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Ghosting: A Double Life by [Erdal, Jennie]
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Ghosting: A Double Life Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

* Jennie Erdal set a benchmark for candour and wisdom when she wrote about her 15-year association with Niam Attallah in the brilliant memoir Ghosting. Independent * A little masterpiece about a relationship, superbly written in a down to earth style, and as enjoyable as a good novel. Sunday Times * If this were simply a ghost-and-tell book, it would be of interest only to a very limited number of the London literati. But it is much, much more than that; it is a beautifully composed memoir; sometimes rather desperate, sometimes very funny, of an extraordinary symbiotic relationship between two very different people. -- Craig Brown Mail On Sunday * Jennie Erdal has written a book that is hugely enjoyable to read, touches on profound questions about language and writing and provides a vivid and often affectionate, but fairly merciless, portrait of an exasperating, despotic, self-deluding but in the end likable figure, with the tantrums of a small child and the plumage of a peacock. -- Caroline Moorehead Spectator

About the Author

Jennie Erdal worked as an editor and translator for many years. Ghosting is her first book published under her own name. She lives in St Andrews.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 574 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; New Ed edition (31 Aug. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002VM7G5C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #185,966 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having picked up a copy on the back of a dismissive Newsnight review (Kirsty Wark is so seldom right about anything..),I recently had the pleasure of being stuck on a delayed train with a copy of Ghosting. Never has a 7 hour journey been so enjoyable!
Ghosting is a truly remarkable debut from the (Mont Blanc) pen of the fabulous Jennie Erdal.
Much fuss has been made in some parts of the media about the mysterious nature of the relationship between the flamboyant Naim Attalah and the intelligent and loyal Erdal.
However, the real beauty of the book is in how it describes Erdal's gifted and imaginative approach to their strange working life whilst raising three children in her homeland of Fife.
I will not be the only reader desperately awaiting Erdal's next book. The technically excellent writing is a joy to read and now that she will have the chance to explore her own ideas we are certain to be in for a series of treats in the future.
To conclude, Ghosting is a fascinating account for followers of the literary world and the lay person alike. It is a truly remarkable tale and should find its way onto everyone's Christmas list. Five stars!
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By A Customer on 21 Nov. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Ghosting is a truly fascinating memoir. While Jennie Erdal no doubt offers a unique insight into the world of ghost writing, she probes the deeper psychological issues surrounding the work and draws the reader both into her own mind and that of her employer, 'Tiger'. The resulting book portrays its subjects in a beautiful way. Given the story as it happened, it is surprising we don't find more hints of bitterness from Erdal; instead she reflects on a two-decade career with fondness, bewilderment, a little frustration and a huge dose of humour.
This is a wonderful book.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read this book over the Holidays I can't agree with the review in the Financial Times (Wed Dec 24, 2004) that this is the "business book of the year". I found it a very touching personal tale about the challenges she faced in her own life (divorce; life with young children; a home in Scotland and a job in London; memories of her childhood) as well as the challenges of working for the man she calls "Tiger" - as both a ghostwriter and editor the Russian List at his publishing company.
However, the heart of the book is the struggle she had as the ghostwriter of two of his novels. There are insightful and - for anyone who is a writer - incredible useful passages about the process of writing. Since she is forced to write fiction on behalf of another she faces the challenge of finding an authentic 'voice' in which to write - a voice that must appear to be someone else's:
"The fact that I was writing as someone else - with a mask on, as it were - inevitably added yet another layer of complexity. I did and did not feel responsible for the words on the page, I did and did not feel that they belonged to me; I did and did not feel that I could defend them in my heart." (p.142)
So on the one hand this is far more a personal memoir than a business book. On the other hand, maybe the FT is right. To the extent that all of us work in corporations where we face the challenge of appearing sincere and committed to an agenda that does not belong to us we are all 'ghosting' .
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Format: Hardcover
My interest in this beautifully-written memoir was piqued when I was informed that it was about ghost writing. I had always known that ghost writers existed and generally assumed that the fruits of their labours were rather bland autobiographies of semi-literate footballers and supermodels. With regard to Jennie Erdal's Ghosting, however, I could not have been more wrong. All preconceptions took flight at this sensitive account of the curious relationship between the flamboyant and eccentric Tiger and his rather more reserved Scottish 'editor'. For how does one write another's work, express another's thoughts, ideas, even beliefs? Can the ghost writer erase herself from the creative process if the details and nuances of the work are products of her own imagination and are influenced by the circumstances and events of her own life?
As in life, I imagine, the entertaining and maddening Tiger can dominate the pages of this book if you let him. However, Ghosting is so much more than a portrait of this larger than life character. Recent reviews in the press have tended to focus on this aspect of the work and have missed the point, somewhat, of what the author is doing. First and foremost, Ghosting is a memoir and, appropriately for the first book published under her own name, Erdal seeks to exorcise the influence of a man who was both extremely generous to her and profoundly stultifying to her creativity. It is most rewarding to observe the emergence of a voice, heard before, but not recognised or able to speak freely.
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Format: Hardcover
This book made me laugh out loud again and again, and also made my eyes burn with tears. I did not want to stop reading until the end, and then I wished it hadn't ended. It is the story of how Jennie Erdal came to write secretly all the many books and articles 'written' by an extraordinary, colourful, charismatic middle eastern publisher. But it is not kiss and tell - it is about how two very different people came to merge themselves in the writing project. Weird, powerful, moving and absolutely hilarious.
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