England's Lane, dans le Nord de Londres, est une rue pleine d'effervescence, où se côtoient de nombreuses boutiques. L'occasion de s'immiscer dans le quotidien des commerçants de la petite artère en 1959. On y rencontre entre autres Milly, mariée à Jim Stammer qui tient la quincaillerie. Ils ont un fils adoptif, Paul, d'une dizaine d'années. Il y a aussi Stan, le marchand de tabac et de friandises dont la femme reste cloîtrée à la maison, père d'une gamine de l'âge de Paul. Ou encore Jonathan Barton, le boucher de England's Lane qui reçoit un jour la visite d'un inconnu le menaçant de révéler sa véritable identité... Infidélités, mensonges, meurtres et trahisons se cachent derrière les façades proprettes de chacun des commerçants, bien moins lisses qu'on pourrait le croire... Une comédie de moeurs comme seul Joseph Connolly en a le secret, savoureuse et piquante à souhait.
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THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE BOLLINGER SHORTLISTED AUTHOR OF ENGLAND'S LANE.'Connolly unfolds a rich and compelling drama of life that is anything but everyday' Daily Mail'It is Connolly's skill to get the reader to laugh at what should make you cry or at least wince' Times Literary Supplement
George is a fashion mad Beatles fan, selfish and cruel. Why his girlfriend Dorothy loves him is a mystery to her and to his best friend Sammy. When George callously chucks her he cannot anticipate that his life, post 1964, will never be the same. And forty-four years later, when George is sixty-four, rich and successful, his past will catch up with him and his family.
Jim and Milly. Stan and Jane. Jonathan and Fiona. Winter, 1959. Three married couples: each living in England's Lane, each with an only child, and each attending to family, and their livelihoods - the ironmonger, the sweetshop and the butcher. Each of them hiding their lies, coping in the only way they know how.
London, 1939. Mary and Jack. In love, unmarried and happy. Until the outbreak of the Second World War. Jackie, ever the lad, is bent on escaping conscription, but the contacts he makes drag him ever deeper into a dangerous criminal underworld. Yet it is Mary who undertakes the most surprising transformation. Despite striving for normality, she must confront a set of choices that will lead to a backstreet abortion and an unexpected vocation. With every tone and cadence of this novel, from wireless to air-raid siren, Connolly conducts with masterful hand and compassionate grace the voices of a once hopeful working class couple - now blitzed, battered and breaking into a desperate new dawn.
When Emily, a successful interior designer and utter bitch, has finished throttling her startlingly dim-witted husband Kevin one morning and packed him off for a day's labour, she never expects him to achieve anything but the usual myriad incompetencies: let alone seduce a young, attractive woman in Portobello Road. And when she's done screwing her husband's best friend Raymond in his dingy office, little does she know Raymond will be consecutively screwed over by his shrewd, secretly lustful PA with a fusion of blackmail and bankruptcy. Emily's a maelstrom of malice and cares not for the mess she leaves behind. But there's only so far she can push Kevin and Raymond before the storm finally breaks. With vicious flair, Connolly hurtles his cast of thrillingly repulsive characters into a plot of adultery, sadism and revenge, speeding towards a violent climax. This is a world where pretension has the biggest price tag and reason has been stripped, revarnished and hung with a darling, fake chandelier.
In the kitchen Gillian loads the Hotpoint and frets about letting her baby go. In the bathroom Clifford styles his hair like Cliff's and wishes for a television. In the front room Arthur smokes a pipe and plots to fend off the loan sharks. In her bedroom Annette lifts up her nightie and heads for Clifford's room. In a tour-de-force of undressed taboo, four monologues intertwine to begin the story of an ordinary family in the fifties. How their seemingly contented, simple world bubbles under with odd desires and secret pangs - how it is shaken when they come to light - and how, step by step with the dawning sixties, life for all of them is whirled into a carousel of fashion, debauchery and explosive revelation.
Howard's getting it in the neck at home. Dotty isn't getting any at all. And Norman's getting it at work - from the girl under his desk. What they need is a holiday to let off a bit of steam. And steam is just what they get. As couples of varied ages, class and income set up their deckchairs on the beach, the scene is set for a few crossed wires, a wave of embarrassment and a lot of sand between the sheets. Sun, sea, sex, squabbling: Joseph Connolly's bestselling novel goes straight to the secret heart of that sticky farce of lust and snobbery: the British seaside.
