Author Topic: Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"  (Read 469 times)

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« on: January 20, 2007, 05:49:59 PM »
Brilliant book, this and now it's been made into a film. Hugely recommended read. Pacy, crisp writing - very interesting on sexual issues and so on. I haven't seen the film, but hope it can do the book justice.

I thought it was worth a thread, comments on the film or the book.

CaledonianGonzo

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Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2007, 06:05:24 PM »
Must be said that I wasn't the greatest fan of the book.  I was moseying round the Baltic countries and had finished all the books I'd taken with me, so the girl I was travelling with loaned me her copy and I polished it off in one long afternoon on the bus between Vilnius and Riga.

I found it pretty flimsy.  Nothing massively wrong with it per se, just a bit puzzled by the acclaim (Booker shortlist, etc.) that such a lightweight read had garnered.  Maybe I was wrong-footed by all the jacket quotes which were along the lines of 'shocking', 'riveting', etc. when it was plainly nothing of the sort.  Unless you're a middle-aged woman, and it seemed to me to be written with that sort of market in mind.

Vernon God Little (Booker winner the same year this was nominated) was much better.

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2007, 06:13:24 PM »
You didn't like how it explored the sexual relationship between a middle aged woman and a 15 year old boy? A difficult thing to write about with any sensitivity I think.

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2007, 06:13:25 PM »
dp

CaledonianGonzo

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Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2007, 06:42:32 PM »
Quote from: "Ciarán"
You didn't like how it explored the sexual relationship between a middle aged woman and a 15 year old boy?


Well, we're going back a few years now, but I do remember it all being from the perspective of the observer, rather than the participant, so there seemed to be no direct focus on it and it was largely relayed as second-hand information.  A surplus of moments along the lines of

"She told me that they met that night, on Hampstead Heath."

and

"She told me that he smelled of mushrooms."

Paraphrased, obviously, but you see what I mean.  Maybe it was just too far out of my purview.  At the time I'd just finished Gordon Burn's Happy Like Murderers, and anything would seem piss-weak after that.

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2007, 01:24:44 AM »
Happy Like Murderers: now you're talking. Brian Masters' She Must Have Known worth a look (as is his true crime benchmark, Killing For Company, about Des Nilsen).

Sorry C if you want a thread about how good Zoe Heller is I can't help you. Don't want to either. She looks rubbish. Would like to know what she's referencing/borrowing from in her title, though. Dostoevsky's Notes From The Underground, is that what it reminds me of?

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2007, 02:04:18 PM »
Quote from: "pillockandtwat"
Sorry C if you want a thread about how good Zoe Heller is I can't help you. Don't want to either. She looks rubbish.


Hmmn. Does that mean you haven't read her? She's a newspaper columnist too isn't she - Guardian or Independent I think.

I don't demand a thread about how good she is, but since "Notes On A Scandal" has been made into a film and might be nominated for an Oscar is some category or other, well others might want to discuss it further.

Also it's an interesting novel to think about in terns of "chick-lit".

Zoe Heller "Notes On A Scandal"
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2007, 02:10:19 PM »
Oh no, didn't want to sound dismissive, talk away, sure loads of people have contributions to make on Ms Heller. Just being forthright, you know, old bean, always appreciated in the officer's mess what. Frrrrrump. Pass the port.


I don't like her columns, but then I don't like anyone's columns, generally.