Summary and book reviews of Yellow by Janni Visman

Yellow

A Novel

by Janni Visman

Yellow by Janni Visman X
Yellow by Janni Visman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2005, 192 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2006, 192 pages

  • Rate this book


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 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.

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.

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 ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

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:

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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Year of the War
    by Susan Meissner

    A little-known story of WWII with great resonance for our times.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.