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The Sopranos

Warner, Alan

784 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0224052527 / ISBN 13: 9780224052528
Published by Jonathan Cape, London, England, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From TransAtlantic Books (Wilton Manors, FL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

The true first edition (London) of the second novel by one of Granta's 'Best Young Writers 2003'. SIGNED, in protective mylar dust jacket cover. Small first edition print run of only 500 copies. Bookseller Inventory # 4712A

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Sopranos

Publisher: Jonathan Cape, London, England

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

As the choir from Our Lady of Perpetual Succor for Girls, in rural Scotland, is bussed into the big city to participate in the national singing finals, five of the teenage schoolgirls let loose for a night of pub crawling, shoplifting, and body piercing. And, since a nuclear submarine has just anchored in the bay, the local nightclub will be full of sailors on leave. After a bout of preparatory drinking, the girls are ready for their big night-and what a night it will become. An outrageous tale of adolescent debauchery, The Sopranos opens the lid on desire and excess in all its grim glory. A huge bestseller in England, it is a remarkable mix of near-violent energy and tender compassion, and confirms Warner, the writer "who defines the '90s as clearly as Ian McEwan defined the '70s and Jay MacInerney the '80s" (Time Out) as "the best of the new Scottish writing" (Salon).

Review:

If there's any justice, Alan Warner's third novel, The Sopranos, will lead to a sudden fad for artificially shortened kilt skirts, bright shoelaces, and flaming sambuca shots. As it is, we might have to settle for the sopranos themselves, six memorably vile-mouthed Catholic schoolgirls sent from their drab port town to "the big, big city" for the Scottish national choir finals. There Warner follows them as they shop, smoke, eat Big Macs, consume staggering amounts of alcohol, and pay no attention whatsoever to the competition. Winning, after all, would defeat their central goal: returning in time for the slow dances at the Mantrap and the promise of submariners on leave. In the end, it turns out that the nuclear submarine has stopped in their harbor only to unload a dead sailor, and the girls must console themselves with alcohol, sex, a veritable inferno of fireworks, and even one heartbreakingly courageous kiss.

By turns bawdy and tender, funny and sad, The Sopranos faces adolescence head-on, without sentiment or false hope. Youth, for these girls, is precious precisely because they have so little to look forward to. When their friend becomes pregnant, she's already "devoured the few opportunities for the wee bit sparkle that was ever going to come her way." When the nuns' parrot--who likes to spout Spanish obscenities during Mass--escapes from the school, his bright colors are "like a happiness that wasn't allowed below such skies, against these curt roof angles of slate and granite." Theirs is a grim, circumscribed world, but the sopranos shine like tropical birds against the background of gray. --Mary Park

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