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Spotted Lily
 
 

Spotted Lily [Kindle Edition]

Anna Tambour

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Product Description

Product Description

Angela Pendergast, escapee from the Australian bush, grew up with the smell of hot mutton fat in her hair, the thought of her teeth crunching a cold Tim Tam chocolate biscuit-the height of decadent frivolity.

Now, though her tastes have grown and she knows absolutely what she wants, her life is embarrassingly stuck. So when the Devil drops into her bedroom in her sharehouse in inner-city Sydney with a contract in hand, she signs. He's got only a Hell's week to fulfil his side, but in the meantime he must chaperone her — or is it the other way around?

Shortlisted for the William L. Crawford Award.
A Locus Recommended Reading List selection.


"I hate giving away the story, but allow me to say that this novel is not going where you think it is....teaming with genuine wit and humor... excellent writing...One thing I’m sure of is that it should be required reading for all those who go into writing fiction with dreams of great remuneration and fame. If it were, Tambour would already be both wealthy and famous."
--Jeffrey Ford, 14theditch

"...a wicked, thoroughly unpredictable romp . . . Spotted Lily might just be a particularly inventive comic take on wish-fulfillment, but soon enough it strays far from the beaten path...a dizzying but delightful journey through old myths and modern chaos, turning Faust and Pygmalion on their ear as it cuts its own path toward something like self-knowledge."
--Faren Miller, Locus

"The main thing is, the novel is real."
--Jeff VanderMeer

"One of the things I liked most about this book was that it was so difficult to tell where it was going...the book is so well written that for a lot of the time you don’t actually notice that it has a supernatural element to it."
--Cheryl Morgan, Emerald City

"Funny, believable, refreshingly different . . . Perhaps most of all it is a very funny book, without being what you would call a comedy. . . Anna Tambour, on the strength of Spotted Lily and her earlier story collection, Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales &, is one of the most delightful, original, and varied new writers on hand. "
--Rich Horton, SF Site

"Spotted Lily is a remarkable novel of dark satire. It is brutal and terrifying. It is painful and beautiful. It is profound and I think it has the makings of a classic. This is, to me, a work of literary significance, far transcending the boundaries of genre of the fantastic."
--Vera Nazarian, Norilana

And more from reviews posted on Amazon:

"Spotted Lily by Anna Tambour is not the sort of book I would normally choose to read. For starters it contains two of my pet literary hates: deals with the devil and writers grappling with their writing... but it was a gift from a friend and so I surpressed the urge to roll my eyes and I did read it. Boy, am I ever glad that I did. I read a lot of stories these days and, more often than not, I've forgotten 90% of what I've just read before I've even put a book down and picked up the next one. Not this book. Spotted Lily is one of those tales crammed with tiny little details that will rattle around in my head for the rest of my life. This book is hysterically funny in some places, revolting in others. Truer to life than not, overall, despite its supernatural content."
--Cat Sparks

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 729 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: infinity plus (17 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JKNQK8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #563,059 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable meshing of dark satire and humanist pathos 20 April 2005
By Vera Nazarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
SPOTTED LILY is a remarkable novel of dark satire. It is brutal and terrifying. It is painful and beautiful. It is profound and I think it has the makings of a classic. This is far from an easy read, and it is not commercial -- it simply cannot be, not with the nature of themes it explores: god is dead and ultimate ennui.

Herein lies a peculiar, resonant, and bitter combination of Bulgakov's THE MASTER AND MARGARITA, a very adult version of Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS, and frequent touches of Kafka and Marquez's ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE.

The satire is dark and biting and yet it is the pathos of Angela that got to me, her humanism and vulnerabily and the subtle nature of the fragile self and self-image hell (on earth!) she wallows in -- it broke my heart.

The novel is steeped in a succession of naturalist and surreal details -- sensual, beautiful/ugly dissonance and erotic fetish, frequently shocking and supremely memorable. There is loss of dignity and the redemption of self, over and over; a dance.

And the Australian heart is there -- I who have never been to Australia feel that now I have; the Bush is IMPRINTED upon me. Her childhood home, the secret place her father wept... flowers placed in ordinary jam jars to bloom in small private wonder.

The journey of Angela is ultimately an amazing piece of pshychological portraiture. And her deal with the Devil is merely the tip of the iceberg.

This is, to me, a work of literary significance, far transcending the boundaries of genre of the fantastic -- Anna Tambour makes an amazing novel debut.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, believable, refreshingly different "Deal with the Devil" story 13 May 2006
By Richard R. Horton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Anna Tambour's first novel is funny, moving, and true. At the open it seems set to be a satirical account of a somewhat aimless young woman's deal with the devil, and as such it is funny enough. But along the way -- or more probably, from the start, did we but know it -- it becomes an affecting look at an Australian woman's discovery of herself. Oh, and a love story too. With plenty of erotic imagery -- but with most of the actual eroticism suppressed.

