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Ralph's Party Hardcover – 26 Mar 2002

4.0 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; New edition edition (26 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 072785836X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727858368
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,074,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Lisa Jewell lives in North London. While on holiday a friend made her a drunken bet: dinner at her favourite restaurant if she wrote three chapters of a novel. Just over a year later Ralph's Party was finished. In a similar style to Marian Keyes' Rachel’s Holiday, Ralph’s Party introduces the residents of 31 Almanac Road, a three-storey Edwardian house in South London. The house, divided into flats and its inhabitants are the focus of this contemporary, romantic novel. Ralph and Smith, who live in the basement flat are beginning to doubt that they will ever find a suitable flatmate until Jemima comes along. In fact, Jem finds herself more than suitable when both Ralph and Smith fall for her. Karl and Siobhan live in the flat above and they have been together in total happiness for fifteen years. That was until Cheri, the cold, calculating but very sexy lady in the top flat sets her sights on Karl.

Lisa Jewell’s fast paced, well-observed and thoroughly engrossing first novel has been well worth that bet for dinner. --Pat Naylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Sex, Romance, Destiny ... or just flatmates?
Meet the residents of 31 Almanac Road in a romantic, engrossing novel that takes you up the garden path, through the front door and into the most intimate parts of other people's lives.

Ralph and Smith are best friends. Until they both fall for Jem, their new flatmate. Jem's got a strong feeling that one of them's the man for her - but which one?

Karl and Siobhan live in the flat above. Happily unmarried for fifteen years, it looks as if nothing could spoil their domestic idyll.

Except maybe Cheri, the femme fatale in the top flat. She's got her eye on Karl and she isn't about to let his fat girlfriend stand in her way ...

Ralph's Party is my first novel. I was a newly-redundant secretary on holiday in 1996 when my friend Yasmin made me a drunken bet around the swimming pool at four in the morning - if I wrote just the first three chapters of the novel I was convinced I had inside in me (aren't we all?!) she would take me for dinner to my favourite restaurant.

Never one to renege on a bet, I did it. And look what happened! I am now a full-time writer, working at home on my second novel, Dig and Delilah which will be out next May.

Beyond my wildest dreams ...

However, I'm still waiting for Yasmin to take me out for dinner.

If you like Ralph's Party, - and I really hope you do - please - don't lend it to your friends - make them buy their own! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I got this book free on a magazine, thinking I may as well read it before I slate it, imagining it would be another in the Helen Fielding, Amy Jenkins et al style. NOT SO! I started reading very cynically, waiting for the cliches and the "humorous" observations that you've heard a million times before......There were none! Instead, this was warm, natural; not in the slightest bit laboured! Lisa Jewell manages to inject FRESH observations of modern living (and that alone sets this book aside from the current painful stream of hackneyed "chick-lit"). Let's not forget, we're not going for realism here - it's a STORY! These are not social studies, they are CHARACTERS! And they are good ones. Some are shallow, but not by accident (unlike Bridget and Honeymoon - characters who THINK they have something to say, and tragically don't). The others are funny, human, I was interested in them (Oh, and yes, I did fall a little bit in love with Ralph!). I liked the plot, too. Perhaps all of these things happening at the same time within such a small group of people IS unlikely - but that's where fiction comes in, is it not? And considering the number of situations and relationships she is dealing with at one time, Jewell never confuses the reader or muddles her storyline through laziness. I thought this was so well written, so enjoyable, I can't wait for "Thirty-Nothing", and am keeping my fingers crossed that Lisa doesn't have just one book in her!
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Format: Paperback
I loved Ralph's Party, from the moment it starts to the romantic, funny ending. It's so addictive, sharp and sad, that you get hooked without realising it. The characters are great - from sweet, rosy-cheeked Jem to blonde bitch from hell Cheri and useless but adorable Karl, I believed them all.
It's basically the story of a house in Battersea, and the lives of its inhabitants, which become inextricably linked. How many of you know anything about the people who live in your house? Hardly anything, aand that's what makes this such an interesting contemporary London story, too.
It's a great book: the ideal tube read, holiday read, or novel to give to your best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend ... whoever. Just read it!
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By A Customer on 16 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent novel. I am a big Lisa Jewell fan, though of her two novels, I definitely feel 'Ralph's Party' is the best. To be honest, the first page didn't grab me and I picked it up and flipped through in several bookshops before finally buying one and thinking it was just another girly romance. To my surprise, I found myself reading a gripping, engrossing and intelligent read focusing on 6 fascinating characters. 24 hours later, I still couldn't put it down. This is very high-level commercial fiction - it's not like the usual romantic drivel. It discusses relationships with insight, it manages to consider male viewpoints even though the writers is female, and the female characters are not Bridget JOnes cliches who are suffering endless diets - they are strong, realistically drawn women. The plot neatly weaves together two plot strands and draws them together - agreeably, the ending is slightly contrived, but certainly very gripping and builds up a superb finale.
'Thirty-nothing' is also a good read, though not as tightly plotted, and written in a more woolley, sloppy style than this one. To my mind, 'Ralph's Party' has more insights and a better writing style than many literary novels I've read recently. The prose is descriptive, rich in images, and written with an admirable precision and control.
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By A Customer on 8 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
Well done Lisa. I bought this on the strength of the Late Show review, after trying to track down a copy for ages...
I have to say the book is extremely entertaining. I read through it in one day, pausing only to make a cup of tea. I should also point out that this is not my usual reading style, although I do have very catholic tastes.
Some of the relationships are quite heart-rending, and at times you'll secretly want a less realistic turn of events. But you'll always be moved. I personally found the "rude bits" quite erotic as well - and I normally don't go for that sort of thing.
It's Quite remenisant of Notting Hill, and would make a superb film.
The only downside is that the male characters are a bit... well... not so real. But I still really liked them.
Buy it. You won't regret it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read a couple of Lisa Jewell's later books and really enjoyed them so was pleased to see Ralph's Party as a daily deal. However, I was disappointed with this book and realise that her writing has matured a great deal. I thought this was quite one dimensional and I didn't really connect with the characters. I didn't like the references to casual drug taking and it just wasn't my kind of book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An easy summer read, with the normal mix of characters. Even from the very first chapter, it was easy to see how the story would end. Got rather bored with the constant references to drugs and the way they seemed obligatory to having a good night out. Don't think I'll bother reading another of Lisa Jewell' s books, and wouldn't really recommend this book to any of my friends.
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