Saturday, September 25, 2010
Buzz off Little Bee
The Alexandria Campus Book Club met on Sept 24th to discuss Chris Cleave's novel Little Bee.
The book received rapturous reviews in the American Press -- the Washington Post said it will "blow you away", Library Journal called it "astonishing and flawless", The Boston Globe said it was "vividly memorable and provocative...heartwarming and heartbreaking."
Book club members were not quite as impressed, finding the novel "mannered", "improbable," "unbelievable," and "melodramatic."
Published under the title The Other Hand in Great Britain, the novel received more mixed reviews. The Independent thought it was "shocking, exciting and deeply affecting," The Guardian called it "an ambitious and fearless gallop." However, the Daily Telegraph found it "faultlessly relevant, but ultimately cloying," and the Times said it was a "clotted and hysterical tale... implausible... and absurdly over-written," calling one of the main characters "batty, bizarre and inconsistent and unsympathetic."
This reader thought the luckiest character in the book was Andrew who, by committing suicide in an early chapter saved himself from having to endure the narrative to the end.