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Various Pets Alive and Dead

Pets book coverMarcus and Doro were part of a commune from the late 1960s until the early 1990s: lentils, free love, spliffs, Left politics, cheesecloth blouses, sex, housework and cooking rotas, crochet, allotments. Their children have grown up rather different from them: primary schoolteacher Clara craves order and clean bathrooms, son Serge is pretending to his parents that he is still doing a Maths PhD at Cambridge, while in fact working making loadsa money in the City; while third child Oolie Anna, who has Downs Syndrome, is desperate to escape home and live on her own. Set half in Doncaster, half in London, this is a very funny riff on modern values, featuring hamsters, cockroaches, poodles, a Chicken and multiplying rabbits, told by Marina Lewycka in her unique and brilliant combination of irony, farce and wit.

Some reviews:

The Independent.

The Economist My family and other animals - Hippy parents and their offspring

The Guardian Sarfraz Manzoor detects an uncercurrent of sadness in this novel that contrasts hippies and yuppies