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Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller

Discussion in 'Book club' started by assister, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. I'm in the middle of re reading this at the moment - it's fairly light and contains some of the most acid observations I've come across, an ideal summer read.
     
  2. I'm in the middle of re reading this at the moment - it's fairly light and contains some of the most acid observations I've come across, an ideal summer read.
     
  3. I don't know how the teacher could be quite so naive, but it sems it's happening all the time.
     
  4. I really enjoyed reading this novel. Dark with some astute observations. Have you read anything else of hers?
     
  5. No,thi sis the pnly thing of hers I've read. Although the pottery teacher was niave she was a wellfrawn character, hurtling into the ultimate mid life crisis. The Character of the narratorwas superb.
     
  6. I read this one a little while ago, I can remember that the relationships in the staffromm felt all wrong. They had a home economics teacher - do schools still have those? When was it set?
     
  7. RosieB, the teacher was a character. She has no free will. The narrator was a brilliant creation, 'telling more than she knew'.
     
  8. Apologies for hideous typos in the last post. As for Home Ec teachers, they still have them in Scotland anyway...
     
  9. A brilliant book. And so accurate when the describing the dire nature of many big inner London London comprehensive schools--I certainly recognised the place from my experiences in Hackney and North London!
    Know of several colleagues who got involved with pupils---but these were all males with girls of 15/16. Not so familiar with it happening with female teachers, but have read of cases in the newspapers. Did Zoe Heller ever work in a school? If not, her research was spot-on!
     
  10. (I apologise for typos in the above!)
     
  11. I'm not sure she's written too many other novels but she had columns about life in the USA in the Sunday Times and the Telegraph a while ago and they were fascinating. I read the book last year and I remember feeling vaguely disappointed with the ending. Anyone else have this feeling?
     
  12. I loved the book and thought some of the observations about school life were spot on, except Heller obviously doesnt have much idea of how much work teachers do! This lot seem to eat out every lunchtime and leave early afternoon! Has anyone ever worked in a school where all of the staff can get away with so little?!
     
  13. Sorry to disagree with everyone on here but I thought it was utter tosh (sneaks away to read Jane Austen instead)..........
     
  14. Funnily enough I re read S&S immediately prior to this one. I love S&S but don't really think you can compare the writing styles.
     
  15. Angelil

    Angelil New commenter

    Liked it. Characters were well-drawn and plot was fast-paced.
     
  16. Excuse my ignorance, what's S&S?
     
  17. Sorry, S&S = Sense and Sensibility. I only used the abbreviation as the previous poster had mentioned Austen.
     
  18. I loved this. I thought the character of the narrator was great. I could just imagine this obring looking aging woman who most people ignored making these harsh judgements on everyone.
     
  19. Anyone else aware that they are making a film of the book? Dame Judi Dench as the narrator and Cate Blanchatt as the pottery teacher. My son and his friend went for an 'audition'/photo last week for the part of the boy! I wasn't sure of the film before I sent him - thought audition experience would be fun. So watch this space....
    P.S. I didn't enjoy the book, the teacher made me so cross, I felt she took advantage of the young lad; and now my son may have to be that poor soul!
     
  20. I read this and really enjoyed it. I thought the narrator was a very dark character. Found the book really unsettling. The uncomfortable feeling that I get whenever I think about it is not so much about the relationship between the pottery teacher and the boy, (although I hasten to add that this is something that I obviously consider wrong!) but the way in which the narrator was so manipulative and seemed almost psychotic to me. Not sure if this is designed in the book or just the way I responded to it but it was a good read.
     

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