ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

by Gail Honeyman

A young woman’s well-ordered life is disrupted by the I.T. guy from her office.

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1 positive comments

4 neutral comments

0 negative comments

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What people are saying on Twitter (sample)

  • .@StylistMagazine: This is the book we can’t put down in 2018 - #BAMBReadersAwards @booksaremybag https://t.co/VAbdL2rSqy
  • Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine crowned the public's book of the year https://t.co/Wix1hq46yR
  • I spent the last few days rereading one of my favorite books from the last year--ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FIN… https://t.co/s3KFTfWQQw
  • Four books away from my 2018 reading goal! Just devoured "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" (excellent book!), what next? 👀 📖
  • This is the book we can’t put down in 2018 via @stylistmagazine https://t.co/3uAkJLQYLW #BAMBReadersAwards
  • 14 positive comments

    6 neutral comments

    10 negative comments

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    What people are saying on Amazon (sample)

    • Elenor can do everything herself! She is fine living an isolated life, talking to Mummy on Wednesday nights. She has an extensive vocabulary, says what she means and is scarred on the side of her face from a fire but she's fine with it or are there more scars on her heart keeping her isolated.An unlikely friendship starts with her new co-worker Raymond after they save a man in the streets. This little group start a friendship that could save Elenor even though she doesn't want or realize that she needs friends. Highly recommend! I could definitely see this book becoming a classic. We should never judge people based on just the outside.
    • What a beautifully written book about Miss Eleanor Oliphant There are lessons here about the people we walk by everyday who are suffering in some fashion. It's easy to pass them off like the voice in Eleanor's head would have her do. She surprises herself and us as well when she not only survives her childhood, but becomes a "just fine" adult. I was sad to say goodbye to her when the book ended and will definitely look for more from Gail Honeyman.
    • What a great title. The central idea of the story is Eleanor’s growth from not fine at all to nearly fine—or close enough so the story ends well because we readers see that path out ahead of her. We leave Raymond, a perfect foil to Eleanor’s constricted persona, as a possibility, not a certainty. Nice … so un-cliché.Speaking of cliché, it would have been so easy to drench this story in it. Honeyman manages to get through it without cliché and in first person. Like the old story of the gifted athlete who was asked how he made love and responded, “Standing up … in a hammock.”Eleanor is an engaging character from the first page, pathetic in her many strictures at first. But she's so bright and funny without realizing it, we like her anyway. We watch the strictures strain and break as the story moves along. She’s bottled up in her preconceptions through the first half of the book. If Honeyman had pushed it just a little further, Eleanor would have become a repeating inanity. But at Sammy’s funeral, finally, she felt terrible for Sammy and his family … “Tears came, and the more I tried to fight them, the more they came.” To me, that initiated Eleanor’s growth.Also, I’m a sucker for good writing. How in-character of Eleanor to describe Donald Trump’s favorite filet o’ fish as a “square of indeterminate white fish, which was coated in bread crumbs and deep fried and then inserted between an overly sweet bread bun, accompanied, bizarrely, by a processed cheese slice, a limp lettuce leaf and some tangy white slime which bordered o obscenity.” Honeyman mines high dudgeon for great humor again and again.Writing in first person has become popular in the last decade, possibly in keeping with people's intense interest in their own inner workings. First person is difficult to do well because all the information the reader gets is from the protagonist. There is no way to vector in on a situation from multiple points of view. Therefore, stress on the protagonist. Honeyman turns the disadvantage on its head by writing such a compelling main character that we never get tired of seeing the world through her eyes. In the first half of the book, Eleanor manages to let the reader know just how distorted her view of the world is but succeeds in making the reader understand that she is oblivious. High art, indeed.Jaded a reader as I am, I have not had fiction force me to stay awake well beyond midnight in more than a year. I finished Eleanor at 2:30 am.
    • First things first: this is a heart-wrenching novel that will make any empathetic person cry. I feel the need to point that out because of all those blurbs (like Reese Witherspoon's) describing the book as so funny. Sure, you might get a laugh or too. But the genre of this story is solidly tragedy, not comedy, and it's a little sick to mislead folks about that because Eleanor Oliphant is not fine, she is utterly crippled by horrific childhood abuse.Her character is interesting, though, and well written. One of the most refreshing things about this novel is that it is well-edited. One or two slips, but on the whole, adequately prepared for sale (as opposed to, say, The Girl With All the Gifts, the publishers of which owe us all an apology - which, I am positive that Eleanor Oliphant would demand).Nonetheless, the storyline is not altogether strong. The final 100 pages I was - as one review said - pushing to finish in a single sitting, but only because I had thoroughly lost interest and wanted to finish. It starts strong, with some nice surprises and lovely background details, but then the next steps become entirely predictable. Before reading the last 100 pages, I effectively had finished the story. The author seems to throw in the final surprise as a last ditch attempt to avoid this predictability, but it falls flat. The final surprise of the story contributes nothing to the tale, and feels like an amateur device intended to save the book, but in truth - if the author had left it out, I don't think it would have made an ounce of difference.One the whole, this was a decent book, but not one I would pass along. Indeed, I accidentally ordered 2 copies and will be returning the second copy rather than gifting it, as I had originally thought I might. Chances are, if you are not excessively triggered by child abuse, you'll enjoy this book. But I am astounded that the book has received more praise than a mild - "Interesting" here and there.
    • Eleanor Oliphant wants you to know that she is completely fine thank you very much. She goes to work, comes home to her one-bedroom flat, spends her evenings and weekends alone, enjoys crossword puzzles, and drinking vodka, and every Wednesday she speaks to her mummy. She is perfectly content, and doesn’t need anything, or anyone, else. Then she attends a concert, where as soon as she lays eyes on the lead singer, is convinced he is the man for her, and makes it her mission to meet him. Around the same time she meets, Raymond, the IT guy from her office, whose irritating habits, and personal grooming leave a lot to be desired. And when Eleanor and Raymond come to the rescue of an elderly man, Sammy, after he collapses in the street, Eleanor’s carefully ordered life really starts to change.This was a phenomenal read, that really messed with my emotions. I’d be in fits of laughter one minute, enveloped with a warm feeling the next, then blinking back the tears, and swallowing the lump in my throat. It dealt with some very serious issues, but was never a depressing read. Nor was it a light read, but it was a fun one, which sounds like a contradiction, but you’ll see what I mean.Eleanor and Raymond were both wonderful characters with a lot of depth. I was certain going in that I had the reason for Eleanor being the way she was pegged, but I was completely wrong, which made this a very unexpected, touching, and powerful book. I really admired Eleanor for being so strong and positive. She was truly an inspiration, and watching her slowly blossom and heal was pure joy. And Raymond was such a sweetheart – genuine, kind and patient – you couldn’t have asked for a better man for Eleanor to meet. Oh and he’s Scottish, love those accents, can’t wait for the movie. Eleanor and Raymond’s relationship was beyond cute and adorable – a slow burn that felt real and natural.Feeling blessed right now to have read this, and am excited to see what Gail Honeyman writes next.