We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Book - 2014
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Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she explains. “I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion...she was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half and I loved her as a sister.” As a child, Rosemary never stopped talking. Then, something happened, and Rosemary wrapped herself in silence. In We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date—a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.
Publisher: New York, New York :, A Plume Book,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780142180822
0142180823
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 21 cm

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Motorod
Jul 13, 2019

What a terrific read! If only I could find more books with this level of creativity and humanity.

r
rlbeekman
Apr 05, 2019

Fowler has an intriguing topic. And a wisecracking verbal style, antic characters and events, and starting the narrative "in the middle" while delaying revelations that are critical for the plot did engage me at the outset. However, all three of these characteristics of the book were so unrelenting and excessive -- so forced -- that they started wearing on my patience about mid-book. Very interesting but not completely satisfying.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jan 26, 2018

Karen Joy Fowler is such a good writer! This book has wonderful characters and plot and raises important moral questions.

e
Estha
Aug 23, 2017

Great writing, big questions...just what you'd expect from a Booker finalist. A masterful revealing of the narrator's family story and how an experiment on an animal left lasting affects on the whole family. The novel compliments Colin McAdam's A Beautiful Truth (2013) which tells a version of this story from another point of view. Then there is Yann Martel's The High Mountains of Portugal (2016). All grapple with the big important question: what does it mean to be human.

w
wordpix
Sep 05, 2016

Whoa! A fascinating book and kind of a wild ride. Couldn't put it down.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is an incredibly intelligent and insightful novel. Several times it got me thinking about our relationships with others and with animals. The subject is well thought out and the research is abundantly clear. Overall, an enjoyable and quick read that may rely a bit too heavily on tricks.

This book is quirky and full of intelligence. It will give you all of the feelings! You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll probably be a better person after you've finished it. Recommended by Gennifer

s
sandraperkins
Apr 08, 2016

I found this book to be depressing. First, it is about yet another dysfunctional family, and I find those books depressing. I must say this family is dysfunctional in a most unique way, and it may be worth your reading the book to find out exactly where this family went wrong. There are some other important issues raised in this book, but it is not uplifting--it is depressing. I was interested enough to read to the end, but I really did not enjoy this book.

k
KMJ_
Apr 03, 2016

The story begins in the middle, when Rosemary is a college student who hasn't seen her brother or sister for years. There are so many fascinating issues presented here. Rosemary’s father is a professor surrounded by graduate students, and none of them really think through the implications of their research. Rosemary, Lowell’s brother, is a fugitive because of his work with the Animal Liberation Front. This a strange and wonderful book that will stay with you for a while.

Chapel_Hill_SarahW Jan 26, 2016

As others have noted, this book is read best with no previous information about it, so no spoilers here! I was just telling my co-worker how great it was, but also how it broke my heart and my eyes filled with tears and I got a lump in my throat. Wonderful sadness...lots about memory and family and how we see ourselves.

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