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#TeamScorpio
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BarbaraBB
Case Histories: A Novel | Kate Atkinson
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#BelowZer00s #buddyread, question 3/5

JaclynW I think it helped to lighten the traumatic events of the book 2w
Hooked_on_books I don‘t think she necessarily intended suspense here. And I think the humor as well as the focus on character development shows that. Plus there are awful, dark things happening to people here, so the humor helps lift you away from those feelings. I think that‘s why she made the humor so off-color, to balance the violent components. I loved the humor! 2w
JaclynW Oops. I hit send too soon. If it had been one traumatic thing after another, she may have lost readers because it may have gotten too heavy. 2w
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JaclynW @Hooked_on_books I liked the humourous bits too. 2w
TrishB It‘s very real to me to see humour in very dark situations. Whether it‘s a Brit thing I don‘t know 🤷‍♀️ but this felt very everyday. 2w
vivastory I loved the humor. I felt it alleviated some of the grief, which would have been overwhelming at times, & added extra depth to the characters. It felt very true to life. 2w
Billypar The humor was ultimately what sold me in the end. I agree that it acted as a counterweight to the more depressing parts. It also helped me enjoy the relative slowness in the investigations. Usually with mysteries I'm more ravenous when it comes to having new developments or twists, but I didn't mind the pace as much since she had me cracking up the whole way. 2w
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB I agree. I‘ve always viewed it as something of a Scorpio defense mechanism. ☺️ 2w
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly that‘s definitely it! The amount of times I‘ve made inappropriate comments and got the look from family members!! 2w
TrishB @Billypar I think the mysteries in these is always secondary to the characters and the personalities and the humour. 2w
readordierachel Agree with you @JaclynW and @Hooked_on_books that the humor balances out the violence and trauma. The humor was what I appreciated most. 2w
Bklover I found the humor more prominent than the mysteries. Almost as if the mysteries were there to promote the humor. If that makes any sense. 2w
Mdargusch The humor made the book more than a whodunit since it added another layer. I laughed out loud so many times during the chapters on Caroline! 2w
JaclynW @Billypar Very true. 2w
JaclynW @Mdargusch Yes! Layered is the perfect way to describe it. 2w
BarbaraBB It can be a Scorpio thing indeed, I know I use it too 😉 @TrishB and @MicheleinPhilly. It didn‘t do so much for me in this novel though. I admit to laughing about the cat called ‘nigger‘ 🤭 but Julia and Amelia became a bit too grotesque for me and therefore a bit unrealistic. 2w
TrishB @BarbaraBB I now can‘t admit to having any of these characters in my extended family can I!! I think Julia and Amelia are maybe a bit out dated now, but definitely existed.... 2w
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly 😘😘 always being told to watch what people might be thinking 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ whatever that means!! 2w
BarbaraBB @TrishB Haha, it‘s probably fun to have them in your extended family 😀 2w
BookwormAHN I think the humor was definitely needed to lighten up the mood but the cat called "nigger" was too much ??‍♀️ 2w
Andrew65 @BarbaraBB Another Scorpio here who uses it too! ♏️ Amazing How humour can get you through difficult situations and times! Also balances out nicely the dark points of the book. 2w
Kalalalatja #TeamScorpio here, too! @BarbaraBB @TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @Andrew65 I use humor quite a lot in my therapy sessions with clients, as it helps to get through some of the tougher subjects, so it makes sense to me there is so much of it in the book 2w
BarbaraBB @Kalalalatja That is very plausible explanation, thanks 🙏 2w
TrishB @BookwormAHN to me this was highlighting racism in older people very well in the U.K. (sadly). I could well have imagined my Nan doing that ☹️ 2w
BarbaraBB @TrishB Oh really? To me it was so absurd that I found it funny 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2w
TrishB @BarbaraBB maybe it‘s a U.K. thing? A lot of my friends (and me!) have horror stories about racist grandparents? 2w
