Notes on a Scandal

Notes on a Scandal❴Epub❵ ➟ Notes on a Scandal Author Zoë Heller – Heartforum.co.uk Film tie in edition of Zo Heller s darkly compelling Booker shortlisted novel The film of Notes on a Scandal received four Oscar nominations and stars Cate Blanchett and Judi DenchFrom the first day t Film tie in edition of Zo Heller s darkly compelling Booker shortlisted novel The film of Notes on a Scandal received four Oscar nominations and stars Cate Blanchett and Judi DenchFrom the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George s history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit Barbara s loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba s chief defender But all Notes on Epub / is not as it first seems in this dark story and, as Sheba will soon discover, a friend can be just as treacherous as any lover Brilliant, nasty, gripping Zadie Smith Compelling, dark, sexy ObserverSuperbly gripping One of the most compelling books I ve read in ages Daily Telegraph Deliciously sinister Daily MailZo Heller is the author of three novels, Everything You Know, Notes on a Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize inand The Believers Thefilm adaptation of Notes on a Scandal, starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, received four Oscar nominations She lives in New York.

Zoe Heller was born in London in and educated at Oxford University and Columbia University, New York She is a journalist who, after writing book reviews for various newspapers, became a feature writer for The Independent She wrote a weekly confessional column for the Sunday Times for four years, but now writes for the Daily Telegraph and earned the title Columnist of the Year in She is the author of three novels Everything You Know , a dark comedy about misanthropic writer Willy Miller, Notes on a Scandal which tells Notes on Epub / the story of an affair between a high school teacher and her student through the eyes of the teacher s supposed friend, Barbara Covett and her latest The Believers Zoe Heller lives in New York.

Notes on a Scandal Epub â Notes on  Epub /
    Import EPUB to the Program Import EPUB be just as treacherous as any lover Brilliant, nasty, gripping Zadie Smith Compelling, dark, sexy ObserverSuperbly gripping One of the most compelling books I ve read in ages Daily Telegraph Deliciously sinister Daily MailZo Heller is the author of three novels, Everything You Know, Notes on a Scandal, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize inand The Believers Thefilm adaptation of Notes on a Scandal, starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, received four Oscar nominations She lives in New York."/>
  • Paperback
  • 244 pages
  • Notes on a Scandal
  • Zoë Heller
  • English
  • 17 January 2017
  • 0141029064

10 thoughts on “Notes on a Scandal

  1. Nico says:

    An unforgiving, cold eyed, wickedly beautiful little book A warning if you have ever been crushingly lonely particularly if you have, on occasion, feebly attempted to rationalize that loneliness as a burden of your superior and isolating intelligence then I suspect that you, like me, will feel personally filleted by certain passages in this book.Here s an example of Heller s brutally precise understanding of this manner of loneliness what strikes me in this passage is how elegantly, how An unforgiving, cold eyed, wickedly beautiful little book A warning if you have ever been crushingly lonely particularly if you have, on occasion, feebly attempted to rationalize that loneliness as a burden of your superior and isolating intelligence then I suspect that you, like me, will feel personally filleted by certain passages in this book.Here s an example of Heller s brutally precise understanding of this manner of loneliness what strikes me in this passage is how elegantly, how unsentimentally Heller limns Barbara Covett s outcast state It s always a disappointing business confronting my own reflection My body isn t bad It s a perfectly nice, serviceable body It s just that the external me does so little credit to the stuff that s inside I always wonder, what must it be like to have a beautiful body A body you don t want to escape Several years ago, I saw a woman dancing on the bar in a little bistro in Montmartre She was very pretty and very, very young All the men in the place were dribbling slightly It was a silly thing really, but for just a moment, as I watched them watch her, I remember feeling that I would give anything be stupid, be impoverished, be fatally ill to have a little of her sort of power I stopped crying then, got down from the chair and made a cup of tea Slowly I grew calm The grace of this passage the way Heller has Barbara casually mention her weeping in passing and she doesn t return to it made me gnash my teeth with envy Which is perhaps my highest form of praise

