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I've read a number of Marian Keyes books in the past, and whilst I prefer the older ones, I do enjoy the witty and engaging writing style. They fall in the 'chick lit' category and whilst a lot of that genre is little more than puff, Keyes and a few others raise the standard no end.
In this book we meet Anna Walsh, one of the many Walsh sisters we have met in previous books. That should not put you off as you do get a paragraph on each sister, so you can jump straight in if you haven't read any other books and be up to speed with the cast of characters. It's a fairly long book of almost six hundred pages but was light enough to read before bed, without making me fall asleep.
Anna lived in New York with the love of her life Aiden. We first meet her convalescing from an accident in her parent's home in Dublin. All she wants to do is get back to New York and find Aiden. I don't want to give away too much plot, but this is about an emotional journey for Anna as she comes to terms (or otherwise) we the fact that Aiden isn't around anymore. There is much more to the book than Anna mooning after Aiden though - there is her job and trying to keep it when she can barely keep from losing her mind, her bestie Jacquie and some amusing e-mail exchanges with her mother and one of her sister's back in Dublin. The latter alone is a mini-story on it owns and is an amusing bit of relief for the reader when Anna is stuck in a rut.
There are a lot of characters in the book, and it does get a bit confusing if a lot of them are around at the same time. Marian's writing style is very 'chatty' as if someone was telling you a story over a coffee or a glass of wine, and I really enjoy it, even if it does go off on a tangent occasionally (as do some of the best conversations).
All the main characters are women - I don't think this will hugely appeal to male readers - and think it would make a good holiday read.
I was bought this book a few Christmases ago and I can honestly say it is one I have never forgotten. I have always enjoyed Marian Keyes books and the last couple of years I have found myself anxiously awaiting the next one.
A number of the books focus on one family with a huge number of sisters and this particular book focuses on Anna. You start of reading the book thinking that her Husband has left her. She writes emails to him and as the book goes on she gets more and more distraught. She keeps checking constantly for weeks and when she does get an email she is so happy.
She seems to be ill herself but you don't hear the particulars. Not until you find out they were in a terrible car crash and he passed away. The email she received was delivered late as it was a technical issue. This was written so poignantly I was in floods if tears. I am not one for crying at books either. This also has a beautiful twist at the end.
This book was fantastic. The mix of familiar characters with brief hints at their back stories (like Rachel's stay in rehab), makes it feel like your putting on an old pair of slippers. And as always there are plenty of laughs. I came away
Feeling cheered and moved all at once.
I would recommend all of her books but Anybody Out There? Is an essential! I wish there was a book of when her husband was still around.
I have two words for this book- sheer brilliance. Just seeing Marian Keyes name on a book gives you the indication that it will be good. This is the 4th in the walsh family series, all of wich are excellent books, but this one is my favourite.Being a lover of chic-lit myself, I thought this to be a very intruiging book, both with the main plotline about Aidan, and also with the sideline plots. She is able to tell you enough, without telling you too much. You are told enough to make you want to read on, but what happened to her is not revealed until later on into the book, and even then you still find out things, right until the end. There is a fair bit of mystery as the situtaion that Anna is in, seeing as there is no indication as to what happened to her, or to Aidan. You feel frustrated for her, as she desperatley tries to get in touch with Aidan. All of the characters are very well created and so well portrayed that you feel they are real people. Keyes' has a unique and witty way of showing the disfunctional family, and she makes sure to include them much in the plot as well as everyone else. Anna goes through a lot and her family are always there for her, especially her mother and younger sister. I would definatley reccomened this book to a friend or family member, and at a reasonable price I believe that everyone is able to experince and enjoy this book.
I've got two words for this book - absolutely fabulous.
As soon as you see Marian Keyes name you expect that it's going to be her famous brand of wacky Irish comedy mixed with some serious soul searching and this book definitely did not disappoint. There's a fair bit of mystery surrounding the situation the main character finds herself in at the beginning of the book and you're led to believe certain things that turn out to be incredibly wrong, but Marian Keyes does this so well that when she reveals the truth you're gobsmacked. I have to admit I howled with tears when I read those pages - no book has ever moved me that much before. Keyes has a certain way of telling a story so that you feel everything her characters are feeling and this book is certainly a rollercoaster of emotions. You'll find yourself laughing, crying and feeling hopeful all in a few hundred pages.
