Human Croquet

Human Croquet

3.72 (9,653 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The brilliant and profound second novel from the three-times Costa prizewinner and number one bestseller Kate Atkinson.

'Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns' Observer

Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor.

But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all.

But Isobel Fairfax, who drops into pockets of time and out again, knows about the past. She is sixteen and waiting for the return of her mother - the thin, dangerous Eliza with her scent of nicotine, Arpege and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 28mm | 304g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New jacket
  • 1 illustration
  • 055299619X
  • 9780552996198
  • 31,991

Flap copy

Once it had been the great forest of Lythe--a vast and impenetrable thicket of green with a mystery in the very heart of the trees. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor, visited once by the great Gloriana herself.
But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes had dwindled too; now they lived in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and were hardly a family at all.
There was Vinny (the Aunt from Hell)--with her cats and her crab-apple face. And Gordon, who had forgotten them for seven years and, when he remembered, came back with fat Debbie, who shared her one brain cell with a poodle. And then there were Charles and Isobel, the children. Charles, the acne-scarred Lost Boy, passed his life awaiting visits from aliens and the return of his mother. But it is Isobel to whom the story belongs--Isobel, born on the Streets of Trees, who drops into pockets of time and out again. Isobel is sixteen and she too is waiting for the return of her mother--the thin, dangerous Eliza with her scent of nicotine, Arpege and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.
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Review Text

Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns
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Review quote

Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns * Observer * Huge, exhilarating, loving and detailed eruption of a novel...an utterly intoxicating display of novelistic elan...big and joyous, literary and accessible...storytelling at its buoyant best * The Scotsman * Wonderfully eloquent and forceful Kate Atkinson goes at the same pace in her second novel as she did in her first...welcome back, wild north-easter...brilliant and engrossing * Evening Standard * Vivid and intriguing...fizzles and crackles along...a tour de force * Independent * Part ghost story, part murder mystery, this is an exquisitely written, literary novel that reads as compellingly as any thriller * Cosmopolitan * A stunner of a second novel...a gutsy book, wrenched from the heart and written with tremendous force, immersing you in its strange, eccentric world * Marie Claire * The quirky imagination, subversive humour and instinct for domestic chaos that Atkinson displayed in her first novel...are rampantly evident again * Publishers Weekly *
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About Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of the world's foremost novelists. She won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum: Human Croquet was her second novel. Her three critically lauded and prizewinning novels set around World War II are Life After Life, A God in Ruins (both winners of the Costa Novel Award), and Transcription. She has also written five bestselling literary crime novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie, the latest of which is Big Sky.

Kate Atkinson was appointed MBE for services to literature in 2011.
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Rating details

9,653 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2,103)
4 40% (3,831)
3 29% (2,832)
2 7% (689)
1 2% (198)
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