Life has its ups and downs. From the author of The Universe Versus Alex Woods comes a dark, painful, and witty novel about a woman whose life is spiralling out of control.
You're going to find some of my actions frustrating. I'm hard to live with, maddening, uneven - I get that. But I can't stand around listing my faults, or we'll be here for ever. All I ask right now is that you indulge me. For as long as it lasts, this is going to be one hell of a ride.
©2015 Gavin Extence (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
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"Avoid reading too much background"
Try this if you liked The Universe verus Alex Wood
I didn't read any background information about this novel before I read/listened to it - I was drawn to it because I thoroughly enjoyed 'Alex Wood'. I'm sure I benefited from picking-up clues and gradually realising the direction of travel, rather than knowing where the novel was heading.
'Melody Black' confirms Extence's as a very fine writer. There's a dramatic opening chapter, then a slow build-up to a frenetic peak, which is followed by the fall-out. Like Alex Wood, it changes tone (in a good way!).
It's quirky and moving and a very good novel.
"Quirky and enjoyable"
Loved Alex Woods, so thought this was worth a listen. Its in a similar very quirky vein, but not quite as immediately attention-grabbing. Abby was quite an interesting character, and the story certainly led to much wincing as she got into more and more scrapes. You really felt for her (and her loved ones) as she moved more into her manic phase. Some of the plot devices seemed a bit contrived, hence the 4* rather than 5*. But I'm definitely planning to read Extence's next one.
"Meaningful story of life with mental health struggles"
'They" said Donna Tartt couldn't write a book in the 1st person about a boy/young man, & they were wrong. I wonder if "they' said Gavin couldn't do the same writing about a young women? Not only did he succeed so well to portray the mind of a woman, but also to portray a mind suffering bouts of insanity. i would have liked the story of the Mirror World to be a bit more pithy, or take a bigger stage (not centre stage) though. It just seemed that somehow the story lacked a bit. I would have liked there to have been say a science fiction type turn into the mirror world - something anyway to deliver a crescendo. In the end I was feeling "oh, is that it?'
"not as good as his first book"
read his first book for book club, he is a local author and really enjoyed it, not so impressed with this, it felt like author therapy not a journey for the reader
characters two dimensional and was getting bored of the hype over disability.
performance of an average book is only ever going to be average due to the material not the reader
"Abby. Abigail Williams was real is real."
A beautifully written book, funny, sad, magical and real all at the same time; Like Abby, full of her, her life, her experiences of falling as far as you can fall and picking up the pieces and recreating your life. A book full of empathy for the people who suffer these devastations and like imperfect phoenixes try to rebuild in the ashes of all that was their lives.
I loved how one small nudge, one small stumble could grow into a storm, and yet you're never sure if it were the stumble or the nudge or just a coincidence that co-insides with nothing but the frailty of your own mind. But most of all I loved the creation that is Abby, Abigail Williams.
If you are going to read one book this year I would make it this one, but why stop at one when you can have as many as you like?
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