Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 10 May 2012.
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.
Comparison: David Nobbs, Paul Torday, Tom Sharpe
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Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka
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?
'Lewycka is not only witty but astute ... it is a charming, beautifully observed novel, and those who label Lewycka a merely whimsical or quirky comic writer woefully underestimate her abilities' Independent on Sunday
About the Author
Marina 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.
Author photo © Ben McMillan
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