We are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Karen Joy Fowler

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  • Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 110mm x 178mm x 26mm | 220g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1781252955
  • ISBN 13: 9781781252956
  • Sales rank: 30

Product description

Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. So now she's telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice. It's funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you're telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern - it's pretty hard to resist - don't worry.

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Author information

Karen Joy Fowler is the author of six novels and three short story collections. The Jane Austen Book Club spent thirteen weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. We are all Completely Beside Ourselves won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

Customer reviews

By Emily Purse 30 Oct 2014 1

This book is very slow to get into and even after I got to the 'spoiler' part of the book it still was hard going to read and not overly interesting even when certain things made sense after discovering the 'spoiler'. I quit reading half way through and passed it on hoping the next person to read it would get to the end and I could get the quick version of the ending. I kind of wished I borrowed it from the library first to see if I liked it before spending the money on it.

By Bernadette French 14 Sep 2014 5

Well, no need to read the book now. Annoyed by previous review. Why do people have to do that? I'm disappointed that Book Depository hasn't removed this review as this comment ruins it for both the author and any prospective reader that accidentally reads this poorly considered comment prior to purchasing the book. While I believe in free speech - I think you can express your opinion without ruining the foundation of it for others. Please disregard my rating as I have not read the book, nor am I likely to do so now that I've read the previous review. Thanks again.

By Terry McDonnell 12 May 2014 5

This has been removed due to spoilers.

Review quote

A novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get -- Barbara Kingsolver New York Times Book Review A dark cautionary tale hanging out, incognito-style, in what at first seems a traditional family narrative. It is anything but -- Alice Sebold No contemporary writer creates characters more appealing, or examines them with greater acuity and forgiveness, than she does -- Michael Chabon Fowler has given us the gift of a splendid novel. Not only is the story fascinating, moving, and beautifully written, but also it ripples with humor; its quirky characters include a puppet named Madame Defarge and a Seinfeldian assortment of apartment dwellers. Layered with a huge moral compass and enormous humanity, this portrait of a family one-fifth simian will, nevertheless, touch and delight every human Boston Globe Hinges upon Rosemary's sharp voice, which at its best includes funny, self-aware asides such as an early reference to a character at a holiday dinner where she flippantly advises the reader, "Don't get attached to him; he's not really part of this story LA Times We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is that rare thing, a comic novel that wrestles seriously with serious moral questions ... Fowler knows how to make her story funny and sad and disturbing and revelatory by erecting a space in which her reader is allowed to feel all of that for herself Salon So thought provoking on the topic of animal rights that it could alter your future decisions as a consumer. I don't want to say much about the plot of the book ... except to compare it to Ann Patchett's State of Wonder in terms of weaving a larger story of radical, scientific experimentation into a very personal woman's narrative MSN Rosemary's voice is achingly memorable, and Fowler's intelligent discourse on science vs. compassion reshapes the traditional family novel into something more universally relevant... This brave, bold, shattering novel reminds us what it means to be human, in the best and worst sense Miami Herald Halfway through Karen Joy Fowler's enthralling novel "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves," I was sort of beside myself, too, with that electric thrill of discovering a great book. I wanted to stay up all night to finish it, but I also wanted to stop and call all my book-loving friends immediately and blurt, "You have to read this book!" Cleveland Plain Dealer [A]n unsettling, emotionally complex story that plumbs the mystery of our strange relationship with the animal kingdom - relatives included -- Ron Charles Washington Post Karen Joy Fowler has written the book she's always had in her to write. With all the quiet strangeness of her amazing Sarah Canary, and all the breezy wit and skill of her beloved Jane Austen Book Club, and a new, urgent gravity, she has told the story of an American family. An unusual family-but aren't all families unusual? A very American, an only-in-America family-and yet an everywhere family, whose children, parents, siblings, love one another very much, and damage one another badly. Does the love survive the damage? Will human beings survive the damage they do to the world they love so much? This is a strong, deep, sweet novel -- Ursula K Le Guin It's been years since I've felt so passionate about a book. When I finished at 3 a.m., I wept, then I woke up the next morning, reread the ending, and cried all over again -- Ruth Ozecki