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A Slipping Down Life [Kindle Edition]

Anne Tyler
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

In a small Southern town teenager Evie Decker becomes obsessed with local rock singer Bertram 'Drumstrings' Casey, and decides to take her life into her own hands. When she carves his name on her forehead their two lives become unforgettably entwined in this remarkable novel.


‘She’s changed my perception on life’ Anna Chancellor

‘One of my favourite authors ’ Liane Moriarty

‘She spins gold' Elizabeth Buchan

‘Anne Tyler has no peer’ Anita Shreve

‘My favourite writer, and the best line-and-length novelist in the world’ Nick Hornby

‘A masterly author’ Sebastian Faulks

‘Tyler is not merely good, she is wickedly good’ John Updike

‘I love Anne Tyler’ Anita Brookner

‘Her fiction has strength of vision, originality, freshness, unconquerable humour’ Eudora Welty

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Product Description


"Wickedly good" (John Updike)

"Her brilliance in capturing the ripples on the surface of family life gives her a claim to be the Jane Austen of our age" (Allison Pearson, Daily Mail)

"Anne Tyler is inventive, funny and wise. Her fiction is magically alive to the quirks and coincidences of fate" (Guardian)

"Funny and lyrical and true, exquisite in its details and ambitious in its The writer is not merely good, she is wickedly good" (John Updike)

"Miss Tyler never loses her control. She writes with virtuosity and perfect confidence, insight and compassion" (The Times)

Book Description

A classic tale of growing up from one of the most beloved writers of our time

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More About the Author

Anne Tyler was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1941 and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Breathing Lessons and other bestselling novels, including The Accidental Tourist, Saint Maybe, Ladder of Years, A Patchwork Planet, Back When We Were Grownups, The Amateur Marriage and Digging to America. In 1994 she was nominated by Roddy Doyle and Nick Hornby as 'the greatest novelist writing in English'. Anne Tyler lives in Baltimore where her novels are set.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great! - if you know you like Anne Tyler's work. 16 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
The first Anne Tyler book I read was Ladder of Years and I was immediately won over by Anne Tyler's style of writing. Since then I have been working my way through all her books and this was one of the last I read. Although it is not one of my favourites (those would have to be Ladder of Years, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant and Searching for Caleb) I would still be hard pushed to say a bad word about Anne Tyler. Often very little happens in her books but the characterisation is so fantastic and utterly absobing that it doesn't seem to matter.
A Slipping-down Life is about a girl called Evie Decker who is one of life's misfits. She is unattractive, overweight and has very few friends. She becomes obsessed with a local small time rock star called Betram "Drumstrings" Casey. Unlike most hero worship scenarios where the dreamed of life with the star never happens, a relationship does develop between Evie and Drum. As one might expect it isn't happily ever after. The book is an interesting commentary on idolising people, and how some people in life are strong charactes and some are weak. You begin this book thinking you know who are the strong people and who are the weak but your perceptions are manipulated and turned on their head. It doesn't work out as you may think!
The characters in this book are well developed and absorbing. One of Anne Tyler's abilities as a writer is her skill in portraying a character so clearly with so few words. Her characters are completely believeable and their motivations and actions totally realistic.
I love books by authors who are strong on characterisation. As well as Anne Tyler I love the work of John Irving for this reason. If you want a lot of fast, action-packed storylines then this book is probably not for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to her usual standard 29 July 2009
By hiljean VINE VOICE
I am a HUGE fan of Anne Tyler's having read almost all her books (there are still two on my wishlist), but this one was probably my least favourite. Maybe it was because I couldn't identify at all with Evie (I am well past my teenage years!) or her situation or aspirations, but it also gave me a depressing sense of defeat and fatality.

There are, of course, positive aspects of the novel. Anne Tyler's ear for realistic dialogue is excellent and her writing is incomparable, but, like one of the reviewers above, I would not recommend this novel to anyone reading Tyler for the first time. Start with The Accidental Tourist (which blew me away) or Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite up to expectations 26 Feb. 2009
Having read nearly all of Anne Tyler's books (this early one must have slipped through my net) I was a little disappointed with this one. Her writing is as acute and observant as ever - hence the three stars - but I never really managed to sympathise with the central character, Evie, or mind too much what happened to her. There are certainly some wonderful moments, but for me, if I don't care what happens in a novel, it loses much of its attraction. This is the first time I haven't raced through a book by Anne Tyler. I hope it will be the last.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty odd 11 Nov. 2009
This was, all in all, a pretty odd book. You can probably tell that from the synopsis, but I truly didn't anticipate what happened in this novel. I was intrigued by the blurb as I, like all teenage girls, used to have crushes on musicians and fantasise about them falling in love with me. It was an interesting story and there were aspects which appealed to me, but my problem was with the characters. I just didn't connect with any of them. Maybe this is an issue with books with less than 150 pages, but I just didn't feel like I knew Evie. Her life was interesting and appeared to be realistic (not that I know a lot about southern USA in the 1960s!), but I didn't really care whether or not she made the right decisions regarding Casey. Casey was an arrogant and aggravating character to begin with, but by the end of the book he appeared to have grown more than Evie, and had more common sense than her. Despite these positive aspects, I still definitely prefer Tyler's later novels. I'd recommend reading this if you want to find out what her earlier books are like, as this was an intriguing story and definitely not a waste of time, but I am glad that I didn't buy it new
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quirky tale of idolism 2 Jan. 2002
By anon
This is my first Tyler that I could be bothered to finished, and it intrigued me no end. After moaning to my Mum that teenagers were incredibly missrepresented in fiction, especially misfit ones, she recommended it to me.
When Evie Decker carves 'Casey', the name of a local rock singer, on her forehead, their lives both change. The relationship between Evie and Drum Casey is interesting, and seeing Drum's change in attitude towards Evie means the plot takes an odd turn. The change in status between the two makes for compelling reading, and the feelings towards the characters are genuine.
A small tale about a relationship of a completely different nature. The characters are exquisite and the tone remains quiet and brewing throughout.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waht a read. 5 Jan. 2014
By Tilly
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love Anne Tyler and this book won't disappoint. Buying used is a great way to save money. Still very good quality. Thank you.
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