Karen Joy Fowler’s remarkable novel We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves featured on June’s edition of The Book Club with our very own international guests A.M. Homes and Vikram Chandra (visiting for the Sydney Writers’ Festival) on the show sharing their thoughts on the book.
You can watch it below, along with a couple of out-takes from the show:
Here’s the bookclubbers discussing animal activism:
and also discussing scientific ethics:
We’re big fans of the book here in the office, with our Publicity Manager Louise saying:
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is one of my favourites of 2014 thus far. I mourned this book so much when I finished it even though I couldn’t resist racing to the end. The voice of the narrator Rosemary is truly unique and remarkable and the family story that unfolds devastating. If you haven’t read it yet I highly recommend.
Outside these four walls it has also been superbly received, with Faber Writing Academy tutor James Bradley in the Sydney Morning Herald saying:
There is a deep well of sadness at the core of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves … Yet it’s a mark of the intelligence Fowler brings to bear on her subject that this sadness never overwhelms this ferociously smart, woundedly funny and deeply moving novel.
Many a novel has devoted itself to exploring variations of Larkin’s lament about what mums and dads do to their kids. But if any other book has done it as exhilaratingly as the achingly funny, deeply serious heart-breaker that is Fowler’s 10th novel, and made it ring true for the whole of mankind, I’ve yet to read it. This is a moral comedy to shout about from the treetops.
While Readings Books say:
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves raises a lot of interesting ideas, including ethical dilemmas and questions around the reliability of memory. But at its heart, it’s the story of a broken family, and it genuinely made me laugh and cry. This novel is an absolute joy to read. I highly recommend it, especially for book clubs – you’ll be dying to discuss it with someone else once you’ve finished.
It is certainly a book to discuss, and you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding discussion points, but if you do need help find our reading group notes here!
Let us know what you think of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, one of our staff favourites so far this year.