The Blue Book

The Blue Book Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend Derek who might be planning to propose In fleeing the UK temporarily Elizabeth may also be in flight from her

  • Title: The Blue Book
  • Author: A.L. Kennedy
  • ISBN: 9780099555469
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Blue Book

    Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose In fleeing the UK temporarily Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner in what she came to see as a series of crimes Together they acted as fake mediums, perfecting the arcane skills practiElizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose In fleeing the UK temporarily Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner in what she came to see as a series of crimes Together they acted as fake mediums, perfecting the arcane skills practised by effective frauds Elizabeth finally rejected what once seemed an intoxicating game Arthur continued his search for the right way to do wrong He now subsidises free closure for the traumatised and dispossessed by preying on the super rich The pair still meet occasionally, for weekends of sexual oblivion, but their affection lacerates as much as it consoles She hadn t, though, expected the other man on the boat As her voyage progresses, Elizabeth s past is revealed, codes slowly form and break as communication deepens It s time for her to discover who are the true deceivers and who are the truly deceived What s , is the book itself a fiction which may not always be lying deceiving the reader Offering illusions and false trails, magical numbers and redemptive humour, this is a novel about what happens when we are misled and when we are true an extraordinarily intricate and intimate journey into our minds and hearts undertaken by a writer of great gifts a maker of wonders.

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      Published :2018-08-09T22:48:04+00:00

    One thought on “The Blue Book

    1. Cynthia

      Off Balance“Blue Book” is off kilter. I believe Kennedy meant this purposefully. Most of the action takes place on a cruise ship that’s caught in a storm. One of the main characters is continually sick and throwing up. The storm continues for the entire cruise. Even the passengers who aren’t actively sea sick feel off balance due to the ships perpetual sway. Please note it’s important to read the blurb about the premise of the book before plunging in or you might feel as at sea as I di [...]

    2. Victoria

      Well, this is the first book in 2013 that I am not going to finish reading. There are only a few books each year that for one reason or another, I will not finish (never more than four), but I simply do not have it in me to force myself to continue on past this quarter of the novel. It opens, at first, with the promise of a very different sort of novel. The reader is directly addressed (the second-person “you” appears frequently). Looking past this very distinct style choice, the words thems [...]

    3. Blair

      The Blue Book is a complex, fractured story. It centres on middle-aged Beth, who is taking a cruise with her boyfriend, Derek, who may be about to propose. But it also jumps into Beth's past, when she was the lover and professional partner of Arthur, a fake medium, and in turn visits scenes from Arthur's past - and their history together. Some chapters seem entirely random and don't take on real significance until much later. The book is written mainly in the third person, but it occasionally in [...]

    4. Jason

      . . Note win. did not finish!!!!There is an audience for this. He or she is creative, has an attention span (does not get frustrated), and probably some literature education background. Or an obnoxious undergraduate who references authors and writers, not because he likes reading but because he thinks it impressed women (sorta like that good will hunting see re: 'how do you like dem apples'). To me this had too many devices which segmented an intriguing plot, and destroyed any potential for cha [...]

    5. Jo Bennie

      After reading Oatley's book Such Stuff as Dreams on the psychology of fiction I understand that for a piece of fiction to be taken into the mind of a reader and become a simulation within their own mind they have to touch their reader. There are a few writers who do this for me to the extent of shaking my understanding and opening me up to new understandings, the poetry of TS Eliot, Blake and McCaig, and the writings of David Almond, Phlip Pulman and AL Kennedy are among them.Kennedy crafts her [...]

    6. Roman Clodia

      If you've never read A.L. Kennedy before (as I hadn't at the time) then you need to know that she's an extremely clever, post-modern writer - something which had put me off her previous books. But I'm very happy to have been proved wrong as I liked this very much and found it surprisingly moving, not something I usually expect from tricksy, clever-clever books.The narrative flips between a neutral narrator, a more typical 3rd person narrator from Elizabeth's point of view, and a stream-of-consci [...]

    7. Peter

      A.L.Kennedy is one of those writers who's books always intimidate me. She is not the easiest read, and her characters are not the easiest to connect with. Her intensity is daunting, even though her levity is always evident (she has a second career as a stand up comic.) But I find myself always, always picking up her books, not only for the sharp observations, not only for her fierce honesty, but because of the writing.Her latest novel takes us into a world of magic, fortune telling, and mediums. [...]

