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The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia: A Black-Hearted Soap Opera [Paperback]

Sarah May
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 6.04 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 Nov 2006

Do you know what your neighbours get up to behind closed doors? And more to the point, do you want to know? ‘The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia is a darkly comic portrayal of marriage, relationships, neighbours and suburbia.

Welcome to Littlehaven, where serving pineapple with cottage cheese at a dinner party is the very height of glamorous sophistication; where sulky teenagers join CND and obsess as much about the threat of nuclear war as they do about their latest acne outbreak; and where missing a Green Goddess-led aerobics session is the true definition of disaster. ‘The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia’ follows the intertwined stories of the inhabitants of Pollards Close in love and out of love, in marriage and in flagrante, in health and in sickness, in work and out of work, in triumph and in tragedy.

‘The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia’ is a black-hearted soap opera, a smart, sharp study of obsession, paranoia and class, set against an all-too-recognisable backdrop of the decade that taste forgot.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st Paperback Edition edition (6 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007232322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007232321
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,105,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah May is an intimate observer of society (AKA curtain-twitcher of the highest order). She is the author of five previous novels. She lives in London with her theatre director husband and their two children.

Product Description

Review

Praise for ‘The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia’:

‘May’s shrewd sideways glance makes this a novel moving and menacing by turns.’ Observer

'The narrative is beautifully observed, with the subtle touch of a writer who makes every action and mannerism feel plausible. Sarah May has a rare talent for melding the farcical with the tragic, and has produced a novel which – but for an ending worthy of Tom Sharpe – is a scathingly successful piece of social commentary.' Daily Mail

‘Sarah May has brought the obsessions, ambitions and class paranoia of Thatcher’s Britain beautifully back to life. It’s a visceral read, but this is one book you’ll be happy to read in a rush.’ Daily Express

‘Full of hilarious pop-culture detail, this is a dizzying celebration of the 80s…Laugh-out-loud.’ Eve Magazine

‘Like Mike Leigh directing Desperate Housewives; a brilliantly 1980s suburban drama.’ Elle Magazine

‘Truly original chick-lit.’ Heat

About the Author

Sarah May is an intimate observer of society (AKA curtain-twitcher of the highest order). She is the author of four previous novels: The Rise and Fall of the Queen of Suburbia, The Nudist Colony, which was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award; Spanish City and The Internationals. She lives in London with her theatre director husband and their two children.


Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Odious 28 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback
I made it to the section of the book which involved one of the main characters deliberately trapping a dog's tail in a door until it bled, howled and smacked its head against a glass window, and then refused to read any further. If this is what passes for "humour", I'd rather do without.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all the things you think about your neighbours 8 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback
Contrary to most of the reviewers, I really enjoyed this book, and reread it a few times. I think what appealed to me most about this book, is that I grew up in a similar environment, with my very own Linda Palmer right across the street. I loved the fact that this book is a shade 'darker' than normal chic lit, and that it shatters the suburban dream of showing what life is like behind closed doors. Instead of everyone getting along nicely, and enjoying life, everyone is completely nuts! If there's one book which best illustrates upward mobility in a turbulent decade, clad in leggings and fake fur with Marks and Spencers Autumn Leaves covering the kitchen, it's this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. 12 Aug 2009
By Lucy
Format:Paperback
The concept of this book sounded interesting and amusing. Sadly, the book failed to live up to either. I ploughed on with the book thinking it would get better - but the ending was not worth reading the entire book for. I agree with one of the previous comments - it will be rehomed at the local charity shop!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quite boring 11 Mar 2007
Format:Paperback
I thought the idea for this book was brilliant, really original, yet it was the complete opposite of what I thought it would be like. I found it quite a depressing read and did not like the writing style, which was a little boring. Despite not enjoying it, I ploughed all the way through to about half-way then I just couldn't read anymore I was so bored with the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the book i would recommend 31 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
just brilliant. witty and funny. The way she describes typical family is caprivating. Plot simple and yet something lies in it. Wisdom of mundane life :))
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2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm interesting idea 15 Jan 2011
Format:Paperback
Hmmm well what can I say. I liked the idea of a close neighbourhood story set in the 80s. I loved Linda's obsession with frozen goods and "keeping up with the Jones" attitude. The story dug out the secrets from behind closed doors- hence soap opera title. May's reading style is fairly witty and great descriptions but from so much expectations the book just seemed to fall flat. I think there was just too much going on at once. I really sorry but I just wasnt a fan.
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