The Idea of Perfection

The Idea of Perfection : Picador Classic

3.63 (2,750 ratings by Goodreads)
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With an introduction by Evie Wyld

The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort.

Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they're on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 130 x 197 x 26mm | 353g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main Market Ed
  • 1509823433
  • 9781509823437
  • 53,925

Review quote

A writer of extraordinary talent * New York Times Book Review * Quirky and spirited * Independent * Grenville makes awkward atmospheres and fumbling encounters wonderfully vivid. Read it and cringe * Times * It's an outrageously entertaining book - witty, tender and full of a no-nonsense lyricism . . . by alerting us to novels this good, the [Orange] Prize more than justifies its existence * Daily Mail * Mined throughout with little pockets of danger and depth * Guardian * The Idea of Perfection is a very fine novel . . . Grenville's paean to the heroism of imperfection could easily slide into sentimentality. That it doesn't is a testament to her skill. There's nothing trite about the violent, sensual colour in her descriptions of the Australian bush, or her compassion for her eccentric characters * Times * [Grenville is] always self-possessed, graceful, ingratiating . . . an amusing, touching, occasionally macabre tale * Spectator * An exquisite, minutely observed study of two people meeting in their middle years . . . A truly amazing writer -- Rosie Boycott, Chair of the Orange Prize 2001 Judging Panel This is an arresting and penetrating read . . . an honest and compelling celebration of imperfection * Observer * A very fine, albeit terrifying, writer . . . another assured and intelligent performance . . . very funny, skillfully written but also very moving . . . brilliant comic set pieces * Irish Times * A funny, off-beat love story * Daily Mail * Grenville has created a unique exploration of human weaknesses and how combining these weaknesses can make a strength * Irish Independent * Being the only book voted for the Orange Prize shortlist by both the official judging panel, always an all-female affair, and a shadow panel of men sitting for the first time, was testament to The Idea of Perfection's universal appeal * Australian News * A funny and touching romance * Daily Express * An honest and compelling celebration of imperfection * Observer * A truly amazing writer -- Rosie Boycott, chair of the Orange Prize jury Mined throughout with little pockets of danger and depth * Guardian * Outrageously entertaining * Daily Mail * From these two reticent characters, besieged by two lifetimes of regret, doubt and dismay, Grenville manufactures an extraordinary comedy of manners, made all more powerful by her own reticence as a writer * Guardian * Grenville makes awkward atmospheres and fumbling encounters wonderfully vivid. Read it and cringe * The Times *
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About Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville is one of Australia's finest writers. Her bestselling novel The Secret River has been published in more than twenty countries. It has received numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The companion memoir, Searching for the Secret River, was released in 2006.

The Idea of Perfection won Britain's prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, and her other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian's Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History.
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Rating details

2,750 ratings
3.63 out of 5 stars
5 21% (591)
4 36% (1,000)
3 29% (807)
2 9% (255)
1 4% (97)
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