Notes on a Scandal: What Was She Thinking? by Zoë Heller Download (read online) free eBook (PDF ePub Kindle)

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    Nico

    Jan 16, 2008

    rated it
    it was amazing

     · 
    review of another edition

    An unforgiving, cold-eyed, wickedly beautiful little book.

    A warning: if you have ever been crushingly lonely — particularly if you have, on occasion, feebly attempted to rationalize that loneliness as a burden of your superior and isolating intelligence — then I suspect that you, like me, will feel personally filleted by certain passages in this book.

    Here’s an example of Heller’s brutally precise understanding of this manner of loneliness; what strikes me in this passage is how elegantly, how

    A warning: if you have ever been crushingly lonely — particularly if you have, on occasion, feebly attempted to rationalize that loneliness as a burden of your superior and isolating intelligence — then I suspect that you, like me, will feel personally filleted by certain passages in this book.

    Here’s an example of Heller’s brutally precise understanding of this manner of loneliness; what strikes me in this passage is how elegantly, how unsentimentally Heller limns Barbara Covett’s outcast state:

    “It’s always a disappointing business confronting my own reflection. My body isn’t bad. It’s a perfectly nice, serviceable body. It’s just that the external me… does so little credit to the stuff that’s inside… I always wonder, what must it be like to have a beautiful body? A body you don’t want to escape? Several years ago, [I] saw a woman dancing on the bar in a little bistro in Montmartre. She was very pretty and very, very young. All the men in the place were dribbling slightly. It was a silly thing really, but for just a moment, as I watched them watch her, I remember feeling that I would give anything — be stupid, be impoverished, be fatally ill — to have a little of her sort of power.

    “…I stopped crying then, got down from the chair and made a cup of tea… Slowly I grew calm.”

    The grace of this passage — the way Heller has Barbara casually mention her weeping in passing (and she doesn’t return to it) — made me gnash my teeth with envy.

    Which is perhaps my highest form of praise.
    …more

    Judith

    Aug 30, 2017

    rated it
    it was amazing

     · 
    review of another edition

    Shelves:
    taboo

    4.5 Stars.

    This is so good!!

    Passion,
    Jealousy,
    Loneliness,
    Friendship,
    Forbidden relationship,
    Manipulation,

    And brilliant story telling.

    I watched the film years ago and the book is even better.

    ‘I’m not sure I could categorize what this is. People always want to boil these things down, don’t they ? I want to recapture my lost youth. He wants experience. I’m forcing him into it. He’s forcing me into it. He feels sorry for me. I feel sorry for him… But it’s never that simple, is it?’

    One woman’s secre

    This is so good!!

    Passion,
    Jealousy,
    Loneliness,
    Friendship,
    Forbidden relationship,
    Manipulation,

    And brilliant story telling.

    I watched the film years ago and the book is even better.


    ‘I’m not sure I could categorize what this is. People always want to boil these things down, don’t they ? I want to recapture my lost youth. He wants experience. I’m forcing him into it. He’s forcing me into it. He feels sorry for me. I feel sorry for him… But it’s never that simple, is it?’

    One woman’s secret,

    Is another woman’s power….

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=yqHyge7…

    The synopsis might lead towards a forbidden love affair and that does happen but the story really is about Barbara…..

    Barbara is in her sixties,a history teacher.Never married,no children.She’s about to develop a rather unhealthy fixation on a fellow teacher…

    Sheba is seemingly happily married,she’s concentrated on raising her family but when she starts to feel desired again,she’s powerless to resist and embarks on an affair with a 15yr old pupil.

    Barbara watches,and she waits,and she gets more and more infuriated as she thinks Sheba is not valuing their friendship.

    Was her fixation sexual?
    Other reviews have hinted at her being a Lesbian and the film definitely goes slightly in that direction but this book doesn’t really explore her sexuality…..it’s more of an obsession.She wants Sheba to only rely on her…

    I loved this story.There’s nothing I like more than a forbidden relationship and it’s consequences and this one is extremely well done…..

    My only negative was the end was ridiculously abrupt.
    …more

    Petra X

    Mar 18, 2009

    rated it
    liked it

     · 
    review of another edition

    Shelves:
    fiction,
    reviewed

    Wonderfully-written, brilliantly-drawn characters who each vie for the title of ‘most detestable person in the book’ as they live through a most despicable situation of a middle-aged teacher having an affair with a young pupil and the Machiavellian machinations of an older, bitter teacher who is a repressed lesbian. I would imagine it translated better into a film, especially given the stellar cast of Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, than it read as a book.

    Fantastic writing but somehow the story d

    Fantastic writing but somehow the story didn’t quite do it for me. 3.5 stars rounded down because if you don’t like anyone at all in a book, there is very little emotional involvement and that makes a book, a novel, just ok.
    …more

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