Meilleur commentaire positif
An emotionally weird experience for me
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.