The Idiot: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION (Paperback)
  • The Idiot: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION (Paperback)
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The Idiot: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION (Paperback)

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3 Reviews Sign in to write a review
£9.99
Paperback 432 Pages
Published: 26/04/2018
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Waterstones Says

Filled with humour and astute observations about the power of language, human nature and the absurdities of academia and adolescence, The Idiot follows the journey of Harvard fresher Selin, bewildered by the opportunities and ordeals of adulthood.     

Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018

Selin, a tall, highly strung Turkish-American from New Jersey turns up at Harvard and finds herself dangerously overwhelmed by the challenges and possibilities of adulthood.

She studies linguistics and literature, teaches ESL and spends a lot of time thinking about what language - and languages - can and cannot do.

Along the way she befriends Svetlana, a cosmopolitan Serb, and obsesses over Ivan, a mathematician from Hungary. The two conduct a hilarious relationship that culminates with Selin spending the summer teaching English in a Hungarian village and enduring a series of surprising excursions.

Throughout her journeys, Selin ponders profound questions about how culture and language shape who we are, how difficult it is to be a failed writer, and how baffling love is.

At once clever and clueless, Batuman's heroine shows us with perfect hilarity and soulful inquisitiveness just how messy it can be to forge a self.

'I loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it.' - Emma Cline

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780099583172
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 298 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

I loved it and could have read a thousand more pages of it. It presented this almost moment-by-moment experience of life, in a way that I just felt Batuman had so much control. There’s so much wit and pleasure in her writing you feel very comfortable being in the world she’s created. - Emma Cline, author of THE GIRLS

Elif Batuman is a writer whose byline creates a flutter of anticipation… If a dominant mode of her generation is knowing introspection, she writes with a bewildered outrospection that delights in the bathetic and the absurd… It’s a novel about being young and stupid that’s both wise and clever — and it’s a treat. - Evening Standard

Elif Batuman surely has one of the best senses of humour in American letters. The pleasure she takes in observing the eccentricities of each of her characters makes for a really refreshing and unique bildungsroman; one more fascinated with what's going on around and outside the bewildered protagonist, than what s going on inside her. - Sheila Heti, author of HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? and TICKNOR

Each paragraph is a small anthology of well-made observations… Batuman has a rich sense of the details of human attachment and lust. - Dwight Garner, New York Times

Beautifully written... a wry, funny coming-of-age story set at the dawn of email among a group of Harvard brainiacs too nerdy and self-involved to even think about sex, drugs and drinking. - Daily Mail

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“Being young and hopelessly in love....”

Elif Batuman has written a very funny account of being young and clueless about life and love.

Her humour comes across quite strong when she is talking about different cultures and languages.her style and... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 154

“Interesting but a bit naive?”

I was immediately gripped by this, and I'm glad I read it. I loved the doubting, questioning and interrogating of meaning and language and what we say and what we mean. However, I felt a little as though it was... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 56
Laura Gillespie

“Ploddingly Hilarious”

A bit of slower pace than I'm used to, but I genuinely laughed out loud - several times. It just kept catching me off guard.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 46

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