- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (1 Jan. 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099446995
- ISBN-13: 978-0099446996
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.7 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Petty Details of So-and-So's Life Paperback – 1 Jan 2004
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The remarkable new novel by the acclaimed author of Mouthing the Words.
From the Back Cover
Camilla Gibb's new novel tells the unusual story of two siblings, Emma and Blue, who, despite an almost telepathic connection, respond to the disruptions of their childhood and the sudden disappearance of their explosive father in remarkably different ways.
In her father's absence, Emma travels vast distances, both internal and external, in pursuit of a new family, and discovers a sense of belonging in the most unexpected of places. Blue, her burly, tattoo-stamped brother, haunted by the brutal, criticizing voice of their father, sets off on a cross-country search for their elusive parent. In the novel's powerful conclusion, brother and sister find value in each other's quest, reconciled to the fact that one can love without ever truly understanding the other. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Paperback.
Top customer reviews
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As the book shifts from brother to sister narrator you find yourself siding with each sibling in his/her quest for knowledge and happiness and fight to break away from their past.
For a story which bases itself through the span of two lives it's a quick moving story which really captures life and the stronghold that your parents have in your future even when they are not there.
The easy language and quick visual imagery that the book sets makes this an easy and good read, I read it in less than a day. It's a book I would recommend to most.
Oliver and Elaine Taylor and their children Emma and Llewellyn (Blue) seem to be a pretty dysfunctional family.
Oliver thinks of himself as an inventor, with a head full of largely unrealistic ideas for amazing inventions. He opts out of family life to live in the garage, then moving on to be a squatter in a disused building. He only keeps in touch with Blue, which is a source of pain for Emma.
Elaine takes to drink.
Emma leaves home as quickly as she can to live with the first boyfriend who she considers may be in a position to further her future, and then goes away to university.
When Oliver finally disappears without trace Blue tries to find him.
All four are damaged in some way. All can be self-destructive, only some can be healed.
Fascinating, if uncomfortable at times.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If great writing ultimately exposes the true condition of human existence - no holds barred, then Camilla Gibb's stunning novel, The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life, succeeds on a grand scale. One needn't search this book for those sought after kernels of truth - they are all abound...the good, the bad and the really funny.
The book is about the painful and lonely struggle of two essentially abandoned siblings, Emma and Blue Taylor, bound together on both a psychic and emotional level that is as inspiring as it is heartbreaking. But is shared pain enough to support them on their quests to emerge from the ruins of Dysfunction? Ms. Gibb's characters lead the reader on a hard-edged journey of the picaresque that explores the two rather disparate roads taken. Emma battles to succeed in the comfort of upper class life - the right man, the nice house and a promising academic career. Meanwhile, Blue, the tattoo artist, discovers meaning - at least for a while, but in a far less respectable venue. How does strip-joint sound?
But the haunting echoes of their past are never far away; Deranged Dad wastes away in the junkyard, pathetically clinging to delusions of grandeur and mom is an ex-hippie who personifies all of the failed ideals of the Peace and Love Generation. Everybody has skeletons in their closets, but what do you when yours are out on the loose? Welcome to a day in the life of the Taylor kids.
Gibb's writing is clear and crisp, with hilarious bits strewn throughout the novel. Let's face it - sometimes pathetic is just plain funny, it's also a nice break from the intensity of a novel that never lets down. Petty Details is the voice of the disaffected, the disenfranchised, the distressed...it is the voice of humanity.
Their lives are told as a collection of details – little events and stories that shaped who they were and how they would cope.
The characters always seem to be on the verge of overcoming their history and regardless of the misfortune they experience, they strive to continue. Really that is what the sum of life is.
I thought it was wonderfully written and poetic. I grew to love the characters and I didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend this novel.
The characters grabbed me from the get go. Blue, the brother, falls for a stripper and opens a tattoo parlour. His character is written with an authenticity that made me see tattooed, stripper loving men in a different light. Likewise, his sister Emma has her own personal demons to confront until she eventually discovers she's a lesbian.
Insightful look at human nature.