'Grenville makes awkward atmospheres and fumbling encounters wonderfully vivid.
Read it and cringe' The Times The Idea of Perfection is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love.
Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort.
Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge.
From day one, they're on a collison course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection. 'From these two reticent characters, besieged by two lifetimes of regret, doubt and dismay, Grenville manufactures an extraordinary comedy of manners, made all more powerful by her own reticence as a writer' Guardian 'Outrageously entertaining' Daily Mail 'Mined throughout with little pockets of danger and depth' Guardian 'A truly amazing writer' Rosie Boycott, chair of the Orange Prize jury
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 416 pages
- Publisher: Pan Macmillan
- Publication Date: 08/03/2002
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780330392617
- Paperback from £8.59
- EPUB from £7.98
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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by lauralkeet
Review by rachelj
Beautifully written, you can feel the heat, really imagine that you're there in the Australian bush with the dust, heat, birds, sky.
Review by LARA335
This was deliberately slow-moving, so took me a time to be drawn in to this isolated Australian backwater. But Grenville is brilliant at evoking the lonely, socially awkward, and self-conscious. Her characters are beautifully drawn, and I admired the way that their pasts were only very gradually revealed. She also understands dogs too!Wry, original and heart-warming.
Review by AlisonY
This was a great book in very quiet, unassuming way, and was all about the journey rather than the destination. Essentially it is a story about life, about how mundaneness, honesty and simplicity can all collide when least expected to put everything in it's place again.I thought the prose was terrific, capturing so eloquently the little things which often go unsaid, like how we tend to walk awkwardly when we feel we're being watched, or allow a constant stream of negative narrative in our heads to close the door to opportunity. The characters were terrific - very believable, very visual, all people we've come across in our lives at one time or another - and I enjoyed the unfamiliar setting of a backwater town in the Australian outback.This is definitely a slow burn book that is all about the writing. The plot is nothing more than a snapshot of life itself, but then what more interesting or believable plot is there?