Rules of Engagement: a short story

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Elizabeth, prudent and introspective, values social propriety. Betsy, raised by a spinster aunt, is open, trusting, and desperate for affection. After growing up and going their separate ways, the two women reconnect later in life.

Rules of Engagement S01E07 - Jeff's Wooby

Elizabeth has married kind but tedious Digby, while Betsy is still searching for l Elizabeth and Betsy had been school friends in s London. Elizabeth has married kind but tedious Digby, while Betsy is still searching for love and belonging. In this deeply perceptive story, Anita Brookner brilliantly charts the resilience of a friendship tested by alienation and by jealousy over a man who seems to offer the promise of escape. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 8th by Vintage first published December 30th More Details Original Title.

Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Rules of Engagement , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Rules of Engagement. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters.

The Rules of Engagement in English

Sort order. Sep 10, Snotchocheez rated it did not like it. I'd like to give Ms. Brookner, whose rather expansive body of work has heretofore flown under my radar, the benefit of the doubt. I'm hoping that my first encounter with her work "The Rules of Engagement", her 22nd novel was a flukey bad choice, and that everything else she's written is deserving of the accolades heaped upon her. From my limited perspective, however, I'm not terribly optimistic that this pseudoth century poseur of a novel isn't indeed representative of the whole.

After re I'd like to give Ms. After reading this, arguably the dullest novel i've read this year, I'm sure not eager to find out. Much of my problem with the book is with its style: it tries to convey the gravity and importance of classic literature of the nineteenth century although set primarily between the late s through the early s but lacks the substance e.

It drowns in a sea of monotonous exact, exactingly syntacted prose, most of which provided by its main character, an insufferably slight, completely unsympathetic woman named Elizabeth, who lives in London. She attempts to compare and contrast her life with that of her childhood friend also named Elizabeth, but calls herself Betsy , particularly after their school days when they embark upon their adult lives. We can infer from the monologues of Elizabeth the narrator that she is unsatisfied with her marriage to a man 27 years her senior and, predictably, skeezes around with another married man.

The other Elizabeth, her friend Betsy, ends up skeezing with him, too, after the first Elizabeth ends the affair subsequent to a tragic circumstance. Consider our Elizabeth, who gives us really no indication whatsoever in her limited, rather vapid conversations with the other characters in the book, would have the intellectual wherewithal to toss around 50 cent words like "suzerainty", "mephitic", "concatenation", "clandestinity", "anodyne" too many times to count Brookner's favorite word , and "animadverting" just to name six words at random.

We're supposed to buy that this woman conveys coherent thoughts using words such as these, when she she can barely elevate a dialogue with her fellow characters beyond two-word call-and-response. Uh-uh; I don't buy it for a second. It only conveys to me that Ms. Brookner wrote this with haughty affectation and aim to emulating other far superior works rather than working on imbuing her characters with some semblance of empathetic, human qualities the reader could relate to.

Everything the narrator bothers to convey to us rings either false or irrelevant. Tack on a superfluously maudlin ending, and you've got yourself a page complete waste of the readers' time. View all 3 comments.

Creating Catchy Blog Content – 10 Rules of Engagement

Jun 16, Clarissa rated it it was ok. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My second Anita Brookner novel also read Hotel du Lac several years ago. I don't know if there will be a third. Maybe I consider myself too cerebral, so I want the books I read to be an escape from th My second Anita Brookner novel also read Hotel du Lac several years ago. Maybe I consider myself too cerebral, so I want the books I read to be an escape from this quality. No doubt Brookner is a skilled writer: the caliber of her writing was never in question.

Main characters Elizabeth and Betsy were two women born slightly too soon as Elizabeth notes to eschew traditional roles and fully engage in the women's movement, and in women's relatively new sense of independence in the s. I appreciated Brookner's exploration of this group of women "caught in between. The final chapters of the novel, dealing with the events around Betsy's death which comes as no surprise and is not a device of plot, as Brookner references it in the beginning of the book , were difficult to read, in their acute portrayal of loneliness and of considering one's own mortality.

These keen and harshly truthful passages were for me the most poignant in the book. Throughout the novel, however, harsh truths and bleak observations were not tempered with with warmth or affection, ruminations were not counteracted with action or sensory description, and this is what, ultimately, made the novel off-putting for me. Dec 13, Monica rated it did not like it Shelves: beletristica , english , bs. Bad, bad, bad. Not to mention Digby's end which was criminally stupid. I regret the time lost with this book and the fact that I remember it after more than five months.


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  • May 28, Jane Gregg rated it really liked it. Ah, what it is to have been born too soon. You get to witness all the benefits and bonuses you long for being enjoyed by the generation that comes after your own, but you don't get to experience any of them first hand. This is the story of two friends, both born too soon. It is not a happy novel but, as per Anita Brookner, it is beautifully told. For the remote and lonely.

    Jan 01, Petra rated it really liked it.

    RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

    Sep 28, Katherine Pederson rated it liked it. From my archives - Well written! Nov 15, Christopher Roth rated it it was amazing. Well, all Anita Brookner is good. But this one ended on a particularly depressing note.

    It wouldn't do to read two Anita Brookners in a row. Feb 28, Carmen Lau rated it liked it. I've only read one other novel by Anita Brookner -- Leaving Home, years ago -- and I remember being horrified by how perceptive she is regarding solitary female lives. It was as if someone had opened me up and taken stock, coldly. The Rules of Engagement is not so different from Leaving Home, and from reading other reviews I suspect that most of her other novels are similar. I don't see that as a bad thing, necessarily, because I found both novels enjoyable. From what I can tell, Brookner's great I've only read one other novel by Anita Brookner -- Leaving Home, years ago -- and I remember being horrified by how perceptive she is regarding solitary female lives.

    From what I can tell, Brookner's greatest gift is her insight into the subtle, almost imperceptible vagaries of human emotion and social interaction.

    Rules of Engagement (The WMD Files, #3) by David Bruns

    She catalogues these with dry, cerebral detachment. I find these observations enjoyable to read, but I can see how those with a different temperament might find her "boring" or "depressing. For a certain kind of reader, Brookner can be downright fun. The main objection I have to The Rules of Engagement is that it could have been great, when it's merely good. With more development, more time with the characters, more Brookner has all this wisdom, all this insight, but this book reads more like an extended New Yorker short story.