We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Book - 2013
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Coming of age in middle America, eighteen-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister.
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, c2013.
ISBN: 9780399162091
Characteristics: 310 p. ;,22 cm.

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s
sdbibliotech
Sep 07, 2020

A lovely book full of cynical truths and poignant reflections. The sister twist is odd at
first but ultimately rewarding as it is explored and resolved. Working through grief over family issues would seem to be a non-starter for good reading, but this book keeps the reader engaged as the protagonist comes to grip with it all in an altogether back and forth, but engaging, manner. I would encourage the reader to stick with it for the reward.

j
jrkl
Jul 04, 2020

Confession: I never would have read Karen Joy Fowler if this book had not seemed like the best option for the summer reading program requirement of an Indianapolis book. Another confession: I am not what most people would consider an animal lover. Without revealing too much about the book for those who haven't read it, I will say that this book affected me in a way that I didn't think possible. The writing was smart, the plot riveting, the characters complex, the detail perfect. I have a new favorite writer, alongside the likes of Mary Doria Russell. Thank you, Indianapolis Library, for this gift.

alleycat Mar 06, 2020

Love love love. Read to the last page - it will move you in a big way.

m
maryellenwilson
Jan 21, 2020

Gave to Beth.

t
tulane1102
Nov 19, 2019

Contrived. Forced. Really uninteresting. Bland.

b
breid11
Aug 03, 2019

A n unconventional coming of age story. I was struck by how the main character has a unique early childhood that weirdly resonated with my own. I don't know how Karen Joy Fowler did it. In a way, this is a novel about how our earliest childhood, even if we don't remember it (especially if we don't remember it?) shapes the adult we become.

m
Motorod
Jul 13, 2019

What a terrific read! If only I could find more books with this level of creativity and humanity.

r
rlbeekman
Apr 05, 2019

Fowler has an intriguing topic. And a wisecracking verbal style, antic characters and events, and starting the narrative "in the middle" while delaying revelations that are critical for the plot did engage me at the outset. However, all three of these characteristics of the book were so unrelenting and excessive -- so forced -- that they started wearing on my patience about mid-book. Very interesting but not completely satisfying.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jan 26, 2018

Karen Joy Fowler is such a good writer! This book has wonderful characters and plot and raises important moral questions.

e
Estha
Aug 23, 2017

Great writing, big questions...just what you'd expect from a Booker finalist. A masterful revealing of the narrator's family story and how an experiment on an animal left lasting affects on the whole family. The novel compliments Colin McAdam's A Beautiful Truth (2013) which tells a version of this story from another point of view. Then there is Yann Martel's The High Mountains of Portugal (2016). All grapple with the big important question: what does it mean to be human.

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