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Passing Go Hardcover – 5 Oct 2000


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First edition edition (5 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034071882X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340718827
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 24.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,930,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Libby Purves has excelled herself with this portrait of a dysfunctional clan, which is as full of sharp observations, insight and humour as her readers will have come to expect (Christina Koning, Times)

'tender, funny insightful . . . warm, clever and thought-provoking' The Big Issue

'Entertaining and bizarrely possible.' Hampstead & Highgate Express

A whirlwind of contemporary social issues . . . an extreme and entertaining picture of modern urban life. How Libby Purves manages to weave all this into a comedy, I don't know. But she does. (Philippa Boston, Daily Mail)

An author who tackles difficult contemporary issues with insight and compassion. Expect the unexpected in PASSING GO, a tale for our times. (West Lancashire Evening Gazette)

Humorous and touching (Good Housekeeping)

Purves ties up this tale with her usual skill . . . a modern fable with an old-fashioned message of tolerance and humanity at its core. (Play)

Both comic and poignant, the late of the magnificently dysfunctional Keaney family (West Lancashire Evening Gazette)

Urban life depicted in a most revealing way (Manchester Evening News)

An astute tale of modern middle-class family breakdown and role reversals. An urban sitcom turned upside-down (The Scotsman)

sharply observed, thought-provoking, witty - and ultimately optimistic and, indeed, heart-warming (East Anglian Daily Times)

Book Description

A funny, startling but ultimately hopeful novel of twenty-first century city lives.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an ounce of humanity in them. It is an extraordinary story of a dysfunctional family, told from each members' perspective. In particular, the youngest child's determination to discover the truth about one his siblings, who ran away from home at 16. The parents never even speak the missing child's name. To reveal any more of the story would be to spoil it for the reader. Libby Purves takes us on an emotional journey, full of pathos, humour, sadness and joy - be sure to have a box of tissues handy!
Perhaps most importantly, this book may come to be regarded as a milestone in people's increasing understanding and tolerance of those who happen to be different. It probably would not have been published even a few years ago, an encouraging sign that society is moving towards a time when it will truly "celebrate diversity".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
At first I didn't enjoy this one as much as Libby Purves' other novels but as always she raises issues and points with very believable characters. The desperate current of underlying sadness in the lives of all the protagonists is heartbreaking and the resolution is not particularly satisfying: which is just like life. I like Libby Purves for her refusal to neatly end her stories: always you are left wondering what happened next. True, this novel (more than the others) has striven for a hard-edged contemporary feel but the feelings expressed by all the characters are timeless and the reader can easily empathise.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
I usually quite enjoy Libby Purve's writing but I thought this book was her poorest so far. (I enjoyed "More lives than one" the best). Somehow I never really felt involved in it the way I have in her previous books - the adult characters seemed so cold and self absorbed and the one child Zachary, was portrayed in a very unrealistic way. (He doesn't mind losing the stability of home and parents and his attitude to his brother Danny's big secret is - well - probably a bit idealistic - children are generally very conventional little people!)
Ms Purves also seems to be striving for a contemporary year-2000 feel - the Tracey Emin-type daughter the son who is a dot-com millionaire - but this actually makes the novel feel somewhat dated in 2001. In my opinion the novel's central emotional focus should the relationship between Roy, Helen and their children - especially Zachary - but the family quickly disintegrates and the later reconcilation between Roy and his older children is meaningless and shallow. It seems that Libby Purves was aiming at social comedy (to go by the cover of the novel) which I suppose is a critic's way of saying the novel starts out with realistic characters with an identificable lifestyle only to degenerate into a farce with more and more eccentric characters being introduced who succeed only in irritating the reader and distracting from what should be the central focus of the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 May 2013
Format: Paperback
A sometimes very witty, sometimes poignant story of a middle-class Hampstead family in meltdown. Roy and Helen Keaney appear to have an ideal life: a nice house in Hampstead, a good job in publishing for Roy (who is earning bigger bucks since his firm got bought up by a big corporation), an adorable twelve-year-old son called Zack, and plenty of wealthy friends. But under the surface things are not well in the Keaney household. Roy and Helen's marriage is breaking down, and Helen has begun to spend compulsively to ease her depression at her life. And their three older children have all caused them sorrow. Marcus is a young 'shark', a dot-com entrepreneur making a huge amount of money, which he spends on posh clothes and drug-taking, a man who holds his father in contempt. Shona has become a 'Brit Art' star, who makes obscene sculptures and dresses in a flamboyantly grotesque way (though her secret passions are figurative art and drawing). And Danny, Shona's twin, disappeared at the age of 16 and hasn't been seen since... The family troubles finally come to a head when Marcus is appointed to a position in his father's corporation and promptly sacks Roy. Roy takes to the streets in protest, Helen realizes quite how bad their finances are and runs away to become a carer in an old people's home, and Zack is sent to family friends (like a foundling, as he puts it). But Zack is tough, and determined to bond with his big sister Shona, and find out what happened to Danny. Soon he's on his way to finding out some family secrets from Shona - secrets that will change everyone's lives. And Shona is realizing as she gets to know her brother better that the life she has been living for several years is not the one she wants.Read more ›
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