Suzie Eisfelder
April 12, 2021

I received this from Bionic Book Subscription. It’s the second of the three month subscription they’ve given me. I’ve been a bit slack in reading all three books. I still haven’t even opened the third parcel from them. It’s sitting on my desk and I’m wondering if I’ll do an unboxing now that I have some better equipment. I love watching unboxing videos so I might just do that and upload it to my Youtube channel. I must admit to enjoying reading a book I’ve not chosen. Having read two books chosen by the people at Bionic Book Subscription I’m pretty happy with their choices and have reasonable confidence in their ability to choose books I might enjoy.

I never do this, but, for this book, I’m taking the description from the back of the book.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything…

I had so many issues with this book. I read it with intrigue and interest, but found it incredibly disturbing. It’s a real challenge to write a book from the point of view of a person with emotional problems. What Honeyman does is to portray someone who feels she’s fine but is really only just coping with everyday life. I admired the writing on so many occasions. Eleanor is so obviously flawed and incredibly judgemental, and she’s created so many walls to be able to cope. But, the person who manages to break through and help her navigate everyday life and the dark passages of her life is an IT guy.

Why does this seem odd to me? I know you’ll know IT people who don’t fit what I’m about to say, but the stereotypical IT guy has no fashion sense and little idea of how to interact with society. If you watch The IT Crowd you’ll understand what I’m saying. Through Eleanor’s eyes Raymond is depicted as having no social skills and he wears all the wrong clothes. So we see him as if he’s the stereotypical IT person, but his actions call out the nonsense of this stereotype. Raymond is the person who shows Eleanor social mores and helps her through things, he is the first person in all of her 30 years of life who calls her a friend.

I was constantly trying to guess what had made Eleanor have problems in life. As it turns out the clues were all there, and if I’d read it more closely I might have guessed correctly. I’m not telling you any of my guesses for spoilery reasons. I should mention she had a really bad childhood and ended up in care from the age of 10.

Yes, I’m going to recommend it. I do suggest you don’t read the whole thing at night as there are some rather disturbing parts. If you already have it on your shelf then you don’t need this affiliate link.

One final word tonight about Bionic Book Subscriptions. If I were in a position to take up a book subscription service (i.e. if my TBR Pile weren’t so large) these are the people I’d be throwing my money at. They’ve taken the little information that their survey gave them (and a small survey from the first book) and provided me with two books I would not have picked up normally…two books I’ve enjoyed. While I look forward to the last book, I feel I’m putting off opening it as a teaser to myself. Despite sending me the last book without me completing the survey from this book I have great confidence in them. Although, looking at their pricing options one book every two months is incredibly tempting…

    1. I’m pleased my words had that effect. I’m sorry about your TBR Pile, but also really curious to see what’s in it

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