The Blue Book Reviews
The Blue Book is definitely a unique, artful book, though it lacked character development and a certain heart, making it hard to bond with the characters. There is just too much emotional weight to wade through. The characters are hyper-realized and deeply explored, but rather than creating more intimacy, the information overwhelms.
Kennedy creates a puzzle for the reader and its work to get through, which isn't a problem if there is a bang finish. The finish, though, is merely a whimper, and I was disappointed. To use an analogy that the magician characters in the novel would appreciate, I was waiting for a full-bloodied rabbit to emerge from the top hat as I read to the end, but I found only a tissue paper bunny instead. The lead up and hype of the riddle and structure does not justify the conclusion. It's a nice concept, but more needed to be done with the story to make the style and structure worth it.
"[T]his riddle of a book, from a playful and intelligent writer, is worth a read." - Publishers Weekly
"With a ferocious and probing style, Kennedy examines love and pain and the whole damn thing." - Kirkus
"A. L. Kennedy is almost unique among British novelists for her ability to write fiction that is at once challengingly experimental, luminously beautiful and utterly readable. It helps that she is fiercely observant and very funny... If you want a guide to the rough contradictions of the heart, AL Kennedy is your woman." - Evening Standard (UK)
"An amazing conception, one that will make you want to turn back and start again the moment you have finished... the writing is as taught and thrilling as Kennedy's prose always is and there is her usual wry laughter chuckling within it all." - New Statesman (UK)
"This is a masterful novel, imaginatively crafted, shaped by big, precisely articulated emotion." - The Times (UK)
"Kennedy is a fine stylist and single passages are exquisite." - Financial Times (UK)
"Offers the pleasures of a work in which form and content dovetail with extraordinary skill, and in which narrative tricks are utilised to enlarge on the theme of deception rather than for the sake of tricksiness itself." - Sunday Times (UK)
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