Alice Thomas Ellis
- Title: The Inn At The Edge Of The World
- Author: Alice Thomas Ellis
- ISBN: 9780140132533
- Page: 378
- Format: Paperback
The five guests at the inn on a remote Scottish island have at least one thing in common they are all in flight from Christmas Are their respective unhappinesses impervious to the influence of the uncanny This shrewd and witty gem, originally published in 1990, won the Best Novel award from Britain s Writers Guild.
Recent Comments "The Inn At The Edge Of The World"
4 stars! I love the unexpected elements.
I tried to read this, I really did. The premise seemed good, but it was slow and the characters didn't really interest me. So, while I've rated it I only got about 20% of the book read.
A quirky and enjoyable read. This short novel brings together 5 strangers all wanting to escape from Christmas jollies and all answer an advert for a Christmas free break away from it all. Eric is the host, along with his wife, who escapes to the mainland as the novel opens.Each person has a different reason for answering Eric´s ad. Some characters are likeable, some not so much. Among the group there is a psychiatrist and an actress, one or two strange and bizarre characters seen through the e [...]
I adore Alice Thomas Ellis and I have just finished this one. I read it during the pre Christmas chaos and it turned out to be great timing. The ending had a lovely little twist.
Haven't read any Alice Thomas Ellis for a while but I picked this up in a second hand book shop a couple of weeks ago and I saw it was about five people wishing to get away and miss the Christmas festivities so I thought it'd be quite fun to read it at the proper season. It didn't disappoint. Her dialogue is clever and witty without being shoveled into the story to show how clever and witty she is. It has mystery, hinted at romance, echoes of supernatural goings on, jealousy and unrequited admir [...]
I am in the minority on this one. While I did find the characters interesting the book just didn't go anywhere quickly enough for me. I found myself simply wanting *something* to happen. Something does finally happen but by then I was so desperate for it, it wasn't nearly enough to up my star rating. Maybe I was in the wrong mood for this one as most of the humor struck me as annoying rather than clever.
Original review from May 2006Have you noticed my fir?' asked the professor. Jessica, emerging from the sparse and anonymous forests of her imaginings, misunderstood him. Fur? Was he speaking of his own body hair? Was he perhaps a werewolf? Or was he drawing attention to some unappreciated mink, ocelot or garment of beaver?'. . . planted it years ago,' he was saying. 'Whipped off the tinsel and the gewgaws, stuck it in the garden and now it's nearly sixty feet tall.'An innkeeper on a remote Scott [...]
As you'll imagine, it was the wonderful title that drew me to this book. The novel itself isn't, to be honest, quite as wonderful, but it's by no means a poor thing: I did like it, but it was a bit of a let-down after the title! Eric, an Englishman who's bought a cottage hotel on a remote Hebridean island in the hopes that the isolation will stop his wife from sleeping around, places an ad in the English papers suggesting his hostelry as the ideal place for an Escape Christmas holiday. Five disp [...]
This novel has such a wonderful title, but I was disappointed that I never really settled into the story. The novel isn't divided into traditional chapters and without the break of chapters, I felt like I was slogging through a novel heavy on interior dialogue and light on plot. I had reached somewhere around page 130 before I sensed that something might happen. Maybe. Like the novel's remote locale of a Scottish island, the story always seemed distant to me as if I were watching the characters [...]
Ellis is a clever, witty - indeed rather acerbic - writer I've not come across before. She adeptly conveys the atmosphere of a small inn on a grey, claustrophobic remote Scottish island where a group of guests have gathered to escape the Christmas season. I think I've been cured of wanting to do the same after reading this book, however! For all the interior dialogue, I'm not sure the characters are particularly three-dimensional, but it was a good read. The touch of the supernatural is well-don [...]
Another of my seasonal reads, which I finished after coming home from my Christmas holiday. Set on a remote Scottish island that is steeped in the myths and magic of the Selkies this seasonal novel about human misery is surprisingly readable, and not quite as rubbish as I had thought it might be, it is also quite funny in parts. The supernatural aspects to the story are done with a light touch, and add to the atmosphere created. The characters are well drawn with a certain amount of tounge in ch [...]
3.5 - Really enjoyable, fast read. I'm always a little bit "weirded-out" by anything supernatural, but she flowed it into the story well. The depression around the Christmas holiday really resonated for mee idea of escaping to somewhere far away is so appealing and she paints the picture of that in a way that totally draws you in. But the reality isn't as perfect (which makes sense), but there is still learning involved, as in all interesting experiences. Highly recommend.
An innkeeper on a remote Scottish island advertises his tiny inn as a holiday travel spot to get away from the holidays. Five travelers take him up on his advertisement and get both less and more than they bargained for when they encounter the native islanders, who are not quite what they seem.
Marvelously sly and subtle little book. Innuendo. Hints. LOTS of interior dialogue used to build the main characters. Mist. Seals. Myth. PERFECT! on to the Sin Eaters (those are the only two in our library. I can see I'm going to have to spend some $$).
This book's continuous allusions to Selkie legends are subtle and strong. The carefully constructed tale reveals many characters to be either Selkies or somehow claimed by Selkies.This book may look placid on the surface, but its undercurrents run both deep and rich.
