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Tonight 7-8pm When God Was a Rabbit webchat with Sarah WInman

(68 Posts)
mollie Tue 21-Jun-11 08:39:30

I've only a few chapters left to read but I love it! The title put me off as did the story blurb but it was sitting on a shelf waiting for me at the library so I thought 'why not?'. The cover of the hardback version caught my eye so it got a thumbs up for that alone.

I am truly surprised that this is a first time novelist - she's achieved a cleverly crafted story written from a child's point of view including all those clever layers of half-understanding and enlightenment. All the characters are nice, even the ones who turn out to be not so nice...

This book reminds me of Hideous Kinky although set here in the UK. I wouldn't have given this a go but for Gransnet so I'm glad to have had the chance to enjoy such a lovely story. I hope this is the first of many by Sarah Winman.

gma Tue 21-Jun-11 10:15:12

I have just finished When God Was a Rabbit and really enjoyed it. I was completely drawn into Elly's world, her relationship with her parents and most of all her brother Joe. The characters are believable and there are some very funny passages and also some parts had me reaching for my tissues. Dont be put off by the title, it will all become clear!! Read it and enjoy it. smile

Stansgran Tue 21-Jun-11 10:38:57

Really enjoyed it-a one sitting read.

yogagran Tue 21-Jun-11 18:06:08

Started reading it about three/four weeks ago and got a little way into it and gave up, I just couldn't get on with it at all. But now I've read these comments I shall try again.

GoldenGran Tue 21-Jun-11 18:18:21

Am looking forward to it, it is sitting waiting for me in my kindle. Have got to finish Iris Murdoch's The Sea The Sea first.
By the way, how does anyone feel about not finishing a book? I have always thought that if I start I must give it a chance and finish, even if I hate it or it doesn't engage me. Now I feel life is too short to waste it on stuff that is of no interest, so if I don't get into it quickly I put it down, although I still feel guilty!

GoldenGran Tue 21-Jun-11 18:19:30

Am looking forward to it, it is sitting waiting for me in my kindle. Have got to finish Iris Murdoch's The Sea The Sea first.
By the way, how does anyone feel about not finishing a book? I have always thought that if I start I must give it a chance and finish, even if I hate it or it doesn't engage me. Now I feel life is too short to waste it on stuff that is of no interest, so if I don't get into it quickly I put it down, although I still feel guilty!

Hattie64 Tue 21-Jun-11 19:41:31

I too didn't enjoy it, how do I feel about not finishing a book? well life is too short to worry about it, especially if it is a library book, if I had paid good money for it, then I wouldn't be too happy. I get half way through, then if I am no longer interested, I skip through it to the end.

jogginggirl Tue 21-Jun-11 20:40:35

Loved it, loved it, loved it! I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but I did, I loved the characters, the relationships - particularly between brother and sister and the 60"s memories. As for not finishing a book, I have struggled with this for a long time but I now 'allow' myself to just put it to one side. Life is definitely too short to worry about it, re-gifting it is a much better idea!

mollie Tue 21-Jun-11 22:43:55

I've borrowed my copy but am seriously considering buying my own copy because I am sure I will want to re-read this lovely story again...the writing is so elegant and all the characters are delightful... am I the only one who sees Arthur as Simon Callow? In fact, am I the only one who sees characters in books as real life actors/actresses (just in case they make the film of the book and need my advice of course...!!)

Aurelia Wed 22-Jun-11 06:42:12

This review has definitely made me want to read WGWAR.
I sometimes think that the child narrator is difficult for writers to achieve successfully, and many fail.
It's nice too that no one has revealed the plot or ending, usually reviewers are unable to resist doing so.


coastwallker Wed 22-Jun-11 06:46:09

I loved it too and couldn't put it down. I define books like this as "sod the ironing" books and this was definitely one of those. This is what I wrote for my records,
"I've just finished this and loved it. I thought the whole story flowed well and the characters were believable. In the notes at the end, the author said that she had been criticised for making 9/11 part of her story but I think that any book set at that time cannot ignore it. It was so big and everyone was affected even if not directly, so to bypass it would be impossible. She picked up on an aspect of it that people probably just do not think of, which I won't reveal for those who have not read the book yet.
There were so many great moments in this book that I can't mention them all, but the death of Henry, the moment they first saw the house in Cornwall and the last paragraph will stay with me. And much else besides 9/10"
Mollie I do that too - mainly when I can't sleep. And Hattie64, I now give a book 50 pages and if it hasn't grabbed me by then, it goes.

JosieGransnet (GNHQ) Wed 22-Jun-11 16:29:13

Hello all,

We're pleased to tell you that When God Was A Rabbit will be our Book Club book this month. You can read more about the book here. You get it for £3.99 on Amazon.
Sarah Winman will be coming on for a chat on this thread, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for we've got a date confirmed.

