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Inappropriate Happiness
 
 

Inappropriate Happiness [Kindle Edition]

Tom Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Our narrator is Edward. Edward is surely his father’s son. When Edward inherits the deserted water mill, he must make plans for the old man’s white elephant and see them through.

After the two young artists Belle and Kitto arrive, Edward’s life changes forever. What he sees one evening leaves him with a secret he does not want or know how to share.

Inappropriate Happiness is a novel about what was, what is, and what can never be.

From the Publisher

Our narrator is Edward. Edward is surely his father's son. When Edward inherits the deserted water mill, he must make plans for the old man's white elephant and see them through.

After the two young artists Belle and Kitto arrive, Edward's life changes forever. What he sees one evening leaves him with a secret he does not want or know how to share.

Inappropriate Happiness is a novel about what was, what is, and what can never be.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 297 KB
  • Print Length: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Reuben Books; 1 edition (22 Jun 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004APA6JG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #825,451 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tom Saunders began writing in his mid-thirties while taking a BA in English Literature at Kingston Polytechnic. He went on to do an MA in creative writing at the University of East Anglia in 1986. His tutors there were novelists Sir Malcolm Bradbury and the wonderful Angela Carter, both now sadly deceased. Pulitzer prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon was writer in residence at the time.
On the net, he's had stories published in SmokeLong Quarterly, Painted Moon Review, MindKites, In Posse Review and poetry and stories published in Literary Potpourri and Gator Springs Gazette. His story Brother, What Strange Place is This? was in Zoetrope All-Story Extra January 2000. He's had stories published in UK print magazines Bonfire, Panurge, Acclaim, Inkshed and Voyage. In 1995 He was an award winner in the Ian St James international short story competition and his story The Philosopher Nabel at the Kaffeehaus Eleganz was published in the anthology Pleasure Vessels (still available at Amazon on both sides of the Atlantic). Three of his stories: The Seal Man, The Great House of Easement and Bonny Craigallen were published in the paperback anthology Voices From the Web. His story Blue Ragout was published in the anthology Voices 2 (available etc). His story Roof Whirl Away was published in the anthology Rebellion (available Amazon US), Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction & Literature: Anthologies category of the Best Books 2006 Awards. His story Outer Space was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2005. His story Roof Whirl Away was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2006.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and rewarding 22 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
Edward is the thwarted and ineffective son of a self-made man. From his father he has inherited both money and property - a rambling old mill, which Edward now inhabits. He spends his time watching endless hours of television, and pondering an existence that continues to be overshadowed by the influence of his father.

Two young artists come into Edward's life, a man and a woman. They impose themselves upon him, moving into the mill to quickly dominate his world and all his thoughts. The man, Kitto, is arrogant, selfish, and of questionable artistic ability. His partner Belle appears subjugated but more obviously talented.

There are few narrative surprises in what follows. The naive and sexually inexperienced Edward falls in love with Belle, and attempts to rescue her from her boorish partner. But Belle is no maiden in distress, and ultimately controls the dance. We readers sit like gaffers in the village pub, nodding our heads sagely at each successive folly, and telling ourselves that we knew `twould be thus. We could see trouble coming from the outset.

If Thomas Hardy were alive today this might well be the story he would be telling - and mainstream publishers would be faced with an awkward decision: is Hardy's stealthy approach still viable? Tom Saunders has a wonderful gift for language, a tangible delight in its use. He takes his time - a luxury that few modern writers allow themselves, or are allowed nowadays. What is essentially a simple story is raised to another level, and we are treated to a devastating scrutiny of the human psyche without ever feeling that we are being talked down to. In an age of cheap and instant thrills, this richness of writing is what we're missing, what we're in danger of losing. Publishers take note.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful writing 7 Nov 2010
By Donald Capone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Inappropriate Happiness, Tom Saunders's excellent character study, revolves around the naturally private, reticent narrator, Edward. After the death of his father, Edward moves into the old water mill the old man had been renovating, determined to live his own life, finally out of the shadow of his disapproving father. On the opening page, Saunders writes, "We had separate lives he and I, such separate lives. No, I take that back, not separate, parallel, together but not together; now apart, finally."

