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Various Pets Alive and Dead | Book reviews | RGfE
View more editions. Buy from. The warmth of its tone, its zest, its blend of quirky, humane comedy and intellectual seriousness make this a novel to treasure' New Statesman 'Marina Lewycka's latest novel is wonderfully funny with moments of pure farce in the best tradition of social satire. Share at. More from this Author.
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The Lubetkin Legacy Marina Lewycka. Two Caravans Marina Lewycka. About the Author.
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Please enter a valid email address. Thank you for signing up to the Penguin Newsletter. There are various narrative strands, so if you aren't gripped by one story the razing of Doro's beloved allotment by developers, perhaps, or Serge's outing as a City worker , you don't have to go back many pages to whatever is of interest — exotic CDOs, maybe, or the history of the non-communist, non-Trotskyist left. There are zany set-piece scenes, such as the vegetable-carving demonstration on Community Day, which descends into farce when carrots are thrown, people fall on top of one another and buttons pop from blouses.
Lewycka is a great humourist who made her name writing comic novels about immigrants to Britain: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian and Two Caravans include strong characters who express themselves in entertaining hybrid English.
Various Pets Alive and Dead Review
Here, though, her characters — including Doro's adopted daughter Oolie, who has Down's syndrome — sometimes teeter towards caricature. Lewycka's sharpest observations appear when she adopts the perspective of an outsider, as when she describes, in Two Caravans , what Dover looks like to a new arrival just off the ferry: like Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. There's not really scope for that sort of thing here.
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