The Lucky Ones Paperback – 26 Feb 2010
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'The Lucky Ones has a theme equal to its author's wit, intelligence and genius for observation. This novel is not a particularly comfortable place to be, partly because it's so much like life and partly because Rachel Cusk is brilliant at depicting unattractive characters. But anyone who has ever lived in a family will relish it.' Cressida Connolly, Daily Telegraph
'Her prose is measured and poised. She shares Virginia Woolf's interest in making art out of the minutiae of women's inner monologues.' Stephanie Merritt, Observer
‘Compelling, profound and crafted in precise prose dripping with wit.’ John Harding, Daily Mail
'You want to gasp with the shock of recognition at a rarely articulated thought delivered with a visceral punch.' Independent
'Restrained, elegant and fiercely observant.' Jane Shillilng, Daily Telegraph
'Impressively written' Marie Claire
'Cusk's writing unsettles by transforming the everyday into a strange and frightening place. She has taken old concerns and given them new life. All this is accomplished with her startling prose…The nuances of relationships, of motives which cannot be understood, are given voice, and it is a magical one.' Kath Murphy, Scotland on Sunday
Cusk's is a unique voice… her observations are so intelligent and multi-layered… her style has a rhythm that sucks you in and pulls you along… An intelligent read from a stong feminist voice of our times.' Time Out
'This is not a book about the joy of families, but one which will be recognised by anyone who has children as being full of uncomfortable truth.' Lesley Garner, Evening Standard
From the Back Cover
In this profound study of human relationships, five overlapping narratives of love and detachment merge to form a powerful evocation of family identity.
A young pregnant woman's misfortune; a new father's disaffection; a daughter's search for a lost childhood; a mother's antagonism; a wife's secret suffering – through it all runs the story of Victor Porter, a campaigning lawyer, and his journalist wife, Serena, in whose relationship the conflict between the public and the personal, between love and morality, is played out.
Rachel Cusk writes of life's transformation, of what separates us from those we love and what binds us to those we no longer understand. 'The Lucky Ones' is a novel about creating and sustaining life. It illuminates with startling precision the texture and complexity of emotional existence within 'the bustling concourses of life'.
On 'A Life's Work'
'As compulsive as a thriller'
Kate Kellaway, 'Observer'
'An incitement to riot. I laughed out loud, often, in painful recognition.'
'Full of enormous insight and sly wit. Cusk has crafted a work of beauty and wisdom. And belly laughs.'
Suzanne Moore, 'New Statesman'
'Some alchemy of her prose renders this most fascinating and boring of all subjects graceful, eloquent, modest and true.'
Jane Shilling, 'Sunday Telegraph'
On 'The Country Life:'
'This book is a delight. 'The Country Life' is remarkable for two things; its humour and its menace. Its mixture of P.G. Wodehouse, 'Cold Comfort Farm', and Jane Austen is a pleasure to read.'
Tibor Fischer, 'Sunday Express'
'I was addicted. The detail is breathtaking and Cusk's descriptions of a heatwave in the countryside almost had me dripping sweat and scratching the nettle stings. It is also hysterically funny.'
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Top Customer Reviews
This book takes you to a hidden world behind closed doors, in quiet villages, or busy towns, to an ocean of deceptively naive conversations, thoughts and events that shape the characters' psychic worlds.
The prose is a delight in itself, full of witty observations combined with a dose of lyric language that goes straight to the point.
I would give ten stars to the book if I could. I haven't enjoyed a book so thoroughly in a very long time. I fully recommend it.
I almost gave up on the book when I read the line 'I felt I had failed to secure the definitive territories of my family existence' - this supposedly the thoughts of a child. I have no idea what this is supposed to mean.
It is terribly difficult to read a book that is so littered with prose that tries so hard to be impressive and lyrical. It came as a relief towards the end of the book to read a page or two that had relatively normal dialogue. The author finds it hard to describe something without adding an 'as if...' or an 'as though ..' clause. The description might be thought-provoking in isolation but with often several examples on one page, it just becomes tedious.
Rachel Cusk tends to concentrate on detailing the thoughts and lives of ordinary people - this is what I generally enjoy about her writing. I like the way she picks out the real motives behind what people do, the bitter little transactions that go on in all our lives. But there has to be sympathy and compassion, the reader needs to feel some connection with the characters - in this book I didn't. Perhaps this was down to my irritation with the writing style, but I think mainly it was because I don't think the author felt any connection with her characters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rachel Cusk's 'The Lucky Ones', although a novel, actually consists of five very loosely connected tales, which almost read as if they are a series of short stories. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Susie B
I think Rachel Cusk is a fabulous writer and The Lucky Ones is one of my favourites amongst her work. Read morePublished on 23 Jan. 2012 by Westwood1
The first story in The Lucky Ones left me ambivalent, but I'm very glad I continued, because the book became more compelling as it went on. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2006 by Wendy V
it was a very dreary read, characters unbelievable, situations ditto. Book did not flow. Read more