sharrona, February 6, 2013 (view all comments by sharrona)
This book was quite boring. Within the first few pages (when Ruby describes her own birth) hints were dropped about the ultimate "big secret" of the book. By the time I'd read a quarter of the book, there were so many hints it wasn't a secret any more. By the time I got to the end, I was disappointed that there wasn't anything more to the story than that. None of the characters were particularly likeable, nor were they bad enough to hate.
The book was billed as "darkly funny and satirical" in one review. I saw no humor except for the brief slapstick physical mishaps at a wedding reception late in the book. On reflection, I gained nothing from reading this book, and got about a half-minute of laughter from that one scene. It truly was a waste of my limited reading time.
Kim McCary, November 26, 2011 (view all comments by Kim McCary)
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time (and I read incessantly). At the beginning, it took a bit to get a sense of the style, of the narrator's voice, but once it began, I was already mourning the fact that this book would come to an end. The characters are unforgettable, one moment you are laughing out loud and the next, you are swept into an area of your heart you had forgotten existed.
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Karen Finlay, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Karen Finlay)
I LOVED this book. I had read "Case Histories" first and expected more of the same, and was surprised to find how different -- and unique -- "Behind the Scenes..." was. As I was nearing the end, I was reading as slowly as I possibly could to savor every word, already missing the characters. And when I finished, I cried. That hasn't happened to me in a book in a long, long time -- and certainly not in the past decade, which is why I'm nominating this for the Puddly Award.
Official winner or not, please pick up this book. It will be a gift to yourself you'll never forget... and that will fit perfectly.
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Picador USA -
by Los Angeles Times,
"Stunning....[A] treasure chest bursting with the painful, pitiful, sad, always fascinating details of the most ordinary of lives."
by Christian Science Monitor,
"Well received in England, where it won the Whitbread award, Behind the Scenes at the Museum... marks the debut of a distinctive new voice that should appeal to readers who enjoy the panache of a Fay Weldon or the witty inventiveness of a Carol Shields. And it strikes a nice balance between fantasty and reality."
by New York Times Book Review,
"Remarkable...full of the grimness, grit, and grandeur of Yorkshire life...one of the funniest books to come out of Britain in years."
by Trenton Times,
"This first novel is, as far as I can tell, perfect. Behind the Scenes at the Museum is a marvelously constructed, well-writeen, fast-moving chronicle of four generations of women in a Yorkshire family....It's hard to do justice to this lovely novel....Funny, engrossing, passionate."
by Amanda Heller,
"Breathtaking...Atkinson's luminescent imagery is sure and sophisticated, poetic and darkly comic. That such an ambitious and brilliantly realized novel is also the author's first is absolutely astonishing."
Ruby Lennox begins narrating her own life at the moment of her conception, and from there takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of a girl determined to learn more about her family and the secrets it keeps.
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