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A Fairly Good Time

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  23 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Mavis Gallant’s two novels are as memorable as her many short stories. Full of wit, whim, and psychological poignancy, A Fairly Good Time, here accompanied by Green Water, Green Sky, encapsulates Gallant’s unparalleled skill as a storyteller.

Shirley Perrigny (née Norrington, then briefly Higgins), the heroine of A Fairly Good Time, is an original. Derided by the Parisians
Paperback, 308 pages
Published April 1st 1986 by G K Hall & Co (first published 1970)
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What's a woman to do when her French husband leaves her? All sorts of things apparently. I have to say that I found Gallant's short fiction to be better, but there are some beautiful passages in this novel about Shirley as she tried to find her way in Paris as she moves among confusing French people.
May 01, 2012 1.1 rated it liked it
Mavis Gallant being the author, I knew the writing would be immaculate, so there was no question of the book being an unreadable mess. I found the narrative was not very interesting and hard to follow, but the characters and situations were often enough to keep me reading. This reminded me of her nearly interminable short stories, which are masterful but I find I need to be in a certain state to really enter and enjoy them.

I was frustrated at times by my inability to focus and follow but in the
Jun 09, 2015 Kallie rated it it was amazing
I am reading this novel for the second time (decades between times). Before, I admired the writing as I do any writing by Mavis Gallant; this time I feel how real it is to circle yet avoid grief and loss, regarding both with dread and fascination. This is in no way a conventional narrative. Why should it be? The character is too messy for that, and too wise (though others in the story are not honest enough to recognize her wisdom) to pretend a neat character. And of course there is the voice. ...more
Aug 02, 2015 Allison rated it liked it
Meandering, like her short stories, but A Fairly Good Time is 300 pages, so it seems aimless.
The plot (such as it is) is too expansive to cram into a short story (although some of the chapters I felt could nearly stand alone as a story), but drawn out to novel length, it sort of loses its punch. I'll read anything by Mavis Gallant cause she can describe a situation or a character like no other, I am happy Ms Gallant wrote a novel, however, and I am glad I have read it. . . Yes I'd say I had a fa
Nov 08, 2016 Nancy rated it liked it
I thought this book was going to be better than it was, after reading The Other Paris, which I loved. I just couldn't get into it.
Droy Demoete
Aug 07, 2010 Droy Demoete rated it it was ok
i am currently reading it. her main character reminds me of Françoise Sagan's characters or even life... not in a hurry to finish it.
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Canadian journalist and fiction writer. In her twenties, Gallant worked as a reporter for the Montreal Standard. She left journalism in 1950 to pursue fiction writing. To that end, always needing autonomy and privacy, she moved to France.

In 1981, Gallant was honoured by her native country and made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contribution to literature. That same year she also receive
More about Mavis Gallant...

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