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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book - 2017
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"Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one"--
Publisher: New York :, Pamela Dorman Books/Viking,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780735220683
0735220689
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Eleanor isn't a very likable character in the beginning of the book. She has a particular way of doing things. But she grows on you, and by the end of the book you will love her and never forget her. - Jennifer

Highly recommended by Amanda, Shelly, and Jennifer

List - Reese's Book Club Picks
OWLibrary Sep 15, 2019

June ’17 “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman
“Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant is about the importance of friendship and human connection.” Highly recommended by Shelly, Amanda, and Jennifer!

Not only was this one recommended by an Open House attendee, it's also a favorite of several library staff!

Anyone who has ever felt hopelessly socially awkward will relate to Eleanor. - Ali


From the critics


Community Activity

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f
FlaquitaRD
Jun 22, 2021

I expected this book to be warm and humorous. It was neither. I thought I might stop reading after the first chapter, but stuck with it... and did not regret this decision. The story is unexpected, gripping and compelling. An unusual and enjoyable read.

a
audrianaloves
Jun 15, 2021

Unfortunately I could not connect with the main character making it very hard to finish the book. I have no idea why people say this is a comedy. To each their own, I guess!

LoganLib_Sheridan Jun 13, 2021

This book is hilarious but also interestingly deep. Gail makes some very interesting and hilarious observations about societal expectations. The contrast between Eleanor and Raymond or indeed any 'normal' person is quite comical.

Sometimes I the hilarity or Eleanor's own reaction can downplay different issues but then the others characters kind of make up for it, displaying what a serious issue it is. I do think it might limit the complexities or discussions around some issues though.

I'm also not entirely sure what message Gail is sending about customer service, maybe it's that they have to deal with somewhat ridiculous customers like Eleanor? Sometimes it didn't come off quite right.

I'm also not sure about Eleanor and Raymond as a couple. She may seem low maintenance because she's not into fashion or beauty but she has a lot of baggage in the form of trauma that could be very difficult to deal with. It will require someone is emotionally intelligent and available. Especially as Eleanor's own emotional intelligence is limited.

I do feel like he dealt with her depressive episode reasonably well though. I also like that he appreciates her however she chooses to present herself. He's not focused on looks but how she is as a person.

I loved how Eleanor's point of view showed that some societal expectations can be ridiculous but sometimes they can make us feel better connected with people and make us happier. The point is its up to you to do what makes you and the people you love happy.

Eleanor's emotional intelligence grows throughout the story. She is able to better understand herself and those around her. She has some new language to describe what happened to her and how she's feeling. She feels safer in opening up thanks to her new friends and support network.

Stéphanie_biblio May 28, 2021

Was not expecting to love this book, but I couldn't put this book down! Eleanor's narration of every interaction gives us a look into her personality, past and way of perceiving life. Loved the characters of Raymond and his mother. Can't wait to read Gail Honeyman's next book.

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ezucchini90
May 13, 2021

Loved this book. It is an easy, fun read that is insightful and at times hilarious, especially when social rituals usually taken for granted are seen through the lens of someone to whom they don’t come naturally. It deals with trauma in an emotionally intelligent way, while still being a feel-good book. I was sad when it ended.

t
Trager
May 13, 2021

It was a little slow to start but I found myself enjoying it more as the book progresses. Good read overall

s
SamaraM_0
May 07, 2021

I was stunned by the humor and sadness all playing into one. I cried at least twice. Great read!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Apr 21, 2021

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has seriously blown me away. The story follows our eccentric protagonist Eleanor who explores her mental health whilst coming to terms with a traumatic past. I really like how Eleanor’s character offers an incredibly new and unique perspective. I found myself to be truly immersed in her world and it was as if I could feel what she was feeling. This book talks about mental health in such a real and representative way. It is all too relatable and offers attainable strength and hope to those going through similar experiences. Anyone who has ever struggled with feeling lonely or different should definitely give this book a chance. All of my expectations for this novel were exceeded and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next. Rate 5/5 stars.
@LadyCatherinePinkerton of the Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

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gloria1330
Apr 03, 2021

I almost didn't finish this book. I completely agree with Maipenrai's comments. The repressed memories were interesting, but they unrolled too slowly & I was losing interest in unlikeable & annoying Eleanor. At least it ended better, so that saved the day.

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine was an oddly comforting book to read.