As a lover of chick lit, Marian Keyes is one of my favourite authors and she rarely -if ever- disappoints when it comes to creating an engaging and easy to read piece of fiction. 'Anybody Out There' is the fourth in a series featuring the Walsh sisters and the unforgettable 'Ma Walsh'. Having read several others from the series and fell in love with the Walsh sisters, flaws and all, somehow I managed to overlook this particular book and just happened upon it by chance in a charity shop.
The central character of this story is Anna Walsh, although the rest of the family feature at various points throughout the story, particularly Anna's parents and eccentric sister, Helen. The inclusion of the different family members really added to my enjoyment as it gave a sense of continuity to the story as I'd read several others about the same group of siblings. I wouldn't be deterred from reading this as an initial introduction to Marian Keyes' novels though as there is no real need to read the series in any particular order and no obvious spoilers from previous books in the series are given out.
The back cover doesn't really give a great deal of information about the plot in this story. It simply alludes to Anna having returned to her family home in Dublin and needing to go back to New York and 'back to Aidan.' There is a sense of mystery over what has happened to force Anna to return home (clearly against her will) and just what has gone on between Anna and her partner, Aidan. This sense of mystery and some unspeakable tragedy or outrage continues in the novel itself and it is not until the end of Part One, a whole 213 pages into the story, that the background to the story and the reason why Anna and Aidan are no longer together is finally revealed.
I had no idea until I got to the end of the first part just what had happened between the two, although I suspect if I read it again there would be several obvious clues with the benefit of hindsight. The not-knowing kept me totally gripped throughout the first part and I found the revelation to be a real surprise. From then on, this novel was a real tearjerker for me and I was in floods of tears and sobbing (snot and everything - not pleasant) for pretty much the remainder of the book! I do like a good weepy story and the fact that I had such a long wait to discover the cause of their seperation meant that I had totally engaged with the main characters and could completely empathise with Anna's situation (not that I ever find that difficult with Marian Keyes' characters.) It's not all tears though, as you'd expect the antics of the rest of the family and really bizarre sub-plots involving dog poo and Helen's new job as a private detective help to keep the book a light-hearted read with plenty of humour and laughs.
It is incredibly difficult to write a review about this novel without inadvertently giving away plot spoilers. Knowing the basis of this novel would completely ruin the first part of the story for any new readers, so I'll err on the side of caution and say no more about the substance of the plot and story. Suffice it to say that this is one which will keep you gripped right up until the end as you hope for a nice happy ending!
If you've enjoyed any other of Keyes' novels or are a lover of chick lit in general this will certainly not disappoint. I think this is my favourite Keyes novel so far, although I might have to re-read some of my older books to make sure!
Copies are available on Amazon from 1p, plus postage
Paperback: 608 pages
Publisher: Penguin (2007)
Marian Keyes tend to write easy reading books with a touch of humour and a moral/emotional twist.
The characters here are easy to compare to people you really know (particularly the errant sisters). Anna, the central character was a little hard to grasp at first but became easier to understand as the book continued. Everyone knows what it's like to be trying to get in touch with someone, but this is taken to the extreme. You almost feel frustrated for her and you can't help but feel sorry for her and she gets no response and starts feeling more angsty and dejected by the page.
Her entire fabulous New York life (the one everyone wants), is totally marred by the mystery of Aidan. When the truth is revealed you just want to be able to comfort her!!!!
There is a great and even more comic subplot to this taking place back with the PI sister in Ireland!
An interesting combination of sad and uplifting moments in this novel. Impressively overall it leaves a good comfortable glow.
Anybody Out There? is by Marian Keyes and after seeing this book almost everywhere I went for several months I spotted a copy in the charity shop for a bargain 50p and decided to give it a try.
Anybody Out There? follows Anna Walsh, the more dreamy of the Walsh sisters and her battle with trying to understand just what has gone wrong with her marriage and why her husband does not want to get in touch with her despite her persistent efforts to contact him.
There is also a smaller plot running throughout the book between Anna's sister Helen Walsh who is now a detective and their mother, Mama Walsh. This part of the book is very light hearted and gave me some good laughs and stopped the whole book for being eaten in a vortex of sadness and bad times.
The storyline runs very well throughout and there are a lot of pages which seem to be designed solely to keep the reader reading and I did find this to be the case with me as I was struggling to put this book down at the end of each evening. It is just so well written & I loved the storyline (even if it was a little sad at times). It was great to finally learn about another side to Anna Walsh rather than the dreamer that she is normally portrayed as being.
