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Emotionally Weird
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on 5 April 2014
Well, I just don't know. I finished this a few days ago and I am still trying to make up my mind. I have enjoyed all the other Atkinson books I have read and I enjoyed this - kind of. It was a bit like picking at a spot in a way, I was getting pleasure from it but I couldn't say why.

To be honest there was a section in the middle where I would have given up if I'd been the sort of person who gives up on books, this only happens when they are very,very dire. This certainly wasn't that, the writing was proficient and it was well edited and so on, but it was so gloomy and a bit depressing to be honest.

Head Hopping!!! well, the anti head hoping brigade would be having kittens.

The characters were fascinating, all of them and there were many. I did get tired of the muck and the awful food and the dreadful experiences. There were times when I wanted to shout at Effie "Get a Grip Girl" and times when I wanted to wrap her in a nice warm blanky.

The ending however was good, I had an inkling a very short time before the reveal but not too long before.

Taken all round I would say yes I enjoyed the read, it was different and it was well done but there's no getting away from it it was WEIRD.
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on 15 February 2013
This is different from usual Kate Atkinson novels and I got the feeling that she was trying to be clever with her writing style and had a grievance against creative writing courses and their attendees. There were moments of humour - including black humour - and some wonderful observations of human behaviour but this didn't compensate for loose story-line.
With most novels the reader feels sympathy or identity with at least one of the characters but I didn't. Its a few weeks now since I finished it and I'm struggling to remember their names or the gist of the story - and this doesn't happen with her other novels.
I liked the reflections of student life - the staying in bed, arguing over politics, petty rivalries and changing lovers but other twists were less easy to accept or relate into real life.
As an exercise for creative writing students on different styles of writing and approaches to character this is a good read, but for an normal reader I'd go for one of Kate Atkinson's other novels first.
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on 23 December 2013
I often suffer from insomnia so read every night. A good book will take me into the early hours of the morning. This book lasted on average15 minutes per night, whereupon the book fell on my nose and I slept like a log with boredom. The book rambled, I couldn't find a plot or a proper story line. I found the conversations tedious and laborious. Last night I skipped to the end hoping for a revelation, but there wasn't one. I gave up only 47% through according to my Kindle. I am sorry Kate, I love your books but not this one.
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on 10 June 2016
This is clearly the least loved of KA's novels, but still knocks most books out there into the proverbial cocked hat. The plot is the main weakness, under-paced and sometimes frustratingly circular (although the end is quite neat), but if you don't mind taking your time and going along for the ride (rather as the heroine does on numerous occasions in the clapped-out old car of her shady private investigator) the book is full of delights, with great comic moments and brilliant one-liners in just about every paragraph.
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on 18 February 2013
Picked this book up after thoroughly enjoying Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and found this to equally as entertaining.

Atkinson creates another strong female protagonist, fighting to take control of her life. There are moments of pure comic gold in this novel and fans of the later, Jackson Brodie, novels by Atkinson will find the private investigator character in this story an interesting case study.

Heartwarming and funny, Atkinson is one of favourite authors and has never published a bad book, yet.
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on 24 February 2016
I love KA's books, particularly those that don't involve Jackson Brodie - though they are good crime novels. I first came across KA in 'Human Croquet' and was enchanted. She writes lovely, dreamlike stories with wit and humour and beautiful descriptions. She can also write with comedic insight into the blandness of everyday life in many periods. She does this here. This tale is not exciting per se but it is a lovely read.
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on 14 January 2016
Not a patch on the previous books I have read by Kate Atkinson. Namely A God in Ruins and Life After life.

It is very funny in places, but overall the story just drags on and on.
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on 14 June 2017
Enjoyed the Jumbled interconnectedness of this tale. A must for any Kate Atkinson fan.
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on 27 May 2014
Kate Atkinson has a rare quality of making you want to read more and more, and you really do associate with the characters in her books! I want to 'step inside' and help them get what they want! Believable characters and story lines, that fascinate!
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on 5 June 2013
I love the character development and the humour with which Kate Atkinson writes. I did enjoy reaing this book but it was not my favourite by this author. I felt that the plot was a little too slow, and I did wonder if there was a 'point' to this story but it got there in the end.
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