BarbaraBB @TrishB I don‘t know, maybe everyone‘s grandparents here are racist too except mine because they were Indonesian 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 2w
MicheleinPhilly @TrishB @BarbaraBB Sadly not limited to the UK. I could see some of my ancient neighbors doing that sort of thing TODAY. 😒 2w
TrishB @BarbaraBB 😂😂 a good reason! My Nan was Irish but still profoundly racist against people coming into the country! 2w
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly ☹️🤷‍♀️ we can only fight back! 2w
Cinfhen I agree the “humor” was meant to lighten the otherwise dark stories but to me the humor seemed more slapstick and unnatural. It just didn‘t work for me @Hooked_on_books @JaclynW @TrishB @vivastory @Billypar @readordierachel @Bklover @Mdargusch @BarbaraBB @BookwormAHN @Kalalalatja I thought the humor sort of out dated the story / 2w
Cinfhen There is no way naming a cat “nigger” in ANY book now (2020) would ever get published!!!!! I‘m still in shock over that 😱 2w
TrishB @Cinfhen very true, thankfully, but sadly wouldn‘t stop it happening ☹️ 2w
CarolynM I agree with @Hooked_on_books I don't think suspense was intended. I think she was using the "detective" format to write about a bunch of traumatised people. I think one of the things she does very well is to show violence and trauma are part of everyday life for some people and humour is also part of everyday life - from observation of the contradictions and absurdities. 2w
BarbaraBB @CarolynM I wonder why she used the format, as a writer she has proven she doesn‘t need it and the murder cases were a bit predictable and for me detracting (is that the correct word?) from the overall story. 2w
TrishB @BarbaraBB interesting question! Don‘t know the answer though. 2w
CarolynM @TrishB I thought Binky (and to a lesser extent Caroline's husband and family) was hilarious but I am hugely amused by that stereotype of early 20th century British superiority (the novels of Dornford Yates and PC Wren for example). I think a lot of racism in the past came from a lack of understanding that other cultures were just as valid as (in yours and mine case) Anglo - Irish culture.👇 2w
CarolynM 🖕My grandparents felt so sorry for their Italian and Greek neighbours for their ignorance and backwardness when all they were doing were things that were normal where they had come from. 2w
CarolynM @BarbaraBB I don't know the answer either. Maybe because it provides a reason for her hero to encounter so many people who have been profoundly affected by violence? 2w
TrishB @CarolynM such a good summary! Sadly I think now we‘ve reverted backwards to still thinking that‘s the superior culture (in the U.K. anyway and certainly stirred up by Brexit). 2w
Crazeedi People use humor when uncomfortable with situations, so maybe that's why 2w
erzascarletbookgasm For me, there‘s no suspense, and I went in thinking it‘s a traditional mystery story but found out soon enough the whodunnits are not the main things. I really liked the humour, like what @CarolynM said earlier, not lol but more of ‘smile moments‘. Agree with what others said about the humour as a balance to the dark parts. 2w
batsy I love bleak, dark humour. The Russians especially used it to great effect in their literature. (shoutout to my man, Dostoyevsky! 😆) Sorry to be the party pooper again, but I didn't quite get on with Atkinson's brand of humour. I guess it's a subjective thing and maybe that's why I didn't quite enjoy the book. 2w
BarbaraBB @batsy I‘d prefer Dostojevski any time. Or Nathan Englander, who I just finished a book by! 1w
Simona Well @batsy I have to tag you again, I totally agree with you 😄 Bizarre, dark humor is my kind of humor, but it is ineffective in this story ... as @BarbaraBB said - with the exception of the black cat. 1w
DebinHawaii I liked the humor & for me it is a natural place too go in uncomfortable situations too. (Am I a closet Scorpio? 🤔) i didn‘t think it too much to take away from the story & I liked how the dark sarcasm was a balm to some of the pain. Regarding the cat, sadly I have older relations long gone now that would have viewed it as normal. 🥺I think that was a bit for shock factor though but I did enjoy Jackson & then Howell‘s reaction to it. 1w
bookandcat The humor was fine. I didn't find this book as suspenseful and taut as I would like (I am more of a Tana French fan). This felt more literary strolling through a PI's life for me. The resolutions of most of the cases did not feel too surprising for me. 1w
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