The Bookshop

The Bookshop

by Penelope Fitzgerald, David Nicholls
3.0 16

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Overview

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

Short-listed for the Booker Prize

“A beautiful book, a perfect little gem.” — BBC Kaleidoscope

“A marvelously piercing fiction.” —
Times Literary Supplement

In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop — the only bookshop — in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town's less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors’ lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence’s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn’t always a town that wants one.

This new edition features an introduction by David Nicholls, author of One Day, along with new cover art.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547524771
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 09/15/1997
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 293,516
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

PENELOPE FITZGERALD wrote many books small in size but enormous in popular and critical acclaim over the past two decades. Over 300,000 copies of her novels are in print, and profiles of her life appeared in both The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine. In 1979, her novel Offshore won Britain's Booker Prize, and in 1998 she won the National Book Critics Circle Prize for The Blue Flower. Though Fitzgerald embarked on her literary career when she was in her 60's, her career was praised as "the best argument.. for a publishing debut made late in life" (New York Times Book Review). She told the New York Times Magazine, "In all that time, I could have written books and I didn’t. I think you can write at any time of your life." Dinitia Smith, in her New York Times Obituary of May 3, 2000, quoted Penelope Fitzgerald from 1998 as saying, "I have remained true to my deepest convictions, I mean to the courage of those who are born to be defeated, the weaknesses of the strong, and the tragedy of misunderstandings and missed opportunities, which I have done my best to treat as comedy, for otherwise how can we manage to bear it?"

Date of Birth:

December 17, 1916

Date of Death:

May 3, 2000

Place of Birth:

Lincoln, England

Place of Death:

London, England

Education:

Somerville College, Oxford University, 1939

Customer Reviews

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Bookshop 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this little book in tandem with a few other women. We have yet to discuss it, but I expect all will agree that the writing is lovely. So many aspects of small town life are amusingly unveiled by this author. I especially enjoyed the character of the 10-year-old shop assistant, who smacks a customer with a ruler when they are rummaging in the 'Holds' shelf. The ending, however was grim and disapointing to me. I was expecting a charming and witty conclusion consistent with the tenor of the preceding story. What the reader is left with is a morality tale with a bad aftertaste.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many have commented on how brief this work is. There is no arguing the point, as ¿The Bookshop¿ is brief as defined by the pages it occupies. Ms. Fitzgerald also writes concisely, however she conveys as much or more than many who would take two or three times the length of this work to tell the same story. The result would be no better; nothing more would have been related, and the reader would have just consumed more time. The events in the story come to the reader as they affect the central character. We are not privy to every conversation between other characters, nor do we witness their every thought, their every action. Just as we do day to day, we receive and react to information and events, as we are made aware of them. We share the fears, the suspicions, and the insight Florence has, but that is where it ends. We are not taken away from her to hear the plans set in motion by others; we have little advantage over her in terms of information that we alone possess. I think the book is brilliant because it tells a story the way any of us would have experienced the events if they had happened to us. Ms. Fitzgerald cuts away anything that is remotely extraneous, but what she leaves is beautifully compact and true to life. I have just started her work ¿The Blue Flower¿ which is massive in comparison, should be interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In england because mold ruins books and is catching never buy a book that smells musty itcan invect other books terrible depressing story must check her others for thus new englisg trend in genre the noir noir ending to discourage tourists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I started this book expecting it to be a delightful little British novel; it is not. Yes it's little, and it's British, but it's actually rather dark of all things. Worth reading? Yes! But adjust your expectations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
G_Mom More than 1 year ago
Depressing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not sure what I wanted to happen just that I wish something had. Very boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it. Could have been a 5 star book, but you will love it!
ro808 More than 1 year ago
One of those books that I could not get into. Very slow paced and forgetful. The only characters that I found likeable were Florence, the bookshop owner, and her assistant, Christine. I enjoyed Florence for her optimism and business naivete, and Christine for her young determination. From the high reviews that I read, I was expecting much more. However, the book's choppy chapters and little character development were not able to hold my attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Old fashioned story, boring, felt cheated by having spent the time reading it.
dennyDW More than 1 year ago
As with the author's other works, the characters are not likeable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a sad little book. I'm not really sure what the author was attempting to convey in this story. Was it that people can be cruel and manipulative? Regardless, if this is the approach by Ms. Fitzgerald in her books, this is the one and only I'll read.
Trdc More than 1 year ago
The book is excellent. A really enjoyable read. Unfortunately, B&N delayed my order for a week. I ordered from Amazon instead and had it in 2 days.