Susan wants another husband. Which comes as a shock to the current one. 'But not instead of you, Alan, my sugar - as well as. You see?' Yet once Susan has brazenly commandeered her boss's rich, elderly hand, Alan finds himself curiously cherishing the company - sharing wife, whisky and other, odder peccadilloes. Indeed Susan is forced to root out alternative amusements - and with their teenage daughter copying her disintegrating moral code, the complex machinery of their lives soon begins to break down. Joseph Connolly plunges the reader into a tumultuous medley of inner monologues with keen, unabashed relish; exposing marital bedroom and male bonding in this biting, excruciatingly funny observation of men, women and adolescent girls.
The sequel to the bestselling Summer Things. A summer of lust has given way to the winter of discontent. Brian and Dotty have lost everything and are seeing in the yuletide from a caravan on their friends' driveway. Howard and Lizzie have it all and they're not sharing - except for a lover or two. In a spirit of neighbourly envy, adulterous love and goodwill to oneself, it might be time to learn the true meaning of Christmas - whether they like it or not.
His girlfriend commands that he marry her. His wife demands him home in time for tea. His blackmailer commandeers half of his secret earnings. Then he gets hit by a bus. All in all, it's not a good day for Eric. And once he's on crutches, it becomes impossible to juggle two lives, three women and one vicious gangster. Eric's double-decker life and triple-tangled lies drive him to a catastrophic collision in Joseph Connolly's wry and ingeniously plotted black comedy.
On their way to a tedious dinner party with a couple they loathe, Barry and Susan find themselves in a stranglehold amidst a smashed bottle of whisky. As Barry's gambling debts propel him to desperate measures and Susan's boredom finds relief in Barry's best friend, the poor souls tumble from miserable mundanity into social apocalypse. In an acid portrayal of boozing, fornicating, money-grubbing and extreme marital angst, Connolly shows himself to be a master of the genre with wickedly comic panache.
My father is dead. I simply can't tell you how happy this makes me. Lucas Cage loses his father and gains a disused printing works in east London, the only part of his father's legacy he has ever cared for. Casting aside the shackles of his life, Lucas transforms the building, swimming against the tide of gentrification to create a refuge for the misfits and malcontents he meets: marital asylum seekers, a couple obsessed with resurrecting Blitz-era Britain, three washed-up cockney criminals - and the charismatic Jamie Dear: a man who shares a past as troubled as Lucas's own, and a gift for bringing people together. The nuclear family has exploded. Welcome to the factory for lost souls. The Works is an elegy to the inextricables of life - pasts and presents, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, hopes and fears - told with Joseph Connolly's inimitable gift for character and voice as he digs up the dirt on nineties London.
The luxury cruise ship Transylvania takes six days to cross the Atlantic - just enough time for the passengers to find their sea-legs and lose their heads. Whether it's husbands pining for their mistresses back on shore, stewards with a raging cabin fever or mothers sweating to outshine their daughters, they transform the Transylvania into a floating purgatory of Pacific proportions. S.O.S. is Joseph Connolly's brilliant boat-bound comedy, a novel of holiday-makers and holiday-haters running aground on each other's lives and loves. 'Getting away from it all' is hopeless - and hilarious - when you've brought it all on board with you.
The moment he spots Maria's long legs at a party, Jeremy knows he's done for. The moment she sees that look in his eyes, Maria knows she's in for a free ride. The moment she twigs Jeremy's sneaking around, his wife Anne thinks she knows he's having an affair with Nan - their nanny. And chucks him out. Like dropping a grenade into a pond, this sets off a ricochet of concentric calamity that changes Jeremy's life; and those of Anne, Maria, Nan, Max, Hugo and everyone else they know; leaving them in disarray, washed up or exactly where they were before. In razor-sharp comic style, Joseph Connolly sets up his characters like pawns in a devilish chess game, prodding them towards war, conquest, or merely in evermaddening circles. Lust, manipulation and fear of being alone propel Jeremy in the most inextricable of purgatorial repetitons, until he seems to embody society's cruellest absurdities about the pointlessness of it all - forever going on.
Terence is sick of people making a fuss ofAlexander. His looks. His money. His fame. Who wouldn't resent so successful a son? Even if he is only ten years old. Joseph Connolly's brilliant new comedy of manners weaves together a domestic tableaux of characters -thosewith old-fashioned manners, tabloid manners, and no manners at all -in a satire on oedipal envy, neighbourly rivalry and the shameless stupidityof our fame-fuelled society.