As Edward settles back into the life of the small town in which he grew up--and in which everyone knows his history--he allows two stranded artists (Belle and Kitto) to stay at the old mill temporarily. This is against his better judgement, and his private nature too. It is also something his father would never allow or approve of; maybe that is exactly why Edward lets them stay.

Here the novel kicks into gear, and becomes very Hemingway-esque in the simple strength of its distinct characters, and the love triangle that inevitably develops. Saunders brings the characters to life, not only with their words, but their actions. Here the smitten Edward watches Belle sketch a young man working:

I am astonished by how quickly and confidently she draws, the bravura way she captures the turning of a leg and the lifting of an arm on paper. If she makes a mistake she remedies it with a rapid stroke of her pencil, each new line a refinement of the one before, the figure a series of shapes placed on top of one another, dynamic rather than static: the arc of the hammer, the angle of the back, the slant of the hips, the splaying of the feet. Somehow the boy and his everyday job are transformed by the sketch, the pose becoming heroic, timeless even.

Then:
"You're making him uncomfortable," I say.

Several seconds go by. Then, just as I am starting to think she is not going to reply, she stops drawing and says, "He'll get over it."

"I don't think I would."

"Who said you'll get the chance?"

Kitto, Belle's boyfriend, is the opposite of Edward: brash, arrogant, selfish. Why the world doesn't love his paintings as much as he does is a mystery to him. Why Belle stays with Kitto, who takes Belle for granted, is a mystery to Edward, a frustration that gnaws at him as his own relationship with Belle grows.

Inappropriate Happiness is a great literary work; I hope this Kindle edition brings it to the wide audience it deserves.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! 20 Oct 2009
By Donald Capone - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Inappropriate Happiness, Tom Saunders's excellent character study, revolves around the naturally private, reticent narrator, Edward. After the death of his father, Edward moves into the old water mill the old man had been renovating, determined to live his own life, finally out of the shadow of his disapproving father. On the opening page, Saunders writes, "We had separate lives he and I, such separate lives. No, I take that back, not separate, parallel, together but not together; now apart, finally."

As Edward settles back into the life of the small town in which he grew up--and in which everyone knows his history--he allows two stranded artists (Belle and Kitto) to stay at the old mill temporarily. This is against his better judgement, and his private nature too. It is also something his father would never allow or approve of; maybe that is exactly why Edward lets them stay.

Here the novel kicks into gear, and becomes very Hemingway-esque in the simple strength of its distinct characters, and the love triangle that inevitably develops. Saunders brings the characters to life, not only with their words, but their actions. Here the smitten Edward watches Belle sketch a young man working:

I am astonished by how quickly and confidently she draws, the bravura way she captures the turning of a leg and the lifting of an arm on paper. If she makes a mistake she remedies it with a rapid stroke of her pencil, each new line a refinement of the one before, the figure a series of shapes placed on top of one another, dynamic rather than static: the arc of the hammer, the angle of the back, the slant of the hips, the splaying of the feet. Somehow the boy and his everyday job are transformed by the sketch, the pose becoming heroic, timeless even.

Then:
"You're making him uncomfortable," I say.

Several seconds go by. Then, just as I am starting to think she is not going to reply, she stops drawing and says, "He'll get over it."

"I don't think I would."

"Who said you'll get the chance?"

Kitto, Belle's boyfriend, is the opposite of Edward: brash, arrogant, selfish. Why the world doesn't love his paintings as much as he does is a mystery to him. Why Belle stays with Kitto, who takes Belle for granted, is a mystery to Edward, a frustration that gnaws at him as his own relationship with Belle grows.

Inappropriate Happiness is a great literary work; one that should be read widely, one that should be honored with awards, and studied in writing courses. The size of the press limits these chances, but my dream is that Oprah will pluck this gem out of the small publishers haystack and give it the exposure it deserves. In the meantime, you can order it directly from the publisher, Reuben Books, [...]
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