Human Croquet

by Kate Atkinson | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 055299619x Global Overview for this book
Registered by jubby of Sydney, New South Wales Australia on 10/20/2006
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, October 20, 2006
Purchased second-hand at the 2MBS FM sale today.

The back cover reads:
Once it had been the great forest of Lythe - a vast and impenetrable thicket of green with a mystery in the very heart of the trees. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor, visted once by the graet GLoriana herself.

But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The fairfaxes had dwindled too; now they lived in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and were hardly a family at all.

There was Vinny (the aunt from Hell) - with her cats and her crab-apple face. And Gordon, who had forgotten them for seven years, when he remembered to come back with fat Debbie, who shared her one braincell with a poodle. And then there was CHarles and Isobel, the children. Charles, the acne-scarred Lost Boy, passed his life awaiting visits from aliens and the return of his mother. But it is Isobel t whom the story belongs - Isobel, born on the Street of Trees, who drops into pockets of time and out again. Isobel is sixteen and she too is waiting for the return of her mother - the thin, dangerous Eliza, with her scent of nicotine, Arpege and sex, whose disappearance is part of the mystery that still remains at the heart of the forest.

Journal Entry 2 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Offering up as a bookring. Participants are:

- livrecache (Australia)
- Sherlockfan(New Zealand)
- samulli (Germany)
- okyrhoe (Greece)
- TheBowieFollies (USA)
- Jubby (Australia)

Journal Entry 3 by jubby at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, February 11, 2007

Released 13 yrs ago (2/11/2007 UTC) at Bookring in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Posting off to Livrecache.

Journal Entry 4 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Thanks, jubby: the book arrived today. I've been wanting to read more of this author's work for ages.

I have two other bookrings in front of it, but I'll look forward to reading it.


Journal Entry 5 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Thursday, March 01, 2007
Wow. This was an uneven read. I really enjoyed the author's wordplay -- at times she reminds me of Margaret Atwood for her ability to take everyday phrases and turn them on their head, or query their literal meaning to good effect. I thought the preamble was fairly pretentious, as was the post-amble. The main characters were just so over the top (and ugly as well, which never predisposes me kindly towards them), although - and this is a contradiction -- believable at the same time. It was disturbing to a degree, but it was flirting with magical realism, and in that context it was fine. She deals with some pretty weighty subjects -- murder, incest, kids being abandoned by their parents although (no, I was about to do a spoiler) and lots of nasty deaths, as well as time travel -- in which absolutely nothing happens. Lots of fairy tale references and other mythological stuff (technical term) happening. I'd recommend it, and I'll probably buy a copy. I must confess that I like Scenes Behind a Museum a whole heap more, although this won't stop me looking for more of Atkinson's work.

I've pm'd sherlockfan for her details.

Journal Entry 6 by livrecache at on Monday, March 05, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (3/5/2007 UTC) at

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Sent to Sherlockfan in Wellington NZ with the help (not!) of one of rudest counter clerks I have ever met. I guess he'd had a bad day. It didn't do much for mine though!

Hope you enjoy the book, Sherlockfan, and thanks, jubby (again) for sharing.


Journal Entry 7 by wingSherlockfanwing from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Saturday, March 10, 2007
Thanks livrecache. We've just been away for about 1 week and found one BookCircle book in the Post Office box on our return - The Wooden Sea by Jonathan Chappell - and that was so engrossing for me that I read it very late last night and finished it this morning. For that reason I was delighted to receive your book in the mail today. At this moment there is not another BookCircle book on hand to prevent me starting this a.s.a.p.

It will only be competing with Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything" which is our Book Club reading for this month and which I am finding rather hard to get stuck into. Human Croquet will make nice intervals I suspect.

Thanks for sending this over, and I really like the little bookmark enclosed. Thanks also to jubby for starting this ring.

Journal Entry 8 by wingSherlockfanwing from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, March 18, 2007
Still not sure what to make of Kate Atkinson's writing. I'd like to know what goes on in her head.

I've just finished it about half an hour ago and want to think it over a bit before I make any further comment or rate it - not highly I don't think. Still prefer "Case Histories" best of the three KAs I've read.

