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Fly in the Ointment

Fly in the Ointment [Kindle Edition]

Anne Fine
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


"Fine is a storyteller of brilliance, and this short tragedy is utterly compelling." (The Times)

Book Description

Are we all doomed to repeat our parents' mistakes? A biting new comic novel from Anne Fine

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 321 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002SQ4I52
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (24 Aug 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552774677
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552774673
  • ASIN: B0040711WU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #281,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Anne Fine leads a double life as an author. Of her eight novels for adult readers, she describes seven as black comedies and the first, The Killjoy, as simply 'dead black'. These adult novels cause readers to squirm with mingled horror and delight as she peels away the layers in all too familiar family relationships, exposing the tangled threads and conflicts beneath. It's therefore perhaps not surprising that Anne has openly expressed astonishment at the fact that murder in the domestic setting is not more common.
A great favourite for discussions in reading groups, Anne Fine's work has been published in over forty-five languages. Despite this, she remains best known in her home country, Britain, as a writer principally for children. She has twice won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Awards, the Guardian Children's Book Prize and numerous other prizes and awards. She was the second Children's Laureate from 2001-3, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was awarded an OBE for services to children's literature.
Anne Fine is an entertaining and engaging speaker on the subject of books and reading, and is in demand the world over for her tireless enthusiasm, common sense approach to literacy, and for the deliciously wicked humour that permeates all her writing.
Find out more about Anne's dual lives at

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely bang on 14 April 2008
By Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heard Anne Fine speaking on the radio yesterday and it was a coincidence that I was also happily reading this great new story. She said that although her daughters were bringing up her grandchildren in the way she would hope she had been thinking about the mothers of sons who may sow their seed more randomly as it were. This book examines a completely modern dilemma and the story is a fable of love and personality - I loved it all and found Lois an entirely sympathetic character with a generous and sensible attitude. Her self examination passages struck me as very realistic. I admired her honesty and was pleased by the unexpected, hopeful, upbeat ending. Anne Fine has got it just right. I read the book in a matter of hours and found it helpful as well as entertaining.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dark and Comic Read 24 Feb 2009
I finished this short novel today - only 220 odd pages but incredibly well written.

A story narrated by a lonely, middle-aged woman who has lost both her son and her husband and has nothing much to give and also gets not much of anything from life - it should make pretty grim reading but the author races the story along with touches of humour and it's almost gossipy in the telling.

It's difficult to write much without giving the story away - but it really is an irresistible read, very difficult to put down once it is started.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An unusual and uncomfortable story 30 July 2014
A short novel; an unusual, painful, at times horrible, story, perhaps not surprising given child neglect is at its heart. Fine writes simply, but skilfully and elegantly. The story builds up as she weaves in the transformations and multiple deceits played out by the main character, Lois, with the spiteful actions of Janie-Gay - the ex-partner of Lois' dead son.

Why I didn't like it more is because Lois is not a very nice person, and being inside her head (the book is written from the first person perspective) wasn't always a comfortable place to be! Also the ending happens rather suddenly, as if tacked on, although one could have guessed the outcome before then.

However, it's worth reading, as the themes of drug misuse, child neglect and how the system does or doesn't deal with these are very real today.
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