We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014 (Paperback)
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014 (Paperback)
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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014 (Paperback)

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Paperback Published: 15/10/2014
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Rosemary's young, just at college, and she's decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we're not going to tell you too much either: you'll have to find out for yourselves what it is that makes her unhappy family unlike any other. Rosemary is now an only child, but she used to have a sister the same age as her, and an older brother. Both are now gone - vanished from her life. There's something unique about Rosemary's sister, Fern. So now she's telling her story; a looping narrative that begins towards the end, and then goes back to the beginning. Twice. It's funny, clever, intimate, honest, analytical and swirling with ideas that will come back to bite you. We hope you enjoy it, and if, when you're telling a friend about it, you do decide to spill the beans about Fern - it's pretty hard to resist - don't worry.

Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781781255025
Dimensions: 178 x 111 mm
Edition: OME (Yellow Cover)


MEDIA REVIEWS
A novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get -- Barbara Kingsolver * New York Times Book Review *
A dark cautionary tale hanging out, incognito-style, in what at first seems a traditional family narrative. It is anything but -- Alice Sebold
No contemporary writer creates characters more appealing, or examines them with greater acuity and forgiveness, than she does -- Michael Chabon
Fowler has given us the gift of a splendid novel. Not only is the story fascinating, moving, and beautifully written, but also it ripples with humor; its quirky characters include a puppet named Madame Defarge and a Seinfeldian assortment of apartment dwellers. Layered with a huge moral compass and enormous humanity, this portrait of a family one-fifth simian will, nevertheless, touch and delight every human * Boston Globe *
Hinges upon Rosemary's sharp voice, which at its best includes funny, self-aware asides such as an early reference to a character at a holiday dinner where she flippantly advises the reader, "Don't get attached to him; he's not really part of this story * LA Times *
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is that rare thing, a comic novel that wrestles seriously with serious moral questions ... Fowler knows how to make her story funny and sad and disturbing and revelatory by erecting a space in which her reader is allowed to feel all of that for herself * Salon *
So thought provoking on the topic of animal rights that it could alter your future decisions as a consumer. I don't want to say much about the plot of the book ... except to compare it to Ann Patchett's State of Wonder in terms of weaving a larger story of radical, scientific experimentation into a very personal woman's narrative * MSN *
Rosemary's voice is achingly memorable, and Fowler's intelligent discourse on science vs. compassion reshapes the traditional family novel into something more universally relevant... This brave, bold, shattering novel reminds us what it means to be human, in the best and worst sense * Miami Herald *
Halfway through Karen Joy Fowler's enthralling novel "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves," I was sort of beside myself, too, with that electric thrill of discovering a great book. I wanted to stay up all night to finish it, but I also wanted to stop and call all my book-loving friends immediately and blurt, "You have to read this book!" * Cleveland Plain Dealer *
[A]n unsettling, emotionally complex story that plumbs the mystery of our strange relationship with the animal kingdom - relatives included -- Ron Charles * Washington Post *
Karen Joy Fowler has written the book she's always had in her to write. With all the quiet strangeness of her amazing Sarah Canary, and all the breezy wit and skill of her beloved Jane Austen Book Club, and a new, urgent gravity, she has told the story of an American family. An unusual family-but aren't all families unusual? A very American, an only-in-America family-and yet an everywhere family, whose children, parents, siblings, love one another very much, and damage one another badly. Does the love survive the damage? Will human beings survive the damage they do to the world they love so much? This is a strong, deep, sweet novel -- Ursula K Le Guin
It's been years since I've felt so passionate about a book. When I finished at 3 a.m., I wept, then I woke up the next morning, reread the ending, and cried all over again -- Ruth Ozecki

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Reviews

View all

“Disappointing”

I'm in the minority of reviewers here, because I didn't enjoy this book at all. It was disappointing with little point to it. There wasn't a middle high point and it eventually petered out to a... More

Paperback edition
17th February 2015
Helpful? Upvote 64

“We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves”

Before reading this book, most of the publicity I'd seen about it had been about 'the twist' - which was original and pretty great - but what I loved most about this book was purely the writing and the... More

Hardback edition
13th March 2014
Helpful? Upvote 48

“Good read?”

This book was recommended to me and while it's well written I have to say that it wasn't my idea of a good read, I prefer thrillers,mystery types.

Paperback edition
27th February 2017
Helpful? Upvote 44

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