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Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan (1 Viewer)



I just finished this book and it was wonderful. I'm struggling a lot these days with finding words so this review might not be that great.

The novel is great. I found it a bit hard to get into at first because of the language - it's sort of slang and British. Also the narrator, N, doesn't have the best grammar skills and it sort of trips you up at the beginning. The novel is thoroughly enjoyable and Allan's characters are totally believable. She explores some heavy subjects i.e. the line between sanity and insanity; how the mentally ill are treated and how the system fails them; what it means to be labelled "mentally ill"; what it's like to go through the mental health system,etc. Allan has a tremedous sense of humour and it really comes through in the novel. There are parts that are truly "laugh out loud funny". You just gotta read this book it's great!

I stole this synopsis from Amazon.com:

From The New Yorker
In this darkly funny, excruciating first novel, N, who has been a patient at a London mental hospital for thirteen years, plays Virgil to Poppy Shakespeare, a sometimes manic single mother, who claims that she has been mistakenly committed. Allan's brash conceit is that N teaches Poppy how to act crazy so that she can be assessed, cured, and released; Poppy duly begins gnawing her fingertips and muttering. Allan's triumph, though, is pure voice: N's loopy, dead-on rants—about the vagaries of the system, her unspeakable childhood, and the other patients, whom she calls "dribblers"—blur the line between the mad and the sane, and express how the disenfranchised experience authority.