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Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books) Paperback – 6 Feb 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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£11.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (6 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141310286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141310282
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 935,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"It has Burgess's unpredictability, darkness and ability to confront the dispiriting" (Observer)

"Lady succeeds on several levels: it’s both a teenage rite of passage and a satire on the emptiness of modern life" (Big Issue)

"This funny, punchy, well-written, original book asks real questions" (Daily Telegraph)

"[Lady] has confirmed Burgess’ position as the most exciting contemporary UK writer of teenage fiction" (Scotsman)

"Burgess keeps the suspense high to the very last. This seductive volume is as raw and ravenous as its subject" (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

In Melvin Burgess' latest novel, a young girl is transformed into a dog, and must cope with all the physical, psychological and material problems that ensue. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 7 Nov. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Melvin Burgess' book is a cracking read. It captivated and challenged me at a profound level. However as a father of three children and one of them a teenager, I'm not at all comfortable with recommending it to her or her friends. My misgivings are not based on the gritty style and language or the overt sexual depictions, they are rather based on the vague moral lesson that you can draw from the book. Is life better as a dog or a human? Is it better to live life for sheer selfish pleasure or should we accept that we have a corporate responsibility to one another and therefore are bound to have some restraints on our individual freedom. Furthermore do we not also have a duty to ourselves to practice moral self-restraint for our own physical and psychological well-being? Melvin Burgess at best gives us no answer to these dilemmas, and at worst he seems to draw the uncomfortable conclusion that its fine whatever you choose! Perhaps the lack of moral clarity is deliberate. As a parent however I find it discomforting enough to make me recommend only with caution and disatisfying enough to make me qualify my enthusiasm about the book !
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Format: Paperback
Melvin Burgess has a fantastic style - he doesnt beat around the bush, he tells it like it is. It is extremely refreshing. He isn't moralistic in the way many other teenage books are - he seems to understand the teenage brain much better than I'm sure many teenagers do themselves.
This book is addressing such a strange concept that when i first picked it up i put it down again - i didnt think it was the sort of book I'd enjoy. But it is really entertaining, easy to read and captivating. It doesn't turn out as you would particularly expect - but that is part of Burgess's charm.
If you read this book, which i suggest you do, you will never look at a stray dog in the same way again...
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By A Customer on 31 Oct. 2001
Format: Hardcover
Yet again, Melvin Burgess has written an amazing novel. At first I thought it sounded strange, but once I started it I was totally hooked and couldn't put it down. He manages to show how dogs have the same problems as us and also how we have to stand up to the problems, without making it a stupid book. He carefully fiddles with every detail so that you feel the emotions of each character. A wonderful novel by a master with words!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Along with William Sutcliffe, Anne Fine, Louis Sachar , Kevin Brooks and Meg Rosoff, Melvin Burgess is one of a very few people writing for teenagers whose books are guaranteed to hit the right spot when it comes to delineating what life is like for the 13 to 19 year-olds who are his subjects. Of all the genres this is the most difficult to get right when it comes to the realities of life for the average teenager. Writing that tackles difficult questions based on some of the basic dilemmas of modern life is always going to be full of pitfalls - don't assume you know everything, don't talk down, don't patronise, don't moralise. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Burgess is extremely skilled at what he does.

This book, about a girl who is running wild, who gets turned into a dog, by a magical tramp is funny, sometimes hilarious, but it is also completely honest and comes with a parental advisory sticker because it tackles sex. Yes, readers, dogs have sex in this book. And they like it. Probably, best given to over-14s only, I would suggest. It is an allegory that needs a certain maturity to understand the contrast between a heady lack of responsibility and a need for family and the safety of a settled routine, even if that restricts one's freedom.

Sandra is seventeen when it happens, all the pressures, to be good, to be fancied by boys, to work hard at school, to re-sit the exams she has failed, fall away. The scents and smells of her new senses are heady and exciting, the option to run wild and free in a world entirely newly made is exhilarating and for a while she gives in to the call and runs with the pack, but something keeps calling her back.

The ending to this marvellous book made me laugh out loud.
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I loved this book. It kept me guessing all the way through and I loved that there was no distinct sense of right or wrong. One of the best reads I've had in a long time with its strong voice and fresh, informal style. Now, I'm reading 'Fly By Night' by Frances Hardinge - it's such a let down comparatively. I feel like I'm being given an exam in metaphors, similes and personification.
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Lady my life as a Bitch is such a clever book that is reflected in the title! When the main character, a teenage girl is transformed into a dog, her life is taken over by the drives of the beast that she now inhabits. Senses heightened she becomes aware of a new terrain through smell, hearing and taste. The rawness of sex and desire are unleashed in the dog! I love about this book is the way it plays with the very real experience of going through puberty, of not being understood or seen by family and of trying to fit into something that no longer fits as the character moves through the tumultuous time between childhood and adulthood. Untame, it explores ideas beyond the human domesticated animal!
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