- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Serpent's Tail; FIRST EDITION edition (7 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1852429119
- ISBN-13: 978-1852429119
- Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 13.6 x 2.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,051,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Double Fault Paperback – 7 May 2006
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'Purposeful and provocative novel... fans of Kevin won't be disappointed' -- The Bookseller, Feb 3, 2006
A brilliant tale of doomed love -- Observer Review, May 7, 2006
A tale of thwarted ambition, rivalry and resentment -- Eve, June 2006
I doubt that there is any thoughtful woman who does not recognize herself somewhere in Shrivers writing -- Financial Times
She does not coax, or wheedle: she challenges. She makes you think -- Daily Telegraph
Shriver controls the narratives pace the way a champion would a tennis match -- The Independent
With prose as taut as a well-strung racket, youll be captivated -- Marie-Claire, June 2006
[A] purposeful and provocative novel -- The Daily Ireland
What price do you pay for prizing success over love? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Double Fault is a realistic, detailed and thought-provoking analysis of the deterioration of a marriage in the same way that Kevin depicted the deterioration of the mother-son relationship. Nobody writes dysfunction like Shriver.
Both novels are written from the point of view of flawed anti-heroines, with which all but the most saintly of us can identify to some extent. If you like respectable protagonists, full of honour and virtue, neither book is for you.
Double Fault examines the extent to which eventualities are pre-destined by circumstance, just as Kevin did.
Double Fault is written with exactly the same flair, entertaining imagery and vibrant characterisation.
The difference between the two novels lies in plot. Double Fault has very little. It is simply an examination of a relationship and the emotional journey taken by a character. Don't wait for a twist or a jaw-dropping finale. If therein lies your love of Kevin, avoid Double Fault.
For another thing, it breaks the first rule of novel writing: show, don't tell. This does nothing but tell all the way through, relentlessly, the narratorial voice forever in your ear, never letting you discover anything for yourself, let alone become immersed in the story.
What's more, don't let anyone tell you it's 'not really' about tennis: it bloody well is, there are matches in there described serve-for-serve. If, like me, you don't know one end of a racket from the other (and don't care either), these sections are dull, dull, dull.
And finally, there's the creeping suspicion that Shriver, a shining light both for intelligent women's writing and also for the growing debate on motherhood, may turn out to be a one-trick pony: her protagonist, Willy, is an ambitious, driven woman[...]Sound familiar? She's even got a man's name, just like Lionel. With so much in common with both the author's own life, and last book, the tennis action seems to be the only thing in this book she's had to reach for - and it was to me the least interesting part of it.
While in the later parts of the book Shriver still displays an amazingly acute eye for the subtle daily bartering that goes on in most relationships, as well as an uncanny ability to pinpoint the moment the fulcrum of power shifts between two people, sadly it's too little, too late.
If, as seems likely, this examination of the paralysing fear of failure reflects Shriver's own fears in following up a phenomenon like Kevin, one can only hope she's written those worries out now, ready for a return to form with the next book.
Although 'Double Fault' is written in the third person, its narrative is largely sympathetic with Willy. It is as effective in detailing her thoughts and feelings as 'Kevin' was in detailing Eva's. On the other hand, however, we are lured into empathising with the unlucky hack who chose Willy for a wife. Eric antagonises Willy, only with his affable and selfless nature, whch serves really to exaggerate Willy's unattractiveness. This is precisely the reason why 'Double Fault' recieved rejections before finally being published - Willy is 'unattractive'. In fact, it preceeds 'Kevin', as it was released in 1997 whereas 'Kevin' was released in 2003. In fact, a further six books preceeded 'Double Fault', so it is not the make-or-break second novel for Shriver.
Anyway, rather than a review, I'd like to recommend this book. It reports on the human relationship in such as way that one might consider it satirical, for it focuses on the reality of domestic disharmony rather than the Hollywood version in which good sense almost always prevails. No, Shriver's characters never learn, do they? Hellbent on self-effacement and destruction, they're addictively interesting. Out of frustration, you may just want to tear your pages up!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
although I like Lonel Shriver as an author , I found this disappointing . although it was ostensibly about the tensions between two tennis players, this was just the backgound... Read morePublished 4 months ago by hextol
Two thoroughly unpleasant characters meet through tennis and get married, from then on the marriage falls apart due to jealousy and suspicion. Read morePublished 12 months ago by wessexwanderer
Loved some her other (later) books but lost interest in this one...maybe better for tennis lovers... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Miss N S
Good condition. Good value for money. I already read this book from the library but liked it so much I wanted to own a copy and I am not even the least bit interested in tennis!!Published 18 months ago by mrs ja wigglesworth
Brilliant. Lionel shrivel is a good author. This book is exciting even if you're not a tennis fan and caught up in that competitive worldPublished 19 months ago by Elljaygee
Very interesting and a really good read. Really enjoyed insight into competitive marriages. Would recommend to anyone. Would like to know what happened nextPublished on 24 July 2014 by J C.
After Kevin and so much for all of that and a perfectly good family this was a disappointing, almost boring book. I struggled to finish it.Published on 25 Sept. 2013 by BJL
From the author of We Need To Talk About Kevin, this is a book with similar themes on relationships but with a completely different set up. Read morePublished on 20 May 2013 by Sport Nut