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Human Croquet: A Novel Paperback – May 25 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (May 25 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312186886
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312186883
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #856,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
CALL ME ISOBEL. (IT'S MY NAME.) Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. B. Brown on Aug. 3 2003
Format: Paperback
Although Shakespeare's play is never referenced, the symbolism of the Forest of Arden in As You Like It (where identity is a game and relationships are as mutable as time) is clear in this witty, wise, confusing, magically realistic novel that reminds one of Mervin Peake's Gormenghast trilogy and of Jane Eyre simultaneously. This is without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year, for the story, the characters, and Atkinson's marvelously fluid writing style. If I sound like I'm trying to write a literary assessment of the book, it's because it extends into so many areas and dimensions, successfully and in an entertaining way.
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By Amazon Customer on Aug. 21 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was my first Atkinson non Brodie book... And I loved it. The exploration of reality and parallel universe is cleverly done... Which story is true???? Which is not??? A very well written book, as can be expected from this author.... A definite must!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3 2002
Format: Paperback
As in Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Kate Atkinson offers the reader brilliant and beautiful, wonderful writing with a few characters that are a bit too one-dimensional. I thought as I read this novel that it raised fascinating questions about the nature of time itself; unfortunately, I was wrong. As in Behind the Scenes, in this otherwise excellent book, Kate Atkins goes for a cheap B-movie "surprise" ending, an ending I am amazed any editor wouldn't insist on her rewriting. It's a shame that this gifted writer can't end her novels better. I loved both books until the last few chapters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By sara miller on March 14 2000
Format: Hardcover
Human Croquet is a great summer vacation read. The story is a contemporary Alice in Wonderland, where nonsense reigns and the only rule is that rules don't apply. Highly entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
I had read a couple of Kate Atkinson's novels but this was very different. It leaps from past to present and even to the future. I found that I really needed to concentrate, lest I should forget in between putting down the book and picking it up again where exactly in time I was. The book did remind me in some small way of The Time Traveller's Wife. I think if you enjoyed that book, you will enjoy this. I relaly liked the writing style.

Kate was quite clever in the way she brought all the loose ends together towards the end which gave me some "Ah Ha!" moments.

Though it was a bit strange, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, though there were times when I wanted to slap Isobelle for being so vague! It was at times very witty and made me laugh out loud (not something I usually do when reading).

I thoroughly recommend it, but not if you are easily confused. My husband, for instance, would not get past the first couple of chapters...
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Format: Paperback
This was one of the strangest books I've ever read and believe me,I read alot. 16 year old Isobel of Arden,England expriences a series of strange occurances surrounding herself and her dysfunctional family. The action goes back and forth,hence the title. As you continue reading you see why but I won't give away the ending(of course). Atkinson writes beautifully and really pulls you in with her words. Her characters are fully realized as well,human beings that are both ordinary and unusual at the same time. Not an "easy" read at times but well worth the effort..
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book after reading Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I really like Kate Atkinsons writing style.
This is a story of much complexity and I couldn't put it down. The story is about a 16 year old girl, Isobel Fairfax and her story is sad, humorous, disturbing and compelling. I was transfixed with genius of the writing. You are taken through the past and present and are never sure what is real and what is not but before the book ends you quickly drawn to the reality of it all.
Finding the truth of what happened to Eliza, Isobels mother, is especially interesting. This book also goes into the world of all the people involved with Isobel. A lot going on here.
It is in much the same style as Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie Macdonald.
Didn't give it 5 stars because I could have probably done without the Shakespeare part, but it was really a gread read!!!
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Format: Paperback
Atkinson is an extremely witty and clever author. Every page (often every paragraph or sentence) contains something to wonder at, to laugh at, to be surprised at. I am a sucker for time travel novels and this had every appearance of being one -- but then it wasn't quite that at all. The ending left me a bit less satisfied than the first nine-tenths, but even so, I read it all hungrily and will read more of this literary author's work. I especially liked, as I usually do, that things don't always turn out happy and that people are mixed -- both good and something far different. Even if you ignore the larger themes about time and how our world operates, you can enjoy the story every page of the way.
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