The More You Ignore Me: A Novel

The More You Ignore Me: A Novel

by Jo Brand

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Overview

“Seriously Funny.”
The Mirror (UK) Book of the Week

 

The funniest and most original import from Britain since Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Jo Brand’s The More You Ignore Me manages to be both poignant and darkly comic at the same time. Actress and comedienne Brand—well known to viewers in the States from her work in Absolutely Fabulous—delivers an outrageous coming-of-age story in the tradition of the Adrian Mole novels, full of dysfunctional family life and celebrity obsession in the 1980s.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061973581
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Pages: 309
Product dimensions: 8.02(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

A former psychiatric nurse, stand-up comic Jo Brand has a large following throughout the UK. Her TV series Through the Cakehole and All the Way to Worcester met with great acclaim, and in 2003 she was listed in The Observer as one of the fifty funniest acts in British comedy. She is currently cowriting and starring in the BBC Four sitcom Getting On. Brand has written three novels and two humor books, is married with two children, and lives in South London.

Customer Reviews

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The More You Ignore Me 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
StarShadowBlog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not my ideal book, or what I expected from the description on the back, the writing was good and it had a unique storyline, cute characters and funny throughout the book right to the very end.
paghababian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With a blurb likening it to the Adrian Mole books, I was expecting a completely different story than I got. That doesn't mean I didn't like what The More You Ignore Me was, but it's definitely mis-represented on its cover.The story follows Alice, her mentally unstable mother, and slightly dippy father as Alice moves through her teen years. She develops an infatuation with Morrissey and The Smiths that pervades her every breath, which only makes her worry that she's becoming as unstable as her mother. Having once been a teenage girl with infatuations with a number of actors and musicians, though, I wanted to yell into the book that it was ok - of course, Alice wasn't going to hear me, though, just like any teenager who can't hear the constructive words of the adults around them.This story isn't anything groundbreaking, but it moves along quickly with some interesting characters.
traciragas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You know those people who tell amazing and beautiful stories of people you¿d love to meet; at the top of my head, I think of Edward Bloom in Big Fish. That was what I felt instantly while reading this book. At times, Alice and Keith are part of a special team, trying to live with a mentally ill family member. Easily at other times though, Alice fits through teenage desperation alone. Alice faces fears of becoming like her mother one day and Keith is holding on to this dream that his wife will one day reappear from her tragic departure into another world. I loved this book. I loved the style of writing. Unlike the other reviews, I didn¿t have any trouble getting into the book. I loved the storytelling aspect. The narrator felt like that loud deep voice that narrates the movies, someone that knows what¿s going to happen next and understands the characters (to me, this was a great ¿voice¿). A truly wonderful book!
ancurl2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this book through the Early Reviewers program and I was really looking forward to reading it. Once I started, however, I just couldn't really get into it. Many times I was reading and thought to myself I was going to finish the chapter and then quit reading it, I just couldn't get into it. As a credit to the author, however, I did continue to pick it up and just finished it today. I still can't say whether or not I like the book. I never really got into I like I do other books, but I found myself needing to know what happened in the end and how things got resolved. There were a few times in the book where I felt like I was lost, had to look back to see if I had missed something, but that wasn't the case, I just found the book to be a little confusing. I probably won't recommend the book to my friends as it's not the type of book we typically read, but I will give it 3 stars for holding my attention until the end, even if it was just by a thread!
voracious on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a surprisingly delightful British novel about the mad exploits of a schizophrenic woman (Gina) and her family's attempts to live their lives despite her illness. Morrissey, the lead singer for the Smiths, plays a pivotal role as the daughter, Alice, develops an obsessive crush on him, which helps her cope with her isolated adolescence. When does obsession for a stranger turn to madness? Alice is deeply concerned that her crush is the early stage of her mother's psychotic erotomania. As time goes on, the other characters in the novel, even the ones who are initially detestable, become more human and enjoyable as they all circle around to support and rescue Gina, who slips back into erotic madness and erratic behavior. When I first started the novel, I was a little put off by the storyteller's perspective, which is more of a narrator's viewpoint (all knowing) rather than leaving details hidden from the reader. However, Jo Brand is a great storyteller and as I became more interested in the characters, I became charmed by the subtle humor of the story and the caring that grew out of the concern for Gina. This is a very short but charming novel and I would definately recommend it, particularly to anyone who enjoyed the Smiths and Morrissey when they were back in their hayday!
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really liked the blurb I read on this book. I thought it sounded like a hoot - since I grew up in the 80's and was a teen follower of The Smiths and a Morrissey devotee. I was unfortunately very disappointed by the execution of the novel.The writing is very clumsy. The first few chapters of the book are choppy and frustrating to read. The book feels like it was pitched as an outline of an idea and then fleshed out with random bits and pieces of description. There are many scenes that I believe were meant to be funny in a very slapstick visual way - but just fell totally flat on the page. (for example when Gina falls into the tea tray when meeting Keith's parents for the first time.) It felt like at times the author was sure the novel would be made into a movie and was writing more for the screen than for the readers of the novel. I also just thought the stabs at farcical absurd humor just didn't work. For example,I thought calling Alice's uncles Bighead and Wobbly was just such an overreach at humor it was kind of pathetic. There are so many moments in this book that just didn't ring true to me. Characters constantly making choices that aren't logical or true to who they are supposed to be. (eg the doctor and the father agreeing to stop Gina's medications cold turkey) The portrayal of Alice as a Morrissey fan also lacks believability, it really feels like this book was written by someone who wasn't a teen during that time and is just taking a stab at what they think it may have been like. Anyway - very disappointed with this one.
