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Their Lips Talk of Mischief [Kindle Edition]

Alan Warner
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
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Product Description


[G]litteringly explosive ... the perfect summer read. (The Times)

[T]his craftily engineered and winningly nostalgic novel is at last a story of lost illusions. It ends in a flash-frame of aporia, an impossible decision to be made: in lesser hands this might feel like a copout, but Warner knows exactly what he is doing. (Guardian)

Warner has always been the contemporary Scottish writer most interested in literary style; combining slangy, stylised speech with a baroque phrasing and syntax, he is incapable of writing a dull book. (The List)

Moving, funny, richly peopled and written with great gusto. (Financial Times)

[O]ne of Scotland's best, a writer who has begun to create his own, often surreal, imaginative world out of the flotsam and jetsam - the detritus - of modern life. (The Observer)

[An] ebullient but underlyingly sombre book. (Sunday Times)

Their Lips Talk of Mischief paints a sharp picture of deception, obsession and love. It encourages runaways to look forwards rather than backwards, yet never discloses its journey's end. It shows Warner at his finest, all his talents in cahoots. (Scotland on Sunday)

Their Lips Talk of Mischief is that rare thing - a book about books that will actually appeal to those without literary doctorates ... this is a novel that rises above its meta self-reflexiveness to cover frustrated ambition, friendship, desire, love - and a good deal of sex ... Warner has a peculiar eye for detail that is delightful and disturbing. (We Love This Book)

Book Description

Their Lips Talk of Mischief, Alan Warner's first novel with Faber, is a darkly comic tale of hope and humanity against the grim urban and political landscape of Margaret Thatcher's Britain

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 558 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Fiction (19 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,987 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Withnail & Wife 22 Jan. 2015
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Alan Warner is an accomplished comic writer, specialising in unlovely characters on the margins of society.

In Their Lips Talk Of Mischief, we find Douglas, a homeless young Scot who has just dropped out of an English Literature degree in London and is hiding in hospital Accident and Emergency departments all night, trying to keep warm. There he finds Llewellyn (aka Lou), a Welshman who claims to be a writer whose chest has fallen apart (literally). Anyway, they end up talking and Douglas ends up back at Lou's flat, sleeping on a camp bed and thinking impure thoughts about Lou's girlfriend Aoife (Eeef - with a triple E).

What emerges is pretty much a carbon copy of Withnail and I, but with the added comic interest of Eeef and her baby daughter Lily. Much alcohol is consumed, grand plans are made for the future - mainly in the pub - and there is a procession of drunken escapades. The general tone of Lou and Douglas's conversation is pompous, in the way that some students try to display their smidgeon of learning at every opportunity. Eeef is not cut from the same cloth and provides a backdrop of domesticity and ordinariness.

Predictably, the novel becomes a comic love triangle. It is grotesque; it is farcical. But underneath the pomposity and predictability, there is an honest portrayal of the false bravado of young men, desperate to succeed in life but paralysed by their terror of failure. There is tenderness buried beneath it all.

The setting, in the early 1980s in West London all rings true. It is probably not a coincidence that Warner himself was a student in London at the time. There is a brilliant satire running through it of the exploitation of young writers by unscrupulous publishers, and a good insight into the pub/club/curry lifestyle of the time.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This a terrific read.The story has a good sense of time and place, being set in Acton during the Thatcherite 1980s. Wit and humour take flight in the speech of the characters, which one newspaper reviewer has, quite accurately, already likened to Bruce Robinson's movie 'Withnail and I'. Anyone who loves that film should enjoy this book. Here the characters want to be writers rather than perform on stage, but the dynamic of ambition and waste between Lou and Douglas is similar. The story is well paced, with lots of drinking and sex and guilt to feed the mischief, and it ends well with at least some atonement. And there's some literary references to enjoy along the way. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Verdict from the Stornoway town councillor. 11 Dec. 2014
One of the characters in this lovely book dismisses critics and book reviewers as 'just the town councillors of literature'. So one reviews Alan Warner's latest effort with some caution and brevity. Warner has a wonderful turn of phrase and an expert knowledge of pubs, alcohol and social security scams in the 1980s. As noted in other reviews here, the two main characters have more than a touch of Withnail and I about them. Lots of lovely one-liners along the way, my two favourites being 'I'll say this. You're very polite for a Protestant.' and 'Never trust a Catholic who doesn't drink.' Buy this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading pleasure 27 Sept. 2014
I can't imagine how anyone could not enjoy the reading of this book. It's fast, funny, and engaging. My favourite sections were those when Douglas was on his own, such as his lonely Christmas day or after he returns from his night out with Aoife. Some beautiful writing there boyo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 22 Oct. 2014
I loved this book. Very inventive and evocative of the times (1980s). The characters are captured so well. Was glad and excited each time I picked it up to read. Straight onto Amazon to buy more of Warner's books when I'd finished this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love a bit of mischief. 16 Jan. 2015
By Galala
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Imaginative, brilliant wit. Loved the pace and the characters--the names!--and all the mischief, the darkness of which was offset brilliantly by the presence of Lily the baby. So lively and engaging and just plain fun, but intelligent, thought provoking fun. This was my first Alan Warner novel but won't be my last. Originality at its finest. Quirky and absorbing without being taxing. Enjoyed the vocab too.
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