Emotionally Weird: A Novel Paperback – 2001
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Therefore, I can offer only my own opinion on the one and only "hidden meaning" (if, indeed, there was one at all) I found within Atkinson's words: Effie consistently describes food as rancid, etc. All very negative, even repulsive, descriptions. Food can easily be associated with life... something for which these students seem to have a healthy disregard (see the complete lack of interest in Proteus' well-being as another example of this, as well as their own overindulgence and slovenly lifestyles). So, we have a group of selfish, self-indulgent, careless people. And so many of them!!!! While I did not have a problem keeping one character straight from another, I agree with those who felt there were completely too many "non-essential" characters in this novel.
Admittedly, many of the word plays are well spun, but others only grew pointless. For example, why is Watson Grant alternately Grant Watson? (note: I am not completely finished with this book, so I apologize if this becomes clearer in the end.Read more ›
But I adore the way she takes off here -- the hilarious academic parody, the deft weaving of two or three different texts into a whole and the compelling emotional story at the core. I giggle my way through this book every time I read it, but its far better than just straight comedy. I don't even think you necessarily need to be aware of the various literary styles and methods of criticism she skewers to find the humor in the book -- her slacker undergrads are funny enough to entertain all by themselves. (Bob, the brainless Trekkie who spouts bits of philosophy in his sleep, is my favorite.)
Please read it. I really think you'll like it, especially if are or ever were an English major.
And don't be put off by the title...far as I can tell, it was picked out of a hat. Just ignore it.
atkinson's novels read like life in a cough syrup haze -- the characters and events as hazy as the fog that envelopes the scottish setting of this story. her descriptions and vocabulary and meandering plots are something entirely new. i looked up the meaning of words on just about every page, as i do with will self's works.
if you liked her first two novels, then go ahead and read 'emotionally weird.' i think you'll agree that it's a fun and engaging and witty book. you just have to forget about all those conventional novels you've read and suspend your disbelief for the duration. if you've never read atkinson, then start with the first two novels to gain a better appreciation for the third.
she's also a spendid short story writer -- check out the ian st. james award collection titled 'snapshots' for her award-winning story 'karmic mothers - fact or fiction.' it's a wee story at 8 pages long, but it has a big impact and is a good introduction to her writing.
Most recent customer reviews
I just love everything this author writes. She can do no wrong!Published 17 months ago by Deborah Frankland
I think Kate Atkinson is an incredible writer and there are many scenarios in this book that are funny, witty and absurd. Read morePublished 18 months ago by susan merkeley
KW is one of my favourites largely because she is never predictable . This offering will not disappoint the inquisitive reader and will be a joy to anyone who likes a different... Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2014 by John Fraser
kate atkinson is a funny, witty, woman. i saw her speak recently, and read from one of the chapters of this book, and it was highly enjoyable. Read morePublished on April 28 2001 by lady detective
While witty and charming, this book still manages to be a disappointment. In her last two books, eventually, all the twisting plots came together and made sense. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2001
If I could write a book, I'd want it to be this one. Atkinson's cast of characters provided me with more belly laughs than anything I've read for ages. Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2000 by S. Wheeler
I thought that I would find a funny, entertaining and extremely neurotic story in this one. The first few chapters of Emotionally Weird were done very well. Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2000 by CoffeeGurl
Based on a very positive short review in The New Yorker, I sought this book out at the book store. I read the first ten or so pages right there in the store and was delighted. Read morePublished on July 30 2000 by T. Sherman