    8. Susanne

      A.L. Kennedy "Das blaue Buch" - Buchbesprechung oder auch: Ich bin ein Fan der LangeweileIch hatte "Das Blaue Buch" von A.L. Kennedy bereits Weihnachten vor einem Jahr bekommen (oder war es sogar vor zwei Jahren?) und es lag eine Weile in meinem Regal und ich konnte mich nicht aufraffen, es zu lesen, weil ich ahnte, dass es keine leichte Lektüre werden würde (nicht, dass ich immer auf leichte Lektüre stehe, im Gegenteil, aber es gibt so Zeiten, da kann ich mich einfach nicht aufraffen, ein Bu [...]

    9. Alistair

      i don't know why i keep reading these contemporary novels . another major disappointment . i really wonder if any of the reviewers who spoke so highly of this book actaually read it although the story sounded entertaining enough about a woman on a cruise to America with her anaemic boyfriend meeting a past boyfriend who was involved with her in a business as fake mediums the actuality is baffling and endlessly tedious . the author likes to play games with the reader and it is all very tiresome . [...]

    10. Nancy

      After the first chapter, I thought I would like this book. After the first three chapters, I thought I could like this book if I stuck with it. After another two chapters, I thought I could at least tolerate the story to the end. After getting a quarter of the way through, I just couldn't take it anymore. The second-person writing, the hidden identities and relationship, the special number references, etc, are surely intended to make this story intriguing and clever. Unfortunately, the devices a [...]

    11. ·Karen·

      And Carol Birch reviews it at the Guardian (or the Grauniad as we used to call it) here.Surely putting the word 'fake' in front of 'medium' is a tautology?

    12. Roderick Hart

      Elizabeth and Derek embark on a cruise, a friend who couldn’t go having paid for the tickets. Though they aren’t married, Elizabeth suspects Derek will propose during the voyage, which does not fill her with joy. But the cruise is in January and the weather conditions are so adverse that Derek isn’t fit for anything. To complicate matters further Arthur Lockwood, an old ‘friend’ of Elizabeth, is also on board. He quickly makes himself known to the couple, Derek having no idea that his [...]

    13. Rebecca

      I read this on a plane journey and I picked it because it featured a journey (albeit on a boat). There were elements I struggled with - the pacing and sentence structure, but they became what I loved the most. Such a cleverly woven story that lingers in the mind. I wish I could write like this!

    14. David Franks

      AL Kennedy The Blue BookThe ‘story’ in this book is, at a superficial level, a simple one. A woman, Elizabeth, has a holiday on a cruise liner with a man, Derek, who wishes to marry her. Also on the liner is another man, Arthur, who is a rather superior confidence trickster who she has assisted in the past, and with whom she has been emotionally involved. Derek is ill for most of the voyage, which allows Elizabeth and Arthur to meet.But that isn’t what the story is about, of course. No boo [...]

    15. Sarah

      The covers are blue. The endpapers are blue. The edges of the pages are dyed blue. There is an attractive palmistry diagram picked out in gold on the cover. Thankfully, the text is black on a standard white background. You begin to read and are surprised to find the book talking to you in the second person. You are annoyed that the book would presume to know your emotions and to pass judgment on the quality of your character. Still, there's a bit about rocks you quite like, so you press on.Soon, [...]

    16. Jason

      . . Note win. DNFThere is an audience for this. He or she is creative, has an attention span (does not get frustrated), and probably some literature education background. Or an obnoxious undergraduate who references authors and writers, not because he likes reading but because he thinks it impressed women (sorta like that good will hunting see re: 'how do you like dem apples'). To me this had too many devices which segmented an intriguing plot, and destroyed any potential for character developm [...]

    17. Ryandake

      this review refers to the audiobook version isn't often that a novel leaves me feeling as if the book itself is patting me on the shoulder--sort of a "there, there, dear" pat--while i sit in a sort of stunned incomprehension about what just happened. but A. L. Kennedy is not by any means a run-of-the-mill sort of novelist, and this novel is certainly not a run-of-the-mill bookis book does address "you" quite directly sometimes. whether the you is you, the reader, or another character in the book [...]

    18. Sophia

      Our protagonist is Beth, who is going off on a cruise with her boyfriend Derek. She feels that Derek is about to propose, but she still has feelings for her previous lover, Arthur, and so she's apprehensive about how she should react to this proposal. Through flashbacks we learn more of her relationship with Arthur, who she worked with in a psychic medium show - though the act was all about observation rather than genuine clairvoyance. Sounds like a simple little tale really, doesn't it? Well, t [...]

