Life-Like

Life-Like

by Toby Litt
     
 

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Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt’s most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes first aired in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and

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Overview

Emotionally compelling and formally innovative, Life-Like is Toby Litt’s most ambitious collection of short stories to date, bringing to fruition themes first aired in his previous books, Adventures in Capitalism, Exhibitionism, and I Play the Drums in a Band Called Okay. Life-Like is a book about our globalizing and atomizing world—with stories set in India, Sweden, Australia, and Iran—that also looks at how we meet and fail to meet and what connects us to one another, as well as waste and communication, and, in turn, communication through waste.

The twenty-six stories begin with Paddy and Agatha, an English couple last seen in Litt’s Ghost Story. Following the stillbirth of their second child, their marriage has gently begun to collapse. Paddy and Agatha both meet someone else. First, Paddy meets Kavita, and Agatha meets John. Then each of these four engages with a different new person—and so on, through a doubling and redoubling of intimately interconnected stories. The remaining short stories exemplify Litt’s impressive, unflinching prose. 

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Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal
“Litt has a streak of playfulness in him. . . . His narratives freely venture into unexpected forms, from cartoons to a screenplay to a Twitter feed. But the subject is the age-old one of connection.”
Guardian
“Quite an important addition. . .”
Bookmunch
“An essential purchase for short story fans but an equally essential purchase for anyone who likes great fiction. Litt is on top form.”
3:AM Magazine
“The book reads like primitive magic. . . . Litt’s is the exquisite imagination that is first about the infamy of forgetting and then its corroding detachment.”
Times
“Litt’s writing is comic with a deadpan delivery, and sometimes shockingly observant. . . . Enormously clever.”
Library Journal
10/01/2014
The clever stories in this linked collection begin with Paddy and Agatha, a couple of young Brit sophisticates, and branch out in all directions to include an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and acquaintances. Paddy and Agatha, parents of a young son, are still grieving the loss of their stillborn daughter. Agatha heads off to Devon on a writing course, where she has a one-night stand with her instructor, whose own hectic love life is also chronicled here. Paddy, meanwhile, attends an academic conference in Hull, where he meets and lusts after the beautiful Kavita. After developing breast cancer, Kavita goes home to Mumbai for treatment (where the story of her doctor briefly figures in). Paddy also lusts after the Czech au pair, Veronika, who departs for Prague for the engagement party of her sister to a man Veronika loathes. Henry and May, Paddy and Agatha's close friends, experience marriage troubles owing to Henry's steamy affair with his very young office colleague as May turns to Jesus for comfort. And on it goes. VERDICT These funny and inventive stories about interesting people having sex and thinking about having sex should win English author Litt (deadkidsongs) many new fans.—Barbara Love, formerly with Kingston Frontenac P.L., Ont.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780857422071
Publisher:
Seagull Books
Publication date:
11/15/2014
Pages:
274
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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Meet the Author

Toby Litt is senior lecturer in creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published three collections of stories and eight novels and also writes the comic Dead Boy Detectives

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