Emotionally Weird

Emotionally Weird

3.44 (5,352 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 488 pages
  • Chivers Large print (Chivers, Windsor, Paragon & C
  • Bath, United Kingdom
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type edition
  • 0754015424
  • 9780754015420

Review Text

The author of Whitbread Awardwinner Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1996) indulges in even more of the postmodern game-playing that disrupted Human Croquet (1997). The year is 1972. Twenty-one-year-old Euphemia Stuart-Murray and her mother, Nora, are camped out at the crumbling family home on a remote Scottish island. We must get on, we must tell our tales, says Nora, and Effie begins with details of her adventures in graduate school just a month earlier at Dundee University. Shes living with Bob, a fellow student more interested in watching Star Trek, smoking dope, and listening to Led Zeppelin than attending classes. Effies not doing much better: she owes papers to all her professors and can barely muster up the energy to attend her tutorial, led by pompous Archie McCue, who spouts academic gibberish to his indifferent tutees. Interspersed with Effies narration are snatches from the murder mystery shes writing for another class; from Archies endless experimental novel, The Expanding Prism of J; from the heavy-breathing romance his wife is penning; and from other students work, including a Tolkien-like fantasy and a Beckettesque nihilistic drama. All of these highlight Atkinsons wicked wit without much advancing the plotnot that it matters, since the storyline is a slapdash affair involving various lost dogs, a ratty private eye, and lots of humor at the expense of self-important 70s radicalism and perennial grad-student aimlessness. Noras story, parceled out reluctantly at Effies urging, concerns her daughters mysterious origins; the final revelations about both womens parentage will not surprise anyone whos been paying attention to the heavy foreshadowing. Atkinsons jokes are funny, her characters lively (if cartoonish), but her scattershot approach to storytelling wears thin long before the end. Behind the Scenes at the Museum proved Atkinson can be playful and probing when she chooses. Fans of this talented writer can only hope that next time out shell concentrate more on emotional substance, less on narrative tricks. (Kirkus Reviews)
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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)
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