Angela Pendergast is a 30ish Australian woman who has moved from her family's ranch in the bush to the big city. She wants to be a Writer, specifically a Bestselling Writer, but she finds it hard to actually get down to writing her Novel. Put simply, she wants to Have Written, not to write. She has a part-time job at a New Age bookstore, and she lives in a house with a few roommates.

Then the Devil shows up. He wants to be the new roomer -- but more than that, he offers her a deal. He'll write her Novel, a guaranteed bestseller. In exchange, of course, for the usual.

So far, so relatively normal. But both Angela and the Devil, whom she names Brett Hartshorn, aren't quite such simple characters. Soon Brett is immersing himself in human literature, trying to decide what makes a bestseller. (Before too long he lights on Barbara Cartland, and who can argue?) Meanwhile Angela is being remade as a glamorous Author, which amounts to accepting her curviness as loveliness, and to abandoning herself to the ministrations of a couple of fashion advisers. Which is a bad description of that portion of the book -- the "advisers" aren't conventionally portrayed at all, and Angela (now called Desir?e Lily) is quite a different "Author".

But the book has further twists and turns. It seems what the Devil wants, and for that matter what Angela wants, isn't quite as clearcut as we might have thought. Never is the next plot development what we expect, as Angela learns more and more about things she has ignored, as she indeed becomes a bestselling author, in a very surprising and funny way, and as the Devil, indeed, is delivered his promised soul.

Inevitably one of the things Angela really needs is to return home, to come to an accommodation with the bush she left, with the parents she left. And, finally, she needs to come to one more accommodation -- another striking surprise!

Spotted Lily is quite an impressive debut. Perhaps most of all it is a very funny book, without being what you would call a comedy. It is also a believable and complete portrait of a woman. It is very surprising, and refreshingly so. I thought perhaps the need to always be original led to a bit of a strain for effect right at the close -- I admit I expected a slightly different, more conventional resolution, and I'm not quite sure the final twist really works -- but it's completely honest to the spirit of the book. Anna Tambour, on the strength of Spotted Lily and her earlier story collection, Monterra's Deliciosa & Other Tales &, is one of the most delightful, original, and varied new writers on hand.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new species of creature 12 July 2005
By Alistair Rennie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Reading SPOTTED LILY is like coming across a new species of creature which is immediately notable for its many unusual features. It has a weird manoeuvrability that occasionally shocks with its sudden bouts of unsightliness. But it is also perfectly adaptable to the terrain it explores, showing a startling tendency to slither and dash and slither again with an impressive elasticity and ease of pace that is wholly mesmerising.

It is a provocative creature, too, and, for this reason, is liable to provoke different responses in different readers. With its sinuous prose, delicious grossness, furious dialogues and unpredictable twists and turns, it is a lesson in extremity. But it is equally, also, a novel that explores the mundane terrors and pleasures of life to tremendous effect.

It is, too, full of a gritty poignancy that tugs at the heart strings with rugged force rather than sentimentality; and its tendency to make the normal seem bizarre and the bizarre seem normal is, by now, a trademark feature of Tambour's work.

This is a book for those who like their details raw and fiction raucous; who are less enthused by the introspective meanderings of more evenly wrought character-based plots -- who prefer, instead, the charm of being suspended in a flux of ambiguities that are the residue of experiences not easily defined.

Forget, also, any hollow reproduction of the Faustian motif, with its moral dialectic of good versus evil, greed versus righteousness, covetousness versus humility. There is no coming to terms in a religious sense but a full concentration on the virtues of the material as opposed to the moral universe; and the consequences are as fascinating as they are extremely funny.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marilyn Pride loves "Spotted Lily" 27 Nov 2010
By Lewis P. Morley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're tired of reading fantasies that all seem to use the same few tired old themes, plot structures and language,try SPOTTED LILY. Its initially commonplace story of making a bargain with the devil quickly dives off in unexpected directions,becoming by turns a funny, intriguing and sometimes shocking tale told in brilliantly fluid and original language. Anna Tambour's way of seeing is unique,her storytelling power able to keep one turning the pages even as her protagonist, Angela, is revealed as an increasingly repulsive person.I loved the constant surprises thrown up by the twists and turns of the narrative.The sensuality.The ending--distressing and,again, not predictable. I'ts not a book to be read in a rush, the language deserves to be savoured and the conclusion mulled over at leisure.
4.0 out of 5 stars well spotted indeed! 17 Feb 2006
By Cat Sparks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Spotted Lily by Anna Tambour is not the sort of book I would normally choose to read. For starters it contains two of my pet literary hates: deals with the devil and writers grappling with their writing... but it was a gift from a friend and so I surpressed the urge to roll my eyes and I did read it. Boy, am I ever glad that I did. I read a lot of stories these days and, more often than not, I've forgotten 90% of what I've just read before I've even put a book down and picked up the next one. Not this book. Spotted Lily is one of those tales crammed with tiny little details that will rattle around in my head for the rest of my life. This book is hysterically funny in some places, revolting in others. Truer to life than not, overall, despite its supernatural content.

A cautionary tale for anyone who reckons they might want to be famous.
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