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Losing Larry [Hardcover]

Elizabeth Pewsey
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

3 Aug 2000
Larry Dunne divides his time between writing bad avant-garde poetry, working in a Bloomsbury bookshop, arguing with his girlfriend Pamela and putting the world to rights in a dive off the Strand named Joe's Club in honour of Stalin. Envious of Pamela and her upper-class friends, envious of the Comrades' intellectual certainties and especially envious of friend Peter's book, Larry takes off to Hungary to breathe the purer air of an ideal state and bask in universal fellowship and equality. But reality in late 50s Budapest is rather different. He soon finds out that the state runs on envy, paranoia and two-stroke, and wants nothing more than to get back to his cosy world of Bohemian London as quickly as possible. Then a woman is murdered in a neighbouring apartment, and he finds himself under suspicion with his passport confiscated. Larry realises that if the murderer isn't caught, he could be in Budapest for a very long time.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First ediiton edition (3 Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340718625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340718629
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 15.9 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,322,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'The style is unpretentious, the characterisation is good ... Elizabeth Pewsey has caught the offbeat humour of the Hungarians, their 'see how much you can get away with' attitude to authority and she pokes fun at all the stereotypes - moles, gymnasts, defecting ballet dancers. Highly readable' Mairead McKerracher, Historical Novel 2000

Book Description

A black comedy with a murder mystery at its heart, set against the backdrop of 50s London and Budapest.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light Entertainment 13 Jan 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Pewsey, who also writes as Elizabeth Aston and Elizabeth Edmondson, has set this particular novel in the late 1950s and has focused her story on Larry Dunne, a naive young man, son of a schoolmaster, who writes what he thinks of as avant-garde poetry, and who works in a Bloomsbury bookshop. When he is not working, Larry spends his time with his upper-class girlfriend, Pamela (of whose background Larry is very envious), and voicing his socialist views in Joe's Club, a dive situated behind the Strand. When Peter, an intellectual friend of his and Pamela's, has a book accepted for publication, Larry's envy grows to an almost unmanageable size and, in a fit of pique, he makes the decision to accept a job teaching English to adults in Hungary - a country where Larry imagines everyone to be equal and where he thinks intellectuals and workers stand shoulder to shoulder. Of course, once Larry is in Budapest, reality is rather different and, after his initial excitement of actually finding himself on Hungarian soil, Larry gradually begins to understand that life in a Socialist state is nothing like he thought it would be. When a young woman in his apartment block is murdered and suspicion falls on Larry, he wants nothing more than to return to his cosy life in Bloomsbury. However, Larry isn't going anywhere - his passport has been confiscated and he soon begins to realize that unless the murderer is caught, he could be spending much longer in Budapest than he planned.

Written with enthusiasm and humour, Elizabeth Pewsey's 'Losing Larry' makes for light and diverting reading. However, to say that there are one or two amusingly stereotypical characters in this story would be an understatement - we are almost swimming in them!
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