This book took me by surprise by how much I came to adore the slice-of-life style narrative of the story.

We got to slowly unravel Eleanor's traumatic past as she heals and learns to accept positive relationships in her life.

While there times I cringed at Eleanor's social behaviors, and her judgmental tendencies, the innocence behind her tendencies made me want to give her the biggest hugs. I also loved how Eleanor and Raymond's friendship bloomed slowly. It took it's time, and was patient and tender.

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Quotes

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VaughanPLDaniela Feb 02, 2021

"I suppose one of the reasons we're able to continue to exist for our allotted span in this green and blue vale of tears is that there is always, however remote it might seem, the possibility of change." (182)

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libraryvol
Dec 03, 2020

page 265 "... how to select appropriate (reading) material... The covers are of very little help, because they always say only good things, and I've found out to my cost that they're rarely accurate."

example being this book said "funny" and looking for a light-hearted read after 10 months of covid19 and this book is not funny. Reese Witherspoon, Jojo Moyes, reviewer at People, and others have a sick, vindictive sense of humor if this book is funny.

l
libraryvol
Dec 03, 2020

page 225 "What, I wondered, was the point of me? I contributed nothing to the world, absolutely nothing, and I took nothing from it either. When I cease to exist, it would make no material difference to anyone." "Most people's absence from the world would be felt on a personal level by at least a handful of people. I, however, had no one." ... "I do not feel sorry for myself, not in the least. These are simply statements of fact." "I have been waiting for death all my life. I do not mean that I actually wish to die, just that I do not really want to be alive." Precedes Eleanor's suicide attempt.

l
libraryvol
Dec 03, 2020

page 220 "I had convinced myself that he was the one, that he would help to make me normal, fix things that were wrong with my life. Someone to help me deal with Mommy, block out her voice when she whispered in my ear, telling me I was bad, I was wrong, I wasn't good enough. Why has I thought that?" Eleanor when she realizes that the musician was just a juvenile crush and a romance with him would never happen.

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libraryvol
Dec 03, 2020

page 134 "Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there's something very liberating about it; once your realize that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself. That's the thing: it's best just to take care of yourself. You can't protect other people, however hard you try. You try, and you fail, and your world collapses around you, burns sown to ashes." Eleanor's thoughts when Raymond wants to meet before going to Laura's house.

f
finfry
Oct 29, 2018

pg 300 .... was wearing a strange, oversized woolen hat that I hadn't seen before. It looked like the kind of hat that a German goblin might wear in an illustration from a nineteenth-century fairy tale, possibly one about a baker who was unkind to children and got his comeuppance via an elfin horde, ......

c
cknightkc
Dec 10, 2017

“There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock. The threads tighten slightly from Monday to Friday.”

c
cknightkc
Dec 10, 2017

“All the studies show that people tend to take a partner who is roughly as attractive as they are; like attracts like, that is the norm.”

b
behere
Nov 27, 2017

p 134: Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there's something very liberating about it; once you realize that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself.

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

These days, lonliness is the new cancer -- a shameful, embarassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way.

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dstradling
Jan 11, 2021

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Mya614
Oct 15, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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SPL_Brittany Nov 05, 2017

Meet Eleanor Oliphant. A socially awkward 29-year old who works in the finance department as a clerk in a small graphics firm in Scotland. She is literal to a fault and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. She is completely unfazed by office gossip, and takes comfort in avoiding social interactions. Eleanor lives alone and spends her weekends eating frozen pizza, drinking vodka and making calls to Mummy. According to Eleanor, she is completely fine, thank you very much!

Except maybe she isn’t.

Everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond the new IT guy. Together they come to the aid of Sammy – an older man who they witness collapse in the street. The three become friends who rescue one another from the isolation each of them has been living. With the help of the two men, Eleanor begins to experience her world for the first time with a fresh perspective, and she slowly begins to come out of her shell as they help her to confront the terrible secrets of her past that she has fastidiously kept hidden away.

Debut author Gail Honeyman writes a heartwarming, funny and poignant novel that despite its light-hearted tone does not shy away from its more serious issues. It is a story written with depth, originality and well-developed characters. Readers will enjoy getting to know and rooting for Eleanor, as she navigates a world that was once familiar to her, which has become entirely new. This novel is perfect for those who’ve previously enjoyed titles such as “The Rosie Project” and “A Man Called Ove”.

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