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Normal People: One million copies sold Paperback – 6 May 2019
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'THE LITERARY PHENOMENON OF THE DECADE' - Guardian
NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES WHICH WILL PREMIERE IN AUSTRALIA ON STAN ON APRIL 27
Winner of the 2019 Novel of the Year and Book of the Year at the British Book Awards
Winner of the 2018 Costa Novel Award
Winner of Specsavers National Book Awards International Author of the Year
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018
Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
'Effortlessly brilliant ... tender and devastating.' - Guardian Books of the Year
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation - awkward but electrifying - something life-changing begins.
Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can't.
'Brilliant ... It takes immense talent to write this well and make it look so easy ... This is a novel that one enjoys like comfort food, with delight, all in a rush, and only once it has been consumed does one realise how formidable and nourishing it is, how heavy it sits inside you, a treat you'll be digesting long after you leave the table.' - The Australian
'Rooney's work is undeniably a voice for millennial fiction. My generation. Reading it felt like someone had captured my thoughts (even the secret ones) and made me feel less alone - until it ended, and then it was heartbreaking.' - Annie Brown, Good Weekend, Sydney Morning Herald
'In Normal People, Sally Rooney essentially gives us a field guide to relating to other humans - with the in-built pleasures of an exceptionally good literary romance.' - Sydney Morning Herald
'What makes Rooney's books so captivating and impossible to put down is the way she crafts characters and dialogue-at times, the conversations in her books can seem so real that you almost feel like you're eavesdropping on something you shouldn't be.' - Vanity Fair
'The first great millennial novelist.' - The New Yorker
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About the Author
- Publisher : Faber Paperback; Main edition (6 May 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 288 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0571334652
- ISBN-13 : 978-0571334650
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Guardian praised it as "a future classic".
Elif Batuman, author of my favourite "The Idiot" said: "I couldn't put "Normal People" down - I didn't think I could love it as much as "Conversations with Friends", but I did. Sally Rooney is a treasure. I can't wait to see what she does next."
For me it was a no (a NO!!!). I'm feeling tired just thinking about explaining myself and the annoyance, disappointment and... almost hurt I experienced while reading "Normal People". I want my money back!
Throughout the book I kept thinking why, why is this not working for me? Why I'm becoming more and more annoyed? Why don't I care? Why?? Maybe because I am no longer a target audience of the book.
Nice enough writing and observations but somewhat dull and infantile. The very notion of the two people, seemingly perfect for each other, ruining each other's lives over and over again drove me mad. It became repetitive, then it became boring. I just could not stand reading about on-off relationship of these young damaged adults while such important matters like domestic abuse, depression and mental health in general were hugely overlooked.
I really cannot see why the novel made it to the Man Booker Prize longlist. And yes, perhaps it's not a one star book but at this point, this is what I feel.
You know what I reminded me of? Rupi Kaur and her poetry.
First up: UGH PUNCTUATION. I hate this no-quotation-marks style. Hated it when Cormac McCarthy used it, hate it now. I know it's a stylistic thing, but... well, I guess I'll just say it's not a style I like.
Normal People is a story of abuse. It's the story of Marianne who goes from terrible relationship to terrible relationship and allows herself to be abused because it's all she's ever known. In a way, it's gripping because you just want Marianne to get out of this, get out of all this crap she's living with, but she just goes from bad to worse. Everything in her life is tied around Connell and his acceptance/rejection of her, and it's ridiculous because even though he doesn't actually hit her or anything, it's obvious (to me, at least) that he's an oblivious idiot who is obviously using Marianne for his own benefit. It's not to say that she didn't get anything out of it--she did--but if this is what relationships are like in the 21st century, I'm glad I'm not in one. Maybe I'm too prudish for this book. Marianne has a warped idea of "submission" and part of the story veers into something BDSM-like relationships, except Marianne did not seem to like it very much, even if she somehow craved it.
On the other side, it also explores Connell's anxiety and depression, and how desperately he needs Marianne in his life to make him feel normal and in control, even though he's seeing/dating other people. It's just... messed up.
The shifting timelines--each chapter jumps a few months, and then hops back a little to cover important missed events--was sometimes a little confusing. The constant segueing between present tense and past tense feels fluid at times, but awkward at times. Maybe I'm not a very close reader but with all the jumps, it gives the book a very floating/fluid feel, and I sometimes don't really know when it is anymore.
All in all, Normal People is a dark, stark look at relationships and youth in Ireland.
I guess the writing is good and all, I just didn't like the subject matter very much.
It is clearly written by a young person with little life experience and it lacks depth. I didn't feel that the characters were "real" and didn't really care what happened to them.
I'm sorry to write such a poor review and I'm sure that Sally Rooney will develop as a writer and produce some better work.