  2. Robin says:

    Move over Stephen King, now this is scary shit.I ll admit, it s frightening that Sheba, a grown woman with children, can abandon her senses to the point of having a sexual affair with her 15 year old student, putting her whole privileged life at risk The consequences of such a scandalous relationship bring nothing short of disaster for Sheba s family, her career, her reputation Even when the reader can see these consequences advancing as though in slow motion, we shield our eyes from the impen Move over Stephen King, now this is scary shit.I ll admit, it s frightening that Sheba, a grown woman with children, can abandon her senses to the point of having a sexual affair with her 15 year old student, putting her whole privileged life at risk The consequences of such a scandalous relationship bring nothing short of disaster for Sheba s family, her career, her reputation Even when the reader can see these consequences advancing as though in slow motion, we shield our eyes from the impending doom.But what really filled me with horror is Barbara, the prim, perfectly respectable older woman in the shadows, taking notes and keeping score She lives alone, with no one but an ageing cat to care if she is dead or alive Her painful, brutal aloneness drives her in perpetual need to be seen, to rank, to prove she exists It s what turns her into a sinister succubus for attention, and, ironically, is what sets her apart from everyone around her.Before you go and feel sorry for her, imagine this emotional vampire, insidious as invisible ink, inveigles her way into a position of trust, wielding her power in order to satisfy her greedy, endlessly deprived appetite for validation A secret agenda colours her every action She s the penny that keeps turning up The smell that won t go away She s there every time you turn around, offering help and friendship She hasn t forgotten about you, especially the secrets you told her in moments of wrongly placed trust This control freak stops at nothing to find a place to belong, even if this place is stolen, at great price to you Her victimhood is long, her claws very, very sharp.All this leads one to a chicken egg type of question Lonely because she s so toxic, or toxic because she s so lonely This brilliant story touches on many topics, including class, monogamy, and repressed sapphic desires It is also good fodder for conversation regarding the double standard of an adult woman in a sexual relationship with a boy, versus a man in such a relationship with a girl But it seems to me that above all, this book is about Barbara and the albatross of sick, festering loneliness she carries around Beware anyone who is kind or naive enough to allow her into their life Zoe Heller has written a compelling story which is speckled with humour amid the dark, secretive caverns of its disturbing main character I d love to read her again

  3. Judith says:

    4.5 Stars.This is so good Passion,Jealousy,Loneliness,Friendship,Forbidden relationship,Manipulation,And brilliant story telling.I watched the film years ago and the book is even betterI m not sure I could categorize what this is People always want to boil these things down, don t they I want to recapture my lost youth He wants experience I m forcing him into it He s forcing me into it He feels sorry for me I feel sorry for him But it s never that simple, is itOne woman 4.5 Stars.This is so good Passion,Jealousy,Loneliness,Friendship,Forbidden relationship,Manipulation,And brilliant story telling.I watched the film years ago and the book is even betterI m not sure I could categorize what this is People always want to boil these things down, don t they I want to recapture my lost youth He wants experience I m forcing him into it He s forcing me into it He feels sorry for me I feel sorry for him But it s never that simple, is itOne woman s secret,Is another woman s power.https m.youtube.com watch v yqHyge7The synopsis might lead towards a forbidden love affair and that does happen but the story really is about Barbara..Barbara is in her sixties,a history teacher.Never married,no children.She s about to develop a rather unhealthy fixation on a fellow teacherSheba is seemingly happily married,she s concentrated on raising her family but when she starts to feel desired again,she s powerless to resist and embarks on an affair with a 15yr old pupil.Barbara watches,and she waits,and she getsandinfuriated as she thinks Sheba is not valuing their friendship.Was her fixation sexual Other reviews have hinted at her being a Lesbian and the film definitely goes slightly in that direction but this book doesn t really explore her sexuality..it sof an obsession.She wants Sheba to only rely on herI loved this story.There s nothing I likethan a forbidden relationship and it s consequences and this one is extremely well done..My only negative was the end was ridiculously abrupt

  4. Cecily says:

    In the US, this was published as What Was She Thinking , with Notes on a Scandal in brackets, as a subtitle Having just read Lolita see my review HERE , I thought it would be interesting to read amodern take on such a difficult subject, albeit with sexes reversed It s the story of Sheba, a married middle class middle aged pottery teacher who has an affair with a 15 year old pupil It is told by Barbara, a sixty ish spinster who teaches in the same school, in a voice that could eas In the US, this was published as What Was She Thinking , with Notes on a Scandal in brackets, as a subtitle Having just read Lolita see my review HERE , I thought it would be interesting to read amodern take on such a difficult subject, albeit with sexes reversed It s the story of Sheba, a married middle class middle aged pottery teacher who has an affair with a 15 year old pupil It is told by Barbara, a sixty ish spinster who teaches in the same school, in a voice that could easily have been written by Alan Bennett except that she s far nastier than any protagonist of his Innocence and NotUnlike Humbert in Lolita, there is no premeditation on the part of the Sheba instead she succumbs through weakness not that that s a justification and excitement In many ways she is the most childlike character, having married very young and been babied to some extent ever since, first by her husband andrecently by the manipulative Barbara Although Steven is a victim, he is also predatory sexually assertive like Lolita , and Sheba is prey to both him and Barbara described as a succubus, by Sheba s husband The fact that Sheba started going out with her husband when he was her lecturer perhaps makes her feel it s not crossing such a big boundary for her to sleep with Steven.Compared with Lolita and othersLolita was a child, a victim of rape as well as psychological abuse Stephen, too They are unquestionably victims of abuse by adults It s precisely because they are not passive, not conventionally pure or innocent, that these are troubling and intriguing books Both children are allegedly sexually experienced possibly from abuse by other adults before they meet the protagonists of these stories, and both apparently seek out and try to seduce their abusers That absolutely does not justify the adults succumbing to that, but it does create a complex and twisted scenario for readers to judge And we never get either story from the child s point of view Having a male victim of an older woman also changes the dynamic See also John Banville s Ancient Light my review is HERE , in which an aging man fondly remembers a teenage fling with a friend s mother.For another slant of the young girl older man, there s Marguerite Duras autobiographical The Lover, set in 1929 Vietnam, which I reviewed HERE.Amanda s comment, highlighting toxic female friendship made me realise this links intriguingly to Atwood s brilliant Cat s Eye, which I reviewed HERE.Who is the Power Although the headline relationship is between Sheba and Steven, it is arguably that of Barbara and Sheba that istwisted and exploitative Barbara thinks she is lonely and that Sheba is insensitive to that, but Sheba is at least as lonely in a different way, and not as self centred Barbara wheedles her way into Sheba s life, with clear, but implicit Sapphic undertones, and loves the reflected glory of being friends with an attractive family She subsequently relishes her disgust and revels in the power of secrets Even when the story breaks in the press, Barbara still gets a vicarious kick out of the scandal and her place in it.Overall, a fascinating book, with lots to think about