The paperback version of this book is available for £4.99 from Amazon.co.uk and is eligible for free delivery (if you spend over £5.00). I would thoroughly recommend this book for anybody who is fans of a good chicklit book as it is just so well written and gripping throughout. The characters and story lines are very enjoyable and I really enjoyed the entire book. I am rating it 4/5 as it's great.
So while in a lecture on my MA course, I made the mistake of saying I thought Chick Lit would be a waste of time for me to read. A fellow student took it upon herself to re-educate me, beginning with Marian Keyes 'Anybody Out There'. She insisted she would pay me a fiver if I read the whole thing and that she would be testing me so I wouldn't be able to cheat! I tried to refuse when I saw the little shiny butterflies on the cover and read the blurb on the back, but she was quite forceful.
So I read it, somewhat begrudgingly and initially found many of the literary techniques used really obvious. For example constantly withholding information, thus making you read on to discover more. But unwittingly I began to get hooked on it. At first I thought I could handle it, I could stop anytime I wanted...after all I didn't even enjoy it (I kept telling myself). But like a drug, this book took hold of me in ways that it shouldn't. It turned me into a shameless liar: when my work colleagues asked me what I was reading, I would lie and say 'The Odyssey' or some other title from the canon of English Literature! What had become of me?
Almost imperceptibly I had begun to sympathise (and even identify) with the heroine Anna Walsh. I must admit though, I didn't quite understand her job (something to do with advertising and make-up) but then I seldom wear any make up and really wouldn't know a Prada bag if it smacked me round the head. So these aspects of the story were wasted on me. But still through this I managed to find a common ground that I could identify with. The really annoying (yet loveable family), the theme of sadness and loss (which was a brilliant demonstration of writing against the grain of emotion, and incredibly convincing), and the sub-plots involving her friends blossoming romance and her sisters private detective work (often the emails from her Mum and Sister would really crack me up).
Another thing worth mentioning is that although it has strong themes and elements of romance, this novel isn't strictly a romance novel and not everything works out as it would in a Mills&Boon. The characters develop and move on from past mistakes and sadness and although the final note of the book is a happy one (with most conflicts resolved) it is by no means a distortedly cheerful and unrealistic ending.
The only aspects of the book I didn't like were that it was very drawn out at times and needlessly so. As mentioned before, I think that at times the tension building device was obviously misleading if I were a fan of the genre I would resent being forced to read 80 or so pages that were only designed to keep me reading. I think if it were down to me, I would cut a lot of it out and truly believe that this book could easily be condensed and still be just as interesting. I wondered whether it was stretched out in order to rebel against the disposable romance novels that can be read in a day.
So if like me, you aren't a fan of this genre without ever having read any of the books, I would totally recommend this one as a starting point. It has substance (593 pages) and there really is a reason why Marian Keyes is the top of her field!
Anybody Out There? is the fourth book of the Walsh family series by Marian Keyes. This book is set around the life of Anna.
Anna is staying at home with her parents, and younger sister Helen, suffering from numerous injuries, desperate to get home to New York, her high powered make-up PR job, and, most of all, her beloved husband, Aidan. She is doing all she can to convince her family she's perfectly fine, and jets off home to find her hubby. But he's not at the flat. He's not anwering her calls. Where can he be?
This book follows the story of how Anna deals with loss, and the effect it has on her life. It is a completely moving story, and seems very well researched in the areas it delves into, as Marian Keyes books always seems to be. It is a book that you won't want to put down- I think I read this in the space of a night- as I seem to do with all of Marian Keyes books!
On the whole this book is very good, but the main character, Anna, seems very different to how she is portrayed in the other stories. I was really looking forward to reading stories of the flaky, party animal Anna going on her midnight adventures, travelling to Greece on a whim, coming home and losing her shoes on the way...but Anna has been transformed to a hard working career girl (at Candy Grrl- a make up brand which sounds excellent may I add!). The transformation is blamed on Anna witnessing her older sister, Rachael, going through a drug addiction and having to visit rehab. However, it does seem like the transformation is slightly too extreme, not leaving much of the flaky, fun-loving Anna left to enjoy.