Great book to read at Christmas,interesting cast of unrelated characters escaping from the holiday come together at an inn off the coast of Scotland and mix with the locals. Many laugh out loud scenes, interesting bits of history, and a wonderful sense of real place.
I’m not sure what possessed me to read a book (in July) about a Christmas spent at a remote inn off the coast of Scotland, but here we are. I liked it well enough, but I think it would work much better as a quick read for when you are stranded at a cabin somewhere in the snowy mountains or find yourself wanting to escape relatives at the holidays. It is very atmospheric and there are some lovely bits of writing, but it’s uneven. There are funny scenes and shrewd character observations, espec [...]
The only reason why this was read so quickly was because I wanted shot of it. This sounds so mean but it just went on and on nevertheless it is well written sadly just not a tale that suits me but am sure others will enjoy. If you like books without chapters, where the story never ceases to end and to be reminded of reading texts for school then pick this. Thankfully with just 260 pages it can be a quick read. Am sure others will love it. Sadly not me.
A dreadful book, full of tiresome and dreary people. There is not one person in the book that a reader can connect with and almost NOTHING happens. When the double drowning happens (the one source of action in the entire thing), it is written in a completely lackluster and dull manner.
Beautiful and strange.
I'm enough of a sucker for Christmas that I sometimes find myself tempted by those cosy festive cash-in novels you see in library displays come December - albeit only from a distance, because close up the tawdriness is unignorable. But I think what I may have done here is basically get the middlebrow version of the same thing, posing as serious because it's more miserable and the cover's in pastels. In short: five people go to a remote Scottish island to avoid Christmas. All are more types than [...]
"Ronald was still gazing into space. He looked profound or half-witted, according to your point of view" (66)."Eric wished he was rich, because then he could afford to pour it down her jumper" (67)."If he followed the metaphor through and it held, then it was to the viionaries, the mystics--even the religious--that the human race must turn in its search for enlightenment, while he and his kind continued poking round with a stick in the mud at whatever level they could reach" (79)."The spectacle [...]
I am almost finished with this story of a bunch of misfits who decide to spend Christmas "away from it all" . No one is happy including the Innkeeper and his wife and not one bit of Christmas ever arrives in this story. I kept hoping that someone would relent, break down and put up a Christmas tree, sing a Carol, or something. Gosh, I wanted to like it. I have about 20 pages or so to go and I do see hints of "the paranormal" but cannot figure the how or why it is IN the story at all. There is a [...]
I've been reading the Common Reader fiction reprints in my collection in original publication date order (tho I'm missing three). So far, this one was easier to read. More structured, an actual plot - not just a state of mind narrative. Not that there was any doubt in my mind what generally was going to transpire. The mystical element is anchored in the selkie legend. The acerbic wit continues, hurrah! The storyline is that an assortment of people go to an inn at the edge of the world to avoid C [...]
The 'edge of the world' in this case is a remote Hebridean island, off the coast of Scotland. Wanting to avoid Christmas and all its trappings, five people gather at the inn on this island - the proprietor also wanting to avoid the festive season, and drum up some sorely needed trade - to spend the weekend trying to forget what the rest of the country is up to, each for their own reasons.They don't know each other before they arrive, and since there's not much else to do on the island except tak [...]
Bought this as it was recommended in Waterstones and had a Christmas theme and I thought it would get me in the spirit.I have only read one other book written by a woman (The Shipping News) not consciously. It was brought to my attention while watching the Tv book club and I checked my shelf to find an absolute collection of male writers. I am now on a quest to further my reading of female literature.Unfortunately I found this to the detriment of women who write maybe not due to a fault in this [...]
I really enjoyed this book. Loved the premise of people escaping from "Christmas". It started a bit slow, but soon i found that I couldn't put it down. Still not so sure what to make of Mabel and the ending. Definitely warrants a re-read or two. Much to think about in this short beautifully written book. Loved this bit: "to cook well and with imagination you have to be in a cheerful and contented frame of mind, and thus inclined to be generous." I think this novel is out of print, but is one I w [...]
I liked this little tale very much. It is about the owner of a pub/guest house in an island, probably off Scotland, who in an effort to drum up trade advertises his place as the perfect place to spend Chrismas if you want to escape Christmas. 5 people turn up, one of whom has a grudge against another guest, and is quite, quite mad. There are also ghosts. Something weird happened in a dramatic scent towards the end of the book where we seemed to loose a chunk of description, but odd as that was, [...]
Une auberge au bout du monde (c'est à dire sur une île au large de l’Écosse), une annonce passée dans les journaux,cinq personnes plus ou moins solitaires, avec chacun leurs raisons, qui choisissent de passer Noël là-bas mais sans le fêter. Attirée d'abord par le titre ( c'est ça d'aller à la bibliothèque entre Noël et la St Sylvestre ^^), j'ai beaucoup aimé ce roman, et je m'étonne un peu du manque de notoriété de son auteure.
A quirky, delicious book that especially appeals around Christmastime, although this is the antithesis of Clement Moore, et al.The adults who fetch up on the island are all trying to escape sentimental, predictable Christmas. None escape from themselves, despite their best efforts. Well written with touches of dry humor. Satisfies again on re-reading.
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