Last Chance Saloon
a novel by Marian Keyes
PRICE : IDR 35.000,- (used, good condition)
Poolberg, 2000, ISBN 1-85371-982-X, 596 pages, english, paperback
Desperately single thirtysomething men and women populate Keyes’s breezy novel. Childhood friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan muddle along, dealing with the indignities and inconveniences we all face–and then some. Tara’s perfectly horrible, freeloading boyfriend Thomas watches her diet like a hawk and remarks cruelly on the size of her posterior, comparing her unfavorably to younger, thinner women. Katherine is a professional success, but her personal life is nonexistent. Every one of her prior relationships–six in all–has ended disastrously, with Katherine getting dumped. Each time, she retreats further and further into her shell, until her most intimate relationship is with her remote control. Fashion industry insider Fintan has found true love with his Italian boyfriend, Sandro, but a health crisis threatens their happiness. Tara, Katherine, and Fintan, as well as their quirky cast of friends (people with names like Lorcan and Mandii), live, love, and learn the hard way, the only way they can. Not quite as obsessive as Bridget Jones and that damn diary of hers, Keyes manages to convey a painfully accurate portrayal of what it means to be single today, tempered by a few of life’s less humiliating and more important lessons, like the value of true friendship. Funny and irreverent, Keyes’s Last Chance Saloon is a terrific vacation read. –Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
Imagine Bridget Jones in a Jacobean revenge drama, a sort of ‘Tis a Pity She’s Single that’s the flavor of this entry in the urban unmarried female angst sweepstakes. This time, the protagonists are two London women who grew up together in the small, repressive Irish town of Knockavoy. Tara, a computer analyst, lives with Thomas, a bitter and miserly high school geography teacher. Afraid to live on her own, she is willing to overlook the fact that Thomas ignores her birthday, constantly monitors her eating habits and insults her friends under the guise of being “honest.” Katherine Casey, an accountant for an advertising agency, wears boring suits, has a hyperorganized underwear drawer and brushes off all advances, including those of attractive advertising account executive Joe Roth. As they turn 31, each woman is full of suggestions for improving the other’s life and full of excuses for doing nothing about her own. That begins to change when Fintan O’Grady, their gay pal and fellow Knockavoy refugee, falls ill with a mysterious disease. As their paths are crisscrossed by a self-centered Irish actor named Lorcan Larkin, Fintan emotionally blackmails Tara and Katherine into making long-needed changes. Keyes (Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married) effectively describes the young women’s searches for autonomy and love, but her flippant, arch tone is less effective when recounting the more grim stories of Fintan and Lorcan. In addition, some of the repartee, perhaps fresh when the book was originally published in Great Britain in 2001, already seems shopworn. The Knockavoy refugees are a sympathetic trio, however, and their deftly plotted saga is likely to appeal to fellow singletons. (Aug.)Forecast: Readers will have to be nearly as desperate as the heroines of Keyes’s relationship drama to find satisfaction here but there’s no underestimating the appeal of even halfway decent girl-talk books.
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