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The Readers Club...Pakistan's first Online Book Rental Service - ItemDescription
Anna Burns
ISBN # : 9780006552383
Publisher: Flamingo
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No Bones, Anna Burns's magnificent debut, is a heartbreaking but astonishingly funny account of growing up in Belfast during the "Troubles." Without meaning to diminish this wonderful and inventive work, it's possibly more accurate to describe it as a series of interlocking stories rather than a novel. At its center is Amelia Lovett, a naive, sensitive girl who matures, although never losing her youthful incredulity, as the book progresses. Her often tragic life story is recounted through an array of characters, vernacular voices, and episodes that with mordant humour track the sheer brutality of the era. Burns unflinchingly portrays the casualness, even banality, of the violence. The 9-year-old Amelia easily drifts from collecting buttons to plastic bullets; teenage girls shoot each other in the playground; wayward youths are kneecapped, and even a walk home from a disco can result in a "protracted, grisly and truly awful end."
What Burns manages to capture, through comic exaggeration, is a real sense of how fragile the boundaries of normality are. The sectarian killings are matched by equally senseless domestic feuds and conflicts. Amelia's mother's observation that "she could see that beating the crap out of her sister was one thing; kicking an IRA man to death or nearly was another" offers a measure of just how distorted their values have become. Amelia reacts to the madness around her by internalizing the violence, choosing to harm herself rather than others: first by becoming an anorexic and then an alcoholic. Burns has produced a compassionate, bitterly acute, witty portrait of the darkest days of Northern Ireland's history. No Bones could well emerge as Belfast's Dubliner

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