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Lauren Collinsince the book is structured as a monologue, its success also rests on the convincing eccentricity of Ellen's speech. There are still times when her language can charm and surprise. "If startling jolts and frenzy could be eliminated, I could almost be comfortable, the way people with reptile phobias must feel more relaxed living in Ireland," she says at one point, with an offhandedness that's nicely disarming. Too often, though, Gibbons plays up Ellen's naïveté, giving little hint that she's been much changed by her increasing interaction with the world outside her own head.
— The New York Times