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Lying in Bed Paperback – 4 Nov 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd (4 Nov. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844087085
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844087082
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Polly Samson's first collection of short stories reveals a woman steeped in the psychodrama of emotional manipulation. Even the youngest of her narrators are expert in beguiling their parents into a false sense of security, only to spring a fiendishly executed surprise on them which overturns the false assumptions of their adult world. In "Subterfuge", a minx of a teenager hoards lacy knickers at the back of her cupboard whilst meekly offering her navy blue pants to Mum for washing. The ruse is perfect, until sex and drugs rear their ugly head and Mum realises her little madam is a thorn in the family's side and swiftly removes her. Elsewhere, a thirtysomething woman regrets the child she will never have and settles for her childishly demanding husband--an open-ended denouement that hints at the endless mental agony of unfulfilled dreams. Meanwhile, her friend in "The Mermaid's Purse" makes her choice, finds a sperm donor and wreaks havoc in everyone's life but her own. Selfishness pays out, it seems, and the casualties are left to wreak revenge, or suffer in silence. Samson's skill lies in digging beneath that silence to communicate the warped tales we tell ourselves in order to survive. --Lilian Pizzichini --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"haunting and satisfying collection" and say that "the stories disrupt and erupt--just like the relationships so honestly examined within them...It is the stuff that unsettles that makes this collection so deeply touching."--Publishers Weekly

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is my book of the year (so far). The characters all seem like people I know and I had to keep turning the pages to find out what fates awaited them all. Fantastic descriptions of heartaches and children and love affairs gone awry. Funny, gripping and genuinely moving, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys serious fiction that doesn't take itself too seriously.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 April 1999
Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading Polly Samson's Lying in Bed and I think that her stories are as good as any I've ever read. Margaret Atwood and Helen Simpson have always been my favourite short story writers and now I must add Polly Samson to the list. The way she treats sex and love is so well-observed and spikey that I had to keep reading passages aloud to my friends and I agree with the reviewers who compare her to Roald Dahl: there's always a sting in the tale. I recommend this book to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dizzydays on 7 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Samson's descriptions are a little "writing class". I think she still needs to learn how to make sure that the descriptions don't distract from the story. For example, one character was described as having eyes like mussels, and I took a 30 second break to think what she could possibly have meant by that...

however, the stories and the sentiments are brilliant. Quite biting, with bordering-on-macabre twists. Good fun to read, especially for women. I'm planning on reading her other two books on the strength of this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fajon on 8 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I rarely read short story collections and reading this book confirms my reluctance to do so. Well written, but the point of some are just too ambiguous for me leading to a frustrating experience. I am sure they are meant to be intelligent observations of slices of reality but too often the point of the story is beyond me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By claire louise on 21 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
I was so impressed by Polly Sampson's most recent book of short stories that I ordered the back catalogue. The first story in this book has an event so shocking I gasped out loud, well almost, on the bus. Don't miss it.
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