Summary and book reviews of Yellow by Janni Visman

Yellow

A Novel

By Janni Visman

Yellow

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

An intense, tautly crafted novel of sensual manipulation and suspense that confirms the arrival of a fantastic new talent.

In her spotless top-floor flat, Stella has created the ultimate cocoon. Her life is impeccably ordered, spare, and completely sealed within her London flat. Everything comes to her—her aromatherapy massage clients, her pharmaceuticals, and her lovers. When Ivan, the gasman, comes to fix a leak in her flat, she asks him to stay to for good. Soon, a Vertigo-like spiral of secrets and betrayals begin to seep through the flat like the acrid, yellow odor of gas. And as the two engage in a brilliantly choreographed erotic dance, Stella’s life gradually slips through her fingers as everything she has sought to control turns against her.

TUESDAY

The room is full of the smell of oranges. Ivan is already down to the pith, the continuous spiral of peel on the table in front of him. Up till a moment ago we were neck and neck but then my peel broke and I had to refind my purchase. Up till a moment ago it was perfect symmetry. We take our time with the pith; let it get under our nails. I speed up a little to be in sync with him again. The oranges are fresh; the pith comes off in large sections. We both pile it to the right of the peel. The next part of our ritual, the part before we sink our thumbs into the centre to split the fruit apart, is to push up our sleeves. First we put the orange down on the plate. Then we push the sleeve on the left arm up. Then the right arm. Gentle, domestic manoeuvres.

We watch each other as we do this. Content in our ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
No unnecessary anecdotes.

No questions.

Stella, the narrator and heroine of Janni Visman's new novel Yellow, is an obsessive-compulsive shut-in. She lives in a compartmentalized, controlled environment of her own design in which everything she needs—from work to lovers to makeup—comes to her. Within this framework of rules and repetition, Stella has achieved a kind of psychological security. But when Ivan, her lover, violates the agreement of their affair with a revelation about his past, Stella's hermetic existence breaks wide open.

Visman embraces the issues of identity, sexuality, power, and trust with unrelenting honesty and masterful control. A ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
The Times Literary Supplement

Simple but highly effective, Yellow sets the net curtains of one's mind a twitch.

The Daily Mail

A taut, maze-like narrative that will entrap you within pages.

Publishers Weekly

Visman does turn out some sharp prose while keeping readers guessing, but Stella is too grating to hold readers' sympathy, even when she deserves it.

Library Journal - Elaine Bender

Clues exist for the careful reader, but overall Vismans's (Sex Education) slim novel spanning five days just doesn't jell, straddling the line between psychological drama and crime fiction.

Kirkus Reviews

Captivating, like Ruth Rendell at her best, but with a mordant hipness that marks the welcome U.S. debut of British novelist Visman.

Booklist - Joanne Wilkinson

In this understated, beautifully written page-turner, Visman uses spare, ambiguous details to create an atmosphere of overwhelming menace and paranoia as Stella's small, orderly world starts to disintegrate.

The Washington Post - Susan Adams

Visman displays a flair for precise, almost frugal, prose, making Yellow a tense, compact story that will hold readers in its unsettling grip until the final page.

Reader Reviews
Oona

High expectations, ok book
I was surprised when I picked up this title at the library - it is more of a short story than a novel. My disclaimer is that I like longer stories, with intricate plots. Having said that, this book was a disappointment. It reads quickly, and kept my ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Janni Visman studied film at the London College of printing and mixed media at the Slade School of Fine Art. She lives in London. Her first novel, Sex Education was published by Bloomsbury UK in 2002 and, according to one reviewer offers 'the most haunting portrayal of the abusive power of relationships in girls' friendships since Atwood's Cat's Eye'. Yellow is her second novel and her first to be published in the USA.

Visman says 'in a desperate rush to finish my first novel, Sex ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Yellow, try these:

  • Banishing Verona jacket

    Banishing Verona

    by Margot Livesey

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly -- and perhaps irrevocably -- in this surprising, suspenseful love story.

  • Disappearing Into View jacket

    Disappearing Into View

    by Andrew K. Stone

    Published Feb 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Unable to come to terms with his father's horrifying secret, Colin decides to live 'visibly invisible' on the streets - but events force him to confront the past and his new found place in the world.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...
  • Book Jacket: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    I feel like Gabrielle Zevin wrote this wonderful book, about a lonely New England bookstore owner ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Who Said...

No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of two more years in a geriatric home.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.