A Far Cry From Kensington

A Far Cry From Kensington

Book - 2000
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WW Norton
Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand, and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher ("of very good books") and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming-house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem which would ensue. Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy -- quite a far cry from Kensington -- Mrs. Hawkins looks back to all those dark doings, and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: "It's easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half....I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book." A masterwork by "Britain's greatest living novelist" (Sunday Telegraph, 1999), A Far Cry from Kensington has been hailed as "outstanding" (The Observer) and "wickedly and adroitly executed" (The New York Times). "Far Cry is, among other things, a comedy that holds a tragedy as an egg-cup holds an egg" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Norton Pub
Set on the crazier fringes of 1950s literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a delight, hilariously portraying love, fraud, death, evil, and transformation.

Blackwell North Amer
Mrs. Hawkins, the majestic narrator of A Far Cry from Kensington, takes us well in hand, and leads us back to her threadbare years in postwar London. There, as a fat and much admired young war widow, she spent her days working for a mad, near-bankrupt publisher ("of very good books") and her nights dispensing advice at her small South Kensington rooming-house. At work and at home Mrs. Hawkins soon uncovered evil: shady literary doings and a deadly enemy; anonymous letters, blackmail, and suicide. With aplomb, however, Mrs. Hawkins confidently set about putting things to order, little imagining the mayhem which would ensue. Now decades older, thin, successful, and delighted with life in Italy -- quite a far cry from Kensington -- Mrs. Hawkins looks back to all those dark doings, and recounts how her own life changed forever. She still, however, loves to give advice: "It's easy to get thin. You eat and drink the same as always, only half....I offer this advice without fee; it is included in the price of this book." A masterwork by "Britain's greatest living novelist" (Sunday Telegraph, 1999), A Far Cry from Kensington has been hailed as "outstanding" (The Observer) and "wickedly and adroitly executed" (The New York Times). "Far Cry is, among other things, a comedy that holds a tragedy as an egg-cup holds an egg" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Publisher: New York : New Directions, 2000.
ISBN: 9780811214575
0811214575
Characteristics: 189 p. ; 20 cm.

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kpriestman
Jun 02, 2016

Not quite as great as it was hyped to be, but memorable, realistic characters that resonated with me.

multcolib_heathere Mar 13, 2016

How could one not love a novel in which an ex-lover is dubbed a "pisseur de copie" (one who urinates bad prose)? Mrs. Hawkins narrates this post war novel with a cast of characters living together in a boarding house in Kensington.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

In this elegant and ironic novel evoking London in the fifties, Spark takes you inside the world of a young woman who works for a publishing house and lives among a raft of interesting characters in her Kensington bedsitter.

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