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Pants On Fire
Maggie Alderson
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Pants On Fire

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  994 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
When a heartsick London woman moves Down Under to start over, she finds that Sydney is populated with men who look all too familiar-making it far too easy for her to repeat the mistakes of her past.

Published (first published November 30th 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ewa Chachulska
May 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One day, after almost 3 years of engineering studies, I suddenly realized that a dear friend of mine, who I call My Brain, needed some more entertainment than integrating and drawing trusses. Going to a book store sounded like a perfect solution. Being me is not an easy task though. Quite simply indecisiveness is my middle name. Finding a perfect book, that would have hit my finny bone honestly required a great deal of patience.

After hours, literally spent on thumbing, I finally found a masterpi
Nov 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
does everyone in Sydney REALLY snort cocaine, guzzle litres and litres of alcohol almost daily, party like it's 1999, have meaningless intercourse with a dozen or more people before still not finding Mr (or Mrs) right, and swear like an old sailor? are fag hags really that prevalent in our Sydney, and is it OK to give these impressions if not? here, i think, is a perfect example of a "modern" book going a little "too hard" to try and be cool (unfortunately also, this seems to be women authors wi ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
Goodness -- I'm exhausted from just reading about the lifestyles of these women! Is Australia really like that? Or did Maggie Alderson take a lot of liberties in describing the singles scene Down Under? Either way, I enjoyed my first romp into Australian chick lit.

I enjoyed the colorful language and imagery and am glad Alderson used the excessive behavior of her characters to illustrate the dangers of depression/drug use/eating disorders/etc. The book managed to touch on all those subjects witho
Kaye R
Oct 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a ghastly book. No plot, the characters were stereotype losers with as much depth as a shallow grave, over-the-top try-hard settings, and frankly boring. It was like reading the diary of a 16 year old vacant bimbo's diary. The heroine, Georgia, was a pretentious sap who was completely undeserving of the hero, Rory, the only character in the book even remotely likeable (until the end when he leaves the country to go to "art school". I mean, seriously, they were supposed to be in their 30s, b ...more
What a fluff novel! It was definitely fun hearing all that Brit/Aussie slang...but so much drugs and sex going on! The ending had a surprising twist and it was just a fun read. Not a lot of plot...but you need that every now and then!
Georgia Smith
Average. Easy to get into and follow, some cute characters, but a typical chick-lit. Not adding anything new to the world of literature, sorry Maggie! This is the type of book you read when on a long plane flight - simple, easy and cheerful.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dont-judge
argh. this book is zapping my brain cells, one at a time. I think I'm losing IQ points as I keep reading... This book is doing a disservice to all Australians, especial those from Sydney :(
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's like a car wreck. But you can't look away.
Extra point because it's funny and it has great writing flow.
Can be entertaining as a very-very-light reading material.
Christine Stewart
I definitely picked this book up for the first time about 2-3 years ago and couldn't push through to keep reading it. It's a bit too much of everything. Very "which guy should I choose" ... I think.
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think this book has aged well! I originally enjoyed it when it came out around 2000 but not so much this time. Georgia Abbott moves from London to Sydney for a magazine editorship and navigates life and love under the Australian sun. Why does she only seem to meet ockerish (male and female) trend setters? Written in a similar style to Kathy Lette, whose writing I've enjoyed.
Read this back in 2009 and this review sat under another book of the same name but by a different author, until an astute reader noticed it was incorrectly filed. Fixing that error now.

This book was sent to me by a BookCrosser. I'm not really much of a chick lit reader, but have read more in the past few years. The thing that I like about the books that are written abroad is how they broaden my vocabulary and give me glimpses into a very different lifestyle and location. My life is richer for kn
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, romance
What an interesting story! I'm not sure I loved any of the characters (they seemed a vapid, materialistic bunch, including the narrator), but the location was absolutely intriguing, the ins and outs of moving to a new country and new ways of doing things were fun to hear about, and the social dynamics (completely dysfunctional, of course) fascinating. To some extent, I wondered if this were informed by someone's experience from an earlier time (it felt like the 80s to me, with some modern tech t ...more
Leanne Hunt
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Set in Sydney Australia, this book was a fun romp which provided light evening reading. I found the storyline frivolous but that was fine for the genre. The setting was interesting — a foreign city and a glamorous fashion magazine production house — and the characters were colourfully and memorably portrayed.

