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More copies of this ISBN

Other titles in the Pen/Faulkner Award - Fiction series:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

by

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Cover

ISBN13: 9780399162091
ISBN10: 0399162097
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the New York Times–bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club, the story of an American family, middle class in middle America, ordinary in every way but one. But that exception is the beating heart of this extraordinary novel.

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.”

Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she’s managed to block a lot of memories. She’s smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, “Rosemary” truly is for remembrance.

Review:

“Rosemary's voice — vulnerable, angry, shockingly honest — is so compelling and the cast of characters, including Fern, irresistible. A fantastic novel: technically and intellectually complex, while emotionally gripping.” Kirkus (starred review)

Review:

“Piquant humor, refulgent language, a canny plot rooted in real-life experiences, an irresistible narrator, threshing insights, and tender emotions — Fowler has outdone herself in this deeply inquisitive, cage-rattling novel.” Booklist (starred review)

Review:

“Rosemary's experience [is] a fascinating basis for insight into memory, the mind, and human development....Fowler's great accomplishment is not just that she takes the standard story of a family and makes it larger, but that the new space she's created demands exploration.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

"In this curious, wonderfully intelligent novel, Karen Joy Fowler brings to life a most unusual family. Wonderful Fern, wonderful Rosemary! Through them we feel what it means to be a human animal. Andrea Barrett, author of Servants of the Map and Ship Fever

Review:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a dark cautionary tale hanging out, incognito-style, in what at first seems a traditional family narrative. It is anything but. This novel is deliciously jaunty in tone and disturbing in material. Karen Joy Fowler tells the story of how one animal — the animal of man — can simultaneously destroy and expand our notion of what is possible.” Alice Sebold, New York Times-bestselling author of The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon

Review:

“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, author of Lavinia, The Unreal and the Real, and the Earthsea Cycle

Review:

"This unforgettable novel is a dark and beautiful journey into the heart of a family, an exploration of the meanings of memory, a study of what it means to be 'human.' In the end the book doesn't just break your heart; it takes your heart and won't give it back." Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply and Stay Awake

About the Author

Karen Joy Fowler, A PEN/Faulkner and Dublin IMPAC nominee, is the author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Sarah Canary, The Sweetheart Season, Wit's End, Black Glass: Short Fictions, and Sister Noon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Velvet, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by Velvet)
Wow! what a great read this one is!

Loved how it goes into psychology and social development of humans and animals.

Got me thinking of the treatment of domestic and wild animals and the tendency to anthropomorphize them.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Robert Blumenthal, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by Robert Blumenthal)
Okay. So if I was to give Karen Joy Fowler advice on how to write a great novel, I'd tell her to come with an engaging, intelligent and witty narrator and have her tell a captivating, moving and timely story and do it in a compelling and original way. Oh wait. I don't have to, because she just did all that in her latest totally wonderful novel entitled We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. This is a novel that is best read with as little pre-knowledge as possible. It starts out as a seemingly emotionally troubled college-age woman is telling a story involving her apparently dysfunctional family. Around 1/4 of the way through there is a "reveal" that totally changes the way you look at the novel. Those of you "don't-give-away-the-plot" purists would be extremely disappointed to learn what the reveal is before you reach that part of the book. I'm not that way, and still I am glad that I didn't know. Although the change made the book a bit awkward and a little too fantastical at first, Fowler develops it beautifully and produces a strong and important novel of our or anyone's times. I don't want to give anything else away. Suffice it to say that I have read many novels over the last couple of years, many of them very good and some of them I would consider masterpieces. This novel, without question, falls into the latter category. It is a compelling, very readable, very witty and tremendously moving novel about family and life on earth. Highly, highly recommended.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780399162091
Author:
Fowler, Karen Joy
Publisher:
A Marian Wood Book/Putnam
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literature-Coming of Age
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20130530
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Coming of Age
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages A Marian Wood Book/Putnam - English 9780399162091 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Rosemary's voice — vulnerable, angry, shockingly honest — is so compelling and the cast of characters, including Fern, irresistible. A fantastic novel: technically and intellectually complex, while emotionally gripping.”
"Review" by , “Piquant humor, refulgent language, a canny plot rooted in real-life experiences, an irresistible narrator, threshing insights, and tender emotions — Fowler has outdone herself in this deeply inquisitive, cage-rattling novel.”
"Review" by , “Rosemary's experience [is] a fascinating basis for insight into memory, the mind, and human development....Fowler's great accomplishment is not just that she takes the standard story of a family and makes it larger, but that the new space she's created demands exploration.”
"Review" by , "In this curious, wonderfully intelligent novel, Karen Joy Fowler brings to life a most unusual family. Wonderful Fern, wonderful Rosemary! Through them we feel what it means to be a human animal.
"Review" by , We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a dark cautionary tale hanging out, incognito-style, in what at first seems a traditional family narrative. It is anything but. This novel is deliciously jaunty in tone and disturbing in material. Karen Joy Fowler tells the story of how one animal — the animal of man — can simultaneously destroy and expand our notion of what is possible.”
"Review" by , “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.”
"Review" by , "This unforgettable novel is a dark and beautiful journey into the heart of a family, an exploration of the meanings of memory, a study of what it means to be 'human.' In the end the book doesn't just break your heart; it takes your heart and won't give it back."
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