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Shame Paperback – 3 May 2007

3.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (3 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841959375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841959375
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 711,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Two women pursued by pasts they can't escape . . .

When a tragic car crash throws together two strangers, they have no idea how their lives will be transformed. Violent family secrets at the centre of both their lives threaten to surface, and slowly they are forced to confront the shame they have always carried with them.

A gripping psychological thriller, Shame is a novel of redemption.

"A brilliant portrait of a woman nearing mental breakdown . . . Alvtegen at her best." Susanna Yager, Daily Telegraph

"Shame continues [Alvtegen's] good work in creating female characters who set themselves beyond the pale . . . and the ensuing resolution is beautifully handled." Lilian Pizzechini, Independent

"[A] pacy and engaging thriller . . . which provides an intriguing exploration of the effect of mental trauma on the human mind." Big Issue

"Her best yet." Daily Mail

Review

"A brilliant portrait of a woman nearing mental breakdown . . . Alvtegen at her best." (Susanna Yager Daily Telegraph)

"Alvtgren is a name to watch." (Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an interesting story, and an interesting approach to telling it. Alvtegen has a nice sense of how we miss opportunities, and how we can turn in on ourselves when misery strikes.
It is not a conventional thriller, in that there are not car chases, explosions, or hitmen. It is a slow-burning fuse, which invites you to see how instinctive decisions can stay with us throughout our lives. It is a story of suppression, oppression, and depression; it is convincingly told, and satisfyingly concluded.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As others have commented, this is not really a thriller. It is an interesting study on responsibility and guilt.

I really liked Karin's writing style, which was intelligent, taut and managed to keep me wanting to turn to the next page.

However, I do share the opinion of other reviewers that the ending is rather a let down.
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Format: Paperback
Agree with most comments, A lack of thriller tension perhaps but more than made up for in strong off-beat characters and unusual but interesting scenarios. Most of the action is internal or mental but no less interesting for that. The opposite in fact. An engaging writer I hope to read more of.
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Format: Paperback
Karin Alvtegen's Shame is an excellent character study marred by a loose denouement. As long as the character development proceeds, it is engrossing enough, although I found it rather difficult to empathise with the motivations of the deeply flawed doctor, who is one of the two women whose lives eventually intersect in tragedy. Monika has lived under the suppurating, slowly strangling shadow of her dead brother and her mother's hatred; to compensate for the inadequacy and incompleteness she has felt, she has overachieved professionally, and run away from every relationship that could have salved her. Meanwhile, Maj-Britt, morbidly obese and curdling with poison, has been ruined by her upbringing by fundamentalist Christian parents, and sees people as nothing better than targets of her venom. Monika weighed down by the guilt and grief very like that felt by Ben Affleck's character in the film Bounce, tries to make amends to the family of an acquaintance who had taken her place in a car journey and died in an accident on the way. She is unable to distinguish selfless help and interference, and gets more and more deeply involved in the victim's family. When Maj-Britt figures out Monika's motivations, she likes nothing better than to blackmail Monika, and from that point, the book begins to lose its power. Still, it was good going until that point.
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