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The Bus on Thursday

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  333 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist in this wickedly funny, dark novel about one woman’s post-cancer retreat to a remote Australian town and the horrors awaiting her
It wasn’t just the bad breakup that turned Eleanor Mellett’s life upside down. It was the cancer. And all the demons that came with it.

One day she felt a bit of a bump when she was scratching her armpit at work. T
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by MCD/Fsg Originals/Farrar Straus and Giroux
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If you are looking for a crazy and bonkers read, this piece of weird fiction by Aussie Shirley Barrett might just be for you. There are elements of romance and comic humour, infused with a large dollop of horror, think Bridget Jones crossed with The Shining. Eleanor Mellet has broken up with Josh, her long term boyfriend because he didn't want children, when she discovers she has an aggressive form of breast cancer that throws her life off the rails. Eleanor is snarky, sweary and surly, as her c ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I found it really difficult to get into this book. I did not find it humorous and the bad language put me off. I found the main character unlikeable.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Little Brown Book UK for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
I have never read a humor-horror novel that has entertained me as much as The Bus on Thursday ! Eleanor Mellett lives near Sydney, Australia and is an elementary school teacher. Three months after her break up from her long-term boyfriend, Josh, Eleanor finds a lump by her armpit. After Eleanor gets the bump checked out, she is told that she has breast cancer and it must be removed. Healing from her surgery, Eleanor has found herself in a deepressed, lonely, and desperate. After she gets an imp ...more
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bus on Thursday is the second novel by prize-winning Australian screenwriter, director and author, Shirley Barrett. It starts with a lump in her armpit, and before Eleanor Mellett knows it, she’s had a mastectomy (thank you, George Clooney look-alike), has a fake breast (without nipple, so far), is jobless, fiancé-less and living with mum. She’s on hormones for the cancer and anti-depressants (who wouldn’t be?!), and has given up the breast cancer support group as a bad joke.

When Miss Barke
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not everyone will love this but I have cackled, gasped and been really moved by this disturbing yet poignant horror with heart. So different from her debut but just as bloody good.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I want to say this up front - the back of The Bus on Thursday describes this book as Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist. Just know going in that it's heavier on the Bridget Jones & lighter on The Exorcist (actually, I didn't really see much of The Exorcist at all). At first, I didn't really consider The Bus on Thursday to be a horror novel even though that's what it's being marketed as. After discussion with my review group, I noticed a few more things that I hadn't really thought about before ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was provided by the publisher to the Night Worms reading group in exchange for an honest review.

This book! Two of the Night Worms finished it before me, and said to let them know if anyone else finished soon because they NEEDED to talk about it. So I stayed up until about midnight finishing it, and then I needed to talk about it too. So we do. Because that ending! And we finally decided we still don't really quite know what happened.

This is one of the strangest books (in the best way)
Cody | codysbookshelf
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to FSG Originals for providing the Night Worms free copies of this book, in exchange for honest reviews. This is mine.

The Bus on Thursday is a strange and quirky and invigorating read about a scattered young teacher recovering from breast cancer. She gets a job at a small school in the Australian mountains, and she moves to the tiny town where things are strange and darkly funny occurrences happen.

I quite enjoyed this book, more than I expected to. The blog format made for quick, snappy r
Barb (Boxermommyreads)
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I will be honest and admit that this is a hard book for me to review. On one hand, I loved it. The main character, Eleanor, is snarky and sarcastic and since the book is told from first-person blog form, the reader gets plenty of her attitude. On the other hand though, it kind of has am ambiguous tone to it. Is all the crazy stuff really happening or is Eleanor slowly falling off her rocker?

Shortly after being dumped by her boyfriend of four years, Eleanor learns she has breast cancer. After ove
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you FSG Originals for providing free copies to the Night Worms in exchange for honest reviews.

While I dont think I'd classify The Bus on Thursday as horror/thriller I am so glad this book found its way to me. It was HILARIOUS in a dark way. I actually laughed out loud multiple times and that's rare for me. Beneath the humor though I found this book to pull at my heartstrings. Eleanor was likeable albeit over the top and dramatic but that's what I like!! The ending left me a bit confused b
Bert Zee
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The testimonial screaming at you from the front cover, “get ready to laugh as goosebumps rise” is so perfect.

I don’t know if I’ve ever really read a book that combines horror and humour so well, it’s so damn clever. There were times I was laughing out loud and then others where I felt unsettled and uneasy because I knew something scary was about to happen, this is some exceptional writing right here, this is how you write a horror/comedy novel.

Loved it. Didn’t want it to end. One of my favs of t
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Eleanor moves to a very small town to teach, after completing breast cancer treatments. I really liked the first part of this book, but then the last third or so was just weird. I guess I didn't realize it was supposed to be a sort of horror story. It's one that ends in a way that you are never sure what really happened. Is Eleanor crazy? Is everyone else evil? Did anything really happen? Maybe Eleanor is actually dead? Etc. I don't like books that end on a question mark. It's cheating. If you w ...more
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a horror novel - the horror being cancer.

there was an atmosphere to this book that feels difficult and almost comical to describe, like every time i opened it there was a buzzing in my ears. this book is clearly about the nightmare of cancer. so many things dinning: our protagonist relocates after a stunning cancer diagnosis. the author, shirley barrett, was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly following her book's publication. my maternal grandmother, shirley abbott, passed away in her
Patty Smith
Thank you to Netgalley, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Shirley Barrett for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own and 100% independent of receiving an advanced copy.

