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Last Fling (Salt Modern Fiction) Paperback – 26 May 2011

12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: SALT PUBLISHING (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907773061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907773068
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

Sue Gee writes subtly and deftly, observing with a wry and sympathetic eye ... This is a hugely enjoyable and rewarding read. The Independent About The Mysteries of Glass: one of the most moving and beautifully written stories that I can remember. -- Readers Books of the Year Guardian About Reading in Bed: as seductively readable as its title suggests ... draws the reader in with its skilful portrayal of real-life situations The Times A beautifully observed tale, written with boundless compassion and humour. Woman and Home magazine Written with the delicate fluency of a storyteller utterly at ease with her craft. Times Literary Supplement Profound and lyrical, it's full of light and darkness and the most marvellous description. -- Shena Mackay Observer

About the Author

Sue Gee is an acclaimed and established novelist. Reading in Bed, (2007) was a Daily Mail Book Club selection; The Mysteries of Glass (2005) was long listed for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She ran the MA Creative Writing Programme at Middlesex University from 2000-2008 and currently teaches at the Faber Academy. Sue Gee has also published many short stories, some of which, like her play, Ancient & Modern (2004) have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She lives in London and Herefordshire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been a big Sue Gee fan for over ten years, and was overjoyed to read her first collection of short stories. In this collection Gee manages something very impressive that shows that she is a first-class writer: while many of the stories are about quite sad subjects (several deal with people dying of cancer) one doesn't leave the book feeling depressed - instead, one feels curiously uplifted. Gee's wonderful use of language is at its best in many of these stories, with her painterly eye for detail, and superb descriptions of landscape. And as a cat lover I thought Gee's descriptions of cats were marvellous, and I was glad so many of the stories featured felines. Even in a small book there's a wide range of subjects - from the story of a lonely girl and her brief friendship with an equally lonely single mother, to the account of a frustrated woman painter, the tale of another painter who, going blind, has to get used to the idea that he won't be working again, and the poignant title story, where Fran, dying of cancer, has a last try for love. A wonderful read that reminds one of the richness of the English language. I can't wait for her next book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have to admit that, apart from Virginia Woolf's and Katherine Mansfield's brilliant examples of short fiction, I am not usually a fan of short stories; however having read some of Sue Gee's wonderful full-length fiction, I decided I would give her latest book a try - and I am very glad that I did.

I understand that some of the short stories in this book have been previously published or broadcast separately, but the author has also written some new ones especially for this publication and they are all immensely readable and memorable. There are a couple of very sad stories in this collection - in fact the title of the book `Last Fling' is one of these, where a terminally ill woman advertises in the Lonely Hearts column; however, there are also many amusing and comical moments scattered throughout this book and some wonderfully uplifting stories too, and the author's perceptive skill of observation means that none these stories become mawkish or overly sentimental. Sue Gee is able to conjure a setting or a character with just a sentence or two and this is so important when writing short fiction, where there is usually little time to engage with the character or situation. In this collection of stories, I found I was able to become involved with, and care about, the main character almost immediately and even the peripheral characters raised interest.

A few of the stories in this collection feature artists and, if like me, you have read her amazing novel 'Earth and Heaven', you will know how good Sue Gee is when writing about art and nature; in fact her style of writing is often described by reviewers as 'painterly'. In one of the stories: 'Landscape at Iden' she writes: "Henry was consuming a pear.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By sandrine on 31 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was pleasantly surprised to discover how satisfying a short story read can be. Most of these stories I found are charming, perceptive and even enthralling making me want to gobble them up and sadly finish all too soon.Last Fling (Salt Modern Fiction)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Goth lady on 4 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
As a fan of Sue Gee's writing, I'm delighted to learn that she has a new novel out next year (2012); in the meanwhile, I've very much enjoyed this collection of her short stories. Some date back several decades, others are more recent, and all have a poetic quality, teasingly elliptical at times, often poignant and full of telling visual imagery. My personal favourites are "Days", "Pegwell Bay", "For Life" and the title story "Last Fling" in which a woman faces her terminal illness with dignity and an unblemished love for life. This was a particularly moving piece and an excellent finale to the book. (Just one point--perhaps I misunderstood, but a reference in 'Last Fling' to the quotation "that was in another country and besides, the wench is dead" seemed to imply the line was from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice. It's not, of course; it's from Marlowe's 'Jew of Malta'. If this was an editorial error, perhaps it could be corrected in a later edition.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The twelve stories that make up this collection give the reader clear and moving insights into the lives of various people (often artists) at various periods during the last century. Gee's characters are typically filled with loneliness and longing, but also able to savour small bright experiences and moments of connection with others. All the stories create a vivid and beautifully described world, presenting a genteel Englishness reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Pym.

"Last Fling" is the first time I have encountered Sue Gee's writing, but it has left me eager to read more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like Sue Gee's writing (particularly the The Mysteries of Glass) and so I delved very happily into these short stories. They are very good - each one reads like the beginning of a novel and I would have gone on and on reading. If there's a theme to this collection, it's loneliness - the solitary person, only children, women who have never married, men whose wives have left them, business men alone in a foreign city. As one of the characters remarks: 'being single is an art. It is, like a marriage, something to work at'. These solitary people feel different, even from other solitary people. One of them observes: 'Jenny didn't seem single', she had 'the air of a woman who knew how to live with someone, should she ever choose to.'
Sue Gee knows how to fill in character and give a story the depth of a novel. She has a light touch - she never tells too much - and this is a collection of excellent, traditional, short stories - moving and memorable - some of the best I've read in a long time. Exactly what you'd expect from a publisher as good as Salt!
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