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Last Chance Saloon
by Marian Keyes
ISBN 0380820293 / 9780380820290 / 0-380-82029-3
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Author of the hugely popular Rachel's Holiday and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Marian Keyes is back swinging the doors of heartache and hilarity with Last Chance Saloon. Meet Tara, the rapidly expanding food-loving shopaholic; Katherine, the neat, male-ego-destroying singleton; Fintan, the fashion-conscious lovely, and Lorcan, the gorgeous but rotten redheaded womaniser. Marian Keyes deliberately deploys stereotypical characters and situations, then attempts to subvert the stereotypes, though perhaps in rather obvious ways.
Throughout, Tara bores us with her lament that she is at the last chance saloon, meaning that if she ends her current relationship at 31, she's on the shelf for life. "For the first time Tara visualised it and she contracted with fear. It was like being told to jump off a cliff ... "But what would become of me without Thomas? I'd never get anyone else and I hate not having a man. And it's not something I'm proud of" she added quickly. "I'm going to puke", Fintan interrupted, urgently." Those who can resist the urge to follow Fintan's lead on the umpteenth rendition of this particular complaint will enjoy the book.
It's addictive--reading The Last Chance Saloon is like watching the omnibus edition of Sunset Beach; you know the acting is awful and the same scenes keep on repeating themselves but you can't help being hooked and feeling sated afterwards. At almost 600 pages, settle down for a Saturday afternoon and don't expect to be getting up again until Sunday. --Nicola Perry [via]