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on 10 July 2000
I read this book a couple of years ago when it was first released in the UK amid all the hoo-ha and WH Smith's ban and so on. Indeed, it is a disturbing, distressing and very challenging book. Above all though, a very courageous piece of work.
Possibly the most dificult of all society's taboos, peadophilia, Homes has none-the-less allowed a story to evolve that is real, very sad and full of questions and no real answers necessarily. The biggest answer, if there is one, is that perhaps the peodophile is not too far related to the 'normal' human being and that perhaps this is the discomfort that allows the issue to go by and grow, without real progress into its' prevention.
Beautifully written, scary and cold, A.M. Homes has an observational eye to be reckoned with.
I'm in the middle of reading her latest book, Music for Torching, and she again has produced a brilliant piece of work.
Both books highly recommended.
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on 8 November 2012
Difficult to say that I actually enjoyed this book; I felt cleverly manipulated by the author and slightly appalled that I wanted to read it to the end when the main character is such a horrific person. And yet it was possible to be interested in him and to reflect on how a writer can lead readers into such unimaginably dark situations. This novel has led me to seek out all of A.M. Homes' work. She is an author of such twists and paths; unpredictable and full of wit, humour and delight in the bizarre.
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on 11 January 2013
The author tackles a very difficult subject which is shocking and disturbing throughout yet well written and fascinating. It is a story told by a paedophile from prison. He confuses reality with imagination and flashbacks. He has by no way changed and his thoughts are disturbing as you can see him justifying that he could not stop himself yet these are young girls who could never had had the ability to consent. Very controversial and not an easy read but a fascinating insight. Read with caution.
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on 25 January 1998
An utterly absorbing example of prose that manages to elicit a visceral response without sacrificing its intellectual integrity. An embodiment of what all horror novels should try to be. A significant literary achievement that is all the more disturbing and disquieting because it speaks of deeds that have basis in the real world. A must read for those jaded readers who find most books of this genre not horrifying enough!!!
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on 21 June 1999
Homes's depiction of a vile pedophile gives one insight into this ghastly creature's core of being. She realistically portrays his victims as the innocent, adolescent, but sexual-beings which we all are at one time. What a disturbing tale of how someone, defiled by their genetics & environment, preys upon youth & innocence as vengance for their own sorrow.
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on 4 June 1999
I can't decide whether or not to reccommend this book. I absolutely could not put this book down, was hypnotised and fascinated by it, moved and disgusted, sickened and touched. If Lolita scared you, don't go there. But if you were mesmerized by Humbert's perversity and sickness, you may be able to make it to the grisly end. Good luck, and thank you, A.M.
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on 25 February 2013
Although the subject matter was rather grim and very disturbing this book was difficult to put down. It was dark but compelling - a clever concept with convincing characters - the voice of the criminal was particularly well written - he is an intelligent but deeply disturbed individual. I really like this writer's style - I will be reading more of her work.
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on 22 February 2017
This has to be up there with American Psycho as a book not to read whilst eating a sandwich. I love the style of Homes and even in the darkest parts there was a charm and a wow to her sentences. I don't think this is a book to lend to your aging aunt but it is the ending in all its shock that will haunt my mind for many weeks to come. Lolita is dead.
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on 24 August 1999
A graphic, searing portrayal of the warping influence of sexual abuse, disturbingly accessible and fiendishly funny. Homes lures us deep into the psyche of the monster, to empathize in horror. She became one of my favorite authors in just one sitting.
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on 24 August 1998
The End of Alice was just one of those books... it was hard to swallow but I still wanted to nevertheless. The vivid scenes that were depicted put knots in my stomach but I was always intent to go on and besides, it was made interesting conversation on the transit.
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