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The Outcast

by Sadie Jones

Had to read this as part of the Orange Prize list and thought it had the most annoying central character, just couldn't take to anyone or anything about it! Couldn't believe it was on the Richard & Judy list as well.....
quote from my review at the time: 'if you like character and atmosphere above plot and people you can care about then I'm sure you'll love it - if not, well, who said prize winning (or short listed) novels were supposed to be enjoyable?

Suggested by Pat, hartlepool

Tagged with: atmospheric bored compelling compelling. disappointing,and engaging intriguing plodding.



I read this book after reading another novel by the same author 'Small Wars'. I thoroughly enjoyed small wars and so wanted something else by the same author, and wasn't disappointed at all by 'The outcast'. Although the story was totally different from her other book I still found it to be very compelling. Dark, sad and even sinister in parts, set in the 1950's (as with Small wars) this book kept me avidly waiting for my tea break at work so that I could get back to the story. The main character of the young teenage boy living with his demons and seeing others for what they really were was very unsettling but at the same time I found myself really hoping that he would find some sort of happiness and peace of mind. I enjoyed it so much that I recommended it for our 'recommended reading' display in the library where I work. If you enjoyed this title by Sadie Jnoes you should definately read 'Small Wars' which I thought was even better!.
Suzanne from Kent
I thought this was an excellent book. It captured the ghastly nature of 1950's surburbia and how everything was suppressed, and everyone just put up with things. This book is always on the returns trolley and has issued consistently since it was added to stock last year.
Keith from Hertfordshire
I also worked in a library and this book is always on display when it's returned. I read it and really enjoyed it. I see the main character as misunderstood rather than annoying. The reality of life itself is palpable here, how past events can shape your personality for good or ruin it forever is well reflected here. I thought it was a bit grim but certainly a book worth reading.
library 2
I read this book with two reading groups and most of us enjoyed it and found it a real page turner. The various issues in the book such as self harm alcohol isolation etc provoked a lively discussion .We thought the setting in 1950's Surrey was extremely well done , very atmospheric and claustrophobic.I would recommend it to other reading groups
reading group 56
i have just finished reading this book, along with my mum (80's) found this hard going,and not very inspiring, read it as a richard and judy read, was most suprised it reached their list. I work in a library and have asked others who have taken this out and the majority feel the same.
library 1

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