Parlor Games

Mavis Cheek, Author Simon & Schuster $18.45 (287p) ISBN 978-0-671-68309-2
This second novel by the author of Pause Between Acts should be welcomed warmly by readers who devour fiction by satiric writers of the Fay Weldon and Patrick Gale variety. Cheek writes with a particularly brittle and dead-on wit that skewers her subjects, English yuppies who have contrived comfortable lives in the just-right suburb of Bedford Park. Celia and Alex appear to have everything, including two pleasant children, an impeccably tasteful house and elegant dinner parties. But the events surrounding Celia's 40th birthday party lead to chaos and infidelity all around. By the end of the book, life's possibilities have changed completely. Cheek's command of absurd situations and her razor-sharp dialogue is dazzling--this is the stuff of which the finest English screwball comedy films used to be made. Even the minor players, from the nosy, haughty cleaning lady to assorted friends and lovers, are richly drawn and perfectly cast. But, while harking back in spirit to Thorne Smith and E. F. Benson, this novel is also spiced with hilarious and explicit peccadillos, across which a discreet veil used to be drawn. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 407 pages - 978-0-7862-4780-6
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