Pack of Cards and Other Stories

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9780802111562: Pack of Cards and Other Stories
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Thirty-four stories deal with a widow visiting Russia, a tour guide in Egypt, and the stresses of modern life

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From Publishers Weekly:

In the course of "At the Pitt-Rivers," one of 34 stories in this outstanding collection by the Booker Prize-winning author, a character reflects that just looking at a chance-met girl made you feel "a bit like you were joining in how she felt." That sensation of involvement pervades these stories too--achieved by perfect tone, unerring point of view and unflagging tension. Although the stories are epiphanic the lives of the protagonists can be readily imagined: these people exist. In so mundane a situation as that of "Bus Stop," the conductor--set apart by an educated accent and a dignified bearing--collects a fare from a fashionable woman who turns out to be his sister-in-law, and so dismays her that she rides past her stop. Very little happens in "Nothing Missing but the Samovar," about a young German at Cambridge who spends a few months doing research at a Dorset farm--except that he leaves the farm totally changed. The precise image, the unexpected detail, compassion without sentimentality, are only a few of the elements that make these stories a celebration of the narrative art.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Lively follows her Booker Prize-winning Moon Tiger ( LJ 3/15/88) with a lustrous collection of short fiction. These witty, profoundly civilized stories display Lively's compassion, intelligence, and versatility. Echoes of Chekhov distinguish "The Crimean Hotel," a small gem of a story about loneliness set in Yalta. In "A Long Night at Abu Simbel," a guide escorting a group of shrill British tourists through Egypt is so provoked that she abandons them to their fate. In the title story a wealthy, pretentious family is revealed to be as shallow and uninteresting as a pack of cards. This captivatingly intelligent collection confirms Lively's place as one of Britain's most imaginative and important contemporary writers.
- Laurence Hull, Cannon Memorial Lib., Concord,
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Penelope Lively
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Penelope Lively
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ISBN 10: 0802111564 ISBN 13: 9780802111562
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