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Mutton Hardcover – 29 Nov 2012

3.1 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fig Tree; 1st Edition edition (29 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905490844
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905490844
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 364,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Every so often you will hit a line so funny and true it will make you gasp out loud . . . sharp and bracing as a Claridges martini (Jenny Colgan Telegraph)

The funniest novel about the female midlife crisis (The Times)

Had me choking with laughter . . . Knight has pulled off a clever trick here. With humour and wit, she's addressed the serious subject of how to swallow the bitter pill of ageing not necessarily gracefully (Evening Standard)

The glorious fourth novel from Sunday Times columnist India Knight . . . An honest, funny book about the complexities of middle age and a reminder that life is for living, with passion and gusto, whatever your age (Hello!)

A very funny exploration of ageing written with the author's trademark wit (Sunday Mirror)

About the Author

India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am a big fan of India Knight's journalism, she usually comes across as an intelligent, warm hearted soul. Not so in this novel; a horrible character assassination of middle aged women where the only crime for a woman is to be over the age of 45. It was such a depressing and soul destroying read, that I could not finish the book for fear of slashing my wrists. It was cruel, vindictive, downright nasty in places. India Knight has her own issues with ageing, she doesn't rise above the parapet to offer us any new insight, she simply falls in line with what most sexist males think about older women. So what if the main character has a natural sex drive? In this book she is portrayed as desperate, sad and unattractive simply because of her age. Age is something we can do nothing about. So why not offer an enlightened approach, instead of this miserable self deprecating downward spiralling attitude to life?

Thanks to the media and films, older women already punish themselves enough for being middle aged, and feel unattractive if men are not falling at their feet. Middle aged men, on the other hand, are encouraged to hunt for women in their twenties and still think they're drop dead gorgeous. Instead of leading the way for a radical revolution, to empower women's thinking, or to contribute anything original to the subject, Knight lays into herself and other middle aged women, in a mocking, cruel manner, which serves only to further humiliate women and damage the feminist cause.

Sad, because I expected more.
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Format: Hardcover
I was really looking forward to this book - I like reading India Knight's column, enjoy her on twitter and have read some of her other books - but this book left me really baffled. Given the title and a couple of media reviews I assumed it was a light hearted take on reaching middle age and the ongoing quest for some to hold on to youth and it did indeed start off like that - funny and sharp - but then seemed to completely veer off course and become something else entirely. It may well be that I just didn't 'get it' and missed the point through my own fault. I have even wondered whether my book didn't download properly and there were a few chapters missing but Mutton seemed to shift focus from Clara and mid-life to another character's fantasy novels. The frequent references to language or characters from those novels was a tad irritating for me and dominated the end of the book so much that I was left wondering whether the author herself became bored with the initial subject.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a disapointment, being of a certain age myself I was expecting a tongue in cheek belly laugh of a read. I would not say that it was tragic however it felt disjointed like several author's had contributed to it.
Not for me.
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Format: Hardcover
India Knight writes very good non-fiction and comes across as a funny and feisty woman - I've been known to buy the Sunday Times just to read her column. But as a writer of fiction, she falls short. This story comes across as a very thinly veiled autobiography of Ms Knight with some minor fictitious points to the weak plot. The main character Clara is a similarly slightly overweight similarly middle-aged woman with a similar family set-up (several previous husbands/partners, all of whom she continues to get along with very well, and children of the same gender distribution and roughly the same age as Ms Knight's own children) who, like Ms Knight, enjoys cheese to the exclusion of chocolate, and who expresses very similar political and social views to those we've heard Ms Knight express in her column over the last many years. And therein lies the problem - we've heard this all before. So there is very little novelty and zero character development. Even her friend Gaby shows herself to be the person we knew she was going to turn out to be from the moment she appears on the scene (gosh - she's really thin and has had lots of plastic surgery in part because she's miserable after her husband left her for a younger woman, and - gosh, even more surprisingly - she's not childless by choice but in fact desperate to have a baby....). The cliches continue. Even the word choices are repetitive. Yes, India, we know 'nonplussed' means taken aback; in this short book, this word appears more than perhaps was strictly necessary...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd had 'Mutton' on pre-order for months so was thrilled when it popped up on my Kindle this week (and yes, my Kindle download worked fine thanks).

It was an amusing read as always, and as sharply observed as ever, but I was left feeling that our heroine, Clindia (lets call her that, shall we, as Clara and India are clearly the same person), seems to have missed the point of what she could learn from this story.

Clindia dear, if you're still wondering by the final chapters which audience you're trying to make fancy you at forty-something, here's a thought: learn to fancy yourself. Look in the mirror and do what you need to do to find yourself hot. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, whether the builders fancy the same thing, whether it takes a tea dress or a mini skirt, botox or a balconette bra - just learn to find yourself genuinely sexy. Look to your internal hottie compass, not an outside one. Then the rest of the world will find you fanciable and shaggable, if you're bothered about that - but more importantly you will feel deeply and juicily good about yourself. Which is the point.

Also, I was amazed at Clindia's outright hatred of women who sleep with men younger than themselves. "I wold literally rather die than be some sad sack who thinks it's an achievement to sleep with people young enough to be your children". Really? Seriously? Literally die? Relationship desperation of any kind is unappealing regardless of the relative age of the people involved, but this degree of venom points to some kind of personal issue surely. It was a nasty snipe (that comes up several times) in this good story.

Incidentally I'm one of the (growing) number of women who is ridiculously happily married to a much younger man - we make up a larger portion of your reading demographic than you seem to realise. And I'd never had guessed you'd been addicted to Game of Thrones ;-)
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