    19. Andreas Steppan

      Auf igendeine Art fühle ich mich mit A.L. Kennedy verbunden. Das kommt bestimmt daher, dass wir am gleichen Tag Geburtstag haben, denke ich mir. Ich bilde mir ein, dass, wenn ich Literatur schreiben würde, die Texte denselben Sound hätten wie ihre. Oder ist es einfach so, dass Kennedy so schreibt, dass sich JEDER Leser auf ganz persönliche Art mit ihr verbunden fühlt? Weil sie einfach ziemlich tief in die menschliche Seele schauen kann.Egal, jedenfalls berührt mich Kennedys Stil, ich liebe [...]

    20. Kassiopeia

      There where some parts in this book I really enjoyed, especially those parts where A.L. Kennedy speaks direktly to and about the reader. I love how she writes about those little anxieties everybody has, about love and growing up and all those feelings people might think are "unique" to them - but really, everyone else feels that way too.I also liked it when the story acutally made some progress, which happend not as often as I'd have wished, for there where seemingly endless monologues of both t [...]

    21. Jennifer

      At the library with my kids, I saw this on the New Fiction shelves and had to have it, as I have a very high opinion of Kennedy. And this book won me over with its very first page -- an intimate address to the reader from the book itself (an address that is achingly beautiful when read again after reading the book through to the end.)It is hard to write much about this book without spoiling anything. Untangling the relationships between and identifying the characters within is sometimes frustrat [...]

    22. Susanne

      ,.ein wundervolles Buch, in Stoff gebunden, oben mit der Abbildung eines kleinen Kreuzfahrtschiffes ist etwas schwierig der Geschichte zu folgen : Beth ist mit ihrem Verlobten auf einem Schiff nach New York unterwegs , als sie ihre alte Liebe trifft. Alle Erinnerungen, Verbindungen, Gedächtnisphrasen sind hierzu notiert; eine wunderschöne Sprache , die sich viele Metaphern erlaubt, machen es etwas schwierig, alles so nachzuvollziehendie Bilder selbst sind erschreckend nah und real Ein Buch , n [...]

    23. Robert Wechsler

      A 4.5. A very unusual love story, with the focus on loss, grief, and guilt. One could read this novel just for the author’s odd phrasings, for the pseudo-self-help-book chapters here and there, for the inside scoop on magic (and what isn’t magic) and the ethics of manipulation. But what made the book for me was the way Kennedy’s mind works. Even her twists are like no one else’s. It’s hard after the last one not to start reading the book again. I moved on, but it is a book I will keep [...]

    24. Lese lust

      Ich habe mich bis zum Schluss eher gequält als mit Genuss gelesen. entsprechend lange habe ich auch dafür gebraucht. Mir blieben die Protagonisten bis zum Schluss in ihrer übersteigerten Kopflastigkeit völlig fremd. Der dritte Stern ist allerdings der Tatsache geschuldet, dass ich daneben auch interessante Überlegungen zum Thema Trauer und Verarbeitung gelesen habe, gerade in Verbindung mit Schuldgefühlen. Schade, dass ich bei der morgigen Besprechung in meinem Lesekreis nicht dabei sein [...]

    25. Ali

      DNF, and skipped to the end to see the "twist". Terrible waste of time and money this. The only reason it's not going in the charity bin is the beauty of the book itself. It'll compliment any bookcase. And that's the only reason I give it two stars.

    26. Jean

      This book had an underlying good story which got completely lost in the multiple voices. We have our thought processes in italics, and our direct speech, and occasionally the narrator wants to talk directly to the reader, multiple times telling the reader "you're beautiful reader." A little weird, a little creepy. And makes you lose any sort of investment in the story.

    27. Morven

      I had no interest in the story and didn't care about any of the characters. It's books like this that make me wish I could give up on an book and move on!

    28. Elizabeth K.

      This book is simply marvelously written, and I loved nearly every moment of reading it. Which is surprising, in that one of the main characters is a fake medium of the sort who makes his money by going around convincing people he is delivering messages from dead loved ones. This would normally be a deal-breaker for me, I wouldn't generally read a book about this, on the grounds that it would annoy me too much and life is too short, and even if I read such a book anyway, couldn't possibly allow m [...]

    29. Lenore Beadsman64

      il libro che parla al lettoreElisabeth e Derek sono in crociera, là incontrano Arthur un tipo strano che sembra una specie di prestigiatorebro interessante per il modo in cui racconta più che per il racconto stesso Beth è in una situazione difficile, ma questo il lettore lo scoprirà molto dopo, all'inizio sembra una storia tra due persone che intraprendono un viaggio che non gli darà quello che cercavano, in mezzo a questi si insinua un altro personaggio, che quasi subito scopriamo essere s [...]

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