Various Pets Alive and Dead Paperback
Lentils, free love, radical politics and family truths . . . Various Pets Alive and Dead is the wonderfully funny fourth novel from Marina Lewycka, author of the bestselling A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.For twenty years Doro and Marcus lived in a commune, convinced lentils and free love would change the world.
They didn't. What they did do was give their children a terror of radicalism, dirt, cooking rotas and poverty.
Their daughter Clara wants nothing less conformist than her own, clean bathroom.
Their son Serge hides the awkward fact that he's a banker earning loadsamoney.
So when Doro and Marcus spring a surprise on their kids - just as the world is rocked in ways they always wished for - the family is forced to confront some thorny truths about themselves . . .'Wonderfully funny . . . a dizzy, eye-watering treat . . . Lewycka is somewhere between Hilary Mantel in her satirical mode and Sue Townsend' Independent'Thank heavens for Marina Lewycka whose Various Pets Alive and Dead me laugh at least once in every chapter . . . The warmth of its tone, its zest, its blend of quirky, humane comedy and intellectual seriousness make this a novel to treasure' New Statesman'Marina Lewycka's latest novel is wonderfully funny with moments of pure farce in the best tradition of social satire . . . this inventive and witty book fizzes along from beginning to end' Daily ExpressMarina Lewycka was born in Kiel, Germany, after the war, grew up in England and lives in Sheffield.
Her first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, 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 novel, We Are All Made of Glue, are all available in Penguin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/02/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141044941
- EPUB from £3.99
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Review by PIER50
Like all of Marina Lewycka books, there is a lot going on. The story is based around a family made up of hippie parents, a banker son, a Downs Syndrome child and various extended members of the family and workmates. The story is too long by at least 100 pages and the ending is a bit of a muddle. The main characters are all fairly quirky in Lewycka tradition, but it is not really clear what the whole point of the book is as there seems to be no particular focus.