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A Sight for Sore Eyes: A Novel (Random House Large Print) [Großdruck] [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Ruth Rendell
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2. März 1999 Random House Large Print
A Sight for Sore Eyes tells three stories, and for the longest time, the reader has no inkling of how they will come together. The first is a story of a little girl who has been scolded and sent to her room when her mother is brutally murdered; as Francine grows up, she is haunted by the experience, and it is years before she even speaks. Secondly, we become privy to the life of a young man, Teddy, born of unthinking young parents, who grows up almost completely ignored. Free of societal mores, he becomes a sociopath, who eventually discovers that killing can be an effective way to get what he wants.  Thirdly, we meet Harriet, who from an early age has learned to use her beauty to make her way in the world. Bored by marriage to a wealthy, much older man, she scans the local newspapers for handymen to perform odd jobs around the house, including services in the bedroom.

When these three plots strands finally converge, the result is harrowing and unforgettable. A Sight for Sore Eyes is not just the work of a writer at the peak of her craft. It is an extraordinary story by a writer who, after 45 books, countless awards, and decades of international acclaim, is still getting better with every book.


  • Taschenbuch: 560 Seiten
  • Verlag: Random House Large Print; Auflage: Lrg (2. März 1999)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0375705732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375705731
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,3 x 15,6 x 3,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (36 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 3.372.976 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Nobody does North London squalor better than Ruth Rendell. Describing in vivid detail the cultural sewer in which a monster named Teddy Brex grows up, she uses hideous furniture, slovenly housekeeping habits, even his mother's diet while pregnant to root us in the setting's hopeless ugliness. In contrast, Rendell introduces people and places of stunning beauty: Francine, a mentally fragile girl who became mute after witnessing her mother's murder; and Orcadia Cottage, scene of a famous painting that is at the center of much of the story's anguish. "It was far and away the most beautiful place he had ever seen," Rendell writes when Teddy--a gifted woodcrafter--first views the cottage. "The proportions of this hall, this room... the windows, the walls, the carpets, the flowers, the furniture, the paintings, all of it dazzled him."

Teddy is another of Rendell's frightening moral cripples, a seemingly ordinary person capable of the vilest crimes. When he becomes obsessed with Francine after meeting her at art school, we know to expect murder--we just aren't sure when, or who will be the victim. Equally vile is Julia, Francine's stepmother, a psychologist of such immense and malevolent ineptness that we would swear she couldn't possibly exist if real life hadn't taught us otherwise. Other important characters are Harriet, a faded beauty who connects the past to the present; Teddy's uncle Keith, who first recognizes the boy's madness; and a bright red, lovingly restored Edsel, which becomes a hearse.

Like all of her books, Rendell's latest is really about the secret acts of insanity that occur behind closed doors. Among her best books available in paperback are From Doon with Death, A Guilty Thing Surprised, The Keys to the Street, and, from the excellent Inspector Wexford series, Kissing the Gunner's Daughter, Road Rage, and Simisola. --Dick Adler -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe .


Ruth Rendell is...

"The best mystery writer in the English-speaking world."

"A phenomenon."
--Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times Book Review

Winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award

A Sight For Sore Eyes is...

"Harrowing...a flawless piece of craftsmanship."
--The New York Times Book Review

--The Washington Post Book World

"Bold, imaginative...spare and unforgiving."
--The New York Times Book Review

"No one can match Rendell, chill for chill."
--Chicago Tribune

"Unequivocally, the most brilliant mystery novelist of our time."
--Patricia Cornwell

"One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation."

From the Paperback edition.

