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Sleeping Arrangements [Paperback]

Sophie Kinsella
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.95
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2010
An early bestseller from the fabulous author of the Shopaholic series. Chloe needs a holiday. She's sick of making wedding dresses and her partner Philip has trouble at work. Her wealthy friend Gerard has offered the loan of his luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.

Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife Amanda seems more interested in the granite for the new kitchen than in him, and he works so hard to pay for it all, he barely has time for his family. But his old schoolfriend Gerard has lent them a luxury villa in Spain -- perfect.

Both families arrive at the villa and get a shock: Gerard has double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions soon mount in the soaring heat. But there's also a secret history between the families -- and as tempers fray, an old passion begins to resurface.

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Sleeping Arrangements + Cocktails for Three + A Desirable Residence
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. A pastiche of Joyce and Beckett, with heapings of Derrida's Glas and Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 thrown in for good measure, Danielewski's follow-up to House of Leaves is a similarly dizzying tour of the modernist and postmodernist heights—and a similarly impressive tour de force. It comprises two monologues, one by Sam and one by Hailey, both "Allmighty sixteen and freeeeee," each narrating the same road trip, or set of neo-globo-revolutionary events—or a revolution's end: "Everyone loves the Dream but I kill it." Figuring out what's happening is a big part of reading the book. The verse-riffs narrations, endlessly alliterative and punning (like Joyce) and playfully, bleakly existential (like Beckett), begin at opposite ends of the book, upside down from one another, with each page divided and shared. Each gets 180 words per page, but in type that gets smaller as they get closer to their ends (Glas was more haphazard), so they each gets exactly half a page only at the midway point of the book: page 180—or half of a revolution of 360 degrees. A time line of world events, from November 22, 1863 ("the abolition of slavery"), to January 19, 2063 (blank, like everything from January 18, 2006, on), runs down the side of every page. The page numbers, when riffled flip-book style, revolve. The book's design is a marvel, and as a feat of Pynchonesque puzzlebookdom, it's magnificent. The book's difficulty, though, carries a self-consciousness that Joyce & Co. decidedly lack, and the jury will be out on whether the tricks are of the for-art's-sake variety or more like a terrific video game. (Sept. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The second novel from cult author Danielewski (House of Leaves, 2000) consists of the dual free-verse narratives of 16-year-old Hailey and Sam, which are meant to be read in tandem; eight pages of Hailey's story are to be read first, then the volume needs to be flipped upside down and read in reverse for Sam's story, until the two narratives meet in the middle. With a Jack Kerouac-like reverence for the open road and a Dr. Seuss-like feel for wordplay, Danielewski tells an epic love story as the two teens travel across time, from the Civil War to the year 2063, in vehicles ranging from a Model T to a Mustang. Though outside forces threaten to undermine them, the two remain forever 16 and madly in love. Danielewski may free his young lovers from narrative constraints, but his readers are not so lucky--many will find the neck-craning and book-turning to be too interactive for their taste. Still, this creative paean to the velocity of young lovers and the vibrancy of American culture is sure to wow the experimental-fiction camp. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SPARKLING DIALOGUE, AMUSING CHARACTERS July 1 2008
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
If you enjoyed the Shopaholic series which Wickham penned as Sophie Kinsella, you'll relish Sleeping Arrangements, especially as narrated by actress Katherine Kellgren. She has an appealing voice that easily expresses emotions with inflection or tone. Having appeared on the stage in London, New York, and Frankfurt, she's also a whiz at accents (many will remember her well for her reading of a Princess Diana bio). Careful listeners will note with appreciation how she carries off a change in the perfectionist, Amanda.

Speaking of Amanda, she has a new kitchen which is her pride and joy. She's wed to Hugh, who labors almost 24/7 to keep her in the style she wishes. Nonetheless, Amanda always seems to find something else that needs to be bought or done. They have two young children, but Hugh feels like he's on a constant treadmill. What he needs is a respite, a vacation.

Relief comes in the form of his good friend, Gerard, who lends the couple his luxurious villa in Spain.

Chloe also needs a vacation from making wedding dresses. Her partner, Philip, has worries of his own - he's concerned that the takeover of his company may cost him his job. This once happy couple is enduring a strained relationship. You may have guessed - help comes in the form of Gerard who offers Chloe the use of his Spanish villa.

Now, leave it to Wickham - Gerard has put both couples in the villa at the same time, and Chloe and Hugh aren't strangers - he's the guy who stole her heart some years back. What a mix-up or was it?

Sparkling dialogue, likable, amusing characters, sharp wit are Wickham's trademarks, and they're all at the fore in this winsome, winning romance.

- Gail Cooke
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3.0 out of 5 stars Meh. Jan. 1 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Truthfully, if you're looking at this novel with the hopes that it will have Kinsella's standard mix of humor and lightheartedness, you're better to wait for her next release. I had really hoped, since I had devoured her other novels, that novels written under her Madeline Wickham pseudonym would be equally fresh and funny, but I was sorely disappointed. It wasn't a terrible book- but it certainly wasn't what I expected from Kinsella at all. I think the biggest error in this was that her agent or publisher felt the need to put the Kinsella name on a Wickham novel. Clearly they are very different styles of writing; and in an attempt to increase book sales, they plastered her more popular monicker all over the book to drag her familiar readers in.
Just my two cents folks.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 'Sophie Kinsella' Novels Are Much Better Dec 23 2011
By Lydia - Novel Escapes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this much more than the last Madeleine Wickham novel I read! This was pleasing and I will definitely now pick up another one of her novels.

The characters were well developed and setting was beautifully depicted. This marriage lit novel takes an interesting look at married life and what happens if you question love lost as Chloe does when unexpectedly forced to spend a week on holiday with another family including the man that broke her heart fifteen years prior.

This novel did make me laugh in spots and definitely had me cringing too and kept me wondering what the outcome would be throughout. If you're looking for an easy read that delves into married life, pick up this book.

This won't rank up there with my favourite chick lit novels, but I definitely now look forward to whatever Madeline Wickham has in store for us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Aug. 31 2010
By caseygirl TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love Madeleine Wickham's books. She writes just as well as when she is Sophie Kinsella. This book was a good entertaining read. It was light and fluffy and something you would want to read when you don't want something in depth. the characters were good and the plot cute. The ending was predictable. All Wickham's books I have read have a fairy tale ending but that is ok, we need happy endings sometimes. This is a good book to take on holiday when you just want to relax and be entertained. There is a good interaction between characters with a few twists and turns. Recommend it.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd love to review this book but.... Dec 17 2010
By Karyn
Format:Paperback
...I bought it as a gift for my daughter and haven't yet given it to her.

So....................it's probably great like the other Sophie Kinsella books but I won't know until after Christmas and after my daughter reads it.

Have a wonderful holiday season!
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