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The Wise and Foolish Virgins [Paperback]

Don Hannah
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

11 Feb 1999
In a small, sedate Canadian town, lives collide unexpectedly in a tangle of longing, dreams and hallucinations. This is a novel of Gothic scope in which people reach out to each other with ambiguous, even sinister intent, yet for all the right reasons.

Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (11 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862072329
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862072329
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,802,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

"Should we have stayed at home?" asks Elizabeth Bishop in the epigraph chosen by playwright Don Hannah for his first novel. If home means the provincial Canadian town depicted here, then she'd be wise to get the first train out of town. Hannah conjures up a scene of highly- nuanced claustrophobia, xenophobia, homophobia (just pick your own phobia), where everyone knows everyone else's business--or they're damned if they won't hunt it out.

The Wise and Foolish Virgins is populated with Real Life's rejects: Sixtysomething recluse Sandy Whyte, who still hears his dead mother's controlling voice ("Only people with filthy secrets shut their bedroom doors, Sandy"), his cleaner Gloria who saw the Virgin Mary in the woods, fundamentalist sisters Margaret and Minnie (Blanche and Baby Jane get God), and teenage loner Chaleur, whom Sandy watches excitedly from his window. As their paths criss and cross, old loves and feuds are revived, and new and unlikely liaisons forged. Like much recent Canadian writing, Hannah's novel plays on the provincial isolation of his setting, and the thwarted lives of his characters, but there is an ironic and humorous touch here-- combined with sex, religion, and guilty secrets--which lifts the book into a promising new genre: Gothic Canadian Soap.--Alan Stewart

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and wonderful 6 Sep 2000
I think the title explains it all - its a very weird and wonderful book! I was enthralled by the way the author introduces many different characters and intertwines them into the plot. Furthermore, it is a fascinating insight into weird relationships and how people interact with one another. Don Hannah uses emapthy throughout the book and enthralls the reader right up until the end. I recommend this book to anyone - it is such a good read and well worth the pennies spent............
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best 30 Oct 2003
By Jessie Deal - Published on
In a small undistinguished town,where everyone know everyone in one way or another, and nothing is ever forgotten, the lifes of several people are about to change.
The descriptions are perfect and you find yourself sympathizing with all the characters, understanding their point of view.
During one week the lifes of everyone will come to a U turn, and at the end of the week, you are filled with a feeling of pain and gentle beauty and even if the ending doesn't exceed the possible (and, perhaps, because of that) it seems that the remainder of characters' life will be different.
A truly great book that will at first spellbind you to it and will leave you thinking after you will finish it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied 20 Dec 2013
By Margaret B. Doogan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed this play by Don hannah, a very good Canadian writer. I would buy more by him & very affordable.
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