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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Debut…

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Debut Sunday Times Bestseller and… (original 2017; edition 2017)

by Gail Honeyman (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1802941,935 (4.13)297
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.… (more)
Title:Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: Debut Sunday Times Bestseller and Costa First Novel Book Award winner 2017
Authors:Gail Honeyman (Author)
Info:HarperCollins (2017), Edition: ePub edition, 383 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (2017)

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» See also 297 mentions

English (286)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Latvian (1)  German (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
The best way to describe Eleanor is desperately awkward and unconsciously lonely. I loved this book although my heart broke for her multiple times. ( )
  JRlibrary | May 27, 2020 |
This book was really hyped up and I saw it on a lot of "must read" lists so I thought I'd give the audiobook a listen. Eleanor's character was charming with all of her quirks but I felt like it was an old tale, maybe because I just read A Man Called Ove which has a very similar curmudgeon-turned-darling storyline. Overall, the way the story progressed kept it interesting but I feel like the parts about her mother were never truly integrated in a way that added to the plot until the very end. Overall an okay listen but I'm not going to be running around telling people they have to read this one. ( )
  mplantenga11 | May 25, 2020 |
It took me a while to decide how I felt about this novel, because it took me a while to get to grips with its protagonist. Eleanor Oliphant is a strange, repressed, emotionally isolated, deeply awkward woman whose incomplete grasp of social norms is matched only by her willingness to judge other people by her own bizarre standards. And for most of the early part of the novel, I felt deeply conflicted about her. She can be highly amusing, but as it becomes clear (gradually, but starting very early on) that there are reasons why she is the way she is and those reasons are utterly horrific, I wasn't sure I could feel comfortable about laughing. There were times I felt a great deal of empathy for her, and others when she just seemed frustrating, annoying, maybe even a little creepy. And I often found myself wondering: is she really just a caricature of a weird loner type? As a bit of a weird loner type, myself, should I be offended?

But Eleanor, it turns out, is not any kind of caricature. She is wholly and utterly herself and as her story went on, I found myself charmed by her, in her own strange way, found myself caring deeply about her, becoming deeply invested in her growing connection with her new friend Raymond, and rooting for her to find all the things she needed in her life but didn't even realize she could have.

In the end, well, I feel as if I could probably find aspects of the novel to criticize, but I don't remotely want to. It left me with exactly the right, warm, satisfied feeling as I turned the last page, and I'm really just glad to have made Eleanor's acquaintance and taken the time to get to know her. ( )
2 vote bragan | May 23, 2020 |
Lovely book about a very damaged and lonely woman who perseveres to try to be "normal". She is a wonderful character and I really found myself cheering her on during the entire process. Loved the main characters in this book and found it to be well written. Very likeable. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | May 19, 2020 |
I was wary of reading this book because I was told it was partly about loneliness and what it does to us and that sounds as much fun as reviewing the final stages of terminal cancer. I picked it up because it was consistently described as being well written.

It's more than well written. It's pretty much perfect.

There is so much understanding here of how day to day life really is, how we struggle with it, how loneliness colonises our lives like a carcinogenic mould until our lives become literally unbearable and how important small acts of kindness and regular honest contact are.

The book is written entirely from Eleanor Oliphant's point of view. It's a point of view quite unique to her, a product of her history, her isolation and the pressure of a trauma that she can only cope with by living a life as free from emotion as she can manage.

If you've ever been the unpopular person, the nutter, the lonely one, the one who genuinely doesn't get parties and small talk and the obsession with pointless television, then there are many points in this book where you will find yourself cringing with muscle-memory recognition of embarrassment and hurt. You can see exactly how Eleanor misreads things or behaves in ways that make other people dislike or dismiss or ridicule her. You know that she knows she's not easily likeable and that she has no idea what to do about it other than endure.

Eleanor starts from a worse place than most of us but many of us have walked parts of this path.

Eleanor is strong. So strong that she rejects help and deals on her own with what has happened to her and how it shapes her daily life. Eleanor is also vulnerable, fragile and in pain. Yet she makes the most of it. She tries to have a life. Most of the time.

In the first half of the book I became acclimatised to Eleanor's coping strategies, her constraints and her small acts of courage and began to hope for her, When bad times arrived they were devastating. There's no sugar-coating. No ducking of the issues. Just a bleak confrontation of reality. It is hard to take but it is worth taking because it feels true.

When better times arrive, not yet good times but much better than the times that preceded them, I could see and feel the slow, painful progress Eleanor was making. Her sessions with a counsellor are wonderfully done. I've always been resistant to the concept of psychotherapy but I understand what is being done here. It's imperfect and limited but so much better than the alternative.

The writing is excellent. The characterisation is both subtle and clear. Modern life is closely observed and then relayed through the unique filter of Eleanor's perception. The emotions in the book are strong and real but not broadcast in soundbites or flash cards. If this was a movie, there would be no dramatic music, just close-ups of people being people.

This is one of my favourite books this year. I went to see what other Gail Honeyman books I could buy and then discovered that this is her debut novel. That's quite hard to take in. How do you come up with something this good from a standing start? ( )
1 vote MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 286 (next | show all)
The human need for connection, initially scorned by Eleanor, is this heart-rending novel’s central theme. Eleanor Oliphant is most definitely not completely fine, but she is one of the most unusual and thought-provoking heroines of recent contemporary fiction.
From pop-star crushes to meals for one, the life of an outsider is vividly captured in this joyful debut, discovered through a writing competition and sold for huge sums worldwide...And what a joy it is. The central character of Eleanor feels instantly and insistently real...This is a narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness. It makes you want to throw a party and invite everyone you know and give them a hug, even that person at work everyone thinks is a bit weird.
added by SimoneA | editThe Guardian, Jenny Colgan (May 4, 2017)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gail Honeymanprimary authorall editionscalculated
McCarron, CathleenNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Aguilar, Julia OsunaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, LübbeVerlagsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, PenguinPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Azoulay-Pacvon, AlineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beretta, S.Traduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beretta, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giorgio, ElisaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Karhulahti, SariKääNtäJä.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Limited, HarperCollins PublishersPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mörk, Ylvasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maire, LauraErzählersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montijn, HienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
SalaniPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my family
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When people ask me what I do - taxi drivers, hairdressers - I tell them I work in an office.
Sport is a mystery to me. In primary school, sports day was the one day of the year when the less academically gifted students could triumph, winning prizes for jumping fastest in a sack, or running from point A to point B more quickly than their classmates. How they loved to wear those badges on their blazers the next day, as if a silver in the egg and spoon race was some sort of compensation for not understanding how to use an apostrophe.
I have always enjoyed reading, but I've never been sure how to select appropriate material. There are so many books in the world—how do you tell them all apart? How do you know which one will match your tastes and interests? That's why I just pick the first book I see. There's no point trying to choose. The covers are of very little help, because they always say only good things, and I've found out to my cost that they're rarely accurate. "Exhilarating" "Dazzling" "Hilarious." No.
She was shiny too, her skin, her hair, her shoes, her teeth. I hadn't even realized before; I am matte, dull, scuffed.
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Haiku summary
You laugh and you cry
as Eleanor learns how to
start living her life.

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