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Saturday, 25 August 2018


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Sounds wonderful - you've made me long to read it. Sorry about Mr Puss - hope he is OK.


Oh, stupid of me, I should have put a link to my last post about Mister Puss - I've done that now. Sadly, Mister Puss has died, he had to be put to sleep. Fortunately, he wasn't ill for long so his suffering was not long. I miss him a lot though.

You should read it! I'd love to know what you think of it. Have you read any of her other novels?

Desperate Reader

Very sorry to hear about Mr Puss. Hope you're all ok.

On the other hand very pleased to be reminded of this book. I love Alice Thomas Ellis books for exactly the reasons you describe - she's so very spiky, and also funny. I imagine in life she must have been more intimidating than anything else, but I'd still loved to have met her - or at least heard her speak. I'm curious about the Sylvia Townsend Warner stories, I've collected a few of her books without really managing to read any of them.

Café Society

I had a splurge on Alice Thomas Ellis a couple of decades ago and thought I had read everything, but this has somehow missed me by. What a treat to have something ‘new’ by her to look forward to.

The Bears and I are not cat people but we do know what it is like to lose a beloved friend/pet. We are all thinking of you.


Thank you Hayley. I still miss him, but am getting used to it.

I imagine that ATE was terrifying in real life - I think I'm happy to stick with her books. I like all the STW I've read; Kingdoms of Elfin isn't really social satire like Fairy Tale but if you liked that and you also like Susanna Clarke you would definitely enjoy it.

Alex, thank you for your kind thoughts.

Fairy Tale is I think her last novel, perhaps not her best from what I can remember but definitely a good read. It's nice to feel that there are still 'new' books by someone to read. There are a few authors I am slightly rationing for that very reason, though perhaps I shouldn't.


I loved Kingdoms of Elfin (I'm a fan of STW in general), and this sounds great too. I'll have a look if my library has any books by ATE in their collection.


Ooh then I think you may well enjoy Alice Thomas Ellis; I hope your library has some copies.

Christine Harding

Oh, it is so nice to know that someone else has read and enjoyed Alice Thomas Ellis - few people seem to have heard of her, but I love her spikiness, her wit, and her dark humour. She also wrote laugh-out-loud accounts of family life, called, I think, Home Life. They are short pieces, originally published in The Independent, which are different to the novels in style and tone tone - more like a Provincial Lady or Mrs Minniver perhaps.


Christine, she does seem to have fallen slightly out of favour, doesn't she? I wonder why, and I hope she is 'rediscovered' soon, though it wasn't that long ago that she died.

Home Life is the only other book of hers I have! (Though now of course I can't find it.) Back in the day I read my mother's copies of her novels.

Do you have a favourite novel of hers?

Christine Harding

I like them all, but I'm especially fond of The 27th Kingdom, which is maybe not quite as dark as some of the others, but is very bizarre, very funny, and brilliantly written as she dissects behaviour, social conventions, religion, and our ideas about good and evil.

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