Foto do autor

Sheena Patel

Autor(a) de I'm a Fan

2 Works 169 Membros 3 Reviews

Obras de Sheena Patel

I'm a Fan (2022) 167 cópias, 2 resenhas
SOY FAN (2023) 2 cópias, 1 resenha


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Patel, Sheena
Data de nascimento
United Kingdom
Local de nascimento
London, England, UK



'I'm A Fan' was one of four books that I picked from the Women's Prize For Fiction 2023 Longlist.

It's a debut novel that the Literary Fiction establishment in the UK seems to have fallen in love with. As well as the Women's Prize for fiction, it was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize 2023, the Chalk Prize 2023, the British Book Awards Book of the Year (Discover) 2023 and the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2023. It was also picked by the Observer newspaper as Best Debut Novel of 2022.

Sadly, it turns out that I'm not a fan.

This was always a possibility. The publisher's summary of 'I'm A Fan' didn't win me over. It sounded worthy in an inaccessible way. The cover art struck me as lazy, generic and eye-wateringly ugly. Then, I looked inside the book and saw an incredibly long paragraph and my inner pedant said 'Oh, dear. We're doing something new with form are we?'

Why didn't I listen to my inner pedant? Well, I read the first chapter which is a single paragraph of 530 words and I was curious enough about what would happen next that I pushed to one side any concerns about inaccessibility and form-divergent styling and decided to give it a go.

I should have listened to my inner pedant.

I read four chapters (16 pages out of 228) and I knew this wasn't going to work for me.

Oddly, it wasn't the long paragraphs or the refusal to use quotation marks to punctuate dialogue that had me putting this aside. It was simply that I don't believe in the unnamed narrator. She seems like a thought experiment, a conceit designed to showcase clever insights, rather than someone real. I know that she's not meant to be Jane Average. Even she is aware that her way of seeing the world deviates from the norm. Even so, I need something that gives me a reason to care about this person enough to keep reading. What I got was a female stalker who seems to see relationships as a power struggle, a conflict that needs a strategy and which will have a winner. There's some humour there in a slightly snarky look how weird rich people are way but nothing that connected me to the narrator.

Maybe that's the point. Maybe this is supposed to help me grasp the dissociative relationship the narrator has with the world and herself? Maybe it's a comment on the facile, ephemeral and essentially sterile nature of our digitally curated social interactions,

Whatever the point is, I'm not going to wade through another 200 pages of long, ostentatiously unpunctuated paragraphs to find out.
… (mais)
MikeFinnFiction | 1 outra resenha | Mar 10, 2024 |
Visitas | Feb 26, 2024 |
I Wish I Was Special*
Review of the Granta Books paperback (March 2023) of the original Rough Trade hardcover (June 2022)

Although I eventually had a breakthrough on this book, I was struggling to read it initially. I had even begun to mementoize it (read it backwards), which wasn't that much of a spoiler really, as it is not all strictly chronological. It is somewhat along the lines of internal diary or internal blogposts. If I had rated each individually (there are perhaps 100 of them) as I often do with short story collections, I would likely have ended up with a 3 star average, so that became my compromise rating as well.

The unnamed protagonist has two obsessions here: "the man I want to be with" and "the woman I am obsessed with." The man is white, a UK artist, older and married and has other affairs which he does not hide. The woman is white, US based, younger and is the daughter of a McArthur 'Genius' Grant recipient, and is a social media influencer, primarily in the marketing of various unique objects or fashions. Our protagonist is brown, 30's, with an unspecified job, but one that is probably in the film and TV production field (it is freelance and somewhat haphazard but it is something that requires her to be on site at hours such as 5 a.m.). In those respects some of the bio is likely based on the author themself.

The entries are often cringe and depressing as it becomes obvious that the young woman's obsession involves sublimating herself to the man and his whims. This is despite her own otherwise perceptive awareness of power dynamics in relationships and society (it was those social commentary elements that eventually gave me the breakthrough to continue reading). It just becomes tiresome to read at length. It was at least funny with her 'hate-following' of the younger woman and of her vapid marketing posts on instagram and such.

See photograph at
Photograph of the author Sheena Patel. Image sourced from an interview at Run Riot.

There are many glowing 4-5 star reviews and ratings of this book, so I am somewhat of an outlier. I understand the 1-2 star reviews which found it to be wearisome. disillusioned, millennial ranting. I was still entertained enough to finish it, but it felt far short of 5-star re-read or 'amazing' territory.
Perhaps in terms of a stalking / obsession book it is 5-stars, but how much do you really want to read that sort of thing?

Other Reviews
Review at The Guardian: A Brutal Brilliant Debut by Lamorna Ash, June 25, 2022.
Review at The Cardiff Review: Status, Seduction and Stalking the Enemy by Vartika Rastogi, November 4, 2022.

* I stole the lede from Radiohead’s song “Creep”, although I’ll admit that I’m more partial to the choral version, ever since I first heard it in the trailer for The Social Network film (2010).

Trivia and Links
Author Sheena Patel was interviewed for the Waterstones Podcast on March 28, 2023 and you can watch the video of that here.

I’m a Fan is longlisted for the 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction Award. You can read further about the longlist here. The shortlist will be announced April 26, 2023 and the winner will be announced June 14, 2023.

I’m a Fan was longlisted and is now shortlisted for the 2023 Republic of Consciousness Prize. You can read further about the shortlist here. The winner will be announced later in April 2023 (date not yet known).
… (mais)
1 vote
alanteder | 1 outra resenha | Apr 12, 2023 |




½ 3.6

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