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La Grosse Fifi (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)
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La Grosse Fifi (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  62 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
'There was nothing of the blond beast about the gigolo - he was dark, slim, beautiful as some Latin god. And how soft his eyes were, how sweet his mouth ...Horrible, horrible gigolo'. These four haunting stories from the author of "Wide Sargasso Sea" capture moments in the lives of European dilettantes, ingenues, businessmen, soldiers and artists at a time when the world w ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published by Penguin Books (first published February 15th 2011)
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Jan 09, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Tea with an Artist by Jean Rhys

It was obvious that this was not an Anglo-Saxon : he was too gay, too dirty, too unreserved and in his little eyes was such a mellow comprehension of all the sins and the delights of life. He was drinking rapidly one glass of beer after another, smoking a long, curved pipe, and beaming contentedly on the world. The woman with him wore a black coat and skirt; she had her back to us.
I said : ‘Who’s the happy man in the corner? I’ve never seen him before.’
My companion
Verity Finch
Jun 08, 2012 Verity Finch rated it it was ok
I found these stories confusing.
The writing was lovely and I really felt a connection with the female narrators, but generally I felt a bit at a loss as to what the point of the stories were. I'm sure there were mini plots, to the mini stories, I just didn't understand them!
My lack of understanding might be something to do with the fact that some sentences are written in french, without English translation, and this went far beyone the tiny amount I can remember from my GCSE. This was quite jarr
May 16, 2016 Lea rated it liked it
I fell in love with her style but I'm still not 100% sure about the stories. They feel a bit aimless, confused almost.

The first story "La Grosse Fifi" was well-written but I did not enjoy the way Fifi was portrayed.

The longest of the four stories, "Vienna", is the one I enjoyed the most. The female main character has to run with her husband from European country to country (oh! but not Poland! The horror!) because he is wanted for mishandling other people's money.

I only read the book yesterda
James Watt
Apr 20, 2015 James Watt rated it liked it
La Grosse Fifi is Jean Rhys at her best. European women sequestered in hotels at the mercy of men and their money. I adored the character of Fifi and the way Rosseau was able to deplore and adore her. The female characters in her books are always mysterious and guarded yet candid. Her commentary about the gigolo is hilarious. This story was an absolute pleasure to read and merits five stars. Sadly, I am not a huge short story fan and found the last two stories in this collection too short to be ...more
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
More dark-eyed young women (to whit, read Rhys) fail to outrun ruin across cosmopolitan interwar Europe. There is something psychologically compelling about the autobiographical repetitiveness of her subject matter...
Jun 01, 2013 Lucinda rated it it was amazing
I love Jean Rhys' stories - they transport me almost effortlessly into the minds of her characters, character who are striving striving so completely for a vaguely conceived but desperately desired happiness, their efforts always already tinged with a sense of impending doom or futility. These are people on the fringes of polite society, teetering on the precipice of a grittier, rougher world. The stories being written in the 1920s, Rhys seems to be fascinated with how the boundaries of decent a ...more
Sophie Cayeux
Feb 04, 2016 Sophie Cayeux rated it it was amazing
I registered a book at!
Rebecca Gee
Aug 22, 2011 Rebecca Gee rated it really liked it
A lovely collection of short stories, all with a French theme. They aren't life changing but they are highly enjoyable.
Jul 18, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Read it in Spain! A tiny little book that travels well!
Mar 16, 2013 Vestige222 rated it liked it
this is jean rhys before she became Jean Rhys
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Jean Rhys originally Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams, was a Caribbean novelist who wrote in the mid 20th century. Her first four novels were published during the 1920s and 1930s, but it was not until the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea in 1966 that she emerged as a significant literary figure. A "prequel" to Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Wide Sargasso Sea won a prestigious WH Smith Literary Award in ...more
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