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No Bones

by Anna Burns

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1232162,032 (3.38)4
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ORANGE PRIZE FOR FICTION 2002 A stunning debut novel about a little girl growing up in Belfast, from the author of the Man Booker Prize winning novel, Milkman. 'Marvellous: shocking, moving, evocative' Daily MailEvery single night and every single day Amelia goes upstairs to look at her treasure: a miniature plastic sheep, a Black Queen chess piece, a penny prayer for serenity, a tube of glitter - and thirty-seven black rubber bullets she's collected ever since the British Army started firing them...… (more)



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This was not the book I expected. I mean, I wasn't expecting hugs and puppies in a book about the Troubles. But the blurb sold it as a 'hilarious' ... 'speaks the truth in a way only a child can do' ... 'growing up in the Troubles', so I thought it would be a naive 'boy in the striped pyjamas' type book.

It's a lot darker than that. It's more Catch 22, where the story shifts from horrific things that could really have happened, to horrific things that are surreal trips illustrating the feelings of all that happened. And while Amelia is young at the start of the book, it is very much coming of age - her teenage years, her first jobs, and, while I expected a book about the Troubles to be uncomfortable reading, I didn't realise how much the personal would be entwined with the political, explicit sibling rape, anorexia, dead babies...

Moving. Horrific. Disturbing. Hard to follow at times. ( )
  atreic | Apr 24, 2017 |
As this book started out, I was immediately impressed with the way Burns sets you down right into the middle of Belfast through the eyes of an innocent child. But as the book wore on, I found the author's perspective disturbing. I expected her to hate what had happened in Belfast, but her apparent disdain for every single character she created, including the protagonist, was inexplicable to me. Nobody seems to have any redeeming qualities. Amelia becomes less and less likeable as time goes by. So does Anna Burns' novel. ( )
  Alirambles | Nov 21, 2007 |
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W.W. Norton

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