Saturday, January 06, 2007

Notes on a Scandal.

So, I read Notes on a Scandal.
“Unputdownable” has become a bit of a cliché nowadays, but this book truly was it. After watching Ugly Betty last night (good show, America Ferreira was a delight), I got started on it, and couldn’t go to sleep until I’d finished it.

Zoë Heller’s novel tells the story of Sheba, a pottery teacher who is found out to have had an illicit affair with a 15-year-old boy, and the repercussions of her actions, as well as how it all came about. It is told from the point of view of Barbara, a History teacher working at the school at the time, who, from the start, saw Sheba as a kindred spirit.

The book is simply wonderful. Heller writes superbly, with an ironic, amusing tone, that touches upon many of the mundane events of school life, satirising practically everyone, from the “upright prig” who wears panty liners everyday of the month (women, you’re likely to get this bit more than men), to the head teacher who tries hard to get everyone to love him when he’s the most pedantic one. The description of Steven [the underage boy] and Sheb
a’s relationship is tense, believable and Barbara being the narrator, we also get the analytical, non-subjective side of things. Furthermore, Heller is very apt in how she captures the fickleness of young love.

The last act of the book surprised me too, but it would be giving too much away if I said anything. Suffice to say, the plot turns so that it is no longer just about Sheba, but also about Barbara, her loneliness, and a very unorthodox friendship.

Basically, I cannot wait for the film to come out now. Notes on a Scandal is the best book I’ve read of 2007 (though, admittedly, I’ve only read 2 others), and I can seriously picture Judi Dench playing Barbara with the calculated scariness that I read of. Should be good.

Other Crap
- This week, whilst walking to school, I tripped up and grazed my right knee. It really hurts.
- I'm going to a friend's birthday party tonight, and we shall be watching a movie & eating pizza. I just felt like telling you. ;P
- I'm really scared about the idea of Little Miss Sunshine getting nominated for Best Film. Damnit, it just isn't that good! Why did it get a PGA and an SAG ensemble nod, then? Ugh, I hate that movie so much!!
- However, I am relieved that United 93 is getting award season shutout. haha!

Random picture for you.


Tiv said...

Good luck with the match today.

Emma said...


Anonymous said...

Well done for reading, Emma! Lots of children your age (hope you don't mind being called a child) probably don't even know what a book *is*.

If you enjoyed Notes you should try some of Heller's other work.

massromanticrights said...

Who's between Ivana and Emily again?

dan aka said...

Notes on a Scandal is very good. I think we discussed it on IMDb.

Dench's performance was marvelous.

Hope you're doing well! :]

Emma said...

Mass: Samuel Barnett, for The History Boys!!

Dan: Yup, I really look forward to it now. And I'm doing OK, thanks, but there's a couple of major tests coming up and I'm kinda scared... eek.

symmetry said...

good call about Flight 93. And no, that's not an anti-American comment. It's an anti-not very good movie but rated because gosh everyone got a tear in the eye even though it was a bit shit comment