This is my second Marian Keyes novel, the first having been Angels. But, this is my first Marian Keyes collection of journalism (any Keyes afficionado will know what this means). I never did get to read the first installment aptly entitled Under The Duvet. Notice this one has a Further before the Under? This is Part 2 people! And it is quite a standalone so no worries that you'll be lost. I wasn't! I see
I must say, I find it very refreshing to read short stories. It's a quiet reprieve after all those single-story novels, if you know what I mean. During those busy busy seasons, I feel like it's quite an accomplishment when I finish 1 story. And that is exactly why short stories are perfect! I can say, "I finished so many stories in one week!" Cheating I know, but who cares! It's MY accomplishment.
A rather funny thing happened while I was reading this book. I came across a section called Short Stories. And I thought this whole book was made up of short stories! Imagine my surprise! And that isn't even the shocker! I soon found out that these so-called Short Stories, were actually pretty long stories! And I wanted more short-er stories! It seems people are never satisfied, with people in this context meaning me of course!
One bad thing about this book, there is NO summary! Due to it being a collection of short stories (there! I said it! now you know what a collection of journalism means!!) BUT do not fear, for I will provide you with my very own summation of this story of short stories.
She starts of with a chapter called Handbags and Gladrags, talking about her experiences with what else, shopping! And a stint as a makeup writer for a magazine (VERY funny this one). Then we go On The Road, Keyes style. It's travels all the way baby! Let me tell you, she travels A LOT and this makes for lots of enjoyable reads. Health and Beauty is next, a treasure trove of tips for an ex-magazine writer. Woman to Woman is about the all-important woman power, getting married, and the F-word (gasp!) . Friends and Family introduces the Keyes family, the whole hilarious lot of them really, from cute nieces and nephews to gorgeous sisters-in-law. But Seriously. No no that is really a chapter title! This one is really touching, discussing how some of her travels have impacted on her life. And how she came to be an author. I didn't think people could come from that! And last but surely not least, Short Stories tackles well, just that. There are 8 of them and they ain't that short!
If it isn't already clear, this collection of journalism covers Keyes' many loves. Shopping (lots), traveling (quite a lot as well), family, the spa, make-up tips and tricks and loads more. Psst...she claims she stayed in a room once occupied by Tom Cruise! That's it for my mini-summary.
As for her writing style, I dig it! I like how freestyle it is and the stories flow smoothly from page to page. Although, she does use the F-word. And a variation of it, several times. But it is used so good-naturedly that it doesn't feel as obscene as it should be. Or maybe she desensitized me?
And so, you have got to trust me when I say, I really like this book! Me thinks it is time I read more short stories. If only to make myself feel better, about myself.
- Title: Further Under The Duvet
- Author: Marian Keyes
- Format: Paperback 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books
- Release Date: 2006
- Genre: Chick Lit
- ISBN-10: 9780141021232
- ISBN-13: 978-0141021232