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Out of the Picture [Paperback]

Polly Samson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 May 2011
Quite unlike her fair stepsisters, Lizzie is dark and secretive: 'Just like your father' says her mother. But what was her father like? Photos of him are hidden away; snatches of overheard conversation between her mother and her stepfather deepen the mystery. Only her best friend Savannah - also abandoned by her father when she was a baby - knows what it feels like to wonder, to try and piece together an earlier story. But when events propel Lizzie alone to London she stops wondering and starts searching...Beautifully evoking the ache of childhood loss, the scrappy joys of chaotic families, and the hurt and relief of understanding, OUT OF THE PICTURE reveals Polly Samson's talent for laying bare the uncomfortable truths that lie just under the skin - in every family, in every secret.

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Out of the Picture + Lying in Bed + Perfect Lives
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd; Reprint edition (19 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844088065
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844088065
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A finely crafted diversion." --"Publisher Weekly"

From the Publisher

Excellent reviews for Polly Samson's Out of the Picture...
'Samson reprises the fractured family themes from her first collection, with deeper sympathy and insight. A fine debut novel' - Esquire

'...she has talent and a writing style that feels as natural as air' - The Times

'(Samson) pinpoints the telling detail in character or landscape and brings her prose to life with evocative scents and colours' - The Daily Telegraph

'Last year I tipped Polly Samson's engaging collection of short stories, 'Lying in Bed' as the debut of the year. Her first novel, Out of the Picture, is a worthy successor.' - Tatler

'A crisp, unsentimentally poignant stare into the heart of abandonment and loneliness' - The Daily Mail --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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First Sentence
Lizzie is being driven mad by a man in a car that's worth more than her flat. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book 25 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have just spent an extremely enjoyable couple of evenings with this book. It is well written, moving and filled with insight. The mysterious things that make people attracted to one another are accutely observed. Polly Samson writes about the sort of people we all know and I was hooked on this story of one such girl and her relationships with her father, her stepfather and her sugar daddy father figure. I couldn't recommend this book more highly.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me laugh. It made me cry. 4 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book made me cry at the end which is unexpected in a book that has this much humour. Although some of it was quite comical I kept wondering if I was supposed to be laughing when there was so much misery in the story. I was the same age as the main character in 1980 when the novel is set, and like Lizzie had a difficult time as I approached my twenties at the start of the Thatcher period. I thought the author captured seventies childhood well, ziggy stardust, jacobs cream crackers, alberto apple VO5 etc and also the way that Lizzie is at an age where she is both adult and a child - depending on whose looking. I could have done without some of the jokes though recommended if - like Lizzie - you want to laugh and cry at the same time "like a Rainbow".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that lives up to its cover 3 May 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I only read this because my girlfriend ordered it (she's got a really serious Amazon habit!) and I picked it up off the pile because I liked the cover. For the first few pages, I kept thinking that it probably wasn't the sort of book I was really going to "get" (the main character is an eighteen-year-old girl called Lizzie) but then it was suddenly three o'clock in the morning, my girlfriend was fast asleep, and I was completely hooked on Lizzie - she's the sort of character who makes you want to reach into the book and pull her out so that you can have a laugh with her over dinner and then later maybe let her have a cry on your shoulder. Brilliant! Very real and absorbing characters especially Lizzie and Cordelia. I couldn't have enjoyed it more. My girlfriend (who is reading it as I write this) keeps reading me bits aloud because she says Lizzie is exactly like she was when she was that age, especially all the things like hanging out with the "worst boys" in the pubs and doing armscratches with friends (don't think any boys did them) and all the best-friend stuff. (She hasn't admitted to any shudder-to-remember sex though). I give it five out of five. My girlfriend (from halfway through) gives it four. Grand total = four and a half. Well done Polly Samson - it's great to know you can judge a book by its cover.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bittersweet Story 27 Jan 2014
By Susie B TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Polly Samson's first full-length novel 'Out of the Picture' focuses on eighteen-year-old Lizzie, daughter of Jack Seymour, a well-known artist, who left her and her mother when Lizzie was a baby, and who she has not seen since. After an upsetting incident involving her stepfather, Lizzie has left the family home in Devon and is living in a rather squalid flat in Paddington, infested with cockroaches which, when she tries to attack them with a rolled-up newspaper "are invariably too quick for her, and she swears she can hear hysterical, high-pitched giggling as they scurry away and disappear under the carpet." Lizzie is rather ashamed of her temporary domicile, especially when Tony, her not yet divorced boyfriend, who is also her boss, hot-foots it from her bed to his own comfortable house almost as soon as their love-making sessions are over, but poor Lizzie cannot afford anywhere better. Before long Lizzie begins to see Tony for what he really is and upset by his actions, disillusioned by her stepfather's behaviour and haunted by her own father's abandonment of her, Lizzie has to decide whether to continue feeling like a victim or whether to start to take control of her life. When she makes the decision to track down her real father, Lizzie discovers more than she bargained for, but will she be able to cope with her new-found knowledge?

Well-written and keenly observed, Polly Samson's story gently pulls the reader into her heroine's life, making this novel an interesting and absorbing reading experience. Lizzie is an intriguing protagonist who, although doesn't always behave in the way we might want her to, is a strangely appealing and likeable character, drawn into behaving the way she does because of what has happened to her.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Polly Samson creates works to wallow in! 22 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is, quite simply, the most wonderful book I have ever read. It's full of the most delicious atmosphere and sense of place and I cannot praise the author's writing style highly enough. The use of language is exquisite and anyone wishing to wallow in emotive, atmospheric and sensual metaphors will be hooked on this work. I think this novel is worth reading again and again and again, just for the intensity of feeling evoked in every line and phrase. Polly Samson is a wonderfully talented writer and I hope she creates many more works for me to wallow in! Reading this book feels like lazing in an intensely scented bath, encased in seductive bubbles whilst being surrounded by dozens of beautiful candles .... I love it!
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