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Emotionally Weird (2000)

de Kate Atkinson

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1,565398,679 (3.5)109
On a peat and heather island off the west coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother Nora take refuge in the large mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories.Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear, like who her father was - variously Jimmy, Jack, or Ernie. Effie tells of her life at college in Dundee, the land of cakes and William Wallace, where she lives in a lethargic relationship with Bob, a student who never goes to lectures, seldom gets out of bed, and to whom the Klingons are as real as the French and the Germans (more real than the Luxemburgers).But strange things are happening. Why is Effie being followed?Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Kate Atkinson is not afraid of experimenting. She is not content with following conventional forms, although she writes in those forms very well.

Emotionally Weird is a story told by a mother and daughter, Nora and Effie, who are holed up on an inhospitable island off the coast of Scotland, an island that has been "in the family" for generations. What that family is, who is actually in it, is a big question in Effie's mind. Her mother hints that she isn't really her mother but she is reluctant to say exactly where Effie came from.

The two choose to tell stories. Effie offers her story, fiction, in large doses. Nora will only take tiny steps with her true story. In between, Effie offers parts from the fiction detective story she is writing for class, and even bits of other assignments. It's a little confusing. Atkinson differentiates among the different voices by the use of different fonts. I wonder how a book like this would be read aloud.

Nora complains that Effie's story "doesn't go anywhere". It is true that things happen but there is no central conflict or motivating force moving Effie's fictional self from place to place. I had to agree with Nora. I got tired of all the activity that was like a hamster wheel. It seemed like writing exercises. I had a funny feeling that Atkinson was throwing all these exercises in one book and adding transitions. Up to a point, anyway.

Effie dwells on her time in college, her interactions with other students, her time in class - tutorials, the adventures the students go on instead of studying. Nora talks about her parents and their parents and her siblings.

In the end it does wrap up and there really is a story. I was gratified by this and became absorbed more toward the end than I had been through much of the rest. I'd love to hear how others thought of this book. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
An appropriate title for this book I fear. Whilst there is considerable humour in the writing, the style I found inaccessible and not to my taste, unlike the author's Brodie books. There are three interlocking stories, although at the end two seemed to be the same character, very confusing. There are also many characters to get to grips with and remembering who was who was challenging, especially after a delay in reading. The main character appears to be reading her novel to her mother and within that novel the main character is also writing a novel... ( )
  edwardsgt | Aug 3, 2019 |
Less satisfying than some of her other books. In some ways, a straight forward mystery, with Atkinson's witty way with words (better than mine, for sure), but I felt she was keeping us guessing for too long. The plot didn't seem to get moving until well on. ( )
  PhilipJHunt | May 11, 2019 |
Pretty weird, but certainly kept my attention as I tried to figure out just what the heck was going on. ( )
  JBD1 | Aug 5, 2018 |
I had hoped that this early phase novel of Atkinson's would be as wonderful as her "Human Croquet" but I was rather disappointed by it. The first half was a long slog because there was really very little to grab the attention. The second half had more pace and there were plenty of laughs along the way but overall I did not find this as rewarding as her second novel. In many ways the pace, level of detail and number of briefly appearing characters reminded me more of her first novel. The final few chapters provide an impressive end. ( )
  NeilDalley | Dec 22, 2016 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Emotionally Weird'' is really two intertwining stories that make for one gangly comic novel. As the book opens, Effie and her mother, Nora, have sequestered themselves in Nora's large, dank family home off the coast of Scotland, where they've decided to wrap themselves in shawls and blankets and tell each other stories. Effie regales her mother with a semi-surreal adventure about her life as a student at Dundee; her narrative includes an array of oddball teachers, a yellow dog that's hit by a car only to be miraculously brought back to life, and a hapless stoner boyfriend named Bob, for whom the Klingons on ''Star Trek'' are as real as ''the French or the Germans, more real certainly than, say, Luxembourgers.'' The madcap tale she spins is made even more mysterious by the fact that someone just may be following her, and she has no idea why.

Nora's story is more gothic, more tragic, and it involves a series of secrets about Effie's past. It's darker and more conventional than Effie's story, but it's also more engaging, perhaps because it's much more economical. Effie's story, on the other hand, goes on. And on.
adicionado por KayCliff | editarNew York Times, Stephanie Zacharek (Jun 25, 2000)
 
While the narrators' constant backtalk can be tiresome, Atkinson's clever and sophisticated prose preserves the voices' sparkling energy. Readers may guess the family secret before it is revealed, but that doesn't steal any thunder from the unsettling and utterly original denouement.
 
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On a peat and heather island off the west coast of Scotland, Effie and her mother Nora take refuge in the large mouldering house of their ancestors and tell each other stories.Nora, at first, recounts nothing that Effie really wants to hear, like who her father was - variously Jimmy, Jack, or Ernie. Effie tells of her life at college in Dundee, the land of cakes and William Wallace, where she lives in a lethargic relationship with Bob, a student who never goes to lectures, seldom gets out of bed, and to whom the Klingons are as real as the French and the Germans (more real than the Luxemburgers).But strange things are happening. Why is Effie being followed?Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?

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823.914 — Literature English English fiction Modern Period 20th Century 1945-1999

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