Queenie: British Book Awards Book of the Year Paperback – 6 Feb. 2020
|New from||Used from|
Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- ISBN-10 : 1409180077
- ISBN-13 : 978-1409180074
- Paperback : 400 pages
- Product Dimensions : 12.8 x 3 x 19.6 cm
- Publisher : Trapeze; 01 Edition (6 Feb. 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
Queenie is a masterclass in how to write accessible political fiction about race and gender. Funny, relatable, sad, and hopeful; Candice Carty-Williams is a writer to watch. -- Christie Watson
Brilliant, timely, funny, heartbreaking -- Jojo Moyes
Funny, wise and of the moment, this book and this writer are the ones to watch -- Kit de Waal
Queenie has all the things you want in a debut novel - a startlingly fresh voice, characters you fall in love with from the very first page, and a joyous turn of phrase that makes this book almost impossible to put down. In turns hilariously funny and quietly devastating, Queenie is an important, timely story. -- Louise O'Neill
Candice Carty-Williams is a fantastic new writer who has written a deliciously funny, characterful, topical and thrilling novel for our times. -- Bernardine Evaristo
Adorable, funny, heartbreaking -- Nina Stibbe
Queenie is the sort of novel you just can't stop talking about and want everyone you know to read. Snort your tea out funny one moment and utterly heart-breaking the next ... I absolutely loved it -- AJ Pearce
Hilarious and off the wall and tender -- Nikesh Shukla
Candice gives so generously with her joy, pain and humour ... a beautiful and compelling book -- Afua Hirsch
More items to explore
Top reviews from United Kingdom
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I also found the writing style a little juvenile, with slang thrown into the narrative (such as the use of 'irl' in the bulk of the narrative) and ensured that I never warmed to Queenie. She seemed an incredibly shallow and reactionary sort of person and this wasn't helped by the simplistic writing style. Which brings me onto one of my main problems with this book: Queenie is not at all likeable as a character. In the narrative we learn that she thinks she's funny (funnier than most people) and we learn that she thinks of herself as loyal, yet these are not qualities she ever exhibits. She is brash, reactionary and quite racist to be honest (at one point she wonders whether her slobbish white housemate leaving used sanitary pads on the ground next to the bin in the bathroom is a cultural thing). In fact, in a book that is trying to tackle the everyday racism faced by black people living in London, there are an awful lot of racist references towards white people (every white man she meets is an awful human being who uses her and within the narrative, it is heavily implied that white men are all like that and merely want to use black women) as well as being quite antisemitic with the way the only Jewish character is characterised. I've spent 12 years living in Brixton, knew all of the places she described/referenced and am well aware of the complex issues the area is facing - at times, it was quite an uncomfortable read in this regard, the way that every white person in Brixton was described in a negative light and as some sort of invasive species. If this had been more intelligently woven into the plot it would have made for a more interesting discussion about gentrification; as it stood, it seemed like the author's own voice was making a mark in a way that didn't necessarily develop Queenie's arc or plot (as it might have done if the story had focused more on Queenie becoming involved in the Black Lives Matter movement for instance).
Getting back to Queenie as a character though, at no point does she do anything that truly makes you warm to her - her free time is spent vegging and watching TV in isolation, in her own words she isn't creative or into any sport (and appears to have no interests whatsoever that might have developed her as a person, well, except sex of course), she isn't a good friend, has an extreme sense of entitlement when it comes to her job (we very rarely read of her actually doing any work as she spends a lot of time bunking off or wandering about chatting to her friend, and yet even when she's given a formal warning, she doesn't change her behaviour) and the list goes on. She has come from an incredibly traumatic background, which understandably has left her with a lot of "stuff" (in her own words), but I do wish she could have had at least one or two qualities that could explain why she had such loyal friends. As it stood, she was simply unlikeable and I didn't feel invested in her at all as she continued to sabotage her own life, nor did I feel much in the book's closing pages where the author was trying to shoehorn in a sense of closure with Queenie's celebratory meal with her friends and family. The reintroduction of Cassandra (the walking plot device who Queenie doesn't even know why she is friends with) at the end was clumsy and unnecessary. It felt quite juvenile to need to tie up all the loose ends and her reintroduction was comically forced and convenient.
All in all, I was glad it was a quick read as I found myself flagging barely a few chapters in.
Finally having a chance to read this book on holiday, I found myself rationing how many pages a day I allowed myself to read because I was drawn into the story immediately and really didn't want it to end. Though Queenie herself is flawed, I found that's a big part of what made the story beautiful and so relatable; I saw parts of myself in Queenie, recognised friends, family and colleagues who all came together to make this book so real. Even down to the ways and habits of her Jamaican grandparents, which I'm sure many of us have experienced and grown up with! I can't express how wonderful it was reading about places in London that I know and have grown up in and described through the eyes of Queenie, whose feelings and opinions on things like gentrification and Black Lives Matter also really hit home for me.
I've recommended this book to family, friends and co-workers and felt I had to do a review too. I can't wait to see more work from Candace C Williams!
Much less depressing than my summary makes it sound, this was a unique and interesting read. Queenie is a witty protagonist, and the reasons for her issues unravel slowly. The fiction is mixed well with real-life issues (the #metoo movement, and Black Lives Matter), without beating the reader over the head with them. An entertaining and also thought-provoking book, recommended.