Wow! What did I just read?? I had no idea that I would love this genre as much as I did. I had no idea there was this genre. It’s a combination of horror, dark comedy and humour. It was irreverent, imaginative, off-kilter and creepy. It was thoroughly enjoyable.

The story begins as Eleanor finds a lump under h
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the form of blog posts, The Bus on Thursday is, forgive the pun, quite a ride.

It's one of those books that makes you constantly doubt yourself as you read it and it's the first book about cancer that I can honestly say I found to be hilarious.

Despite thoroughly enjoying the book, I'm sitting here trying to write this and wondering what I actually just read.
Was this a book set in a haunted town?
Was Eleanor dead the whole time?
Was she hallucinating?
Was it all a dream while under anesthe
Rachel Smalter Hall
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is campy, quirky horror, which isn't my typical jam, but I thought it was really well done. The author is an Australian screenwriter, and I've noticed that I often like novels by screenwriters (Exhibit A: Where'd You Go, Bernadette). The pacing is great, it's not overwritten, and it's genuinely hilarious.

Eleanor is already coming unhinged when she finds out she has breast cancer in her early 30s. After treatment, she ends up in a remote village where things take a turn for the slightly sup
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I found it made me uncomfortable at times with its black humor and its weird storyline. Certain scenes evoked laughter or repulsion, sometimes both at the same time.

Eleanor has broken up with her boyfriend, Josh, after he informed her that he doesn’t want children. Eleanor discovers she has an aggressive type of breast cancer and the outcome is a mastectomy. She is shattered, especially as her friends are far from supportive, she is devastate
Jodie- Readthewriteact
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.

I don't understand. Honestly I have no idea what has happened in this book. I need someone to give me a detailed explanation (possibly with a diagram). Maybe she was possessed? Maybe she was just unstable? Maybe she was dead? Maybe I have no idea. Scrap that I have no idea. Dont get me wrong this book is really interesting. The writing in a blog style is quirky and sharp. There were times when I actually LOL'd and others which left
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Um, ok, so that happened. Did it, though? I'm not 100% sure what I just read, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride! 4.25 stars.

I really genuinely have no idea how I feel about this book. The words peculiar and strange don't quite cover it and having literally just finished it I think it's gonna take me a bit of time to figure out what the hell just happened.

I have to admit I have a real love for books that are weird and different and it was that single line in the blurb "Bridget Jones meets the Exorcist" that told me this was a book I needed to read despite never having heard of either the book or the author bef
Sep 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Was really enjoying the diary style humour until nearing the end when it got a bit confusing leaving me wondering what parts were real and what was fantasy
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m not even sure what the heck was really going on in this book, but I listened to it on Audible and I think I’ve laughed more literally out loud than I have in a long time. This book was described as Bridget Jones Diary meets Horror. I really didn’t think it was a horror book at all. I get the comparison to Bridget Jones. This book was told through the viewpoint of a blog written by a woman who received a breast cancer diagnosis who started blogging based on her support group recommendation. S ...more
I won a paperback copy of this book through the Publisher but happened to come across it as an audiobook in the library. At a lenght of 5 1/2 hours I thought it would be perfect to keep me company while gardening......and that it did!!

I went into this book blind and what a wild, dark humour ride it was. It was so entertaining and in fact, I believe my enjoyment was enhanced as an audiobook. Since it was narratored in the first person, I felt like Eleanor was telling me the story over a cup of co
Mandy Wilkins
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm really torn between 3 stars or 4. I decided to lean toward 4, for the sheer fact that it kept me reading and laughing to the very end. It was, for the most part, a very enjoyable read, but the ending just didn't do it for me. I also wish it had a true horror element to it. A little bit of actual fear would have made it near perfect for me. It was more like Bridgette Jones meets Evil Dead 2. :)
Oliver Clarke
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a weird book and I can’t decide what I thought of it
Alex findingmontauk1
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: night-worms, owned
4 stars!! STILL mulling this one over - full review to come!
Review to be posted later as instructed by publisher.
Rebecca Bowyer
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I suspect this will appeal to readers who enjoy humour such as the Netflix series The Santa Clarita Diet.

Unfortunately, it didn't click with me. For me, Eleanor, the central character, became more unlikable as the narrative progressed. The humorous style of narrative also meant that the parts that I think were supposed to be horror / scary just felt a little cringe-worthy to me.

It was a very easy to read book - written in an almost stream-of-consciousness first person narrative, it feels like h
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, arc, ebook, horror
I didn't believe the "Bridget Jones meets The Exorcist" thing in the blurb, but yeah, that's exactly what this is, and I didn't know how much I needed that exact thing in my life. A quick, funny, off-kilter horror story that I wish had just a little more oomph to the horror.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
What did I just read?
Ok so I was immediately pulled in loved the writing style and the subject found it darkly funny. The closer to the ending things spiral out of control but I definitely need to discuss the ending of this. Strange is the word for sure.
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Shirley Barrett is best known for her work as a screenwriter and director. Shirley's first film, Love Serenade won the Camera D'Or (Best First Feature) at Cannes Film Festival in 1996. The script for her film South Solitary won the Queensland Premier's Prize (script) 2010, the West Australian Premier's Literary Prize (script) 2010, and the West Australian Premier's Prize 2010. Rush Oh! is Shirley' ...more