Kate Atkinson Human Croquet

ISBN 13: 9780552996198

Human Croquet

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9780552996198: Human Croquet
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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, visited once by the great 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 and, when he remembered, came back with fat Debbie, who shared her one brain cell with a poodle. And then there were 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 to whom the story belongs--Isobel, born on the Streets 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.

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Review:

Human Croquet is a game in which some people act as hoops while others propel a blindfolded "ball" around the course. Though the game is never actually played in Kate Atkinson's remarkable novel, Human Croquet, the parallels between plot and pastime are undeniable. Atkinson, winner of the 1995 Whitbread Award in Britain, tells the story of Isobel Fairfax and her older brother, Charles. The children's parents vanished when they were young, leaving them to the care of their grandmother, now dead, and their Aunt Vinny. Recently their father has returned with "the Debbie-wife" in tow, and they all live in Arden, the family's ancestral home built on the foundations of the original manor house that burned to the ground in 1605. According to family legend, the first Fairfax took a wife who mysteriously disappeared one day, leaving in her wake a curse on the Fairfax name. More than 300 years later, Fairfax descendants are still struggling with this painful legacy.

Atkinson's novel is obviously not rooted in dull reality. Narrator Isobel has an uncanny knowledge of past and future events; Charles is obsessed with the concept of parallel universes and time travel; and a faery curse hangs over everybody. Fortunately, Kate Atkinson is a masterful writer who manages to keep her world of wonders in check. Human Croquet is no ordinary novel, and readers who venture into the Fairfax universe are in for a magical ride.

From the Publisher:

"Wonderfully eloquent and forceful Kate Atkinson goes at the same pace in her second novel as she did in her first...welcome back, wild north-easter...brilliant and engrossing"
-Penelope Fitzgerald, Evening Standart

"Huge, exhilarating, loving and detailed eruption of a novel...an utterly intoxicating display of novelistic elan...big and joyous, literary and accessible...storytelling at it buoyant best"
-The Scotsman

"Vivid, richly imaginative, hilarious and frightening by turns"
-Cressida Connolly, Observer

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312186883: Human Croquet: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0312186886 ISBN 13:  9780312186883
Publisher: Picador, 1997
Softcover

9780312155506: Human Croquet

Picado..., 1997
Hardcover

9780385405966: Human croquet

Doubleday, 1997
Hardcover

9780754020059: Human Croquet

Picado..., 1998
Softcover

9780754010289: Human Croquet (Windsor Selections S)

Chivers P, 1997
Hardcover

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Book Description Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. New jacket. Language: English . Brand New Book. Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor. But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in Arden at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all. But Isobel Fairfax, who drops into pockets of time and out again, knows about the past. She is sixteen and 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. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780552996198

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Book Description Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. New jacket. Language: English . Brand New Book. Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor. But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in Arden at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all. But Isobel Fairfax, who drops into pockets of time and out again, knows about the past. She is sixteen and 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. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780552996198

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Book Description Black Swan. Condition: New. 1998. New jacket. Paperback. Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor. But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all. Num Pages: 448 pages, 1 illustration. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 127 x 30. Weight in Grams: 308. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780552996198

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Book Description Black Swan, 1998. Condition: New. 1998. New jacket. Paperback. Once it had been the great forest of Lythe. And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor. But over the centuries the forest had been destroyed, replaced by Streets of Trees. The Fairfaxes have dwindled too; now they live in 'Arden' at the end of Hawthorne Close and are hardly a family at all. Num Pages: 448 pages, 1 illustration. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 127 x 30. Weight in Grams: 308. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780552996198

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Book Description 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. New jacket. Paperback. Once it had been the great forest of Lythe - a vast and impenetrable thicket of green.And here, in the beginning, lived the Fairfaxes, grandly, at Fairfax Manor, visited once by the great .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 448 pages. 0.304. Seller Inventory # 9780552996198

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