Case Histories : A Novel

by Kate Atkinson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316740403 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingO-Jennywing of Temple, Texas USA on 3/18/2005
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingO-Jennywing from Temple, Texas USA on Friday, March 18, 2005
I was excited about reading this book because it came highly recommended by the staff of Murder by the Book in Houston and because it was recently chosen for the Orange Prize longlist. I spent yesterday and today reading the book and got totally caught up in the story, well, stories really. It's actually several stories that are linked mainly by the investigator, but in other ways as well.

I didn't categorize this one as a mystery, though it does share some characteristics with the genre. But true fans of the genre may be frustrated as Atkinson doesn't feel bound by its rules. That said, it was a compelling story filled with interesting characters.

The other thing I found strange was that the most of the blurbs on the back said how funny the book was and how it made the reader "snort with laughter". Well, I found some of the characters amusing, quirky even, but I never laughed out loud. I found the story more tragic than comic, but was satisfied with the ending. The one blurb I did agree with was Jim Crace's. It reads:

"Kate Atkinson, always a stylish and thoughtful writer, excels herself in her thoroughly absorbing and exciting new novel, Case Histories. She manages to be both tender and unflinching in matters of murder, sex, and lies. It's an irresistible combination and one which I found satisfying and challenging."

Now that's a review I can agree with. I have another book by Atkinson in my TBR stack, and I think I'll move it a little higher up the pile based on the strength of this one.

Journal Entry 2 by wingO-Jennywing from Temple, Texas USA on Thursday, March 24, 2005
I forgot to mention one thing....this detective has fabulous taste in music!!

Journal Entry 3 by Dreamer2 from Derwood, Maryland USA on Friday, March 25, 2005
I caught this from fellow crosser JennyO, and I plan to read this after 2 other books (one in process right now) sent to me by another book group buddy!

Journal Entry 4 by Dreamer2 from Derwood, Maryland USA on Thursday, May 26, 2005
This is a very entertaining "series" of mysteries/psychological profiles that interlock in fascinating -- if sometimes unbelievable -- ways. A nice break from my usual heavy nonfictions! Thanks JennyO. And now on to Deb.

Journal Entry 5 by debnance from Alvin, Texas USA on Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Though I don't know exactly how or why, I signed up for a bookring for Human Croquet a long time ago and found myself reading a compelling book I never would have found on my own.

So I am eager to read another Kate Atkinson.

Thanks for sharing, JennyO!

Journal Entry 6 by debnance from Alvin, Texas USA on Wednesday, June 15, 2005
A clever idea for a book that Atkinson managed to work out into a clever, wonderful book. Atkinson has a compelling plot, compelling characters, and a compelling writing style. The book somehow is both smart and readable. Every page, every paragraph is worth reading. (How often can you say that about a book?) Recommended.

Released 15 yrs ago (12/20/2005 UTC) at Controlled Release (Details In Notes) in -- Mail, by hand, rings, RABCks etc, Texas USA

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Journal Entry 8 by JDT from Pleasanton, California USA on Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Oh - a nice surprise in my mailbox today!
I've been looking forward to reading this one, and the book jacket descriptions are intriguing.
Thanks so much, debnance!

BTW - haven't heard of Human Croquet - but what an intriguing title! As kids, we used to play croquet at my grandparent's summer cabin near Lake Tahoe. So the title brought up those great memories - with an added feeling of Alice in Wonderland or something similar - with the Human dimension...

Journal Entry 9 by JDT from Pleasanton, California USA on Monday, April 10, 2006
What a satisying read! (though I have to admit being confused at times by the characters - who was in which case).

Definitely more than a detective story - (with the intelligence and interest I find in the TV show Monk!) and a wonderful writing style.

Sending on to BC friend MmeClinton from her wishlist - part of the "Just because... I want to make you smile" book relay.
Enjoy!

Journal Entry 10 by wingMmeClintonwing from South Berwick, Maine USA on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Recently received this from bcxing friend JDT!!! I had forgotten this one was on the way, so I was a most uplifting surprise in the mailbox! I surely cannot get to it right away, maybe not even for a fair while, but I will.... and it looks really great! Thanks for the Happy Spring wishes, Judy!

Journal Entry 11 by wingMmeClintonwing at South Berwick, Maine USA on Sunday, August 02, 2015
So sorry it has taken me so long to get to this title... my TBR pile is ridiculous, and I'll bet I am not the only one in that predicament! But serendipity.... Kate Atkinson writes well, and I did laugh out loud from time to time. This is the selection for my library book group for August. It is a sort of mystery, or perhaps several mysteries, and there is some overlapping and much coincidence.... a little girl disappears at age 3, a grown man is devastated by the murder of his most loved daughter, a distraught woman in postpartum depression becomes a murderess.... and then to go back to these cold cases we have lovable, fallible, silly Jackson the private investigator, still hoping after decades to find some resolution from the murder of his own sister. I never was able to become completely swept away in the novel because I kept losing track of too many smaller characters; you think eventually you will fit all the pieces together, and you do, but it didn't quite satisfy me in the end. There are some surprises that do help fill in some of the strange missing pieces though, and I did enjoy the read. And after all, it says right in the book: "She should have studied science, not spent all her time with her head in novels. Novels gave you a completely false idea about life, they told lies and they implied there were endings when in reality there were no endings, everything just went on and on and on." I don't really agree with that, but it sums up the book rather nicely! And how could I not get a chuckle out of this: "...if ever there was an unnecessary tense it as the French subjunctive." Even if I love the French subjunctive!

Journal Entry 12 by wingMmeClintonwing at When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA on Friday, February 26, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (2/26/2021 UTC) at When Pigs Fly Company Store And Pizzeria in Kittery, Maine USA

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on the bench near the entrances

Journal Entry 13 by KmbDevNH at Kittery, Maine USA on Saturday, February 27, 2021
Found this book as i left the restaurant. Plan to read it shortly then set it free in New Hampshire.

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