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Under the Duvet: Shoes, Reviews, Having the Blues, Builders, Babies, Families and Other Calamities

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  6,431 ratings  ·  280 reviews
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Sushi for Beginners and Angels comes a collection of personal essays on shopping, writing, moviemaking, motherhood and all the assorted calamities involved in being a savvy woman in the new millennium.

Her novels are read and adored by millions around the world, and with Under the Duvet, Marian Keyes tackles the world of nonfiction.
Paperback, 315 pages
Published January 6th 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published October 25th 2001)
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 ·  6,431 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Jan 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I love Marian Keyes. My friends Kathy and Jenn would call her stuff "pink books" (i.e. frothy chick lit), and they definitely all start out that way: oh no, I'm getting married in three days and I'm too fat! Oh no, I woke up in some strange guy's house after a night of heavy drinking!! Oh no, I have nothing to wear to the party!!! Pretty standard Pink-ness.

But then, somewhere along the way, Keyes' books turn your expectations on their ear. She writes about alcoholism, or loneliness, or having an
Thomas Strömquist
Starting out, I'm happy to report that I liked this collection of essays/columns/articles/short writings a great deal - actually lots more than I thought I would! I'm of course long gone needing to be convinced that Marian can do no wrong, but a collection of 50+ of shorts is usually not my bag.

Anyway, before going into specifics (if there's going to be any specifics - don't know yet, depends on how this part is going). Just finishing sewing up a busted seam in my winter coat (since winter in S
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves girly fiction and autobiographies
Shelves: own
This is a gorgeous autobiography! Very sweet and funny. Actually, this book is a collection of magazine articles that Marian Keyes wrote about her experiences - in love, finding a place to live, a job, battling alcoholism. I laughed out loud and had tears in my eyes, and although some of her experiences were far from my everyday life, I felt touched.

This was the first book I read by her, and it took me to reading her novels. I've just bought her new one!

Marian Keyes - the 21st century woman's go
Sally Whiteside
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first book by this author and it was tons of fun. I loved her stories and all the honesty in them. I laughed lots and when I wasn't laughing I still had a smile plastered on my face.
A good collection of articles written by Chick-lit queen Marian Keyes. Very relatable in places and guaranteed to make you chuckle.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Searching through the shelves at Waterstones I saw this book by Marian Keyes. I've read for Marian Keyes once before very recently, a book by the name "The Brightest Star in the Sky" and I set about buying more of her work. Luckily, I didn't only find a novel, I found a collection of articles previously published and unpublished all about the writer's life.

The woman is hilarious! I love her sense of humor and her wit. Her honesty in dealing with alcoholism, growing up, and weight loss. I could t
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: humour, essays, nonfiction
A mostly amiable and low-key amusing collection of short essays, ideal for an ex-pat who's missing being surrounded by Irish voices and diction. (Though Marian Keyes never actually explains what words like stocious, wan, yoke, etc. mean so parts might be confusing for non-Irish people.) The essays about Keyes' battles with depression and alcoholism are less frothy pieces than the pink cover might lead you to expect, but that's par for the course with her style of writing. The one real bum note i ...more
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars
Talulah Mankiller
Apr 22, 2010 rated it did not like it

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Victoria Scott
As a long-time fan of Marian Keyes, I was super excited for another book of hers. I have to say, this let me down. Not because it was bad, don't get me wrong; it just didn't have what I love about her.
I guess it wasn't what I was expecting. All of the small stories in there were articles from the magazine she used to write for. I didn't want articles; I wanted stories! They were all fun, on their own. But I like to have one story, that goes through the entire book. They weren't even organised i
Namitha Varma
One of the most hilarious set of articles I've read of late. I think I'm in love with Keyes. My kinda gal!
Dec 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
After reading the 'Brightest Star in the Sky', I was curious to find out more about the author. Everything I read said that book was a departure from her typical style, and when I took out one of her other books from the library, it was so Chick-Lit I returned it without cracking the spine.

I wondered if something had happened to change her style. This book doesn't answer that question (it was published at the height of her chick-lit fame), but this series of essays was very funny, very Irish in
Marie’s Book Boutique
Read my full review at

Under The Duvet by Marian Keyes is a collection of her journalism, some which have been published and some which hasn't. This is the first type of book I've read like this and I was more than intrigued when I read the blurb; knowing I was in for a treat of a read!
In her articles she share's her experiences in a very comical way; some will have you cringing and laughing at the same time! Also there are some serious bit when Marian sha
I must say that I enjoy Keyes' novels a lot more than her columns. I just didn't find the little stories overly interesting or funny. Jen Lancaster does a way better job of recording everyday bits of life. But that's Lancaster 'normal' job, and Keyes' is to write novels.

However, it was revealing to read about the life she lead in her late teenage years and throughout her twenties. I wouldn't have thought it was that fucked up.

It is a nice read for the gym, which is were I read the book. There it
Roudha A 240-521
Under the duvet is an autobiography written by Marian Keyes who is known as the best-selling Irish author and her novels are read by millions around the world. This book consists of seven sections and each one includes different articles. At the beginning, I have a difficulty in understanding the author language but then I get used to it. The part that I found it hilarious was the essay in which she discusses the Irish people’s inability to give directions using street names or addresses. While ...more
I wrote the review on bookcrossing a few years later in 2006 and I wasn't writing much at that time!

