We don't want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don't want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn't.
And it's what happens afterwards that is most important.
Once you have read it, you'll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don't tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
©2008 Chris Cleave (P)2010 Isis Publishing Ltd
Didnt like this at all
It was given such high regard the first I heard of it. When I checked comments after I read it most people felt the same way. A waste of time
Purely the storytelling ability of Chris Cleave. The story is unexpected, and manages to be both sad & delightful at once.
Probably Sarah. Someone who had the guts to do what she did not knowing what the outcome would be. But Little Bee has to be my favourite too. She is so intelligent & caring. A wonderful young person.
Zanubia Zafeera did a wonderful job of playing Little Bee. Such warmth & beauty.
Little Bee. I am trying so hard not to give the story away at all, but I am left feeling for her after reading the story.
This read is not too light, not too heavy - just right. It's a story that would appeal to most if not all readers & there is some enlightenment in there too. Lots of questions...I found myself asking my husband if you were [insert situation from the book here] what would you do? But even more I found I was asking myself. I am a very black & white person, but nothing is straightforward.
This is an enjoyable story barring a few scenes that I felt marred the gentle melody of the story. It was very interesting and opened my eyes to some things I had not thought about much.I feel that the rape and murder is described in more graphic detail than was needed. The fear and unfairness of life came across clearly and for that reason the graphic scenes were not necessary and spoiled it a little bit for me. One other thing I found disappointing and that was the ending.There was no real resolution. It left me unsatisfied.
i only bought this because it was cheap and i was intriged by the info on it, when it first started i though 'this was a waste of money im not going to get into this story' boy was i wrong.
i want to know what happens next though..............
"Are we allowed to write a review?"
They don't want us to tell you too much about this - so I'll just say that I enjoyed it and would have given it five stars if the ending didn't leave me wanting more.
"Truly wonderful book"
My only criticism is that the ending leaves you wanting to know much, much more...
"Weakened by ham fisted mea culpa sexual politics"
I admit to falling for the clever marketing "don't tell anyone about this book" ploy. It is true that there are moments of almost poetic beauty, mostly in Little Bee's musings, but once I noticed that all the men in the book, every single one, is a monster, I found the sexual politics very distracting. All the women, every single one, is a victim of beastly selfish men and is basically honest and heroic given half a chance. It tries to disguise this behind describing injustice, events and behaviour that any basically decent human being of any sexual orientation would deplore. It keeps talking about "men" in every negative context one could think of. I was amazed that the man-hating author is in fact a man. I had to stop and check that Chris Cleave is not the nom de plume of some deranged teenager or an emotionally savaged woman going through some sort of crisis.
On the plus side the narration is exquisite and kept me listening. There is no doubt that the basic plot is clever. It is just the ever-present ham-fisted mea-culpa sexual politics is like a streak of sour vinegar in a sherry trifle. Once I noticed that every man in the book was a coward, a selfish pig, a rapist, a callous killer or just a thoughtlessly cruel moron who deserves punishment and death according to the author, I found it hard to find anything else sincere in a book that depends on you believing in its sincerity.
"Doesn't really work"
The narrators were good and carried the reader along despite the deficiencies of the story. But no, I wouldn't buy another Chris Cleave book.
The sales blurb tries to make out that this story is something magical, but in reality it fails miserably. It has some nice moments but other than Little Bee, the characters in the book are very irritating. In many ways they typify post Christian humanity trying desperately to be grown-ups and tripping over their own selfishness and moral ineptitude.The idea that anyone in their even vaguely right mind would opt for a beach holiday in Nigeria is just absurd and yet this idea is the central plank of the plot. And day trips that the ladies undertake in the country ignore the practicalities of geography and safety. I really don't think Mr. Cleave can have every visited Nigeria because he is asking us to suspend belief more than is reasonable.It seems to me that Chris Cleave and the publisher have pretensions to this novel being accepted as literature, but they are sadly mistaken in that viewpoint. Unfortunately it ends up being a somewhat naive, immature novel desperately trying to overreach itself.
Nothing really stood out except the opening chapter of little Bee commenting on modern Britain.
Irritation and disbelief
Until checking on the Web, I honestly thought the Chris in Chris Cleave must be short for a female name. The novel has a very feminine writing quality about it and maybe lady readers would get on with this better than us men. Personally I have no intention of spending time and money on another of Mr. Cleave's books.
"a truly amazing book ."
I never thought i would be so moved ,this is truly a thought provoking book.
This book is simply amazing. So important, so beautifully written. I laughed, I cried, I am still completely mesmerized.
"Not bad, but..."
Well this book got off to a promising start, but then ran out of steam. I found Sarah very unlikable, she seemingly did nothing to save her marriage, didn't seem particularly grief stricken when Andrew died and then proceeded to take her young son into a potentially dangerous situation.
As usual when a book is surrounded by so much hype it fails to live up to it!
"Beautifully written but..."
I very much enjoyed this book. The writing is sublime at times and the story was gripping from the off... but then it became soapy melodrama half way in. So disappointing. Some reviewers here seem unhappy with the unresolved ending but I thought is was perfect. It's just a shame the second half couldn't deliver on what the first half set up. On the plus side the narrators are excellent.
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