We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler

Ok. I’m saying it. Yup, I’m doing it now … something I hardly ever, very rarely, kind of never ever ever say … I hated this book. I really truly didn’t get it. I’m not sure what there was to get … if anything … whatever it was, it flew well over my head, not bothering to land and enlighten me in the slightest.

In fact, quite the contrary, I was frustrated when the big “oohh ahh” was revealed – SPOILER – that Fern, the protagonist’s sister so lovingly described for SO many pages and clearly the centre of not just the protagonist’s universe but her apparent family too, was a chimpanzee. Frustrated, surprised, flummoxed. Pick an adjective. They all work.

After that it was just downhill. I finished the book because I hate to leave a book unfinished, just in case there is something stellar in the closing pages, something hidden and marvellous to savour. But it was too late for me and this book. Our marriage was not to be. We were doomed and I suffered through the telling, irritated by Rosemary and her brother and her parents and the whole social experiment of pairing chimpanzees with humans.

So there. I said it. Boo.


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