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Tell Me Everything [Paperback]

Sarah Salway
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

4 Aug 2011

Discover a novelist that Neil Gaiman describes as ‘an astonishingly smart writer’.

When a chance meeting with a stranger leads to an offer of a room in exchange for telling her stories, Molly jumps at the chance.

Slowly she builds a new, eccentric family around herself: Tim, her secretive boyfriend, who just might be a spy; Miranda, the lovelorn hairstylist; Liz, the lusty librarian; Mr. Roberts, landlord and listener; and his French wife, Mrs. Roberts.

Much to Molly's surprise, she finds the stories she tells now are her key to creating a completely different life. Suddenly, her future is full of endless possibilities. The trouble is, Molly's not the only one telling tales. And the truth is always stranger than fiction.

Sarah Salway's witty, finely-tuned and poignant story of many stories is a uniquely entrancing chronicle.



Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project; Library of Lost Books edition edition (4 Aug 2011)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007371268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007371266
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 969,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sarah Salway is the author of three novels, SOMETHING BEGINNING WITH, TELL ME EVERYTHING and GETTING THE PICTURE, one solo collection of short stories, and a poetry collection, YOU DO NOT NEED ANOTHER SELF-BOOK BOOK. She lives half the time in Kent, England, in a house that is rumored to have been the illegal gaming rooms of the famous dandy Beau Nash, and half the time in London where she is teaches and works as a writing coach. She blogs regularly at www.sarahsalway.net, and at www.writerinthegarden.com.

Product Description

Review

'I galloped through this - couldn't stop once I'd started … Molly has such a strong and original voice, the writing's so spare and yet the message so complex … spiky, sparky, pithy and deep' Kate Long

'An ambush of a novel: characters who engage and then promptly pull the rug out from under your feet, plus enough wit and insight for two novels' Michelle Lovric

'Sarah does something quite rare, I think, which is to write engagingly (even grippingly) about the emotions, but in a way which is formally experimental, often quite daring…however dark she becomes the material is always handled with such a light touch, and is never predictable, always inventive' Andrew Cowan

About the Author

Sarah Salway lives in London and Kent. She is currently the RFL Fellow at the London School of Economics.


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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars storytime 6 Oct 2007
Format:Hardcover
The cover is a worry. It looks like one of those gruesome real-life abuse tales called 'A Stolen Childhood', or 'Please Daddy, Don't' , something provocative like that. And at first it seems that this might be a fictional equivalent. Molly is a young runaway who has left home after creating a scandal at home. One afternoon she finds herself telling a teacher at school about her father, but the story runs away with her and after embellishing the truth she is surprised to see herself taken seriously and the huge consequences it has for her family. So this is not going to be a standard narrative. Molly is telling the tale of her own life and she is not a reliable narrator.

Molly is offered a job and a room by Mr Roberts, the owner of a stationary shop. There is one condition; that whilst she is at the top of the ladder arranging supplies on the top shelf she tell him stories about herself (whilst he peeps up her skirt). She becomes friends with Miranda who works in the salon. As Miranda primps and preens her they flatter one another with compliments about their film-star looks, 'Oh you!' they coo to each other. The local librarian Liz provides Molly with recommendations, starting with romance fantasies and eventually erotica. And then there is Tim, Molly's boyfriend, who seems to be someone very important, possibly even a spy. But as I said this is a novel about the tales we tell ourselves:

People can come from (and go to) nowhere. The homeless Molly Mr Roberts took home with him...was a monster he created himself with every question he asked...And that Molly was now a shared production. Miranda looked after my exterior appearance while, over in the library, Liz and her books were taking care of the inside thoughts.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Bugger the Trollopes," she said 27 Sep 2012
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
A young girl, Molly, lives in an ill-furnished room above a stationery shop. By day she works in the shop with a middle-aged man who insists on her climbing the ladder while he steadies her by holding her legs, and she tells him stories about her life at school and her best friend the beautiful Leeanne.

She appeared one day at a Christian-run café and Mr Roberts, the middle-aged man, was the only one who sat down at her table. At the time she was sobbing her heart out and had already been asked to move on by a café waitress. Gradually we learn more about Molly - she's terrified of her father and indeed has run away from home to get away from him. We never learn exactly what he's done, other than a playing a few rather macabre jokes on her. We do get the gist however, that Molly is perhaps a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Her boyfriend is a youth who approached her in the park (she always sits on the seat that commemorates a schoolgirl who committed suicide). He never wears socks and says he's a kind of consultant at first, then he intimates he is a secret agent.

You feel this gormless story might be approaching some kind of denouement when Mr Roberts' wife appears and decides to run the stationery business herself. She's much better at it. But it isn't a good enough event to make a difference to the reading experience. You kind-of feel sorry for Molly, but she is too nave and suggestible. Her boyfriend is not much better and is, in fact, dragged off by his parents at one point, presumably to whatever institution he escaped from in the first place. I realised around halfway through this book that I wasn't enjoying it, but the writing was just good enough to suggest it might pick up. It doesn't however, and I read to the end with an increasing feeling of gloom. Not that anything much happened, but when I got to the last few pages I just read on as if suffering some kind of terrible lapse of will. Awful, awful, awful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Captivating 5 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback
I rarely give 5 stars, but I couldn't put this book down. Weird and wonderful, the story hints at child abuse, but the perspective is innovative, sophisticated, yet simply told. A modern classic. Suzy Norman.
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4.0 out of 5 stars original read 15 Feb 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is definitely a book to read in a day. A book about stories and story-telling, it carries you along with a narrative which blurs the line between fantasy and reality, creating a sense of intrigue as your own imagination starts inventing all sorts of possible explanations and outcomes. The ending is left open to the reader's interpretation, which can be seen as either incredibly frustrating or perfectly fitting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serendipitous 15 Mar 2007
Format:Hardcover
What a quirky, different story this is. Sarah Salway's story is so different from other more down-to-earth books that it feels like you've been picked up and whirled around dizzyingly at a height. It is a breath of fresh air amongst plodding stories that tell essentially the same story. With weird characters - who somehow seem familiar - and a serendipitous storyline, you never know what will happen next, but you want it to turn out well for them all none-the-less.

I haven't finished it yet, but wanted to put down what I thought as soon as possible. Now back to the book.
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