The references to the other characters in this book are great, with Helen's adventures with the mob, and Mammy Walsh's adventures with the Mysterious Dog Poo flowing alongside in the background. I also like the way the books are all kept to real timelines, with the original Watermelon book being written 13 years ago, and the baby from this book just turning into a stroppy teenager.
____Anybody out there?____
I picked this book because it was the number one bestseller from the British book awards 2007 and also because the author Marian Keyes is well known and i like her other books.
The book wasnt exactly what i was expecting from reading the blurb-it talks about her husband Adrian no longer being in her life and i initially thought that he must have left her- not that he had died.
The main character in this book is called Anna walsch. At the beginning of the book she is a complete and utter mess-we dont know why at first so i dont feel very sorry for her.I want to tell her to get over it and move on with her life.
This book is very funnyin places and honest.It is very easy to read and dosnt feel that it is very long eventhough there are almost 600 pages.
I would recommend this book to people who have either read her other books or just want something light to read.Having read it i would evengo as far to say it is worth paying full price for if you cant find it cheap...and i dont say that about many books.This is a book that is going to be staying in my collection for years to come.
Marian Keyes 'anybody out there' is the forth book in the 'Walsh sister series'. This time the story is centered around the second to youngest sister Anna, who any Marion Keyes fans will remember as the slightly flakey, Sister of Claire, Maggie, Rachael and Helen.
It's been an astonishing 13 years since Marian Keyes released the first Story involving the Walsh family (Watermelon) and you'll be surprised at the reference in the latest book 'Anybody Out There' that Claire's baby, is now a stroppy teenager!
The story begins with Anna battered and bruised and living back with her parents and her sister Helen in the family home in Ireland - but desperate to get back to New York, to the job she loves and more importantly her husband Aiden. However, it is revealed that Anna has received some horrific injuries and is reluctantly persuaded by her family to stay in Ireland whilst she recovers.
Life in the Walsh house is never dull as the tales of Helens new job as a private investigator unfold, and the mysterious lady who's allowing her dog to poop outside the Walshes gate brings speculation to the nutty household.
Before long, Anna's strength returns and Rachael (who you may remember from 'Racheals Holiday' and also lives in New York) comes to Ireland to bring Anna home.
Returning to New York, Anna has to work out how to put her life back together after the accident that caused her injuries and more importantly, she needs to find Aiden - he's no where to be seen!
Marian Keyes walsh sister series are all wonderfully written, both extremely witty and able to pull at your heartstrings at the same time and 'Anybody Out There' does not let you down, it's a wonderful read and takes you on a heartwarming journey.
All the usual charaters make an appearance, so the continuity of the books continues, but I don't doubt that this would make an excellent read even without having read the other 3 in the series.
What the back of the book says
I had to go back to New York and try to find him. There was a chance he mightn't be there but I had to give it a go because there was one thing I was certain of: he wasn't here.
Anna Walsh is officially a wreck. Physically broken and emotionally shattered, she lies on her parents' Dublin sofa with only one thing on her mind: getting back to New York. New York means her apartment, The Most Fabulous Job In The WorldTM and above all, it means her husband, Aidan.
But her family have other ideas (not to mention headaches of their own). And Aidan, for some reason seems unwilling to get in touch.
What could possibly have shattered the world that Anna loved so much? And is Aidan the only one who can pull it back together again?
What I thought
This is the fouth book in the series about the Walsh sisters. Following the story of Anna, she is trying to get in contact with her husband Aidan, but for some reason he won't get in touch. She tries to get her life back to normal without him, but just needs some closure as to why he won't come back to her.
Funny at times, very sad at others, I really enjoyed this book. It's one of those that you just can't put down! It does have a twist at the end, but I won't spoil the book by telling you what it is!
I am not a great reader - I generally have the attention span of a toddler, but I have seen Marian Keyes on a variety of spin-off shows such as BBLB and It takes two and always thought she was incredibly funny and witty, so thought I would give one of her books a go.
I got this is Asda for £3.50 and I think that is about as cheap as I have seen it anywhere.
This is Keyes' fourth insight into the Walsh sisters following Watermelon (Claire), Rachel's holiday (Rachel - obviously) and Angels (Maggie.) Anybody out there follows the fortunes of Anna Walsh.
I haven't read the other books so don't know too much about them, but this did not hinder my understanding of the story.
