The Blue Book by A. L. Kennedy
A Novel

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The Blue Book is less a novel than a game, a puzzle, a riddle, a trick; whatever you call it, it’s a shame, because behind this display of relentless intellectual legerdemain is a moving story, worth reading.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

From one of the U.K.’s most dazzling novelists—whom Richard Ford has called “a profound writer”—comes this daring new novel set in the unsteady, self-contained world of a luxury liner.

While on a transatlantic trip with her soon-to-be-fiancé Derek, Elizabeth unexpectedly runs into ex-lover Arthur, with whom she shares a shady past: The pair once worked as traveling spiritual mediums who conned the vulnerable by pretending to contact the spirits of departed loved ones. While Derek remains seasick and cabin-bound, Elizabeth wanders the ship, alternately avoiding and seeking out Arthur. Unable to avoid memories of their fractured past, she must face the deception they practiced even as she accepts the peace they brought to the grief-stricken who sought their services.

Intimately addressed to “you,” the reader, The Blue Book is both a portrait of two methodical con artists and a meditation on “how love is a private language, a set of codes, to which the outside world ought not admit impediment” (Telegraph). Irresistibly written, by turns comically wry and stunningly lyrical, with “some of the most unashamedly erotic writing since Nicholson Baker first contemplated a telephone receiver” (New Statesman), the book slowly, deliberately, and devastatingly reveals itself to the reader. The heartbreaking stakes are ultimately nothing less than fact and fiction, life and death.

 

About A. L. Kennedy

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A. L. Kennedy lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
 
Published March 12, 2013 by Little A. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Blue Book
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Wendy Lesser on Mar 08 2013

In reading “The Blue Book,” I become her “you,” and that character remains with me even when I close the book.

Read Full Review of The Blue Book: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Kathleen Byrne on Oct 19 2012

The Blue Book is less a novel than a game, a puzzle, a riddle, a trick; whatever you call it, it’s a shame, because behind this display of relentless intellectual legerdemain is a moving story, worth reading.

Read Full Review of The Blue Book: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Reader Rating for The Blue Book
35%

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