08/07/2002

Larry's Party (by Carol Shields)

I don't think I've come across Carol Shields before. I found this book in the home of some relatives, and it looked interesting.

'Larry's Party' is an intriguingly constructed book. It begins with a chapter about a man called Larry, who is a florist. The second chapter is about Larry and also his wife. The next is about his family... and so on. Each chapter spreads the net wider and wider, and introduces new people.

At the same time, the story progresses through the years, until the climax when Larry holds a remarkable dinner-party. He invites his two ex-wives, and has his current girlfriend as co-host.

It's well-written, although I didn't really feel that the characters came alive, and I wasn't particularly gripped. There's an unexpected but satisfying ending. Recommended as something a bit different from normal.

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