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Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
If your only know Ruth Rendell though TV versions of her twisted tales you have been cheated. The best part of her books is the interior mindscape of her characters - especially the criminal ones. The perfectly delicious A Sight for Sore Eyes gradually threads together three different stories, each with their own domestic horrors. A young girl who probably would have long since recovered from a childhood trauma if it wasn't for the 'help' of a failed child psychologist (unfortunately her stepmother), seeking freedom from her dull life. An emotionally vacant young man with a nasty secret in the boot of his car, seeking beauty for his drab world. A slightly raddled former rock groupie, with an elderly husband and a lovely house, seeking youth in the arms of young men. This author really knows how to twist a plot till it squirms, sqeals and shrieks. I way prefer this kind of Ruth Rendell creation to the slightly over-done Inspector Wexford series.
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Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Please Note: This "review" contains spoilers. First, a disclaimer. I didn't really read this book - I listened to its Recorded Books version, narrated by perhaps the best reader I've heard. Her assumption of the persona of each character purely by change in tone and inflection was astonishing; although Rendell's great talent is primarily responsible for drawing such complete and disturbing portraits of those who populated her novel, my view of it was shaded by the voice of another besides that of the author.
Perhaps only P.D. James rivals Rendell in the ability to use words to create atmosphere that draws the reader into so real a world one closes the book (or stops the tape, as it were), dazed as if emerging from a dark tunnel and needing some time to adjust one's eyes to the light. Upon finishing A Sight for Sore Eyes I did indeed feel dazed - and somewhat surprised to realize that I missed Teddy Brex! Like him - no, love him - no one could, not even Francine, in the end. But somehow Rendell managed to make him so real that when my life went on without him, it felt emptier with his absence. That's the true horror for me of this book - that I missed him when he was gone; in a way that neither Keith, nor Harriet, nor Julia were missed by anyone - not friends, not family, and certainly not the reader. To feel sorrow at the death of a fictional psychopath is the highest compliment to Rendell's artistry that could be paid.
Unfortunately for the power of the novel, I'm afraid Rendell got a bit too caught up in Teddy's spell, along with Francine's (a character I enjoyed rooting for in her battles with Julia yet whose story paled next to Teddy's in emotional impact).
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Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES is one of Ruth Rendell's better books in recent years. It follows a formula that has served the author well, most notably in THE TREE OF HANDS--a few individual plot strands that ultimately converge, bringing about chaos in the process.
First there's Teddy Brex, a handsome young man born almost devoid of natural emotion, an empty young man who has come to prize beautiful objects above humans. Then there's Francine Hill, a kind and beautiful young girl who suffers severe psychological trauma after being a witness to her mother's murder. Finally there's Harriet Oxenholme, a middle-aged fading beauty who tries to keep the illusion of youth alive by seducing workers that she hires to perform odd jobs about the house.
Rendell draws the characters gradually into each other's lives logically and with consummate skill. Her writing is deep and intimate as she explores the complex minds of her characters, and also marked by wry humor in the form of social observation. A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES has that definite page-turner quality, and it has style and elegance to spare. Unfortunately, it's also too long, and for length Rendell has sacrificed much of the electric suspense that made earlier triumphs like A JUDGEMENT IN STONE so memorable. Like her disappointing THE BRIDESMAID, A SIGHT FOR SORE EYES runs out of steam in the crucial final pages, which should (in a Rendell novel) be the best part. Nevertheless, the novel is still highly readable, still the work of a superior craftsman, and certainly superior to other fiction of its type. A fine read, but it won't keep you awake at night.
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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Not all of Rendell's novels are great. "Simisola" was very good and "Road Rage" was weak. "Sight for Sore Eyes" falls in between. It is a savage novel that casts a bright light on the dark recesses of some extremely pathological characters. Although Rendell is skilled at depicting such characters and her writing flows, the question remains: Do we want to know these people? She populates her novel with abusive parents, sociopathic men, and married couples who despise one another. This novels has more than its share of both physical and emotional brutality. I admire Rendell, but I find her point of view horrifying. What makes her so depressingly pessimistic about the human condition? Novel after novel, she seems to see the worst in people, almost as if she were writing a case study about psychotic characters. Her humor is sardonic and almost cruel. For instance, this novel has a stepmother named Julia who had been a "psychotherapist" of some sort, and she becomes psychotic herself. She binges on food, has paranoid fantasies, and behaves more and more bizarrely as the novel goes on. Instead of depicting this pathetic person with some measure of sympathy, Rendell makes her a darkly comic character. I fail to see humor in madness. Rendell is a great writer, but her view of humanity is a sad one, indeed.
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Die neuesten Kundenrezensionen
1.0 von 5 Sternen Die Welt ist böse, die Menschen schlecht ....
das ist die Aussage des Romans - und Ruth Rendell beweist es auf jeder Seite.

Es gibt nur Negatives von der ersten bis zur letzten Seite - versoffene, asoziale Eltern,... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 24. April 2011 von dieleseratz
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating novel
I enjoyed this book so much. It's definitely one of the best books I have ever read. She does an amazing job of showing what makes the characters tic. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 15. Juli 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen She's Done It Again
Rendell takes on the difficult task of trying to let the reader understand the workings of a cold, twisted, and almost inhuman mind--and she does it brilliantly. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 27. Juni 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen She's Done It Again
Rendell takes on the difficult task of trying to let the reader understand the workings of a cold, twisted, and almost inhuman mind--and she does it brilliantly. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2000 von "3mustapha3girl"
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent psychological thriller
This is a characteristic (meaning very high quality) novel of psychological suspense from Ruth Rendell. It reminds me in many ways of her "Keys to the Street. Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 6. Juni 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen Sight for Sore Eyes
I've read several of Ruth Rendell's books and this is probably my favorite. Her ability to describe unsavory characters--and to make the reader unwittingly root for them--is... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 30. Mai 2000 veröffentlicht
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Fun Complex Character Study
I have hardly been able to put this one down. Teddy Brex is a bizarre psycho and the web weaved by Ruth Rendell is suspensful and chilling. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2000 von Octochick
3.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointing
For any other author, this book might rate another star, but Ruth Rendell is fabulous and this book isn't. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2000 von S. Wheeler
2.0 von 5 Sternen Don't spend your money - check it out from the library
I've never read Ruth Rendell, but bought it because a)there were positive reviews from customers and b)it was 50% off. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 8. Februar 2000 von Audrey Brazier
2.0 von 5 Sternen Unsavory characters, inept psychology
I grow weary of Ms Rendell's inept psychology. She limns interesting situations but her understanding of human psychology (and in this case, the psychology of childhood trauma) so... Lesen Sie weiter...
Am 2. Dezember 1999 veröffentlicht
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