  5. Lucie says:

    GLORIOUS FUN What Was She Thinking earned a very well deserved Man Booker Prize nomination in 2003.This story is so muchthan the surface scandal of the teacher and the student, which really just provides the backdrop.Written in diary form, the story teller a friend of the teacher s is retelling the events of the past months, leading up to the present day ending.The diary writer is a delicious character to unravel You love her, you feel for her, yet at times she creeps you out Are h GLORIOUS FUN What Was She Thinking earned a very well deserved Man Booker Prize nomination in 2003.This story is so muchthan the surface scandal of the teacher and the student, which really just provides the backdrop.Written in diary form, the story teller a friend of the teacher s is retelling the events of the past months, leading up to the present day ending.The diary writer is a delicious character to unravel You love her, you feel for her, yet at times she creeps you out Are her reactions to the events in the story typical and human Or is she perhaps leaning a little bit psychopathic She s a real trip.This book is full of so many right on point observations about people and life, so perfectly said, you wonder why you never thought to describe them that way yourself.This was just so much fun to read, so hard to put down The last sentence actually gave me chills I completely did not see it coming, and it was fantastic

  6. Petra-X says:

    Wonderfully written, brilliantly drawn characters who each vie for the title of most detestable person in the book as they live through a most despicable situation of a middle aged teacher having an affair with a young pupil and the Machiavellian machinations of an older, bitter teacher who is a repressed lesbian I would imagine it translated better into a film, especially given the stellar cast of Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, than it read as a book.Fantastic writing but somehow the story d Wonderfully written, brilliantly drawn characters who each vie for the title of most detestable person in the book as they live through a most despicable situation of a middle aged teacher having an affair with a young pupil and the Machiavellian machinations of an older, bitter teacher who is a repressed lesbian I would imagine it translated better into a film, especially given the stellar cast of Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, than it read as a book.Fantastic writing but somehow the story didn t quite do it for me 3.5 stars rounded down because if you don t like anyone at all in a book, there is very little emotional involvement and that makes a book, a novel, just ok

  7. Magdalena says:

    Taut, cleverly written and gripping, Notes On A Scandal is a thought provoking and disturbing book Dealing with an illicit affair between a teacher and a student, the book is a great study of human nature Heller wrote complex and intriguing characters, not at all likeable but still somewhat compelling Notes On A Scandal is an addictive and chilling read and I highly recommend it.

  8. F says:

    I actually enjoyed this a lotthan i thought i would.Interesting being told from Barbara s point of view But i really hated Barbara.

