January 17, 2011

three-bullet book review

Three-Bullet Book Review: The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt (2009)

  • fin de siècle social history framed via family saga totally holds together (easier said than done)
  • lovely representations of artisanal craftsmanship made me want to take pottery classes
  • large cast of characters written well enough that none seem superfluous
Yes. Fluid narrative, strong characters, solid historical research, beautiful writing. The plot unfolds much as you expect it to, and yet it's not boring. I liked this much better than Byatt's Possession.


  1. I loved this book--the focus on creative personalities and how they are tracked across time. Loved Possession too.

  2. Well said, Terri. I wanted to say something about Byatt's depiction of creativity but couldn't be sufficiently succinct. You nailed it.

  3. Sounds awesome. I'm still slowly reading Burmese lessons (the Brooklyn library just got for me last week). I love your book reviews.

  4. I don't really know what to say about the book itself, but I have to say how much I love reading your reviews. Your prose is also fluid and expertly crafted.

  5. This was a great reminder that I wanted to read this! Possession is one of my all-time favorites so I'm intrigued by this one. Glad to see it got the K.Bean seal of approval.

  6. @Rad & A-Dubs: Thanks! I like writing these. May have to start doing movies as well.

    @E-Jo: Definitely read this, as it's not only fun but a deft overview of early 20th century upper-middle-class British politics. This book managed to make Fabianism interesting, and the (brief) section on suffragists made me have a wah.