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Seven Sweet Things: A Novella with Recipes Paperback – 2 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2 Jun. 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1475053010
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475053012
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,416,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Shaun Levin is a South African writer based in London. He lived for many years in Israel. Much of his work is concerned with issue of immigration, home, identity and sexuality. He has been publishing stories since the early 1990s, and published his first book, Seven Sweet Things, in 2003. Since then, he has published several books and many stories, and most recently has been writing about the lives of three British painters, Mark Gertler, David Bomberg and Isaac Rosenberg.

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Format: Paperback
I've been thinking in the last 24 hours what is so special about Shaun Levin's voice (I am a fan - I have read much, if not all of his work). For me, what it boils down to (although I'm sure I'll come up with an entirely different reason tomorrow) is that he is entirely free from mean-spiritedness. Which is not to say he can't do "dark". The book has a number of dark and sad moments, but it's tone is so gloriously suffused with light that the darkness is always tolerable and never entirely crushing of our collective human spirit.

In many ways, but certainly in this way, and in this book, I think he's very Dyer-esque. I had a similar joie de vivre sense of life and the possibilities of love and sex whilst reading Dyer's Jeff in Venice novella. I almost wonder if Dyer read Levin before penning JIF,DIV. What they share is the ability to write in a way that always feels "just-enough": toothsome, free-wheeling, but also incredibly controlled and elegant.

You know that feeling you sometimes get when you're PLOUGHING through a novel and you think "I'm enjoying it, but really, do we *have* to have another page of this scene, or another description of that, cut to the bloody chase!" Levin is always cutting to the bloody chase. It makes the writing (which in this novel, so deftly fits the food + love theme) incredibly more-ish. You will wish it were three times the length it is. And that is a sign of a book you won't forget.

When I got to the bit where the lovers go to the park with their poppyseed cake, I thought "YES! this book is like going to a park with a few squares of delicious confectionary, someone you love, and a sunny day that you feel will never end (but all too soon does). It's just so effortlessly, scrumptiously "right".

The ending was perfect too.
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