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Paperback The Bookshop Book

ISBN: 0544484096

ISBN13: 9780544484092

The Bookshop

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING EMILY MORTIMER, BILL NIGHY, AND PATRICIA CLARKSON Short-listed for the Booker Prize "A beautiful book, a perfect little gem." -- BBC Kaleidoscope "A marvelously piercing fiction." -- Times Literary Supplement In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop -- the only bookshop -- in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical,...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

What good writing should be

This is a perfect novel. Fitzgerald, whom I was only recently introduced to, writes with precision and grace. In The Bookshop she exposes the small-mindedness of people in provincial places. In Hardborough the townsfolk are cruelly reminded of their relative irrelevance and, rather than stretch toward loftier horizons, they take aim at the book's protagonist and quash her dreams. A piercing stab at all that is colloquial, this book is also a funny satire of small-minded people. I'm surprised Fitzgerald is not more widely read on these shores (U.S.). What a talent.

Fitzgerald's characters are incredibly real and engaging

The Bookshop is probably my favorite of this author's work so far. It's not a nice story. Not all great stories necessarily have happy endings. Priceless scene between the two aristocrats toward the end of the book. Fitzgerald takes provincial nastiness and describes it with such beauty it's impossible to be too disappointed.

The one with plot as well as brilliantly drawn characters!

Fitzgerald's novels are character-driven far more than they are plot-driven, OK? In this, they are like the monuments of modernism (Remembrances of Things Past, novels by Gide, Broch, Joyce, Mann, Musil et al.) except Fitzgerald reveals character with preternatural economy. She has a positive genius for the detail(s) that reveals character, and her novels have a considerable range of characters in them, including saints, villains, wizened prepubescent girls, and all manner of muddled adults trying to find or hold onto love, to make a living and make their world less unkind. Still, _The Bookshop_ seems to me to have a completely clear plot and some clear subplots. I am puzzled by reader comments about lack of plot in this nove. I suspect that at least some of these comments confuse lack of plot with an ending that makes them unhappy._The Bookshop_ IS a devastating book (one misunderstanding in particular made me ache) and it is obvious that unhappy endings make a book unpalatable to some readers. But, surely, not liking how a plot turns out is not a valid reason to claim there is a lack of plot? On the way to catastrophe, _The Bookshop_ contains much that is also devastatingly funny. And, although I have never lived in Sussex, I grew up in a small town and am ready fervently to testify for the versimilitude of Fitzgerald's portrayal of the small-mindedness, officiousnes, and obliviousness of some of the characters (not that such qualities are lacking in urbanites--one can find these same qualities in, say, _House of Mirth_ as well as in _Main Street_ to take two American examples).

Every word resonates

This tiny book is also one of the saddest I have read. It is beautifully written, with each character coming fully to life. When I reached the end, I turned right back to the first page and read it again - for what I might have missed the first time round as well as for the pleasure of reading it again.
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