9781857027051

Larrys Party

Shields, Carol

ISBN 10: 1857027051 / 1-85702-705-1
ISBN 13: 9781857027051
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Publication Date: 1998
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 'The Stone Diaries'. Larry's Party is about being a man in this part of the twentieth century, when so many supports have been removed, and covers the life of its protagonist, Larry, between the ages of 27 and 47, from 1977 to 1997, and illustrates how men have had to change; it looks at how you define masculinity in the post-feminist world. Two strands run through the book: work and goodness. The chapters are at once independent of each other and yet connected, with titles like: Larry's Friends, Larry's Look, Larry's Kid, Larry's Folks, Larry's Love, Larry's Penis, Larry's Speech, Men called Larry, Larry's Alternate, Larry's Party, Larry's Real Life Life, Larry So Far, Old Larry.

Review:
Larry Weller is a regular guy, or so Carol Shields has him think. When we first meet him in 1977 Winnipeg at age 26, he's pondering the pluses of Harris tweed, still living at home, and realizing he's in love with his girlfriend, Dorrie, a flinty car saleswoman. Larry is proud of his job at Flowerfolks, even though he fell into floral design by accident, and if his relationship with his parents isn't perfect, it's not too bad, either. (Stu and Flo Weller may have less page-time in Larry's Party, but they are hugely memorable. He is a master upholsterer, happiest when working; she is a woman ruined by nervous guilt, having inadvertently killed off her mother-in-law with some improperly preserved green beans.)

Carol Shields has said that she had "always been struck by the fact that in most novels people aren't working." Though her hero climbs the floral managerial trellis for 17 years and finds more rhapsody in work than marriage, Larry and Dorrie's honeymoon in England points him toward what will be his true vocation--mazes. These living constructs turn him into a thinker, a man of imagination, and the author's descriptions are quietly spectacular as well as effortlessly sweet. Larry wonders at their "teasing elegance and circularity ... a snail, a scribble, a doodle on the earth's skin with no other directed purpose but to wind its sinuous way around itself." Just as Larry changes with the times--each elliptical chapter ages him by one or two years--so does his art. In 1990, he designs a maze in which you can't really lose yourself. In 1997, the McCord Maze "is intended to mirror the descent into unconscious sleep, followed by a slow awakening." Larry, too, has a slow awakening, taking several false turns before reaching midlife. As the novel closes, with a bravura dinner party scene, he may finally be at ease in the world. But his creator knows that he is only halfway there, and still has to negotiate his way from the center of the maze to its exit.

Review

Review:
The Stone Diaries marked a new phase in a literary career already ablaze with achievement. As well as the many international awards it received, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Governor General's Award, the book also met with universal critical acclaim and topped bestseller lists around the world. "Carol Shields," raved Maclean's, "has crafted a small miracle of a novel." " The Stone Diaries," said the New York Times Book Review, "reminds us again why literature matters."

The San Diego Tribune called The Stone Diaries "a universal study of what makes women tick." Now, in Larry's Party, Carol Shields does the same for men.

Larry Weller, born in 1950, is an ordinary guy made extraordinary by his creator's perception, irony and tenderness. Larry's Party gives us, as it were, a CAT scan of his life, in episodes between 1977 and 1997 that flash backward and forward seamlessly. As Larry journeys toward the new millennium, adapting to society's changing expectations of men, Shields' elegant prose transforms the trivial into the momentous. We follow this young floral designer through two marriages and divorces, his interactions with parents, friends and a son. And throughout, we witness his deepening passion for garden mazes -- so like life, with their teasing treachery and promise of reward. Among all the paradoxes and accidents of his existence, Larry moves through the spontaneity of the seventies, the blind enchantment of the eighties and the lean, mean nineties, completing at last his quiet, stubborn search for self.

Larry's odyssey mirrors the male condition at the end of our century with targeted wit, unerring poignancy and faultless wisdom.

From the Inside Flap

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Book Description: HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Stone Diaries . Larry s Party is about being a man in this part of the twentieth century, when so many supports have been removed, and covers the life of its protagonist, Larry, between the ages of 27 and 47, from 1977 to 1997, and illustrates how men have had to change; it looks at how you define masculinity in the post-feminist world. Two strands run through the book: work and goodness. The chapters are at once independent of each other and yet connected, with titles like: Larry s Friends, Larry s Look, Larry s Kid, Larry s Folks, Larry s Love, Larry s Penis, Larry s Speech, Men called Larry, Larry s Alternate, Larry s Party, Larry s Real Life Life, Larry So Far, Old Larry. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781857027051

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Book Description: HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. The new novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Stone Diaries . Larry s Party is about being a man in this part of the twentieth century, when so many supports have been removed, and covers the life of its protagonist, Larry, between the ages of 27 and 47, from 1977 to 1997, and illustrates how men have had to change; it looks at how you define masculinity in the post-feminist world. Two strands run through the book: work and goodness. The chapters are at once independent of each other and yet connected, with titles like: Larry s Friends, Larry s Look, Larry s Kid, Larry s Folks, Larry s Love, Larry s Penis, Larry s Speech, Men called Larry, Larry s Alternate, Larry s Party, Larry s Real Life Life, Larry So Far, Old Larry. Bookseller Inventory # AA89781857027051

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Book Description: 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. 198mm x 129mm x 18mm. Paperback. The Orange Prize-winning novel of Larry Weller, a man who discovers the passion of his life in the ordered riotousness of Hampton Court's Maze. Larry and his naive young wife, Dorrie, spe.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 354 pages. 0.245. Bookseller Inventory # 9781857027051

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