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3,7 sur 5 étoiles6
3,7 sur 5 étoiles
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le 12 décembre 2015
I have read all of Kate Atkinson's novels which are not detective stories (there's something holding me back, there; I just don't like the genre) and I have enjoyed all of them. I, really, like her writing style and I, usually, find myself, thoroughly, engaged in the plot and with the characters...even with the, much criticised, Viola in, 'A God in Ruins', because I've found that people like Viola do exist in their own time, whether you like them or not...

...which, brings me, conveniently, to, 'Emotionally Weird'!

I'm not sure where to start here, other than to say that, by the end of the first chapter, I was walking in Effie's shoes.

I should, probably, disclose, that I was a first year student at Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee - next door to the University) College of Art in 1977...so, everything, in this story is SO familiar to me...and not just the cityscape.

By way of background, in the 1970s, Dundee University (the backdrop to the story) was affiliated to the, renowned, University of St. Andrews (yes, that's where Prince Wills met Kate many years later). Dundee was a 'campus' of St. Andrews...well...sort of...
...and so, it came to be populated by the most, wonderfully, eclectic body of students and staff - many of whom had failed to make the grade for the more prestigious universities like, the afore mentioned, St. Andrews, not to mention Cambridge and Oxford...for various reasons - too rebellious, lazy, anorexic, dyslexic, too shy, too extrovert, you name it, plus all kinds of mad though seldom bad...(please note, it was the 1970s)

That is to say, there were an awful lot of intelligent, 'misfits', in the University of Dundee, at that time...
...including me (although, as I said, I was an art student, next door)...

...and, I feel as if I knew all of Kate Atkinson's characters - the girl from St.Georges in Edinburgh, the 'posh' boys studying law, the drug-addled medics, the drunken rugby players at the bar in the, 'airport lounge', in the students union, the lecturers spouting stuff which, actually, didn't (and still doesn't) make any sense - but you were too young to question it at the time and you had to coggle some kind of essay together), the baby-sitting for the afore mentioned lecturers (and getting embroiled in their personal lives), the, 'self-sufficient', hippies in (various) farmhouses in the countryside, but, especially on the Carse of Gowrie...and the baby Proteus! I knew a wee boy called Proteus, he was four or five years old at the time and always accompanied by a young man named, Hugh. I/we always assumed Hugh was his Daddy. Could there, possibly, be two Proteus/Proteii in so small a radius? I doubt it.

I never knew Ms Atkinson, though.

So! This story was emotionally weird for me! I look upon it as a time-capsule which makes me smile. It's so well written - except for the end, which seemed like a story abandoned, hence the 4 stars.

My conclusion is, if you were a student, who walked, slightly or otherwise, on the wild-side, in the 1970s (or, even, just observed), you might like this novel...it's worth a go. If you have, absolutely, no experience of any drink and drugs and rock'n'roll (1970s style), in the student community, don't bother reading it, you won't get it and you'll just end up leaving a bad review.
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le 8 septembre 2014
Une auteure qui aime écrire et cela se sent. Un bouquet d'inventivité qui joue avec les styles d'écriture et la typographie. Une peinture en touches délicates de l’université de Dundee, ses étudiants et les enseignants. C'est sans appel et le résultat est décapant, je l'ai lu 3 fois.

Mon meilleur livre pour l'instant au 21ème siècle
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le 7 octobre 2013
On retrouve l'humour de Kate Atkinson que j'adore. Des situations étranges, des personnages singuliers, des histoires qui se développent séparément pour se rejoindre au final, comme elle sait le faire souvent (Case histories). On rit mais ses personnages sont convaincants. J'ai passé un bon moment en lisant ce livre.
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le 24 juin 2013
I enjoyed "Human Croquet", loved "Behind the Scenes at the Museum", felt real emotion reading the Jackson Brodie series but I was sincerely disappointed with this book. The problem is we just don't know what the author is driving at -- is the theme of the search for family roots, for one's identity meant to be the most important one? She did that SO MUCH better in BTSATM and HQ. Is it meant to be a satire of student life in the seventies , the clothes, the "boring" classes conducted by teachers obsessed with "post-modern" theories ? I have the notion that, unfortunately, the author was taking the reader for a ride, she was having her own fun writing the "novel within a novel " or "novels within a novel" (for several of the characters are attempting to write their own masterpieces.) Is this meant to be an "exercice de style " on how to write, or not to write ?
I could not get interested in the characters and even had trouble keeping them all straight. As for the narrative itself I often had the feeling that she was submitting us to something surrealistic and absurd, like a bad dream, a bad trip or a bad hangover -- all in a typically Scottish haze.
To conclude all I can say is that I hope Ms Atkinson will continue to provide her readers with novels of the same quality as the ones I mentioned above and forget about trying to be "Oh, so clever !!"
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le 13 mars 2013
I think this is probably a book that I will enjoy more the second time I read it. Unusual for a Kate Atkinson book.
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le 26 novembre 2014
bien, et bien écrit
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