Shouting at the Ship Men Paperback – 2 Mar 2000
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Tim Geary's third novel is a beautifully written and sensitively imagined portrait of a Canadian innocent trying to survive in contemporary London. Geary has also taken a big risk, creating a female protagonist who narrates her own story: an ambitious move that has tripped up many a talented male writer. But Geary succeeds brilliantly. His heroine, Portia Mills, is an utterly convincing female voice. A single 27-year-old still haunted by the death of her father 14 years previously, she comes over to England and gets embroiled, albeit willingly, in a kind of Chelsea set of semi-It girls and their well-heeled boyfriends. Jamie and Emma, Charlie, Camilla and Fee: Geary draws them deftly and with just the right amount of satire. Meanwhile Portia is adrift, involved in this world but not of it, and painfully conscious that she is simply getting old rather than getting on. When a relationship goes wrong, it all becomes too much for her and she begins to crack. Geary is not afraid to plunge the emotional depths as Portia falls apart, but even more importantly, he is not afraid to give us an ending full of realism, hope and reconciliation. -- Christopher Hart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
It's the little things that make this book so special - Portia storming out of a wedding because she couldn't cope with what was being expected of her socially, the competitiveness between Luke and his brother, the way he describes summer dying in a matter of hours one weekend, Portia not feeling like having sex first thing in the morning but doing it anyway. Nothing grates, there are no cliches, it's all so familiar yet there are descriptions of situations, places and emotions that I've never seen before in any novel. Geary also manages to make you really like Portia, who is, quite frankly, the type of girl I would steer clear of in real life, who I would be suspicious of, and that is such a clever thing to be able to do.
Although this is a stunningly well-written novel, it doesn't take itself at all seriously - it is literary with a small L. It is accessible and commercial. There is no reason why this book shouldn't appeal to the same sorts of people who have been buying my book its thousands. So why have I never heard of Geary and why is his book going to sell a tenth of mine?
It's all so unfair. Rectify this situation immediately by buying this book for all your friends and talking about it to strangers on the street!!
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