The Portable Veblen
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One of our Books of the Year 2016.
Whimsical yet sharp and perceptive, ‘The Portable Veblen’ is an absolute treat of a read. Veblen is eccentrically wonderful, she lives in California, is followed by a squirrel and has a fiancé (yes the order of the squirrel and fiancé is deliberate). Veblen is influenced by Thorstein Veblen, an American sociologist and economist, her fiancé Paul is apparently influenced by achievement and success, and is determined to rid Veblen’s attic of its noisy invader. Occasional photos, letters and little extras crop up through the book, making the journey from beginning to end feel even more intense and physically real. At times I felt as though I was floating directly above Veblen, connected yet apart, and able to pick up on the smallest but most significant details. Elizabeth McKenzie writes with a beautifully considered yet free hand, with my feelings ranging from amused to curious, frustrated to sympathetic, and I also fell in love with a squirrel. This is a book to keep near at hand, a book to love and to cherish, to savour and to treasure. ~ Liz Robinson
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2016.
The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016 A laugh-out-loud love story with big ideas - and squirrels Can squirrels speak? Do snails scream? Will a young couple, newly engaged, make it to their wedding day? Will their dysfunctional families ruin everything? Will they be undone by the advances of a very sexy, very unscrupulous heiress to a pharmaceuticals corporation? Is getting married even a remotely reasonable idea in the twenty-first century? And what in the world is a 'Veblen' anyway?
'Man oh man, do I love this book! Audacious, imaginative and totally wonderful'
Karen Joy Fowler
'I can't remember a book I enjoyed more'
'Smart, funny, charming and profound. Elizabeth McKenzie is clearly some sort of genius'
'The squirreliest novel I ever read. I enjoyed it completely'
Ursula K. Le Guin
'Raw and weird and hilarious ... very entertaining'
Scarlett Thomas, Guardian
'Ambitious, spirited, funny, daring'
'A touching, wildly funny and peculiarly elegant look at the travails of love of all kinds'
'Utterly charming. A true joy of a book'
'Full of life and humour and compassion'
Times Literary Supplement
'Darkly funny, irrepressibly quirky and very, very hard to put down'
Sam Baker, The Pool
'Quirky and smart. If you loved Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, you'll love this'
'Wildly brilliant. Razor-sharp, intimate, hilarious and profound. Every page is a delight'
Emma Jane Unsworth
'Terrifically entertaining ... hard to resist'
'Offbeat, thoughtful, mischievous ... McKenzie [has] a pin-sharp eye for the tragic-comic, and for dialogue'
'A novel of festive originality'
The New York Times
'Unforgettable. A wild ride that you will not want to miss'
San Francisco Chronicle
'If The Portable Veblen has a flaw, it is that its caricatures are so on the nose as to make the reader hope to flee the human race'
'Oddball characters and plot turns abound, including talking squirrels and bureaucratic ironies worthy of Catch-22. But a sober question occupies its core: Do our parents' best intentions do us harm?
Minneapolis Star Tribune
'Accurately and funnily capture[s] the complexities of modern families ... The Corrections meets The Wallcreeper'
About the Author
Publication date26th January 2017
More books by Elizabeth McKenzie
Author 'Like for Like'
PublisherFourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
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