meredycat, May 18, 2008 (view all comments by meredycat)
In this novel that deals with an intensely tragic subject (Alzheimer's Disease) Sebold lyrically braids a story with emotion and lovely prose in a dark, gothic story that will move the soul.
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Tracy, January 30, 2008 (view all comments by Tracy)
If you liked Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones", you will love "The Almost Moon". Sebold has a classy but readable way of writing on the most peculiar subjects! In The Almost Moon the main character murders her mother. It seems so realistic and the main character seems somehow reasonable in her actions.
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This was a book like I have never read before. I found it distrubing and appauling at times. I never really felt compassion for Helen,but I don't think Alice wanted us to feel compassion for this character. I believe she was just telling a story of a very flawed human being.
This book is worth a read and you wont be able to put it down, because you want to know how the book ends. It takes place in a span of 24 hrs and yet you learn everything there is to know about Helen and her parents. This sheds a light on mental illness that we somehow forget. IT DOES imapct EVERYONE in the family. Alice is a great writer. I do realize that not everyone with appreciate this read. But that is how it is with all books.
Try this book. If nothing else, it will getting you thinking and talking. What more can a book ask????
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anvant, November 7, 2007 (view all comments by anvant)
After reading "Lovely Bones", I knew that I would enjoy Alice Sebold's other works. I just finshed "The Almost Moon." I was somewhat disappointed. After going through the whole emotional process with the main character, I hoped to find some sense of closure at the end. Instead it leaves you on a lingering note; does she do it or do they find her first?
If I could sum up this novel in a few words it would be this:
Its almost like watching a good suspense thriller. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, you want to know what will happen next, and you can't help but get wrapped up in it.
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marytip, November 7, 2007 (view all comments by marytip)
I just finished this book last night and it sure has stayed with me. It truly capitvated me...maybe because I am a 48 year old woman with aging parents who is still trying to figure out her life, much like the main character (throw in some possible genetic madness, too.)
Alice Sebold doesn't seem afraid to push the envelope, but there were parts of this book that didn't quite seem believable: Was her mother really that horrible? What was the deal with her best friend's son?
Interestingly, I think she developed the father's character more than the mother's.
All in all, a good, melancholy read for this time of year.
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Little Brown and Company -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Sebold's disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator's statement that she has killed her mother. Helen Knightly, herself the mother of two daughters and an art class model old enough to be the mother of the students who sketch her nude figure, is the dutiful but resentful caretaker for her senile 88-year-old mother, Clair. One day, traumatized by the stink of Clair's voided bowels and determined to bathe her, Helen succumbs to 'a life-long dream' and smothers Clair, who had sucked 'the life out of [Helen] day by day, year by year.' After dragging Clair's corpse into the cellar and phoning her ex-husband to confess her crime, Helen has sex with her best friend's 30-year-old 'blond-god doofus' son. Jumping between past and present, Sebold reveals the family's fractured past (insane, agoraphobic mother; tormented father, dead by suicide) and creates a portrait of Clair that resembles Sebold's own mother as portrayed in her memoir, Lucky. While Helen has clearly suffered at her mother's hands, the matricide is woefully contrived, and Helen's handling of the body and her subsequent actions seem almost slapstick. Sebold can write, that's clear, but her sophomore effort is not in line with her talent." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Library Journal,
"The pace is superb, a slow tease that alternates between calm, reflective flashbacks and tense, tight descriptions of Helen's attempts to hide her crime and avoid the police....A daring, devastating novel; highly recommended."
"[A]n emotionally raw novel that is, at times, almost too painful to read....Sebold brings to the portrait such honesty and empathy that many will find their own dark impulses reflected here; however, it is so unremittingly bleak that it seems unlikely that it will be greeted with the same enthusiasm as her debut."
by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"[A]nnoying, unconvincing and deeply perplexing. Although it shares some themes with Ms. Sebold's acclaimed best seller, The Lovely Bones...this volume demonstrates none of the psychological acuity or emotional chiaroscuro of that earlier book."
by Rocky Mountain News,
"[A]nother home run, a story with a plot wholly different from The Lovely Bones but just as beautifully constructed, fearless and fast-paced....[A] breathless read....[I]t ventures into startling new territory."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"Alas, Alice Sebold's follow-up to her bestselling debut...is not the grisly sexed-up gothic it initially appears, but a banal and earnest family psychodrama about crummy parents and the wounded children who hate them. (Grade: C)"
by San Francisco Chronicle,
"The book does have its flaws, but more on the scale of blips than full narrative derailments....Along with its buoying dark wit, it is this eerily familiar blurred line between sane and insane that makes The Almost Moon simultaneously uncomfortable and absorbing."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"Several sections of The Almost Moon demonstrate that Sebold can still write beautiful, haunting scenes, but there are enough jarring missteps here to make anyone wonder why she sabotages herself."
by Houston Chronicle,
"Sebold writes just as beautifully here, with the same knack for stating truths page after page....This novel is a fiercely written, risky work, and it is, by its very nature, unpleasant."
by Miami Herald,
"Despite the promise deep in The Lovely Bones, The Almost Moon turns out to be almost bad, dull at the least, and that's a shame."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"[W]hile she is capable of astute observation and some intriguing sentences, reading The Almost Moon is akin to swallowing bile....When you are tempted [to pick up The Almost Moon] at the bookstore or the library, please remember two words: 'Vomit City.'"
by USA Today,
"Moon is so antic, so over the top that you keep turning the pages in a frenzy of disbelief....Is there a literary prize for most cringe-worthy sentence in a single work of fiction?"
by Christian Science Monitor,
"[A] story that no one other than Chuck Palahniuk would ever call 'heartwarming.'"
When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. So begins Alice Sebold's astonishing, brilliant, and daring new novel, in which a woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of The Lovely Bones.
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