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Mr Starlight [Paperback]

Laurie Graham
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
Price: 8.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2004

The new novel from the bestselling author of The Future Homemakers of America and The Unfortunates.

The Boff brothers live at home with their Mam. They have a lav down the yard and a jerry under the bed and they play bookings at the Birmingham Welsh and the Rover Sports and Social. Cled tinkles on the piano and Sel is the crooner. 'Sel's the one who can lift people out of themselves and send them home feeling grand and you can't argue against that' says Cled.

When Sel decides he must try his chances with the brights lights of New York City, he packs up his sequinned suits and enlists his brother as travel companion and accompanist. Things begin to roll and what follows is a tale of high jinx; of mirrored ceilings and heart-shaped tubs; of screaming girls, romancing and No Business Like Show Business. As jealousy starts encroaching on the brothers' relationship, Cled finds that there are more secrets in his family than he had bargained for.

With her characteristic wit and wisdom, Laurie Graham brings us a touching celebration of the sparkle and the dust in family life.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (7 Jun 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007146736
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007146734
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,650,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laurie Graham's social comedies have been described as a cross between the writing of Victoria Wood and Alan Bennett.
A former radio script writer and journalist, Laurie has been sacked by both the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs and by a raft of glossy women's magazines.
Nothing daunted she now gives vent to her opinions on her own excellent website.
She lives in Dublin.

Product Description


Praise for Mr Starlight:

‘Mr Starlight is pure entertainment’ Sunday Times

‘Just as fresh and even more ambitious than Graham's previous bestsellers’ Guardian

‘Laurie Graham's skill in constructing a story which is both sensational and thought-provoking, is impressive’ TLS

‘Funny doesn't come much sharper than Laurie Graham’ Mail on Sunday


'She has wit and insight to match Nick Hornby, and the entertainment value of Helen Fielding.' Nicolette Jones, Independent

'A marvel. Graham’s style is riveting, hilarious one-liners falling in quick succession.’ Anthea Lawson, The Times

‘Superlative. The writing sparkles from first to last’ David Robson, Sunday Telegraph

‘Crackles with energy ’ Georgia Metcalfe, Daily Mail

‘Laugh-out-loud funny; intelligent; moving; has more delicious roll-off-the-tongue one-liners than Seinfeld. One of those books you buy six copies of to send to all your old friends.’ Julie Morrice, Scotsman

‘A wonderfully moving comedy.’ Alex Clark, Red

'A warm, life-affirming novel that offers its readers pure pleasure.' Katie Owen, The Times

About the Author

Laurie Graham is the author of eight novels. The Ten O'Clock Horses, was shortlisted for the Encore Award and dramatized for Radio 4, as was Perfect Meringues.

Laurie is a former Daily Telegraph columnist and contributing editor to SHE magazine, and wrote the best-selling Parents' Survival Guide. In addition to her novels she writes original dramas and adaptations for BBC Radio. Her ten episode dramatization of Little Women can be heard on Woman's Hour starting August 2nd 2004.

Born and raised in Leicester, Laurie now lives in Venice with her American husband.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another lovely book from Laurie Graham 8 Oct 2004
Laurie Graham is the most delightful storyteller and I am huge fan.
Mr Starlight is another success for her, although I didnt enjoy is as much as say "The Dress Circle", which is the only reason I have not given the book 5 stars.
The book describes the life of the Boffs. Cled and Sel are entertainers at the local clubs around Birmingham, and they appear on the surface to be a pretty ordinary family. Sel is a cossetted and ambitious crooner, while Clef is a talented musician forever playing sidekick to his charismatic brother. When he gets the opportunity to move to America, Sel grabs the chance. Clef, with not much else to do, tags along.
The story of the Boff's rise to fame and their difficulty in coping is well written, and full of the quirkiness we have come to know from Graham. There are plenty of skeletons in closets, and enough conflict and emotion to keep the story rolling along.
I have no hesitation in recommending Mr Starlight, but if you are a first time reader of Laurie Graham, I would suggest that "The Dress Circle" or "The future homemakers of America" might be a better place to start.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read 25 April 2005
This was an extremely enjoyable book. Laurie Graham is very skilled at flipping between comedy and tragedy, and Mr Starlight certainly contains both elements. The prose is well written and it very easy to get stuck into and not put down for hours!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Open Your Eyes Mrs Boff 25 May 2006
By Laura Daly VINE VOICE
Cled and Sel Boff play in the Welsh Club in Birmingham the lads however are soon off to America and life changes for both of them. Sel (Mr Starlight) hits the big time while Cled provides the narative and the one liners. It is an enjoyable read and I did laugh out loud at some of it, however I found it did drag on and unlike most of Ms Grahams books I was not sad to see the last page. I did however appericate the usual talent Laurie Graham has for giving the reader a vivid picture. The Mother clearly needs to open her eyes to Sel's life. There is an underlying saddness in it all. But its a good read overall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audio version is a real trhill 18 Aug 2008
By Robert
I listened to the unabridged audio version of Mr Starlight read by Jonathan Keeble. I got from the library, for something to listen to on a very long car journey, and did not expect to be it to be great. This is one occasion when a well written book comes together with an excellent reader to grip you. And this isn't even my normal sort of book. The voices feel real in their words and tones. Keeble switches voices effortlessly and never feels anything except convincing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read 12 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favourite Laurie Graham books. It has everything in it - good story, with humour and pathos, loosely based on a Liberace-type character who is English! Quite a topical read at the moment.
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