Jayne Charles's Reviews > We Are All Made Of Glue

We Are All Made Of Glue by Marina Lewycka
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's review
Nov 22, 2011

really liked it
Read from November 22 to 25, 2011

A few chapters in I found myself wondering whether Marina Lewycka might have the ultimate perfect writing style – the way she gets in and out of a sentence with just the right number of words, never over-writes, ends her sections long before they have a chance to get boring, and adds just the right amount of humour to keep it bouncing along. The perfect balance!

In this novel we find the familiar Eastern European/elderly persons axis, as well as a kaleidoscope of additional themes ranging from Arthur Scargill to Armageddon , B&Q to bondage, as well as a Kippax fixation, all fused together quite literally with glue. Not content with that, in an admirable display of boldness the author rolls up her trouser legs and wades into the Israeli-Palestinian question. It was here that the perfect balance I was so admiring in the early prose threatened to falter, as a determined effort not to be preachy or didactic became visible beneath the surface. Like trying to slice the last piece of cake exactly down the middle I could sense the work that was going into being even handed. Some of the later discourses seemed to go on a mite too long with each ‘side’ in the debate demonstrating how they had suffered.

But that’s just a minor criticism. I loved this big, eventful, ambitious novel. I laughed, I cried, I learned and I don’t ask any more from a book.
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03/03/2017 marked as: read

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