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Chalcot Crescent Hardcover – 1 Sep 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Corvus; First Edition, First Impression edition (1 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848872682
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848872684
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.8 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,227,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"* 'Fay Weldon is a national treasure.' - Literary Review * 'Prolific and provocative, Fay Weldon shines brightest in the league table of British women novelists' - Time Out * 'elegant, deadly... there's simply no touching Weldon as a writer' - Observer * 'Weldon's style, that virtuoso of intelligence and insinuating garrulousness, achieves a kind of ideal equilibrium between therapy and gossip' - The Times"

About the Author

Fay Weldon was brought up in New Zealand. She read Economics and Psychology at the University of St Andrews, and worked briefly for the Foreign Office in London. She later began to write full-time. She received an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews in 1990. In 2001 she was awarded a CBE. She lives in Dorset with her husband, the poet Nick Fox.


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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after reading a review that claimed the book was "extremely good, but really rather bonkers". My mother had been persuading me to read Fay Weldon for ages, so I thought I'd give this one a go. I can tell you that the reviewer was exactly right! As a whole, the novel is brilliant - very funny, lots of sharp one-liners, and some wonderful insight on what life was once like, and what it might be like in the future. And the plot is pretty strange... The book is told from the point of view of Frances,a sister that Fay never actually had, who is now aged eighty and is living in the near future (2013). Frances has clearly lived a life very like Fay Weldon's real life - become a famous author, married lots of times, been something of a feminist, etc - while her sister, the fictional 'Fay', is a struggling cookery writer living in Australia. I'll have a go at outlining what happens, though it might be better to just read the book without knowing the plot, as there are surprises around every corner.

Frances is trying to hide from the bailiffs who want to take her Primrose Hill house in lieu of her debts. All the banks have collapsed during the Crunch (sound familiar?!) which was followed by the Shock, the false Recovery and then in 2013 the Bite. No-one has any money, except maybe the sinister-sounding government, who have sealed up everyone's back doors, and have CCTV on every street corner. Food is scarce and everyone lives off National Meat Loaf, which may (or may not) have something to do with government scientists and human meat...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've enjoyed many of Fay Weldon's Books and know that she can be very imaginative and this book is certainly full of surprises. It's an amalgam of bits of the author's life; mixed with dystopic visions of what the future will be like after the upheavals caused by the credit crunch; and nostalgic reflections about what life was like in the good times. The book is set in 2013 when Britain is a totalitarian state and is loosely held together by the narrator, Frances's, complicated interactions with her extended family and ex-husbands. It's a bit like Orwell's 1984, but written in Weldon's spritely style and full of humour. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as some of her earlier books as it flitted about a lot with disconnected chapters and so many characters coming and going that I sometimes couldn't remember who was whom.
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Format: Paperback
Yet another example of Fay Weldon's remarkable individuality and originality as a writer. Is there anything she doesn't know about human life? I doubt it. In this book she flits from idea to idea like a Tinkerbell spreading stardust that turns into our own fears, hopes, possibilities and dreams, with a nowness, a foreverness, and a yesterdayness, and she does it with laughter and strength, candour and a pointing finger that says, `I warn you!' Luxuriously Fay Weldon. A very clever novel.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very funny book, a fast read, rolls along effortlessly and is full of biting humour. This is Fay at her best. I have also read Auto de Fay, her biography and this book in a fictional way mirrors her biography but gives you insights into what she previously wrote but in a much more colourful way. I loved it. It does also have many parallels to our recession situation and the complete farce of political life right now with an election looming. There are many interesting references, for instance, Stanley Kubriks Clock Work Orange,Sylvia Plath and Assia W who she did know and work with in the 60's in an advertising agency, a very wry, witty take on her life always with a supernatural 'fate' very naturally directing events, as seen from a distance with her hindsight. I like the phrase she uses to describe the turning points in her life, as unexpected still moments, like when a car slows down, changes gear and takes a corner, but she puts it much better than that in context. A very good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of Fay Weldon, will have read many of her books, and so will know what to expect. They will not be disappointed, the witch has cast her usual spell, and pleasure is the result.
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Format: Paperback
Fay Weldon, the immensely popular British author of twenty-nine previous novels, creates an unusual variation of metafiction in this new novel. Here, an elderly author is sitting on the stairs behind the closed front door of her house in Chalcot Crescent, evading the bailiffs who want to talk with her about her debts. The beleaguered author is Frances Prideaux, whose life parallels that of Fay Weldon in almost every key issue. Frances, however, says she is the sister of Fay, an author she claims is now reduced to writing cookbooks. Frances herself has written dozens of successful novels, and now, needing more money, has decided to write "a fantasy about alternative universes."

Frances's alternative universe is in 2013, a time in which Britain is in dire straits financially and socially, and her writing becomes this novel, a broad satire of the issues she sees dominating British life in the immediate future. These issues alternate with Frances's commentary on her own life and that of her family. The Shock of 2008 has eventually evolved into the phony Recovery of 2012, and finally the Bite of 2013. It is a time of fuel allowances, ration books, roads and other infrastructure in decay, power cuts, water shortages, sixty percent unemployment, and banks which charge the depositor for putting the money into the bank! The National Unity Government (NUG) controls all, the National Institute for Food Excellence (NICE) feeds the people (mostly on National Meat Loaf, made from suspicious substances), and the National Institute of Homes for Everyone (NIHE) provides housing. Neighborhood Watch, aided by CiviCams, "protects the peace.
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