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Höga klackar
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Höga klackar (2001)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
5551131,317 (3.4)7
Anna Maxted's trademark mix of laugh-out-loud funny and poignancy works its magic once again in her moving, warm and truthful second novel.'To say that Babs has been my closest friend for sixteen years is rather like saying that Sinatra enjoyed a sing-song or that Einstein was good at sums. Compared to us, Siamese twins might be defined as "reasonably close".'But now Babs, gorgeous, noisy, funny Babs, is getting married. And Natalie, Senior Press Officer for the London Ballet, is worried. What happens when your best friend pledges eternal love to someone else?Natalie's always tried hard to please everyone - too hard, Babs would say. Now her good-girl veneer cracks and she begins an affair which spirals her out of control. Only then does she come face to face with the truth staring at her from the mirror. Not to mention Bab's marriage difficulties, her new boyfriend Chris's ambition, her brother Tony's dark secret, her mother Sheila's cooking , and inviting Babs's brother Andy - slippers and all - to be her lodger.....… (mer)
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Titel:Höga klackar
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Höga klackar av Anna Maxted (2001)

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I read this book years ago. But since I was on a chick lit diet of books at the beginning of the year, I went and found this book on my shelf. I do love re-reads just because you find out more about the book and also your tastes in books over time. I initially loved this book. I mean ridiculously loved this book when it came out. I thought it was smartly written and I also felt sad for the main character Natalie. Now almost more than a decade after I bought and read this book I realize that the main character is so far up her own butt you wonder how she gets anything done. That her very real eating disorder was not addressed by professionals and that most of the people in this book are pretty horrible.

Told in the first person, the main character is Natalie Miller. Natalie is at the wedding of her childhood and continued best friend Babs. We wonder at why Natalie is so shaken by her best friend getting married. It becomes all too clear after the first few pages that Natalie is unhealthy in her obsession with all things Babs and hates that anyone could come before her. Yeah a little too Single White Female for me too.

It becomes quickly obviously that Natalie resents her mother, brother, Bab's husband Simon, Bab's other friend Frannie, and heck she even resents Babs. Due to her feeling left alone she proceeds to blow up her life spectacularly by cheating on her long time boyfriend and getting involved with a cocaine sniffing supposed band manager. Yeah I can't make this stuff up.

Here's the thing. I have said it time and time again. You have to root for the main character. You end up getting really sick of Natalie before the first half of the book is even done. By the end you may want to shake her. I think what got me was that Anna Maxted throws in a little twist in the book and you find out that Natalie has a serious eating problem and that her family and friends have realized it, but no one has tried to address it before now. And once that is out in the open, the book becomes a different thing. It's no longer a funny and kind of mean book about Natalie dealing with being regulated lower on her best friend's list. Instead we know she has a serious issue that she needs to deal with and it kind of gets hand-waved away by the author.

The other characters in this book don't feel real at all. We have Natalie's gay somewhat best friend Matt, Babs, Frannie, Bab's brother Andy, Natalie's brother, mother, and her father. I think that because we were force fitting in so many of Natalie's issues it was hard to keep a handle on everyone. I can say that I was thoroughly disgusted by Natalie's brother Tony. There is a big reveal about him and ugh, he sucked. I also though was sick of Natalie still acting out because her father and mother split when she was younger and it was so beyond childish I rolled my eyes repeatedly.

The love interests that Natalie has in this book make no sense. The one love interest was horrible to her and for her and the second one excuse me for saying it, was too good for her. And I wondered why he was even interested in her. She was a mess and was not at all nice, loving, or seemed to be smart at all about life in general. We hear from others about how attractive she is, but that's about it.

I will say that the writing was funny and Anna Maxted can thrown out some funny metaphors and asides while Natalie is being yelled at or thinking about something. I do wish that there had been more dialogue between characters. Most of this book is just Natalie thinking about what someone is doing/saying and her reacting to it in her head but not out loud.

The setting of the book taking place in London was great. The city and just everything about London was nicely showcased.

I did kind of roll my eyes at the ending. I had a whole host of questions that were never answered at all. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I bought this book many years ago, when it first came out, and, as with many books in my life - to my shame - has languished on a bookshelf for years whilst other books and indeed other things in life have come and gone. In a bid to reduce the clutter, I am trying to get through some of these older books, and ended up grabbing this one at random. And I have to admit to wondering what it was about this book that ever appealed to me in the first place? I can only assume that I was going through a chick-lit phase, and thought this would be a nice feelgood story with a happy ending. After all, according to the blurb on the back, it was 'witty and clever', 'a brilliant debut' and 'warm, poignant and very funny'. I have learnt, as I've got older, never to trust the quotes on the back of a book.

Anna Maxted's Running in Heels is a 450-page book, the story in which could have been dealt with in about 250 pages. There's way too much unnecessary descriptions and random asides that bear no relation to the story whatsoever - Maxted's editor should have told her to cut the dross!

This book also tries to be too many things. It appears to want to be taken seriously as an insight in to the thought-process of someone with an eating disorder, at the same time as being a light and frothy chick-lit girl-meets-boy-girl-loses-boy-girl-wins-back-boy happy-ending novel at the same time; the two don't mix well and the book is poorer for it. It doesn't help that the big reveal that the protagonist, Natalie, is anorexic and developing bulimia comes halfway through the book, by which time I had already concluded that Natalie was an annoying simpering misery who needed a good slapping. So when the big reveal came, I had no sympathy for Natalie. In fact, none of the characters in this book are likeable. Maybe the provincial 2017 me just can't understand 2001 London life!

Not that not liking a character should have any bearing on whether I like a book - I've read books where I have hated the characters, but the quality of the writing has transcended that. Maxted is, or at least was, no such writer (I've not read anything else by her so can't comment on whether she's improved).

With two exceptions (one being the bible), I always finish a book I start, no matter how bad. It's such a relief to finish this one; I pray that the next work I read is more worthwhile. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
Good, but not quite as good as "Getting Over it" I didnt' like how Natalie has four boyfriends throughout the book and a best friend that is an on/off sort of relationship. It had a good message though, for women with eating problems, i.e.: anorexia and bulimia. The main character has a great sense of humor. ( )
  camplakejewel | Oct 29, 2013 |
B Anorexic, relationships. I enjoy historical fiction, and this is along the same line. You are in someone's life. It seemed self absorbed and self abusive. Not the greatest life to delve into.
  O-B-Kind | Sep 17, 2011 |
Loved this book. A bit naughty here and there. Very funny and witty. ( )
  LisMB | Apr 23, 2011 |
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Anna Maxted's trademark mix of laugh-out-loud funny and poignancy works its magic once again in her moving, warm and truthful second novel.'To say that Babs has been my closest friend for sixteen years is rather like saying that Sinatra enjoyed a sing-song or that Einstein was good at sums. Compared to us, Siamese twins might be defined as "reasonably close".'But now Babs, gorgeous, noisy, funny Babs, is getting married. And Natalie, Senior Press Officer for the London Ballet, is worried. What happens when your best friend pledges eternal love to someone else?Natalie's always tried hard to please everyone - too hard, Babs would say. Now her good-girl veneer cracks and she begins an affair which spirals her out of control. Only then does she come face to face with the truth staring at her from the mirror. Not to mention Bab's marriage difficulties, her new boyfriend Chris's ambition, her brother Tony's dark secret, her mother Sheila's cooking , and inviting Babs's brother Andy - slippers and all - to be her lodger.....

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