Publisher: Harper Collins
About: 20 years of modern manhood
Style: 3rd person
Where: Canada (Toronto, Winnipeg, US (Chicago) & England
A novel which sets out to illustrate how men have changed, and how masculinity is defined in a post-feminist world. It covers the life of a man from 1977, when he was 27 years old, to 1997, and
two strands run through the book: work and goodness.
Dorrie kept wanting him to buy a khaki trenchcoat, but he doesn't need one, not with his Harris tweed. You don't want bulk when you're walking along. He walks a lot. It’s when he does his
thinking. He hums his thoughts out on the air like music; they've got a disco beat; My name is Larry Weller. I'm a floral designer, twenty-six years old, and I'm walking down Notre Dame Avenue, in
the city of Winnipeg, in the country of Canada, in the month of April, in the year 1977, and I'm thinking hard. About being hungry, about being late, about having sex later on tonight. About how
great I feel in this other guy’s Harris tweed jacket.
This triumphant novel runs in delicious counterpoint to Shields' evocation of Daisy Goodwill's life in the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Stone Diaries.... The novel glows with Shields' unsentimental
optimism and her supple command of a sweetly ironic and graceful prose.
Not so good:
I hated "The Stone Diaries" but was intrigued by its success and critical acclaim, and read her later novel "Larry's Diary." If anything it was worse, but whereas with "The Stone Diaries" I could
perhaps say it was a "marmite" book - and probably not written for a male audience at all - "Larry's Party" protagonist was male, but Shields' didn't get anywhere close to the male psyche, and the
book was both boring and unbelievable
written by Adrian Slatcher see blog here.
About the author
Carol Shields (June 2, 1935 – July 16, 2003) was born and grew up in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. She was the third child of a sweet-factory manager and a schoolteacher.
After Hanover College, Indiana, she won a place on an exchange programme with Exeter University. There she found a more academic atmosphere, in which she thrived, and a Canadian engineering graduate
student, whom she subsequently married.
Over the next ten years or so she moved around Canada with her husband, had five children, came back to England (Manchester) for three years, and wrote the occasional short story.