It is covered well by the back cover notes and I enjoyed Livrecache's JE.
I've pm-ed Samuli but no response as yet. I'll give a follow up.

Journal Entry 9 by wingSherlockfanwing from Upper Hutt, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, March 20, 2007
After a brief exchange of pmails with a very puzzled newby called Samuli I finally contacted Samulli who has advised that she doesn't want this book now so I am pm-ing okyrhoe for an address.

Journal Entry 10 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, April 12, 2007
Arrived in my po box today. Thanks jubby for including me in the bookring, and Sherlockfan for posting the book to me!

Journal Entry 11 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Friday, July 13, 2007
First of all I have to say that this is the first time I've held on to a BC ring/ray book for so long! Thanks again jubby for being patient about this.

Aktinson's writing is truly talented, and like some of the previous readers I was impressed to her use of wordplay and intriguing metaphors, the unique cast of characters, as well as the frequent literary references. But I have to admit that I found it hard to keep up with the narrative until halfway through the book when the story finally began to fall into place and make sense to me. At the moment I can't recall the opening of Behind the Scenes at the Musuem, her other novel which I read and was impressed by, in order to compare.
Maybe the difficulty was purely subjective on my part. I wish I didn't have a bunch of other books to read at the same time, so that I could immerse myself into this one and enjoy it fully.
I'm going to definitely find another opportunity to read this again, and comment more constructively on the story.

Journal Entry 12 by TheBowieFollies from Brooklyn, New York USA on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Brilliant! I have been anticipating this one, Atkinson is such an evocative writer, Jubby cheers for letting me be one of the brood, and to Olga for the lovely card!!

Regards from the Englishwoman in New York

Will get straight into this one

Bappy Hookcrossing everyone

Journal Entry 13 by TheBowieFollies from Brooklyn, New York USA on Friday, August 24, 2007
I really love Miss Atkinson, her writing so tactile a thing, she has the inimitable gift of bringing characters to fruition. One feels like they exist and that perhaps are even acquainted. At least from my experience. My boyfriend has donned me the Princess of Pun, so I can certainly appreciate any play on words. Atkinson is of a dying breed, she is one of the few living authors I actually admire. Its usually that dead poets society for me, but Kate is definitely the exception.
I also read her other work Scenes from A Museum, and they are both brilliant. I thank you muchly jubby wocky for letting me be one of the brood this is on its way back to you

from the Pommie ;)

Harpy Cook Brossing

The Fowie Bollies

Journal Entry 14 by jubby from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wow! Look what made it's way home this evening.

Thank you very much TheBowieFollies, and to everyone else too. It has been great fun reading all your journal entries, and tracking it's travels around the world.

Now, I am thinking that this book just won't be as good as 'The scenes behind the museum', which I just loved. So, I'll add this to the backlog of my tbr pile.

But, I did recently purchase a copy of 'One good turn' - Kate Atkinson's latest. If anyone is interested, I'll be sure to releasing it their way.

Thank you all.

Journal Entry 15 by jubby at Australia Post, Virtual Bookbox OZ -- Controlled Releases on Friday, September 11, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (9/8/2009 UTC) at Australia Post, Virtual Bookbox OZ -- Controlled Releases

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Well... I was just going to write 'Comments to come', but to be realistic, I probably won't make it back, so will try and just make a quick entry instead.

I entered this book into Freelunch's 'Oz Virtual Book Box', in an attempt to move it up my tbr pile and to keep it travelling.
And would you believe that Livrecache chose the book - even though she was in the bookring for this very copy a couple of years ago!

Anyway, it got me reading it, and I loved it. It was just what I needed at the moment, and lapped it up.
I've read a couple of Kate Atkinson's books now, and can see reoccurring themes, but it still not spoil my enjoyment of the book.

The book was posted off to Livrecache earlier in the week.

Journal Entry 16 by livrecache from Hobart, Tasmania Australia on Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I'm glad you did get around to giving us an insight into how you felt about this book, jubby. I've been a Kate Atkinson fan for a while now (although she seems seems to have switched genres, which is interesting). When it was up for grabs on the OZ VBB, I knew I had to read it again.

I do apologise for not journalling sooner, as the package arrived a few days ago, but just lately the last thing I want to do when I get home is log onto a computer.

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