Cost of Living, The Hardcover – 16 April 2018
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|Hardcover, 16 April 2018||
- Hardcover : 128 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0241267994
- ISBN-13 : 978-0241267998
- Product Dimensions : 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.5 cm
- Publisher : Hamish Hamilton (16 April 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 209,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Extraordinary and beautiful, suffused with wit and razor sharp insights (Financial Times)
It is the story of every woman throughout history who has expended her love and labour on making a home that turns out to serve the needs of everyone except herself... A piece of work that is not so much a memoir as an eloquent manifesto for what Levy calls 'a new way of living' in the post-familial world (Guardian)
Ingenious, practical and dryly amused... This is a manifesto for a risky, radical kind of life, out of your depth but swimming all the same (New Statesman)
Wise, subtle and ironic, Levy is a brilliant writer... Each sentence is a small masterpiece of clarity and poise. That shed should be endowed with a blue plaque(Telegraph)
A heady, absorbing read (Evening Standard)
This, from Deborah Levy, is exceptional. A memoir of life, art and separation. How to write when you're broke, have no writing space, are a parent. Also: crushed chickens, electric bikes, plumbing. Out in May and an early contender for one of the books of the year (Sinead Gleeson)
Both memoir and feminist manifesto, her writing focuses so sharply on what it means to be alive that she's given me much-needed clarity...Levy subtly informs us about what it is to be a woman.
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This feels like a very personal book so it is understandable that some people would read it and feel a great affinity with it, and with the author, whilst others may not. I am in the latter category, having found much of the book rather grating. At the risk of seeming a bit nasty, I thought she sounded like she had a bone to pick with the world at times - and the men in it in particular - and comes across as a bit self-pitying and self-absorbed. The book is of course very much centered on herself and her needs. What do I expect to read in a highly personal memoir you may ask. Fair point, and I am sure that many other readers, perhaps who have been through a similar experience, may read this account through different eyes, closer to the authors', and get a lot from it. However, read through my eyes I didn't much enjoy this memoir, and despite some good passages, didn't get very much out of it.
This is a small book with only 186 pages and a very large font.
Turns out that the book is a memoir written when the author was recently divorced. It's very personal and hard to engage with the bitterness she clearly felt while she was writing. Deborah Levy had an anger with the world that she wanted to get out of her system and this book was her way to do that.
There are some beautifully written sections and the phrasing is wonderful but I found it impossible to enjoy reading on any level. We learn about her sadness but nothing about her and too little about her soul.
My particular irritation is the author makes it very clear she is angry about how she is being treated but then continues to treat other people in similar ways - all felt very hypocritical.
Not a book to recommend and I think I'm going to give up on this author now.
The author, a divorced writer pads out the book with lots of references to names that only mean anything if you've heard of them and know anything about them, and out of context quotes which may not hold the same resonance for the reader. A short book and expensive when compared with more standard sized tomes, if ever a book was written just to make money in my view this fits the category. Borrow it from the library.