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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A non-story excellently written
It is inevitable that any examination of Double Fault will take place within the context of the Kevin phenomenon. If you're considering reading this book, it's likely to be because of your love of Kevin. Your appreciation of Double Fault is likely to depend on what it was you loved about Kevin.

Double Fault is a realistic, detailed and thought-provoking...
Published on 19 Nov 2006 by K Soze

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The woman can't write a bad sentence, at least
Lionel Shriver seems to make a feature of difficult to like heroines. In this book, Willy (short for Wilhelmina) is an American tennis professional. She has a good coach and is set to make the rankings as the novel begins. Then she falls in love with Eric, a lovely man of good family who has taken up tennis in earnest and needs a lot of help. They get married, but Willy's...
Published on 10 Sep 2009 by Eileen Shaw


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A middle ranking book about middle ranking tennis players, 19 Nov 2007
By 
Iago Zabibha "iago zabibha" (Worcester United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
This is certainly nowhere near as good as Kevin, as your other reviewers have observed. If you have no interest at all in tennis it is probably best avoided. The story begins with two mid-ranked tennis players meeting and falling in love, their married life is idyllic until they begin to compete for recognition on the courts. THe competition in their sporting lives spills over into their marriage. When Willy, who lived and breathed tennis from an early age, suffers an injury, her jealously spins out of control when her husband plays the U.S. Open. As only Shriver can do it, this novel doesn't let the reader off easy with a simple love-conquers-all story; instead, we get the full brunt of Willy's irrational rage, and a truthful record of its effects.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 4 Jun 2007
This review is from: Double Fault (Paperback)
I rushed out and bought this after finishing Kevin, but almost immediately realised that it wasn't in the same league at all. In fact I abandoned it halfway through (something I very rarely do). I picked it up again having enjoyed The Post Birthday World but unfortunately, I was still less than gripped and ended up skimming through the remainder of the book. The problems? Unbelievable characters, lack of plot, way too much tennis (and skipping! Paragraph after paragraph about skipping!). I'm afraid that I wouldn't recommend this book at all, unless you happen to be a tennis fanatic.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interminable, 24 Sep 2008
By 
Penny Jones (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
Loved Kevin but was very disappointed with this book. Characters lack credibility and the whole thing is dragged out to an interminable length - what was her editor thinking? There's not much of a story unless you are really, really, really interested in the minutiae of tennis.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Avoid unless you have trouble falling asleep at night, 17 Sep 2008
This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
Having read and loved 'We need to talk about Kevin' quite a few years ago I had been looking forward to other books by Shriver. I quite liked 'The post-birthday world' even though some reviewers said it was boring so thought I would give this one a try even though I had heard bad things about it. I wish I hadn't bothered. I think she actually wrote this book before Kevin and obviously didn't have a lot of success with it, probably because it is rubbish.
The reason I gave 2 stars instead of 1 is because at the start I thought it showed signs of promise and I thought I might get into it but it got more and more boring as it progressed. One thing about Shriver is she doesn't seem to write likable characters. I didn't like any of them in Kevin but it was completely absorbing anyway because the subject manner was interesting and the characters were at least believable even if you wouldn't exactly let them in your house. In 'Double Fault' I just wanted to slap all the characters especially the main one, Willy. And in this case there was no interesting plot, it is basically just a series of tennis games in mind numbing detail. I actually think tennis is alright, football is my main love but I will watch Wimbledon when it's on, but it really doesn't make a good subject for a book.
Basically the book is about Willy who meets Eric and marries him. They both play tennis and it shows how their differing careers affect their marriage. It is about the jealousy you can feel when someone close to you has success, which is even harder when you have the same dreams. I understand these feelings but they are not very interesting as it just comes across as whiny, self involved, self pity, which it is, and the book becomes extremely repetitive. As well as Willy being a massive pain Eric is extremely irritating and his family are worse. Willy's coach Max is about as fascinating as cardboard. The worst thing of all is probably the dialogue. Hugely unrealistic and often laughable, especially the flirting between Eric and Willy. They talk like they are in a play at the theatre with ridiculous levels of drama, exposition and endless paragraphs that people just don't say to each other. The sex scenes are pretty hilarious too, I can't take seriously the idea of people having sex on a tennis court. I would think that would be pretty uncomfortable.
My advice is if you have read Kevin then steer clear of this one because it will only disappoint, and if this was going to be the first Shriver book you read please don't because it will put you right off.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This ain't no Kevin, 28 Mar 2007
By 
E. Foley (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Double Fault (Paperback)
Like so many reviewers here, I loved Kevin and began this eagerly, but I could barely get past the first chapter with all the TENNIS! A poor novel, one of the few I didn't bother to finish, and no match (get my pun?) for Kevin.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love Six, Love Six, 31 Jan 2008
By 
Michael J. Hunt "mjhunt21" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Double Fault (Paperback)
Double Fault is a 'double entendre' in this case, I fear. In order for a book to be appreciated, the author needs to develop realistic characters - not necessarily likeable, but realistic. This requires great care with dialogue and actions. I can only speak about Double Fault as far as page 42, and I only got there out of curiosity. The more I tried to visualise that 'tennis court tryst', the more I wondered how it would fare in the annual 'worst sex scene' literary competition (well up with the masters, I concluded). Eric's speech and Willy's thoughts seemed more appropriate to a college bar-room debate, than to actual foreplay. Equally improbable were the contortions of their first coupling: `Willy's back pressed the net cord; it groaned ... (he) lifted her to cradled the small of her back on the tape, crouched, stood and closed his eyes. Consequently Wilhemina Novinsky discovered what a match was like without the go-between meddling of a tennis ball'.
Wow. You won't find that position in the Kama Sutra.
And that's where I left them, because I couldn't bear to read any further. I do hope they didn't pull any muscles.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A long rally, 4 April 2008
This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
I read this after I read We Need to Talk about Kevin, not realising it had been written some time ago. The ability to write at length about very little is a gift Lionel Shriver definitely has, and you can see its development in the later books. This one was disappointing, but please don't let it put you off her other books, which are great.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid, 26 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
This is a early book by Lionel Shriver and it shows. There is none of that convincing and compelling voice that is in Kevin. I think it is just the publisher trying to cash in on Shriver's name that she had made the big time. But I thought the writing was weak and the story unbelivable.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Massive faults, 9 Dec 2010
This review is from: Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) (Paperback)
I've given up on this book - only read as far as I did because it was all I had with me on the train. I like tennis but this was just too much. The characters completely lacked credibility and the conversations just made me cringe. Still can't believe it was written by the same person that produced the brilliant, "Kevin" book.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointed, 6 Sep 2006
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This review is from: Double Fault (Paperback)
after reading "kevin" i was expecting great things. it was ok but didnt hit the spot that kevin did. you were not sure whether to feel sorry for the main female character WIlly - or feel mad with her. the book ended rather abruptly which left the reader a bit high and dry. i was disappointed, but entertained if only slightly for a few days.
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Double Fault (Five Star Paperback)
Double Fault (Five Star Paperback) by Lionel Shriver (Paperback - 3 May 2007)
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