CSMcMahon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have tried repeatedly to read this book. I just couldn't get into it. It wasn't what I expected and I ultimately gave up before finishing.
AnaV93 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This lovely little British novel revolves around Alice a character who purposely isolates herself from her family world as a way of coping with her mothers mental disorder. Gina, appropriately having the last name Wildgoose, is the mother of Alice and the one running the show. All the lives of the characters in the book are influenced or effected by Gina. Me being American, was at first not very into the book because of the language used which is very British and European. It was confusing for me to follow the story when so much was going on in a term of slang or writing I wasn't used to. But I did laugh, and this is indeed a very humorous novel. I started to see a softer side to all the characters as the years went by and Alice grew up. I don't recommend it for everyone, but I do recommend it for those looking for a good laugh and a change in the usual played out story lines because I can bet you haven't heard this one yet!
revzonian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Harper Paperbacks, for the advanced uncorrected proof of "The More You Ignore Me: A Novel." I found this book full of humor, sadness, and hope. Gina, the mother who has obsessions with celebrities (actually she has schizophrenia) is left alone most of the time by her daughter, Alice, and husband, Keith when she is in her stupor from her antipsychotic medications. Otherwise, she will hunt the person down and bother him and despair over why this person isn't in love with her. Keith is portrayed as the calm and patient husband who stays with her and "takes care" of her, but in reality, he was not really a great husband. He suppressed a lot of feelings and ended up cheating on her. However, I give him a lot of credit for staying with her despite his parents' wishes. I also give him a ton of credit for maintaining a somewhat good relationship with his daughter. Meanwhile, Alice wants to be ignored because everyone knows about her family situation and she finds that no-one really understands her feelings, except Morrissey (from the Smiths). There are a couple of heartbreaking events related to trying to get to a Morrissey concert for Alice, but she overcomes them. In fact, she has two best friends, Karen and Mark, who try to understand her. Mark also wants to be ignored because his father wants Mark to be more in line with the kind of man he is. This ultimately results in a departure from home and a different relationship spews between Mark and his mother and father. The general practitioner of Alice and Gina also has been secretly in love with Keith, but he had been ignoring her advances until a pivotal moment in Keith's life occurs. Finally, while off medications, Gina meets an older man during her pursuit of another celebrity and ends up finding true happiness. She didn't want to be ignored, and the more she was ignored, the more she was losing touch with reality.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Herfordshire, England, Alice wonders what a normal family is. Her maternal grandparents prefer intoxication rather than sobering sobriety. Her mother Gina is either in a pharmaceutical induced stupor or a schizophrenic miasma. Her dad Keith tries to maintain a modicum of normalcy, but living in a cottage with two drunks and a lunatic who prefers to run the streets naked is asking a lot of any person; so the lass created five personas like an actress and not like split personalities as she knows her roles she uses to deal with her family and the neighbors. When Gina is taken away to the psychiatric hospital for posing nude on the roof after the meteorologist declined her kind offer of a tryst, Keith tries to help his daughter. Gina has fears that she is a chip off the maternal block as her grandparents are considered drunken terrorists by the neighbors and her mom when not confined runs nude in the streets of Herfordshire. Adding to her concerns re her own mental state is her obsession with the singer Morrissey of Smith and Mark while her father struggles with caring for his two females and his attraction to Marie Henty. Rotating perspective over a couple of decades, this is an intriguing family drama as readers see deeply how Keith and Alice cope with Gina and the grandparents. The story line is summed up with a strong climatic revelatory Dunk that will open the readers' eyes as it does the morose "This Charming Man" Keith. Although the troubles caused by the grandparents detract from an otherwise profound family drama by adding too much tsuris to the mix. Still readers will relish The More You Ignore Me (The Closer I Get) as "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out" regardless of what happens to loved ones. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eloise18 More than 1 year ago
I do not want to give away any spoilers, but I was really disappointed throughout the book. It was odd, because it was a quick read and I looked forward to reading it - but I think it was because I kept hoping that it would get better. This book has all of the components that would make it a great story, but it falls short on so many levels. There were character's who popped up throughout the story without introduction, and then they were never mentioned again. I was expecting so much more from the Wildgoose clan. There was so much potential to develop them into the off-beat characters the introduction made them out to be. I was also extremely disappointed with the character of Gina. The author never really dug as deeply she could have with the relationship between Gina and Alice. This should have been a larger part of the novel. As Alice grows and matures throughout the novel it seems as if there are a lot of things the author skims over. I found myself re-reading various parts to see if I had missed something, realizing that it was never entirely explained. The relationship between Mark and Alice is odd too. It seems that the author is trying to indicate that he is gay and then one simple stopping at a gay pub is all it took to confirm that he is indeed straight. This is a bit ridiculous. Prior to that their first encounter on the couch seemed to be somewhat age appropriate, but the aftermath seems that it should have been much more traumatizing and played a much larger role in developing Alice and who she becomes. I was also disappointed by the ending of the book. It's as if Gina was an entirely different person and the idea that she would agree to the triple wedding is ridiculous. She's described throughout the book as a schizophrenic and the idea that she could have a wedding with her husband and daughter without making a scene is crazy. This is not a woman who seems to be able to make any rational decisions. The kindness she shows at the end doesn't make any sense in comparison to who she has been. Again, I'm just disappointed with the novel and in all regards I would not recommend this book to others. It was nothing at all like the synopsis read. It was a book that had so much potential, but yet lacked in so many key areas.