Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka

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Lewycka's sharpest observations appear when she adopts the perspective of an outsider...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Marcus and Doro were part of a commune from the late 1960s until the early 1990s: lentils, free love, spliffs, radical politics, cheesecloth blouses, sex, housework and cooking rotas, crochet, allotments. Their children have grown up rather different from them: primary school teacher Clara craves order and clean bathrooms, son Serge is pretending to his parents that he is still doing a Maths PhD at Cambridge, while in fact working making loads of money in the City; while third child Oolie Anna, who has Downs Syndrome, is desperate to escape home and live on her own. Once the truth starts breaking through, who knows what further secrets will be revealed about any of them? Set half in Doncaster, half in London, this is a very funny riff on modern values, featuring hamsters, cockroaches, poodles, a Chicken and multiplying rabbits, told by Marina Lewycka in her unique and brilliant combination of irony, farce and wit.
 

About Marina Lewycka

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Marina Lewycka was born in Kiel, Germany, after the war, and moved to England with her family when she was about a year old. Her first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, has sold more than a million copies in the UK alone and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, longlisted for the Man Booker and won the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction and the Waverton Good Read Award. Her second novel, Two Caravans, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Two Caravans and Marina's third and fourth novels, We Are All Made of Glue and Various Pets Alive and Dead are all available in Penguin. Marina Lewycka lives in Sheffield.
 
Published March 1, 2012 by Fig Tree. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Various Pets Alive and Dead
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Eleanor Birne on Mar 10 2012

Lewycka's sharpest observations appear when she adopts the perspective of an outsider...

Read Full Review of Various Pets Alive and Dead | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Sarfraz Manzoor on Mar 01 2012

Lewycka is a warm and humane writer...Here she pokes gentle fun at the naïve idealists who created the commune, and the children who find them mortifying.

Read Full Review of Various Pets Alive and Dead | See more reviews from Guardian

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