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The Lie of the Land Hardcover – 15 Jun 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (15 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408709295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408709290
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 3.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product description

Review

I loved the The Lie of the Land. A panoramic, superbly-plotted novel about the ways we live now, about money and desire, cruelty and generosity, crime and vengeance, country and city. Craig is at the top of her game in the sweep of her storytelling, the richness of her characters, her black comedy, irony and commitment (Helen Dunmore)

There is much to relish here. The sharp characters, the smooth grown-up prose, the irony, and the ability to weave warmth and dark honesty like few other novelists can. A very good read indeed (Matt Haig)

Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now working in Britain and her range of sympathy and humor and understanding of the Way We Live Now are deeply impressive (Alison Lurie)

Sharply satirical (Observer)

As we watch the Bredin family tumble down the property ladder out of the city to the shock of country life, Amanda Craig fearlessly and faultlessly dissects our 21st century life capturing all the anxieties and absurdities of austerity era Britain. We are left simultaneously laughing and cringing as we can't fail to see ourselves in the lives of those portrayed in The Lie of the Land. Like all great fiction, it embraces us with a brilliant story while holding up an unflinching mirror asking questions of ourselves (Roland Gulliver, Associate Director, Edinburgh International Book Festival)

A marvellously readable novel, written with great humour and spark, but also social heart and central relevance to the way we live now. To achieve both in one is a terrific - and uncommon (Caroline Sanderson, the Bookseller)

You have a treat in store when you read the witty and insightful new novel by Amanda Craig. I just *love* The Lie of the Land, on so many levels. Land works as a rollicking narrative, a forensic examination of a marriage many will recognise, a skilful portrayal of rural poverty (spiritual as well as economic) and a serious evocation of the way humans can change (Bel Moooney)

Book Description

A funny, moving and brilliantly characterised novel about what happens when the metropolitan dream goes sour.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Amanda Craig’s novels tend to defy categorisation, and The Lie of the Land is no exception. A blend of literary fiction with a thriller-ish plot and sharp but subtle social satire, it has something to appeal to almost every reader. A novel about city people encountering the countryside and country people in earnest for the first time, it has some elements of the “state of the nation” genre (and will no doubt be over-analysed by Brexit-obsessives) but is ultimately more about individual relationships (and the better for it). The characters of Quentin and Lottie are thoroughly believable and though their flaws are clear, the reader can’t help but warm to them in the end.

The book sucks the reader in to its fictional but very believable world, and if the mystery around which the plot centres is not too hard to guess, the denouement is satisfyingly suspenseful and melodramatic.

Incidentally, if you have not read Craig’s other novels, don’t be put off by the fact that some of the characters in The Lie of the Land feature in her earlier work. This book stands by itself and you do not need any prior knowledge of the characters to enjoy it.
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By D. Elliott TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Feb. 2017
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There are numerous layers to ‘The Lie of the Land’ – it is a psychological thriller, a romance, a commentary on today’s society – and a murder mystery. With good writing it works well on all these levels, and though there is a degree of humour, the novel also has a dark side. As a result of a recession, married couple, Lottie an architect, and Quentin a journalist, have lost their jobs in London, and though owning a house they no longer have enough money to live there. With a teenage son just turned down for a place at Cambridge, and two young daughters they rent an old farmhouse in Devon.

Their austere new life in the country is contrasted with what they have had to give up in the city, and to make matters worse their marriage is in crisis and they can’t even afford a divorce! Lottie and Quentin are broke, the son gets zero-contract employment under harsh conditions in a pie factory, and instead of private education the daughters attend the local school. Lack of money is at the root of many problems, and the falling apart of the marriage highlights the devastation and hurt of Lottie with the arrogant philandering of Quentin. These main characters are well-drawn and credible as they attempt to fit into the local scene, and so are the many other characters brought into play. Lottie’s mother is asset rich but avoids becoming involved; Quentin’s father is being nursed at home by his wife; the son mixes with immigrant workers; and the daughters have to adjust. There is a weird house cleaner with a problematic daughter; a childless health visitor and her farmer husband; and neighbours include a rock-star and family – where the neighbour is also Lottie’s and Quentin’s landlord.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thirty-eight snappily titled chapters, packed with immediately realistic characters, each easy to recognise and on the whole like; Amanda Craig’s seven years writing ‘The Lie of the Land’ gave me seven hours pure reading bliss. So many loose threads that need knitting up - there is a meaning to everything that gives you pause to think, 'uh oh'. All human life is here – thoughtfully and understandingly mapped out, in the most glorious, lovely, lovely, language, rich rewarding reading. I even had to look some words up – additions to my vocabulary - numinous, refulgent, fulminant, - the latter isn’t even in the dictionary. Totally immersive reading pleasure, likely to appeal to fans of Anne Fine (similarly good on sisters) Marina Lewycka (immigrant workers) and Joanna Trollope (but with a lot more meat on the bones). This book would have happily stood alone as an emotional family drama, but Amanda has a generous style, she throws in a thrilling murder mystery too.

Lottie, an architect, who thinks she‘s perfect, and Quentin a journalist who reminds me of a young Bill Nighy, are in a fix. They have both lost their jobs and can’t secure a sale of their London house in order to formalise their three-year separation. This was caused by Quentin straying, although he excuses himself by saying ‘it was nothing’, as you do. Now they actually have to live together again, there’s no alternative.

Sparklingly well observed, truthful dialogue opens up their dilemma, which races on into swift removal of the family from Highgate to ‘Home Farm’, a Devon Longhouse, recommended by Quentin’s parents who live nearby. This was quickly snapped up by Lottie at a suspiciously low rent. A cleaner is hired by Quentin to take care of his share of the housework. Janet, a spooky pumped up Mrs.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Due to the recession and the loss of both their jobs Quentin and Lottie Bredin are forced to leave their golden existence in cosmpolitan London and set up home in a dank, dark and very dingy farmhouse in deepest Devon.

Lottie's teenage son Xan fails to get the grades he was counting on to take up his offer of a place at Cambridge so instead gets a job with a zero hours contract at a pie factory whilst his little sisters start at the local village school. All of the family are really struggling to cope with their new circumstances and new environment, where it is deemed the norm to shoot foxes and vote UKIP. Also, unlike their neighbours they are clueless as to what happened at their new abode a year ago to make the rent so cheap.

The book shows clearly the deep divide between different classes in this country and how people in the provinces are often looked down upon by city dwellers. This is a black comedy with an explosive ending and I could not put it down. No hesitation in recommending.
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