Looking forward to hearing what everyone thinks of it!

gillybob Thu 23-Jun-11 11:11:13

mollie, Yes I agree. I too saw Arthur as Simon Callow grin and yes I tend to put famous faces to charactes when I read a book. Perhaps I am a bit crazy but I tend to make up the voices and accents in my head too. blush

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was immediately drawn into Elly's life and that of all the fantastic, colourful characters and was left wanting more.

I can totally see this book as a film.

GoldenGran Thu 23-Jun-11 11:20:35

Am thrilled that When God Was Rabbit is our Book Club Book. Going back to finishing books and re-gifting, a friend,also a Londoner, leaves her books she has read, or abandoned, on Park benches for anyone to pick if they want.

Gemma Sat 25-Jun-11 10:23:40

I feel just the same about finishing a book . However if it is too impossible I do not feel guilty because I do not do it too often and as you say "life is too short". Just enjoy.

MamaSG Thu 30-Jun-11 10:14:10

I just got the book as a competition prize via this site. Thank you so much Gransnet!! You have made my day.

About not finishing a book.... have done that maybe a couple of times. It's a bit like walking out of a theatre when you're not enjoying the show, or the cinema similarly. I struggle through to the bitter determined to find the reason that I'm there in the first place.....

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 30-Jun-11 10:59:29

A pleasure MamaSG - hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Bunch Sun 03-Jul-11 13:32:28

I'm off to get this book ASAP, it sounds too good to be missed, hope I won't be disappointed as I so often am. Hattie64: I never, ever, struggle with a book I am not enjoying why ever should I? The decision to read it was mine, so the decision to abandon it if I am not enjoying it is mine too. It's as simple as that as far as I am concerned and I certainly wouldn't feel guilty about it. A book should be a pleasure, not a chore!

nanapug Wed 06-Jul-11 17:34:41

Oooh that's good, by co incidence I picked the book up today so am now really looking forward to reading it. GoldenGran, I too like to recycle book like that and am a member of a book recycling group where you can keep a record of the books you have "released" and follow them as they get passed on to others. They give you a label to put inside them so that any one who finds it will hopefully record it and pass it on again. It's great fun and an excellent idea I think.

GoldenGran Wed 06-Jul-11 17:39:41

Thanks nanapug, great will search for one.

toria100 Sat 09-Jul-11 15:00:02

Thanks Gransnet for my free book.
I received it at work on Monday and by Tuesday night I had read it cover to cover (and I work full time) I really enjoyed this book.
A completely believable world. Themes of loss of all kinds and guilt running through it.
The 9/11 episode was for me almost too painful to contemplate reading but once started was well handled and perfectly part of the book. I read all the time at least two books aweek often more and this is the best book I have read for a long time.

I wish GOD hadn't been run over!

davinator Tue 12-Jul-11 08:09:12

I loved this book and had it on my Kindle now bought it for my daughter (that is the downside of a Kindle can't pass on books) I have recommended it to so many friends.

It was a truly lovely story that passed through many of the worlds events and the description of love of such a variety of kinds ie parents, siblings, friends, pets.

A book I will go back to.

iona Tue 12-Jul-11 16:42:23

Not the sort of book I usually read. I didn't love it but had to finish it! I wouldn't bother to buy any more of hers. It will be passed - to a lady in a care home that I visit with my Pets as Therapy dog. I shall be interested to see what she thinks of it.

Stansgran Sun 17-Jul-11 13:53:38

I've been told that there is a way to pass on ebooks . am awaiting computor boffin sil to show me how but will have to wait until October.(go to manage my kindle/sharing) if I buy a book I feel it should be lent out up to 5 times to justify the expense then I donate it to our library who always seem pleased. It only costs 30p to order a book from said library so I am an online fan and have lists of books waiting to be ordered-get really worried if there is nothing to read. kindle is very tempting with their online bookshop if you set up an account and lots of free books-classics-are available-which are much more fun to read without an O-level looming up when you've read them.
I enjoyed When god was a Rabbit-and quite a clever take on 7/11 but felt the transition from childhood to New York life was not convincing-took a leap of suspended belief

goldengirl Sun 17-Jul-11 15:47:13

So much better than the last one. I found, to my surprise that I'd casually read away and then something stopped me in my tracks which made me think eg: page 15, her mother says ....But it's not very easy to become Jewish' and Elly replies 'I know....I need a number.' As I read I wrote down words like 'enigmatic' and 'being different'. In fact 'being different' cropped up quite a lot I thought. A wide range of life was contained in this book through the adults but seen through a child's eyes although I found it difficult to decide how old Elly was from time to time. There was much grief but also quite a bit of humour. Because of the title I don't think I would have read it normally but I'm so glad I did.