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The Blue Book by A. L. Kennedy
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The Blue Book (2011)

by A. L. Kennedy

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1347137,363 (3.04)21
  1. 00
    Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter (Limelite)
    Limelite: Trans-Atlantic voyages of self-discovery and epiphany but of dissimilar scope.
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    The Waves by Virginia Woolf (Limelite)
    Limelite: Leading female characters in both books live internal true lives.
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» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Confusing, sometimes baffling, and requires close attention -- if your mind wanders you will be lost. But it's very well-written, and the window into Elizabeth's mind can be very affecting. And the story it tells is a good one once you piece it together (although I have misgivings about the final twist). ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
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 frustrating, but necessary, I believe. Because at least one of the characters is a sometimes con artist. Another is a child of a magician, which is a sort of con as well, isn't it? This book is about magic, real magic and cheap magic, the difference between conning and helping, between intimacy and deduction, guilt and self-flagellation.

It's A.L. Kennedy, so you know there will be darkness, loss, and alienation. This fore-knowledge will not prevent the pain from being staggering when it hits.

Ultimately, it is about our need to lay ourselves bare, for the worst of our shortcomings to be known, so that we can be forgiven.

So that we can be loved.
( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Confusing, sometimes baffling, and requires close attention -- if your mind wanders you will be lost. But it's very well-written, and the window into Elizabeth's mind can be very affecting. And the story it tells is a good one once you piece it together (although I have misgivings about the final twist). ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This book is a sometimes infuriating but ultimately satisfying tangle. I had to take my time to untwist the complicated strands, to slow down so I didn't miss the beautiful (and funny) language Kennedy uses so well. ( )
  lizzielou | Aug 14, 2013 |
Where does refinement and sophistication end and degeneration start?
What to say about a book where the writing style is the main story? That the storyline is blue - like advertised? ( )
  Mikalina | Jul 24, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Täuschen, trösten, lügen. Die Schriftstellerin A. L. Kennedy verführt mit ihrem Roman "Das blaue Buch" zum Misstrauen.
added by liblab | editDie Zeit, Hilal Sezgin (Aug 23, 2012)
 
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Book description
While on a transatlantic trip with her soon-to-be-fiance Derek, Elizabeth unexpectedly runs into ex-lover Arthur, with whom she shares a shady past: the pair once worked as traveling spiritual mediums who conned the vulnerable by pretending to contact the spirits of departed loved ones.
While Derek remains seasick and cabin-bound, Elizabeth wanders the ship, alternately avoiding and seeking out Arthur. Unable to avoid memories of their fractured past, she must face the deception they practiced even as she accepts the peace they brought to the grief-stricken who sought their services.
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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 practised by effective frauds. Elizabeth finally rejected what once seemed an intoxicating game. Arthur continued his search for the right way to do wrong. 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...

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