Emotionally Weird

Emotionally Weird

3.44 (5,352 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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, 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? Why is everyone writing novels? Is someone killing the old people? And where is the mysterious yellow dog?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 34mm | 359.99g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New Jacket
  • Illustr.
  • 055299734X
  • 9780552997348
  • 117,616

Review quote

"The lustre, energy and panache of her writing are as striking as ever...Funny, bold and memorable" -- Helen Dunmore * The Times * "Beautifully written...brimming with quirky characters and original storytelling. Kate Atkinson has struck gold with this unique offering" * Time Out * "Sends jolts of pleasure off the page...Atkinson's funniest foray yet...it is a work of Dickensian or even Shakespearean plenty" * The Scotsman * "A truly comic novel - achingly funny in parts - challenging and executed with wit and mischief...hilarious and magical" -- Meera Syal * Daily Express * "Her novels are remarkable both in and of themselves, and as evidence of an important emerging body of work from a brilliant and profoundly original writer" * Daily Telegraph *show more

About Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her 2013 novel Life After Life won the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize, was shortlisted for the Women's Prize, voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. It also won the Costa Novel Award, as did her new novel A God in Ruins (2015). She was appointed MBE in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours List, and was voted Waterstones UK Author of the Year at the 2013 Specsavers National Book Awards.show more

Review Text

"Beautifully written...brimming with quirky characters and original storytelling. Kate Atkinson has struck gold with this unique offering"show more

Rating details

5,352 ratings
3.44 out of 5 stars
5 18% (939)
4 32% (1,713)
3 33% (1,754)
2 12% (664)
1 5% (282)

Our customer reviews

Emotionally Weird is the third stand-alone novel by award-winning British author, Kate Atkinson. It is the early seventies and twenty-one-year-old Euphemia Andrews (Effie) goes home to the family's summer holiday house on a remote west coast Scottish island where she shares stories with her mother Eleanora (Nora). Effie relates recent events in her life at University in Dundee; Nora, at first unforthcoming, begins to reveal facts about Effie's true heritage (like her real surname), eventually relating the history of the Stuart-Murray family, including the death of the aunt after whom Effie was named. In Dundee, while trying to meet essay deadlines for her English degree and thinking about leaving the incredibly lazy Bob, Effie becomes convinced she is being followed: there's this woman in a red coat; and a middle-aged ex-cop turned PI named Chick driving a white Cortina keeps turning up. There are a few deaths that may or may not be natural; several people around her believe someone is trying to kill them; her friend Terri is looking for a lost yellow dog; her tutor's son is released from prison. Effie relates the events at Dundee like a novel, with Nora interrupting to critique her characters, plot and dialogue. Similarly, Effie interjects into Nora's story-telling. Atkinson's character descriptions (and there is a large cast) are marvellously evocative. The description of the English tutorial (obviously taken from Atkinson's own experience) is at once blindingly accurate and hilariously funny. The ongoing commentary on creative writing and the (over-)analysis of literature is clever and amusing. The atmosphere of early seventies is expertly conveyed. This is effectively a story (or several) within a story within a story, and Atkinson manages to include snippets of poetry, a play, a medieval fantasy saga, a crime novel, a metaphysical epic tome, and a Mills & Boon style romance, each printed in its own appropriate text style. While Effie's story does seem to ramble on a bit, drawing criticism from Nora, Emotionally Weird has plenty of humour (some of it quite black) and enough intrigue to keep the reader engaged to the final pages. Another excellent dose of Atkinson.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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