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Female Ruins [Paperback]

3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Architectural Madness July 2 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I am so addicted to Mr. Nicholson! I own pretty much everything he's written, except for a few out of print pieces I'm still searching for. This new piece has his signature style of taking something common and twisting your perspective so that you see things in ways you never could in everyday life and you become just as intertwined with the subject as the characters are...
This book deals with the world of architecture (not the typical art history terminology and styles I memorized in college) and what it says about our human condition, especially about the coincidence and sometimes wimsy of it all.
I found myself completely thrust into the world of the characters and even though things seemed a bit predictable, the way things are revealed through Mr. Nicholson's twisted and descriptive language kept me completely inthralled and waiting to see what happens next.
If you liked his other books, this is a definite must-read. If you've never read anything before, try the Food Chain, Hunters & Gatherers or Bleeding London first and then go for this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Female Ruins a Fun Read July 19 2000
Format:Hardcover
Geoff Nicholson's latest book is a fun read that doesn't amount to too much. And while the protaganist is likable and nicely drawn, there is little movement or development in her character.
In general Nicholson is a cultural critic, a sort of poor man's Roland Barthes. And his observations about architecture in "Female Ruins," are funny and astute. One gets the feeling, after reading a lot of Nicholson, that this is the reason he writes novels. He wants to talk about some subject that is obsessing him. Whether it be the electric guitar, VW bugs, foot fetishism, or the city of London, it's always some external subject that drives the story. Sometimes this is successful (Hunters and Gatherers, Bleeding London, Everything and More) and sometimes this drive to explain and expose the facts gets in the way (Flesh Guitar).
Here we have a story that carries the reader through, but doesn't ultimately satisfy. Female Ruins won't bore you, it's a nice ride, but when you close the book you'll be finished with it.
Female Ruins is a forgettable book.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Female Ruins a Fun Read July 19 2000
By Miriam M. Lain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Geoff Nicholson's latest book is a fun read that doesn't amount to too much. And while the protaganist is likable and nicely drawn, there is little movement or development in her character.
In general Nicholson is a cultural critic, a sort of poor man's Roland Barthes. And his observations about architecture in "Female Ruins," are funny and astute. One gets the feeling, after reading a lot of Nicholson, that this is the reason he writes novels. He wants to talk about some subject that is obsessing him. Whether it be the electric guitar, VW bugs, foot fetishism, or the city of London, it's always some external subject that drives the story. Sometimes this is successful (Hunters and Gatherers, Bleeding London, Everything and More) and sometimes this drive to explain and expose the facts gets in the way (Flesh Guitar).
Here we have a story that carries the reader through, but doesn't ultimately satisfy. Female Ruins won't bore you, it's a nice ride, but when you close the book you'll be finished with it.
Female Ruins is a forgettable book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Architectural Madness July 2 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am so addicted to Mr. Nicholson! I own pretty much everything he's written, except for a few out of print pieces I'm still searching for. This new piece has his signature style of taking something common and twisting your perspective so that you see things in ways you never could in everyday life and you become just as intertwined with the subject as the characters are...
This book deals with the world of architecture (not the typical art history terminology and styles I memorized in college) and what it says about our human condition, especially about the coincidence and sometimes wimsy of it all.
I found myself completely thrust into the world of the characters and even though things seemed a bit predictable, the way things are revealed through Mr. Nicholson's twisted and descriptive language kept me completely inthralled and waiting to see what happens next.
If you liked his other books, this is a definite must-read. If you've never read anything before, try the Food Chain, Hunters & Gatherers or Bleeding London first and then go for this one.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars mythical erections July 23 2006
By D. P. Birkett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Architects these days just build things, and they don't even get to be very famous. There used to be architect-gurus back in the twentieth century, who said things that got quoted a lot - people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Kelly Howell is the daughter of one of these architect-philosophers, who was famous for not having built anything until he got crushed by one of his creations (a concrete hand).. She is conflicted about her feelings for her parents, makes a living driving a cab, and keeps trying to avoid giving interviews to biographers. A persistent American admirer of her father inveigles his way into her life.

It's mostly set in rural Norfolk, England. It is brilliantly satirical but also very cleverly plotted, especially in the last few chapters (set in California) that twist and turn and set the story on its head.
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