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Pillars of Gold

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  38 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Despite their extravagant social consciences and their delight in domestic drama, none of Barb's neighbors tries to find her when she vanishes. Scarlet is busy (neurotically busy, she thinks) keeping the peace between second husband Brian and adolescent daughter, Camille. Over the fence next door, Scarlet's best friend, Constance, is busy trying to ditch Memet, he of the u ...more
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Moyer Bell (first published January 1st 1992)
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Funny and witty, and a biting commentary on the plight of the modern family. Ellis's books are never without beauty, though, and I found this particularly beautiful: "...suddenly it occurred to Scarlet that really she was already religious, as anyone who had borne a child must surely be: not in the conventional sense but rather as a passenger on a train would expect someone to be at the controls. The responsibility for bearing human beings was too great for a human being to bear: to bring a chil ...more
Phillip W.
I love unsympathetic characters with cracked views of the world, wickedly presented. Pillars of Gold is chocked full of them. This book is a comedy of errors filled with dull people playing the parts they think they've chosen for themselves, when in fact they're playing postmodern types while thinking they're being authentic. That is the essence of our postmodern malaise, no one has the wit or the will to be actually authentic, so they put on "types."

Ellis shreds the types by putting their cari
Breezily written and chock full of mordant observations about people. If even one of the characters had been more sympathetic, I would have liked it better. As it is, the lot of them makes you glad you don't know your neighbors. Still, Ellis is a brilliant writer.
Jo Ann Hall
The sly humor of The Inn at the Edge of the World is present here, along with Alice Thomas Ellis's usual commentary on the assumptions we make about one another. I've read that Ellis is a modern Jane Austen and that's accurate. The plot is slow and a couple of critical characters' fates are left unresolved, but I still recommend it for the author's zingers of observations about human nature which left me open-mouthed at times.
A woman's body is pulled from a nearby canal and one of the neighbor ladies is missing, yet everyone is having an unusually hard time reporting the coincidence to the police. Droll and dry from one of my favorite authors.
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Alice Thomas Ellis was short-listed for the Booker prize for The 27th Kingdom. She is the author of A Welsh Childhood (autobiography), Fairy Tales and several other novels including The Summerhouse Trilogy, made into a movie starring Jeanne Moreau and Joan Plowright.
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“Scarlet, when aware that she was consciously asking her friend for advice and support, felt guilty, for she had come to believe that advice and support were commodities for which you paid professionals, rather as you paid prostitutes for love and bought your vegetables instead of growing them yourself.” 0 likes
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