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The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased) Paperback – 15 Jul 2017
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Win is an intriguing woman who draws you in with her obvious intelligence and incredible tolerance towards her stifling family. Meanwhile old friends and foes from Win's past pop up with curious regularity, mysteriously seeming as bewildering to Win as they are to the reader. Is it all a conspiracy? Or is no one quite who they seem to be? Win knows it will be better if only she can make a plan to get back to Taiwan and can get to bed at 11:30pm, on her own, or not ... -- Lesley Cocker * Goodreads * Marie Gameson's debut solo novel is highly successful at questioning the nuances of identity fluidity and reality, of life and death. -- Bookdragon Sean * Goodreads * This clever, contemporary novel is an exploration of current (and retrospective) social themes and of self-knowledge (and the lack of it) seen from through the kaleidoscope eyes of a perversely appealing heroine. -- Bryan Smart * Goodreads * Immensely satisfying ... her expertise as a storyteller makes The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased) an extremely worthwhile read. -- Anne Goodwin * Annecdotal *
Immensely satisfying ... her expertise as a storyteller makes The Giddy Career of Mr Gadd (deceased) an extremely worthwhile read.(Anne Goodwin Annecdotal)
★★★★★ This clever, contemporary novel is an exploration of current (and retrospective) social themes and of self-knowledge (and the lack of it) seen from through the kaleidoscope eyes of a perversely appealing heroine.(Bryan Smart Goodreads)
★★★★ Marie Gameson’s debut solo novel is highly successful at questioning the nuances of identity fluidity and reality, of life and death.(Bookdragon Sean Goodreads)
★★★★★ Win is an intriguing woman who draws you in with her obvious intelligence and incredible tolerance towards her stifling family. Meanwhile old friends and foes from Win's past pop up with curious regularity, mysteriously seeming as bewildering to Win as they are to the reader. Is it all a conspiracy? Or is no one quite who they seem to be? Win knows it will be better if only she can make a plan to get back to Taiwan and can get to bed at 11:30pm, on her own, or not …(Lesley Cocker Goodreads) See all Product description
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I found it be a bit of a slow burner of a book to start with but once I had read the first couple of chapters I loved how the storyline flowed so easily.
Win is a bit of a strange character but I warmed to her and her eccentric ways and enjoyed learning about her way of life following her time in Taiwan and the different turn her life takes when she is drawn into the world of Fred Fallowfield.
Although this begins as a journey to help Mr Fallowfield, this is also a journey that follows Win and her choices, her way of life and her family issues with her mother and her almost estranged sister, Ursula. We slowly come to learn more about them and learn more about Win who has previously lost all recollection of her life before Taiwan.
Ancestor worship isn’t something I was very familiar with but I found it to be so interesting – the author has clearly done a lot of in depth research about this and this is what fascinated me.
I’m really glad I was given the opportunity to read this book – I will certainly be thinking about it for some time after.
A very impressive debut which deserves great success.
The novel is a slow burner but this does not detract from its easy engagement. It explores how memory is curated and how the past shapes current perceptions. Individuals cling to what they consider important, which may mean little to others, even those who were also there. The same events will be remembered differently, reasons forgotten or fragments misunderstood.
The story opens with an old man knocking on Winifred’s front door. He is Fred Fallowfield and was her history teacher at school. He believes that his dead father is responsible for causing havoc at his home and that an essay Winifred wrote when she was fourteen holds the key to sending this disturbed being on its way. Fred’s wife catches up with him and tells Winifred he is suffering from dementia.
Fred will not be swayed from his conviction that only Winifred can help. Eventually she agrees to undertake research into mystic funeral rites from the East, at his behest. Meanwhile her own life is brightened by a chance encounter with an ex-boyfriend who, along with his girlfriend, proposition Winifred. She readily accepts and must then keep their liasons secret from her sister.
Another old schoolfriend, Diana, is also eager to rekindle their friendship. Winifred regards all her relationships with an air of detachment and is surprised to discover that she and Diana were once close. She makes a visit to Diana’s family home and lost memories are stirred.
Winifred does still care about her father who sells The Big Issue outside an underground station. Her sister talks of their father as though he is dead.
Winifred is trying to earn enough to enable her to return to Taiwan where she had been teaching English and where she last felt at peace. She has embraced Buddhism and practices mindfulness, although still keeps forgetting to complete simple, basic tasks. Her sister derides her apparent preference for all things East over West. Winifred believes her sister and mother are taking the money she earns, that they gave away her life savings, to keep her where she is.
As each of these threads is developed the reader gains a clearer picture of how Winifred is regarded by others, and how challenging many people find dealing with someone who behaves differently. Relationships are formed over time with shared memories being key. A recurring theme is the difficulty of grieving for the loss of a loved one when they are not yet dead.
The denouement fills in the gaps between what have been gradual reveals. Family is portrayed at its best and its worst yet there remains hope and understanding amidst the complexities of lives lived. Over time people change, however much those who love them struggle to regain what they once were.
The writing is deft, light and entertaining throughout with a depth of understanding that lingers well beyond the final page. A sagacious and captivating story that deserves to be widely read.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Salt.
Most recent customer reviews
I have never read a book quite like it and I thoroughly enjoyed it!Read more
Win's voice draws you in, and once you are in her world there is nowhere else you want to be.Read more