Funny how one chooses a book in the hope that it will take them away to a different universe, a new dimension, alien thoughts, only to find out that it is scaringly related to their present history. 'Notes on a Scandal' is ultimately a story about needing others and being vulnerable because of that. Barbara is depressingly normal and therefore limited, like all of us. Sheba's the new art teacher, she is gorgeous and she has an affair with a student. We see Sheba through Barbara's eyes. Barbara is a fantastic unreliable narrator. The two main characters do not understand each other at all. They have drastically different backgrounds and probably they are speaking different languages. My thoughts throughout reading this were that Barbara and Sheba do not understand each other because they are not actually making a real, tangible effort to communicate. Here is a novel about diametrically opposite perspectives on life and on Barbara's illusion of having similar perspectives to Sheba. Barbara and Sheba are probably saying the same thing without even realising it. Barbara and Sheba might have the same take on life, but even in real life being sufficiently open and straightforward with one another is an impossible task at times, because some of us don't always want to be clear and vulnerable and some others are just unable to do it as they have never been taught how to. All this lack of communication in the novel and in everyday life often translates into the end of a friendship or of a mutual infatuation. People who have loved the wrong person, felt lonely in their lives or betrayed the trust of a close friend will most likely find this novel sadly familiar. I read this and wished I didn't need some people in my life. Everything would be way easier without them. What I take home after reading this novel is that one ultimately needs to learn to do without those who can't or won't give them what they want....Continua
E’ un romanzo piacevole che tratta con disinvoltura, sul filo dell'ironia, un argomento scabroso come quello della sessualità fra adulti e minori senza indulgere in morbosità. Si precisa che i minori a cui ci si riferisce in questa recensione -e naturalmente anche nel libro- non sono i bambini, ma gli adolescenti intorno ai quindici-sedici anni.
Giustamente la legge punisce l'adulto che coinvolge un minore in una relazione sessuale, ma non è facile individuare sempre chi sia il vero predatore e chi la vittima. Può succedere che il minore sia il manipolatore e l’adulto una persona immatura che si è lasciata irretire pian piano in una storia, nella erronea convinzione di sapersi fermare in tempo. Anche se la legge non fa distinzione fra i due casi, l’opinione pubblica giudica più severamente il maschio adulto piuttosto che la donna adulta che intrecci una relazione con un minore. Questo in fondo è innaturale, perché, secondo gli esperti, la natura indirizzerebbe l'uomo a cercare donne giovani in quanto in grado di procreare, mentre la donna dovrebbe essere portata a ricercare maggiormente la sicurezza per la prole ed essere attratta quindi, a seconda del tipo di società, dal potere, la ricchezza e la forza. Se ciò è vero, bisognerebbe ritenere che l'opinione pubblica corrente sia condizionata a ritenere che la "preda" sia sempre femmina e il "predatore" maschio.
Notes on a Scandal Quotes
Notes on a Scandal Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
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Notes on a Scandal Quotes (showing 1-11 of 11)
"Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.
People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue."
Extract from the book....Continua
What a skilful use of the first person narrator!
The story would be quite unremarkable, if it wasn't told in Barbara's peculiar voice.
A very impressive first novel.
I had to read this book for school and was quite pleased with it. I think that there was a bunch of people in my class that didn't really enjoyed it but anyways, I did.
I have to say that in real life, I'm not really into gossips and scandals and everything but there was something in this novel that was just, somehow, fascinating and intriguing. The fact that there's a story in the story is also fascinating.
I just loved the way it was written and might try to get another book written by Zoë Heller :D...Continua