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Vicious Circle

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  102 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Good: A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact (including dust cover, if applicable). The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include "From the library of" labels.Some of our books may have slightly worn corners, and minor creases to the covers. Plea ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published July 3rd 1997 by Fourth Estate (first published January 1st 1996)
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Bel Murphy
Aug 14, 2013 Bel Murphy rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
A novel of its time satirising the shallow, status-obsessed culture of the nineties. One of the most interesting aspects of the book was Craig's afterword, explaining that it was dropped by its original publishers due to potential libel action. A literary critic (and former boyfriend of the author) took exception to one of the characters portrayed by Craig, claiming that it was based on him. An interesting read on the whole.
Oct 11, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
love, love, love this book. have read it several times; keep a few copies on hand to lend around to people. literary london in the 90s; waitress at literary club turns viper reviewer... among several other compelling storylines.

the blurb on my copy reads "like dickens without the boring bits," and that's exactly right. engaging characters, absorbing tale, wry and wise and touching. her other books are wonderful too, and what i particularly like is that some of the characters - or their siblings
Simon Lipson
Sep 26, 2012 Simon Lipson rated it liked it
Not quite sure what to make of this one. To say I enjoyed it would be an overstatement, but I finished it (not always the case lately) and certainly invested in the characters and their stories. The writing is classy, erudite and mostly impressive, albeit the dialogue is occasionally clunky - I couldn't imagine anyone uttering some of the tortured, over-considered, complex sentences Craig puts in her characters' mouths.

Briefly, this follows a loosely related cast of privileged ciphers (with the
Aug 12, 2009 Maia rated it it was ok
Shelves: 80s-90s
However much I tried to enjoy this book, I just couldn't. The scandalous, fruit, incestuous, back-stabbing literati life in 1960s London should have been a greta storyline, or at least context, for a compelling novel. However, as much as I was drawn to the 'idea' of the story, the narrative itself just annoyed or bored me and it was a struggle to continue till the end. Craig's not a bad writer--she's just not a memorable one.
Jayne Charles
Jul 24, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got the feeling this book started as a shopping list of 'issues' (AIDS, motherhood, overcrowded hospitals), with some added snippets of the author's own experience in journalism, all strung loosely together to form a plot. Surprisingly it worked fantastically well. This was a terrific read from start to finish, with some great one-liners (the one about the rectal fissure was a highlight; I won't repeat it here....). I would definitely read more by this author.
Leora Bersohn
Jan 10, 2011 Leora Bersohn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's what I said on

A modern-day reworking of George Gissing's New Grub Street, Amanda Craig's A Vicious Circle suffers the same fate as its inspiration: Both novels are far more famous in Britain than in the United States. Since A Vicious Circle is fairly recent (1996) and satirizes a milieu unique to London, one could argue that its place is in the British canon alone. American publishers seem to have drawn this conclusion, as only Craig's more recent work has found an American pu

When I read on Craig's web site that her recent 'Hearts & Minds' was something of a sequel to this 1996 novel, I sought it out.

It is very much written in the same vein - following a group of Londoners whose lives intersect and in the process presents a snapshot of London at this time. Certainly pre-Cool Britannia and the ascent of New Labour.

There were some hilarious bits about book reviewing as well as far TMI about bodily functions - though necessary in content.
Apr 12, 2012 Jobag rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this. I've read its sequel already and of the two this is the weaker, but it was still extremely well-told and I kept wanting to know the fate of the characters despite very few of them being especially likeable. I enjoy the way Craig weaves the lives of all the characters together and that she doesn't tie up every loose end, on the one hand as a reader I think you want her to, but on the other it adds more plausibility and an edge of sadness that life is tinged with.
Jan 05, 2013 Joan rated it liked it
Struggled to get into this book at first but enjoyed it in the end.
Sep 03, 2012 Matty rated it really liked it
Wonderful book about the 90s London literary scene- amazing that it's out of print because of the threat of legal action by a not very well-known london reviewer.
Jan 03, 2013 Lyndsey rated it liked it
Enjoyable multi-level story about media and wealth in London, with likeable heroes and predictable villains.
Apr 23, 2008 Happyreader rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
1990s literary London. A fun, scandalous, more concise update of Trollope's The Way We Live Now.
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Amanda Craig (born 1959) is a British novelist. Craig studied at Bedales School and Cambridge and works as a journalist. She is married with two children and lives in London.

Craig has so far published a cycle of six novels which deal with contemporary British society, often in a concise acerbic satirical manner. Her approach to writing fiction has been compared to that of Anthony Trollope and Char
More about Amanda Craig...

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