Undue Influence by Anita Brookner

Three thoughts on Undue Influence by Anita Brookner:

01. Never have I wanted to shake a character hard and say “Get a grip” as much as I have wanted to with Claire Pitt.

02. Happily, Claire provided the perfect case study for me at uni this week. Her anxious attachment, her grief and her inner-critic that NEVER SHUTS UP made for fascinating analysis. Thanks Claire!

03. You might enjoy this book if you like whiny, self-pitying and entitled internal monologues…. Anyone? Anyone? No, I didn’t think so.

2.5/5 Disappointing.

Claire has vague travel plans that may or may not include Italy. Try a Contessa – a twist on the Negroni (my favourite Italian cocktail).

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9 responses

    • I reckon Fraud or A Family Romance are more satisfying, if you haven’t read either of those. I’m going to have a little Brookner-break for a while – not sure how it happened but I’ve read three by her this year and they’re getting progressively more depressing.

  1. LOL I looked at reviews at Goodreads: they’re either 5 stars or one, so it looks like this is a love-it-or-hate-it book.
    It’s not one I’ve got, but I don’t think it matters since Brooker always writes the same book:)

    • This is even more same than same, if you get what I mean? Plus, there’s very little interaction with other characters, most is what the main character would ‘like’ to say to someone else, as opposed to what she actually says.

      • I had a look at Wikipedia: Undue Influence (1999) is a ‘late’ book, written when she was 60 and 15 years after Hotel du lac which won the Booker. So I wondered if she was losing her game as she became older…
        Well, she wrote 6 more books after UI and then died aged 87. One of those (The Next big Thing) was longlisted for the Booker in 2002, and Strangers (2009) was shortlisted for the James Tait Memorial prize, so that theory doesn’t hold water. So much for that theory!

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