What struck me most immediately about the story was the glimpse it provided into a social set which I know nothing about. In this way, it was both astonishing and amusing, but also a bit sad
Kirsty Wenn
Too much drug taking in this book!! Not exactly what I expected when I picked up Maggie Anderson's first novel. I've read a couple of her other books and really enjoyed them, but this one made me cringe a lot. I really like Maggie's style as a rule, but I have to say, I didn't think there was very much in the way of substance in this particular story. Also, I just don't subscribe to the author's portrayal of Sydney, Australia. The main character, Georgia, didn't really feel like the main charact ...more
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the story of a girl who moves to Sydney to work on a magazine and gets caught up in a world of fashion, drugs, eating disorders, alcoholics, douchetards and wrong impressions.
It's witty and funny, sad in places, worrisome in others. I liked it though - I loved the scene where they introduced her to TimTams - just because they are my Achilles heel... and I corrupt as many people as possible by suggesting them.
She acquires a flamboyantly gay bitchy bestie - makes me want one - mostly because
Kirsten Hivon
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was worried at first, thinking this would be just another "Girl moves to Sydney from London or vise versa to work in the fashion industry" book, like she usually does, but as usually happens with Maggie Alderson books, there was so much more to the story than that. I was soon completely involved in the characters and the story as it all unfolded and the ending was completely unexpected, as far as the story was concerned. Unfortunately as the scenario that I mentioned above was easily predicted ...more
E Hellegers
Jan 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I enjoyed this story a lot and could even re-read it, It did bother me quite a bit the way Sydney (well actually all of Australian society) was portrayed in it. I don't know if the author is in fact Australian but I would have to guess no as I have never heard other Aussies talk the way they do in this book. It really 'felt' at times like it was written by someone with this out dated, stereotypical ideal of what Australian people are like which made the book just a little bit tacky.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't claim this is a masterpiece, but it is hilarious and fast and helped get me through a bout of homesickness while adjusting to life in Sydney. Full of romantic angst, amusing characters, sometimes-overly dramatic action and Aussie slang, this book is better written than most chick-lit. It just makes me happy.
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is my second maggie alderson book, i'm keeping my first. i simply love her style of writing. this book is set in my favourite country (so far), sydney (not my favourite state) australia!! i cheated and read the ending first half-way through the book, so i must say there was an element of surprise towards the ending bit. finished this in two days!
Jul 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have the audio book version of this and it's good to listen to while walking the dogs. It's long enough to last a few walks, but doesn't go on and on so I forget how it started. Georgia is a pleasant heroine, though I occasionally want to swat her with a newspaper, but as usual the supporting cast is most entertaining.
Daph (Loving Books)
Great and easy, hylarious read. I really enjoyed reading it. I borrowed it from the library and couldn't remember the name of the book anymore, but found it after a long search and now own this book! It was still fun to read the second time :)
Mar 30, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't one of her best. It just..i don't know. I wasn't intrested in it. I didn't CARE what happned next, and i thought it would get better because it's MEG CABOT! but, unfortunatley it didn't. It makes me sad :(
Did not finish. This book appears to be in the same vein as The Devil Wears Prada and, from an earlier time, "Coffee, Tea or Me". I find that a little goes a long way.
Jade Fleming
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly one of the best books to pass the time. I'm not normally a RomCom reader but Maggie Alderson is hilarious. This book is fast paced and I didn't want to put it down. Granted its no Oscar Wilde - but it's damn good.
May 26, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit, australian
Trashy but enjoyable chick-lit. Easy to read, little to think about and not particularly memorable but good fun nonetheless.
Recommended for reading on holidays or when you just want a light and easy read with a happy ending (as most books of this genre tend to have).
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read with some interesting characters. However, I found the ending rather sudden and unconvincing. Perhaps the author didn't want the ending to be predictable but the alternative didn't ring true.
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
True to chic lit predictability, the main character works for a magazine. However, this book was slightly different. A lot of the same stock characters, but at least I could relate to the character's struggles of moving to a foreign country. A good brainless read for before bed.
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book seemed like a hybrid of Sex and the City's coldness and Bridget Jones' idealism.

Click to read the full review on my book blog.
Nov 23, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend as a funny light hearted read.
Read the full review at OurBookClub.
Kate Moffatt
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
not a bad book - enjoyed it.
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Maggie Alderson is a British-Australian author (that’s what I’m supposed to say, but I’m not very good at writing about myself in the third person, so I’m going to can it).

I was born in London, brought up in rural Staffordshire, and educated at the University of St Andrews - and then at the University of Life, Sydney campus.

I spent many years covering the fashion shows in Paris, Milan, London et
More about Maggie Alderson...

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