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Little Bits of Baby Paperback – 2 Apr 2002

3.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; (Reissue) edition (2 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586090606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586090602
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,074 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Love, death, the decay of friendship, the triumph of love – all the big themes are here in small doses, cunningly plotted and skilfully interwoven by Patrick Gale, who writes like Iris Murdoch on pep pills. Savage, satirical, often very funny, this highly readable comedy of middle-class manners is written by a young author of boundless talent. One to watch.’ Daily Mail

‘Gale describes strong emotions with conviction. He shows the diversity of passionate behaviour, sometimes hilarious, sometimes threatening, but always skilfully contained within a comedy of contemporary manners.’ The Times

‘A richly comic novel about the equilibrium of urban lives and loves upset by an outsider. Affectionate and perceptive.’ Mail on Sunday

‘His discreet exploration of love between the generations and the sexes is by turn poignant and humourous.’ Vogue

‘Sharp insights into a thoroughly modern marriage.’ Sunday Times

‘This is a witty book with more than a touch of satire, but which deals with love, pain, death and laughter with an extraordinary depth of understanding.’ She

‘A wonderful, modern comedy of manners.’ Company

From the Back Cover

No one knew why Robin abandoned a brilliant university career to start a new life at an eccentric island monastery, but it was thought to have something to do with the surprise engagement of Candida, Robin’s childhood playmate, and Jake, their mutual friend.

Eight years later, Robin’s return to the less spiritual world of London in the late 1980s has far-reaching effects. Much has changed: his father has left the City to run a progressive kindergarten in Clapham; Candida is now a household name as a presenter on breakfast television; and Jake is a successful advertising executive. When Robin falls in love at the christening of Candida’s baby, he has little idea of how extraordinary the consequences will be …

“A richly comic, affectionate and perceptive book.”
MAIL ON SUNDAY

“Gale describes strong emotions with conviction. He shows the diversity of passionate behaviour, sometimes hilarious, sometimes threatening, but always skilfully contained within a comedy of contemporary manners.”
THE TIMES

“Comic, touching, astringent and immensely accomplished, 'Little Bits of Baby' is a real treat.”
GAY TIMES

“Patrick Gale seems to me to be bound for greatness.”
STEPHEN FRY, 'The Listener'

“A wonderful, modern comedy of manners.”
COMPANY

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Patrick Gale can do no wrong for me. He is rapidly becoming my new favourite writer.
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I'm a fan of almost all of Patrick Gale's books.
This is one of Gale's earlier books. Anyone who is a fan will recognise the tell-tale signs of a Gale book - a middle class genre, a set of usually related characters, some of whom are not sympathetic, a storyline which often has a gently cheesy feel, and an ability to be horrible to characters, regardless of whether we like them. There is not always a happy ending, or even a neat one. What characterizes all books by Patrick Gale, and this one is no exception, is that the effect lasts longer than the first read. I am always left with a feeling of warmth, and a desire to know more.
I read this one over nine years ago, and like to return from time to time. The central mystery is of what happened to clever, introverted Robin, who ran away to a monastery, but years later comes back to disturb the lives of his friends and family in Clapham. These characters are living their own, largely self satisfied (or settled) lives, each with their own secrets, private jealousies and guilt about the past. The feel of a Patrick Gale book is always light, but if you give it time, it will catch up with you. The comedy and tragedy emerges from the mystery of which one of them was responsible for whatever made Robin run away.
The thing I like about this book is the title, 'Little bits of baby', the reinterpretation of a Nina Simone record by the precocious child Iras. It reflects what happens in the book, and the sometimes callous events that Gale conjures up.
Anyone looking for a serious exploration of mental illness, mixed race relationships, disability, gayness or anything else will be missing the point.
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Format: Paperback
This is eye-watering rubbish. I couldn't bear it from start to, a hurried, finish. I first heard about the novel in '89 as I knew someone who worked for the publishing house (Hodder) and I asked: 'is it any good?' Well, apparently so, because the author was and I quote: 'unbelievably cute'. Seriously. That's why it was published. I guess if Gale had been a retired, beardy, science teacher from Scunthorpe, he wouldn't have been so fortunate. 'Little Bits Of Baby' is a paradigm of what was wrong (and perhaps still is) with the publishing industry. Namely: 'pretty, public schoolboy, Oxbridge, let's publish whatever well-meaning crap he writes'. Apparently Gale has written a decent novel, or two. This certainly isn't one of them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I may have hoped it would be in slightly better condition, but it is as described, and I'm delighted. It's not available on kindle, and I wanted my daughter to read it. It's a wonderful novel. So, I'm very satisfied.
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Format: Paperback
I thought well of Patrick Gale and OK this is an early book, but I did not expect trashy.
Nothing to care about, dire portraits of children and babies especially ugly - a newborn baby with a 'filthy temper', a four year-old 'spoilt' - are we in 1930's? Marriages so unconvincing I had to laugh, and the central premise, that everyone male or fema;le would have liked to make love to Robin, entirely unconvincing as there was nothing remotely attractive about the character.
A silly trashy novel.
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Very good service. A Patrick Gale book I'd always a joy to read.
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Format: Paperback
I used to enjoy Patrick Gale's books. But after reading this one, it struck me that he's in danger of becoming a one-trick pony - ever-so-cute dysfunctional characters living in an ever-so-comfortable middle class dream world. If this was supposed to be comedy, I didn't find his heavy-handed portrayal of mental health problems or disability much of a giggle. Particularly frustrating is his inability to address the real-life problems gay couples face every day of their lives - and this after he sets up a mixed race relationship and chucks in a throwaway line about the problems the father of one of the main characters has with his son being gay. This is never explored or developed. I'm not asking for tub-thumping, right-on PCness from every writer - I'd just like to think Gale lives in the same world as the rest of us.
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