Mavis Gallant’s two novels are as memorable as her many short stories. Full of wit, whim, and psychological poignancy, A Fairly Good Time, here accompanied by Green Water, Green Sky, encapsulates Gallant’s unparalleled skill as a storyteller. Shirley Perrigny (née Norrington, then briefly Higgins), the heroine of A Fairly Good Time, is an original. Derided by the ParisiansMavis Gallant’s two novels are as memorable as her many short stories. Full of wit, whim, and psychological poignancy, A Fairly Good Time, here accompanied by Green Water, Green Sky, encapsulates Gallant’s unparalleled skill as a storyteller. Shirley Perrigny (née Norrington, then briefly Higgins), the heroine of A Fairly Good Time, is an original. Derided by the Parisians she lives among and chided by her fellow Canadians, this young, widowed girl—recently remarried to a French journalist named Philippe—is fond of quoting from Jane Austen and Kingsley Amis to describe her life and of using her myopia as a defense against social aggression. As the fixed points in Shirley’s life begin to recede—Philippe having apparently though not definitively left—her freewheeling, makeshift and self–abnegating ways come to seem an aspect of devotion to her fellow man. Could the unreliable protagonist be the unwitting heroine of her own story? Green Water, Green Sky, Gallant’s first novel, is a darker tale of the fractured family life of Bonnie McCarthy, an American divorcée, and her daughter, Flor. Uprooted and unmoored, mother and daughter live like itinerants—in Venice, Cannes, and Paris—glamorous and dependent. From this untidy life and the false notes of her mother, Flor attempts to flee, with little hope of escape....
|Title||:||A Fairly Good Time|
|Number of Pages||:||308 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Fairly Good Time Reviews
What's a woman to do when her French husband leaves her? All sorts of things apparently. I have to say that I found Gallant's short fiction to be better, but there are some beautiful passages in this novel about Shirley as she tried to find her way in Paris as she moves among confusing French people.
Mavis Gallant being the author, I knew the writing would be immaculate, so there was no question of the book being an unreadable mess. I found the narrative was not very interesting and hard to follow, but the characters and situations were often enough to keep me reading. This reminded me of her nearly interminable short stories, which are masterful but I find I need to be in a certain state to really enter and enjoy them.I was frustrated at times by my inability to focus and follow but in the end I'll chalk that up to masterful construction - life isn't neat, the processes of thought aren't always clean or logical, and other people are almost always frustrating to deal with and filled with inconsistencies and stubborn courses of action. That, or the book was not exactly what I enjoy, or, finally, my mind is rapidly falling apart and my ability to read fiction is disappearing.So, yeah, this novel was worth the (admittedly long) time I spent reading it, and I did enjoy it, and it exceeded or escaped my expectations.
I am reading this novel for the second time (decades between times). Before, I admired the writing as I do any writing by Mavis Gallant; this time I feel how real it is to circle yet avoid grief and loss, regarding both with dread and fascination. This is in no way a conventional narrative. Why should it be? The character is too messy for that, and too wise (though others in the story are not honest enough to recognize her wisdom) to pretend a neat character. And of course there is the voice. Mavis Gallant's is like no other.
Meandering, like her short stories, but A Fairly Good Time is 300 pages, so it seems aimless.The plot (such as it is) is too expansive to cram into a short story (although some of the chapters I felt could nearly stand alone as a story), but drawn out to novel length, it sort of loses its punch. I'll read anything by Mavis Gallant cause she can describe a situation or a character like no other, I am happy Ms Gallant wrote a novel, however, and I am glad I have read it. . . Yes I'd say I had a fairly good time reading it.
i am currently reading it. her main character reminds me of Françoise Sagan's characters or even life... not in a hurry to finish it.
I thought this book was going to be better than it was, after reading The Other Paris, which I loved. I just couldn't get into it.
Definite book club book. Could not have enjoyed without a lively discussion and shared views and perspectives. Author has become widely acclaimed. Her story is pertinent to how and why she writes.
Complicated, rich, funny and tragic- in 270 pages, Gallant covers it all- mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, men and women, friendship, love, class, culture. Communicating her characters inability to communicate in fabulous prose, she updated Henry James in much more succinct, psychologically nuanced form than he could ever muster. Holly Golightly goes to Paris.