The Spare Room (Paperback)
  • The Spare Room (Paperback)
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The Spare Room (Paperback)

(author)
£9.99
Paperback 208 Pages / Published: 07/05/2009
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Helen has little idea what lies ahead when she offers her spare room to an old friend of fifteen years. Nicola has arrived in the city for treatment for cancer. Sceptical of the medical establishment, placing all her faith in an alternative health centre, Nicola is determined to find her own way to deal with her illness, regardless of the advice that Helen can offer. In the weeks that follow, Nicola's battle against her cancer will turn not only her own life upside down but also those of everyone around her. The Spare Room is a magical gem of a book that packs a huge punch, charting a friendship as it is tested by the threat of death.

Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781847672674
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 154 g
Dimensions: 200 x 130 x 10 mm
Edition: Main


MEDIA REVIEWS
The Spare Room is a perfect novel, imbued with all Garner's usual clear-eyed grace but with some other magnificent dimension that hides between the lines of her simple conversational voice. How is it that she can enter this heart-breaking territory - the dying friend who comes to stay - and make it not only bearable, but glorious, and funny? There is no answer except: Helen Garner is a great writer; The Spare Room is a great book. -- Peter Carey
Garner writes with the cool authority of personal experience, and apprehends Helen and Nicola's loving and warring worlds in such fine and sensuous detail that pain itself is rendered beautiful * * Sunday Telegraph * *
A compulsively readable, searing novel...the best book I have read for years. Beautifully written, The Spare Room is terse and pacy. Every taut sentence rings with painful purity and attack -- Stevie Davies * * Independent * *
Outstandingly vivid * * Sunday Times * *
Exceptional . . . an unsettling and skilled work that raises important questions about the process of dying and what caring ewll for the dying requires . . . So powerful is The Spare Room's communication of the the triumphs and failures involved in dying . . . [that] ther reader painfully ricochets between the various positions . . . somehow as we read we actually become these characters. * * Financial Times * *
A wise and affecting book. * * Daily Mail * *
Bleak and comic, written with unflinching candour. -- Erica Wagner * * The Times * *
A tart exploration of friendship under trying circumstances, The Spare Room packs a lot into a volume as short as it is sentimental. There's humour to be found in Nicola's crackpot remedies, but it is of the desperate kind that doesn't obscure the sad truths found in the book. -- Colin Waters * * Sunday Herald * *
This is no mere cancer memoir. Rather, in Garner's brilliant retelling, it is a complex examination of the limits of friendship and of the problems of remaining a single woman into middle age . . . This is a superbly clever novel. * * Guardian * *
In its bleak and highly comic storytelling, despite the subject matter, the novel's main concern is how people behave towards each other and the repercussions of that behaviour. -- Penny Perrick * * Sunday Times * *
Beautifully written . . . this is a novel admirably scraped clean of sentimentality. -- Anita Sethi * * Independent on Sunday * *
Helen Garner's style is informal, but there is no denying the force of her storytelling . . . This is a novel that will stay with you, perhaps against your wishes. -- Jo Caird * * Daily Telegraph * *
This is a superbly clever novel, in which death looms large, while the narrative and the narrator exist in vital present: cancer is a fact of life, not an ending. * * Guardian * *
Bleak and highly comic storytelling. -- Penny Perrick * * Sunday Times * *
This novel is admirably scraped clean of sentimentality . . . the most powerful curative is a good dose of laughter, which is abundant in the spare, lucid prose even as it hurtles along with the inexorability of death. -- Anita Sethi * * Independent on Sunday * *
A wonderful economic story, full of surprising humour as well as incisive psychology. * * Sunday Times * *
Garner's finely honed writing and the integrity of emotion make this a genuinely uplifting testament to the power of friendship. * * Good Book Guide * *
Garner grasps that illness confers power, portraying the tyranny that sickness exercises on the healthy -- Lionel Shriver * * The Week * *

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“Stunning and Honest”

A novel about your best friend, who has terminal cancer, who thinks that she will get better and who wants to spend the next three weeks staying in your spare room.

Nicola; the best friend is convince that the... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 58

“The Spare Room”

After the controversy generated when this book did not appear on the Man Booker longlist, I was curious to see how "The Spare Room" measured up. Nichola and narrator Helen (the latter a self-portrait?) are... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 43

“The Spare Room”

This book is about a lovely friendship between two women. Nicola has terminal cancer and stays with her friend while she is doing some alternative treatment. It is a deep and moving story about this friendship- and I... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 42

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