  9. Nandakishore Varma says:

    Notes on a Scandal is an extremely sordid story, narrated by a totally unlikeable and unreliable narrator dealing with an illicit sexual affair between a frustrated middle aged schoolteacher and a disadvantaged teenage student with learning difficulties Almost all of the dramatis personae are despicable and there is not a single ray of hope in the whole sorry episode That it makes a gripping read speaks volumes for Zoe Heller s mastery of the written medium.Barbara Covett is a middle aged Notes on a Scandal is an extremely sordid story, narrated by a totally unlikeable and unreliable narrator dealing with an illicit sexual affair between a frustrated middle aged schoolteacher and a disadvantaged teenage student with learning difficulties Almost all of the dramatis personae are despicable and there is not a single ray of hope in the whole sorry episode That it makes a gripping read speaks volumes for Zoe Heller s mastery of the written medium.Barbara Covett is a middle aged spinster, a history teacher at St George s School in Archway, North London The school is a sort of catchment area for disadvantaged students who cannot affordposh schools and as such, it is not the ideal temple of learning Into this school comes the new pottery teacher, the naive and sexy Bathsheba or Sheba Hart Barbara is initially attracted to her, but she keeps herself aloof until one day she helps her control a pack of unruly students, something which Sheba has no flair for Their friendship grows, when Sheba confides in Barbara about her affair with Steven Connolly Barbara is aghast and advises her against it but Sheba cannot stop, and the affair moves to its logical conclusion the teacher in the dock for molesting an underage student.The narrative starts from this point Sheba has already been arrested and is out on bail Thrown out of her house by Richard, her self righteous prick of a husband, she and Barbara are staying for the time being in the house of Eddie, Sheba s brother Barbara is writing down an account of the affair, which we, the readers, are perusing.Barbara outs herself immediately as a stuck up and frustrated prig, with possible homosexual impulses which have not been acknowledged Ms Heller has done wonders with her voice She has low opinions of almost all her co workers, as well as an extremely low one of the headmaster Pabblem however, even when her prejudices are there for all to see, we sense a certain perceptive honesty in her a person having no illusions of herself or the world, she can go past the beautiful mask and see the ugly visage underneath Looking through her grey tinted glasses, we see people at their worst Sheba, naive but having no sense of propriety beyond immediate sensual gratification Richard, ostensibly the intellectual but actually an ineffective gas bag Polly, Sheba s daughter, the rebellious teenager who is a manipulative child devil I could go on and on The only character sympathetically treated is Ben, Sheba s son with Down s Syndrome.The memoir is a strange mix Barbara talks about her own activities in the first person however, there are parts where she narrates Sheba s adventures from the third person point of view The question immediately arises how she could have known what transpired exactly the answer is that she doesn t She is writing from her imagination And since from the beginning of the memoir, we are aware of Barbara s feelings for Sheba for example her illogical jealousy about her friendship with Sue, the music teacher , it is a foregone conclusion that the affair would be described only in the most lurid terms The author, here, practically asks us to distrust her mouthpiece But then, we are shown the stark honesty of Barbara about her personal feelings and her strange vulnerability behind the facade of the iron lady At some point of time in the story, we find ourselves identifying, at least partially, with this tragic product of the hypocritical British middle class And then, everything becomes shades of grey rather than black and white as human life is.In this tale of sex and sleaze within the walls of a London school, Zoe Heller has managed to create a drama which makes us question the very basis of our moral standards

  10. Samadrita says:

    Notes on a Scandal is a multi layered story While keeping up with the pretense of titillating readers with the lurid details of a much older woman s romance with an adolescent boy, it skilfully but subtly exposes the hypocrisy practiced by each one of its characters How each one of them remained so painfully aware of Sheba s perversions while being stubbornly dismissive of their own Zoe Heller also forces us to rethink what we consider moral and immoral and ask ourselves whether we can really Notes on a Scandal is a multi layered story While keeping up with the pretense of titillating readers with the lurid details of a much older woman s romance with an adolescent boy, it skilfully but subtly exposes the hypocrisy practiced by each one of its characters How each one of them remained so painfully aware of Sheba s perversions while being stubbornly dismissive of their own Zoe Heller also forces us to rethink what we consider moral and immoral and ask ourselves whether we can really patronize Sheba Hart for what she did.At the heart of the story is a theme of social deviance but there s also a tender love story at its core, albeit entirely one sided.The story of the scandal is narrated from Barbara s point of view who scribbles down whatever she feels about Sheba and her life in her notes while occasionally giving the reader a glimpse into her own sad little existence Although she may come off as a woman with slightly sociopathic tendencies, keeping tabs on Sheba and meddling with almost every aspect of her life right from the time of their first meeting, one also feels for the profound loneliness she suffers from She takes pleasure in watching Sheba s picture perfect family life crumble bit by bit while she waits on the sidelines for a time to arrive when only she will remain by her side While Sheba subconsciously dissatisfied with the way her life has turned out to be gets sucked deeper into the madness brought forth by her own deviance, Barbara observes silently and patiently Till the time all hell breaks loose and both women somewhat cut off from the mainstream of society find a safe haven in each other s company.A very significant question raised by the author in this book is whether the supposed victims could sometimes be the culprits themselves Whether a minor or a teenager can really be capable of manipulating an adult and bend him her to their own will Not that this is an attempt at absolving Sheba of her actions but it s a question worth pondering To sum it up, this is a twisted and complicated tale revolving around relationships which cannot be labelled and the notions of culpability and hence right up my alley No this does not mean I m twisted okay maybe a little but merely that I love a good conundrum

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