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Foreign Parts

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Cassie and Rona. Rona and Cassie.

Two women on a driving holiday in Northern France.

A caustic, coruscating and deeply funny account of morality, dysfunctional relationships and women abroad, Foreign Parts is that rare hybrid: a strikingly original novel about real life, told with accuracy, compassion and a truly saturnine delight.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 23rd 1995 by Vintage (first published 1994)
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MJ Nicholls
First, that pathetic excuse for a cover. With this cover, the publishers are saying: “Look! This isn’t a fragmented experimental narrative at all! It’s a light and airy road trip about two crazy ladies discovering their place in the world! It’s not difficult or challenging at all! Beach read! Beach read!” Nice try, Vintage. But Galloway’s second novel is an ambitious narrative flitting between first, second and third POVs, set in holidays past and present. Within these separate narratives, her l ...more
Dec 18, 2013 Tuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a technical showcase, moving from 1st to 3rd person in smooth, effortless weaving (like romanian teen gymnasts, seemingly effortless, really superhuman strength and control) chronicles of the road trip of two old friends, from scotland to france, 2 weeks of pensions w/kitchen, or if that doesn;t work out, just sleeping in the car. through the innocuous recording, sort of like mark twain's travel journals, of their travels, and the re-telling and the simultaneous telling of the re-telling by the ...more
Feb 23, 2012 Virginia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, mainstream
I didn't hate it, but boy oh boy I so wanted it to be better. And it could have been if we'd better understood the foundation of the relationship that made these two (apparently) inseparable. The journey itself was so blah that didn't add to plot at all, merely the device by which these two were confined to close quarters.

The choppiness doesn't help - Cassie's flashbacks into her fairly ordinary relationships didn't do much for me. We've all been there but this didn't make me identify with her,
Jan 23, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicklit, travel
Another snooze fest. It may seem like I am flying though books, but I am reading one at work and a different one at home and I just happen to finish at the same time. I was actually reading this one at home and got board and read Ice Tea and Elvis before just sucking it up and finishing this one. Foreign Parts is about two 30-something girls traveling across France. (Not Paris, which would have livened the story up a slight bit.) It is inter-spliced with stories about their past and traveling wi ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Margo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The highlight is on P9
Jun 26, 2008 Daisy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can count the number of books I can't finish on the fingers of one hand. Unfortunately, this is one of them. Worse - this was during a weekened break when I had nothing else to read.

But I absolutely hated it. It should have been right up my street. Cassie and Rona, friends (sort of), set out to travel across the French countryside.

By page 10 I couldn't keep track of the characters (and there are only 2!) and by page 20 I'd almost lost the will to live, let alone continue reading the book.

I h
Apr 06, 2014 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did come to this after reading a lot of second-rate modernist duds, but even so I think it's pretty good. Surprising amount of tension, compassion, irritation, anger and fear generated from such a simple premise. Yes it's intermittently humorous too, but always subject to tight wariness.
Dec 11, 2010 Geraud rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
not the best J. Galloway.
the story of two friends going on a trip and going on each other's nerves.
bittersweet. nothing earthshattering which is a shame because Janice Galloway can be a great writer (see "the trick is to keep breathing" , " where you find it" )
Oct 06, 2008 Psirene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I realize that this is a cutting edge hip Ireland writer but It was a painful read. I could not make it through the the first couple of chapters. I may be getting too old for cutting edge.
Mara Eastern
May 10, 2015 Mara Eastern rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Falls short of The Trick Is to Keep Breathing, but contains impressive passages of hilarious hysterics and chilling metaphysics.
Susanne Mclean
Easy, undemanding read made more interesting if you start thinking about relationships, dependence and responsibility.
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Janice Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1955 where she worked as a teacher for ten years. Her first novel, The Trick is to keep Breathing, now widely considered to be a contemporary Scottish classic, was published in 1990. It was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel, Scottish First Book and Aer Lingus Awards, and won the MIND/Allan Lane Book of the Year. The stage adaptation has been performe ...more
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“That was probably how religion worked. The triumph of loneliness over intelligence. And why not? Why shouldn’t religion be exactly the same as everything else? Faith, hope and charity: as relevant as serving suggestions.” 1 likes
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