This is most definately my favourite Marian Keyes book. I love short stories, and these are great little reads to dip into. I especially liked her guide to housecleaning for men, and these funny little insights into her married life.... several of which seem familiar and I'm not even married!
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
It's a funny diary about Keyes's life until late 90s. Sometimes I was a little bored, lucky me all of them are short essays, magazine publications. And now I know where some background stories of her books came from.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I want to write like this. Her non-fiction a hundred times better than her fiction. An excellent judge of not saying too much. The story on her alcoholic journey the most plausible and honest I have ever read. Feel like comparing her to caitlin moran.
Jul 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marian Keyes first collection of journalism is full of anecdotal humour and witty, wry observations about herself, others and life in all its absurd, calamitous and joyful incarnations. Fans will delight to read about the real life situations that inspired some of the most memorable scenes from her novels. Whilst mostly light-hearted and funny, she is also admirably frank about her personal troubles and candidly describes her struggles with alcoholism, depression and her personal journey of reco ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
I've been reading a lot of essay collections by women lately, and this one was very similar - autobiographical with a good sense of humor. I've read quite a few books by Marian Keyes, and it was interesting to learn more about her, specifically that she battled with alcoholism and depression. But I also enjoyed reading about her adventures in London and then moving home to Ireland with her English husband (referred to as mainly "Himself" in this book). I loved stories about her family, including ...more
Laura Sansom
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Living and working as a writer has its misconceptions and Marian blows them out of the water. Declaring that writing can be just as nine to five as an office job but possibly less glamorous. She lets us read her life story and follow in detail that rather than living as a writer she lives as a woman who struggles all the same with many a challenge in her life. Marian draws on events both humorously or quite dramatically emotional but still she carries on.

Reading this book was like clinging to
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Pg 109: (On childbirth being so painful) “Mother Nature must have had an off day when she sat at the drawing board and invented the ins and outs of giving birth...I can see how it gets in all right, no complaints there, but you’re impressing no one with your plan for getting it back out again.”

Pg 182: I’ve been on a diet for most of my adult life and I’m fatter now than I’ve ever been.

This made me remember how much I like Marian Keyes. I could relate to a lot of her stories and I enjoy her hones
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I hadn't read anything by Marian Keyes before, but this book might just persuade me to change my mind. I noticed it in the 'Biographies' section of our local library and the humorous title and cover intrigued me. While it is only autobiographical in the loosest sense - it's a collection of articles based on events and situations in the author's life, some previously published, some not - it's a fun read and drew me on despite my moans that I don't actually LIKE collections of literary shorts (ar ...more
Gemma Harris
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a lover of books that are in fact collections of articles (The World According to Clarkson in my lists anyone?) AND a lover of the Queen of Chick Lit herself I couldn't resist this wondrous second hand book shop find.

It is every bit as I expected it to be. Funny, sometime thought provoking, relatable and did I mention funny?

My only gripe is that I wanted it to be longer. But there is always the sequel which I am now purchasing forthwith.

So, like this review, Under the Duvet is short and swe
Jan 10, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first few stories were quite entertaining to read, but the whole book got boring rather quickly. The author's very quick to stereotype, see the chapter about her trips to Germany, Austria etc, it's not funny. I also didn't like the gender roles which were portrayed throughout the book... She likes or dislikes things because she's a woman, her husband likes or dislikes things because he's a man. Okay, if you think so...
And in the last chapter there was some kind of underlying racism that I j
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a chore to plod through. Not in terms of reading difficulty, more boredom.
Whilst I appreciate that there may be a significant amount of poetic licence taken in the recounting of these tales (or at least I hope there has!), it hasn't necessarily made better writing.
Instead, the author and her associates come across as none too bright, and trying to read it in an Irish accent doesn't make it any funnier. Tedious.
Chloe (Always Booked)
This book was entertaining but not something I will read again. It is random articles and things Marian Keyes has written about her life. They aren't in order necessarily (which I wish they would've been so we could watch the progression of her life a little more) but they only span 2-3 years. She talks about living in London and Dublin, her family, her work, etc. all in a funny way but I found myself skimming a lot.
Jenn Estepp
3 1/2. Picked up a copy of this at the library book store. I love Keyes, but have only read some of her novels, so these short pieces were great fun (and, in the land of tmi, a terrific book to keep in the bathroom), if a wee bit dated. Promptly ordered used copies of her other column collections, so I suppose that's a decent testimony, no?
Susan Cairney
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I haven't read it all and what I have read was no biggy, it's just little clips of stuff she has or hasn't had published previously in magazines etc. I haven't read any other Marian Keyes stuff and definitely started off on the wrong book here so have shelved it, will read a chapter or so when I feel like it which will probably be never.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyable quick read of a collection of short essays, but a lot of the essays felt dated (since they were written most circa 1999). I like Marian Keyes a lot, and this was a fun look at her real life vs. her books.
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Marian Keyes (born 10 September 1963) is an Irish novelist and non-fiction writer, best known for her work in women's literature. She is an Irish Book Awards winner. Over 22 million copies of her novels have been sold worldwide and her books have been translated into 32 languages. She became known worldwide for Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, and This Charming Man, with themes includ ...more

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“When I opened my case in the hotel, he gestured excitedly at my snakeskin sandals, turquoise suede wedges and silver-speckled jellies. “But you’ve loads of shoes,” he bellowed joyfully. I shook my head sadly. Men just don’t get it, do they? They’re definitely missing the shoe chromosome.” 6 likes
“My friend Kathy is the only person who'll be halfway honest with me. 'Did you ever see a cowboy film, where someone has been caught by the Indians and tied between two wild stallions, each pulling in opposite directions?' she asked.

I nodded mutely.

'That's a bit what giving birth is like.”
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