satisfying in its conclusions."--Philadelphia Inquirer

"Terrific--a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accountrements of love."--People

Terrific a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accountrements of love. --People"

Stunning . . . wide in its horizons, interesting in its insights, and satisfying in its conclusions. --Philadelphia Inquirer"

Lionel Shriver is a vastly talented writer...This book deserves to be read. --Kansas City Star"

About the Author

Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good story, very well written.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ever since I first read "We need to talk about Kevin" I knew I had to read all of Shriver's books, and were better to start than with the beginning of her literary career. And boy, what a debut. All the necessary elements are there: great characters, a plot with a quirky structure, and a style that is not only challenging and intelligent, but also poetic and wistful.

The story is divided into three levels so to speak: one anthropologist's wild adventure in Africa, one account of a troubled boy's past, and the subsequent union of the two. Gray, the fierce and slightly feared aging beauty; and Ralph, the ravishing, manipulating, young Zeus. A complicated yet passionate relationship of two sides of the same coin.

Narrated by Errol, Gray's best friend, there is definitely a "Gatsbyanesque" feel to it. A simple friend stands on the side lines and tells us about an exotic, strange, persona who is in love with someone they really shouldn't be. Except in this case, Errol despises Ralph utterly.

All the characters are real, alive, complicated. So different from each over, so the same. Exactly like real life.
The prose, the sentences are incredibly structured and involved, they become beautiful in there complexity.

And finally, an added bonus to the package, a peep into the world of anthropology. Told by way of a study of human conduct, of our behavior, our actions when faced with complicated matters, by means of this book, which if you cannot tell by know, I loved.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A bit heavy going at times, too descriptive the reader can lose track. Hard to believe that a 25 year old fabulous looking man would have any interest in a 59 year old spinster...and virgin at that. Would have been more credible if she was 49 or 50. And does Lionel Shriver really expect us to believe a 59 yr old woman could beat a very fit sporty 25 yr old man in his prime at tennis and also challenge him to an arm wrestle beforehand ?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Female of the Species by Lionel Shriver

Having been so affected by We Need To Talk About Kevin (Serpent's Tail Classics)which still remains the best discussion our book club has had so far, after ten years of reading together; I decided to go deeper with Lionel Shriver and have a go at her other works. I read The Post-Birthday World' with moderate enjoyment and a feeling of exquisite sadness at what might have been, A Perfectly Good Familywith even more pleasure and now I have found this, her debut novel.

This new floppy paperback is attractively soft and comfortable to hold, being a `P.S.' edition it has helpful extras; a `A Meet Lionel Shriver' essay, `Have you read?' suggestions, and best of all the `About The Book' piece by LS. In this LS chats about her own feelings on revisiting `The Female of the Species' for the first time since its publication in 1986. I found that fascinating; it helped me to understand `The Female of The Species' much better, also it gave me the grit to get through what is a very odd and long beginning. LS calls it a "beginning riff - full of jokes to keep myself entertained, and carrying on in such detail because I was the boss and could do whatever I felt like."

The story of the acclaimed female anthropologist Gray Kaiser begins in her past, when she goes to study an obscure tribe, being run by a man they perceive to be their god - Charles Corgie. (Lionel Shriver does come up with some odd names).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this Lionel Shriver book. It's completely different from "Kevin" and equally as readable. I'm looking forward to reading more by her- she's a very unique author with a very interesting view of life which always sparks discussion amongst my friends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good story and pleasant read but not thought provoking like some of LS other work. The breakdown of the lead character isn't as in-depth as the description of the book allows one to believe.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I understand this is one of Shriver's early books. Glad I didn't read it first - I would probably not have become the Shriver fan I am. Tries too hard to be 'intelligent' in my opinion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
as always a brilliant read
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