Paperback - Penguin 2007
Anna is in her parents Good Front Room in Dublin. She is staying there because of a dislocated kneecap, ripped off fingernails and a scar that makes the local kids call her Frankenstein.
Her mum is force feeding her painkillers and vitamins but all Anna wants is to get back to her amazing job (as a PR girl for kooky make-up firm Candy Grrl) in New York, and back to her man Aidan.
For some reason he is not so keen to return her calls, so there is only one thing for it. She has to persuade her family to let her go back to New York.
All this along a backdrop of her younger sister Helen (a private investigator who gets involved with the Irish mob), a scandalous case of an old lady and some dog poo and the goings on of Anna's friends in New York.
Keyes' characterization is brilliant - you get emotionally invested in all the characters and can believe they are all real people. Except maybe Aidan who just seems ridiculously perfect.
The storyline does jump around quite a bit, but this adds to the readability (is that a real word - I may have just made it up.) You have to know why she is injured, what is going on with Aidan and how will her life be when she finally gets back to New York.
Keyes' writing style is very warm and readable although is definitely aimed at women. By the time you finish reading this the terms feathery stroker, Treakil and Jolly Boy will just bring a smile.
But this book isn't a laugh a minute, it is also really upsetting and if you don't have a tear in your eye by half way you are made of stone.
It deals with some quite heavy going issues without the reader ever having to stop and work things out.
I think most women will be able to identify with Anna on some level and be routing for her by the end - I know I stayed up until 4am to find out how it ended!
If the trend is anything to go by I will definitely be reading the book about Helen Walsh as she just seems hilarious.
People I know who have read the other books say this is the best work Keyes has done to date - be warned though there is some swearing and sex in here so if you don't like that kind of thing you might want to give it a miss
Anybody Out There is the latest novel by Irish author Marian Keyes. I have reviewed Keyes Under the Duvet before so if you are interested in more background information about the author feel free to read that review.
This particular novel is the fourth in the series about the Walsh sisters. Keyes has previously written Watermelon (about Claire), Rachels Holiday (about Rachel) and Angels (about Maggie). In this fourth novel we get to follow Anna, a very eccentric young woman who has only played a very small part in the previous novels. All I knew about Anna before reading this book was that she was an unreliable hippie-style person who couldnt hold on to a job and in addition to that she also had a fondness for recreational drugs.
When this book starts we learn that Anna is staying in her parents Good Front Room. Since we last met the family she has moved to New York where she has been living with Aidan while having a fabulous job (fabulous because of the amount of free make-up that comes with it). However you immediately notice that something is wrong. Firstly, as Ive already said, she is living in her parents front room. Secondly she has an impressive amount of injuries that are in the process of healing. Thirdly Aidan seems very unwilling to get in touch with her. It doesnt matter how often she calls his phone and leaves messages on the answering machine, he just wont get back to her.
Anna eventually manages to talk her family into letting her go home to New York and she arrives to an empty apartment. Where is Aidan? She goes back to work and even though the scars are still visible she manages to somehow keep her job in the beauty industry. But seriously, where is Aidan? She sees him through the window of the bus one morning but he still wont answer his phone and the only one who tries to get in touch with Anna is his mother but she doesnt want to talk to her.
This is a very intriguing novel and you are guaranteed to both laugh and cry when you read it. The first half of the book presents a lot of questions the main one being, yes you guessed it, where is Aidan? There are however many more, like for instance, where did Anna get her scars? What really happened before she went home to Ireland? Eventually you will find the answers to all those questions and I can promise you that you will be surprised.
I cannot say anything more about the novel because I dont want to spoil it for you. What I can say though is that it feels slightly different from Keyes other novels. Maybe it is a sign that she has grown as a writer or maybe it is because she has to deal with issues she hasn't dealt with before. It is still filled with her trademark humour though and if you have enjoyed her previous novels you will love this one too.
Even though I would recommend that you read the other three novels in the series first this one works well on its own as well. Keyes provides you with enough background information so that you wont feel as though you are a bystander who doesnt get all the private jokes.
I personally cannot wait until I get to read the fifth (and final) novel in the series, the one about Helen. We get a little taste of what shes up to in Anybody Our There where we are told that she now works as a private detective and strangely enough she ends up working on a case concerning the mob.
You can find Anybody Out There in any bookstore. The paperback version shouldnt cost more than £5.99 but Im sure you can find it cheaper than that on the internet.