Jane Stevenson Several Deceptions

ISBN 13: 9780099273745

Several Deceptions

3.45 avg rating
( 40 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780099273745: Several Deceptions

These four novellas are narrated by a brilliantly distinctive voice telling the stories of an Anglo-Italian Professor of Semiotics undone by his own cleverness; an Irish woman who joins a Tibetan nunnery in India; the old university friends whose party is galvanised by a pugnacious newcomer into a demented Buchanesque mission to restore their hostess's lost humour; and an international lawyer who takes to terrorism in pursuit of a theory. Several Deceptions is clever, funny and a little cruel and introduces a writer of quite remarkable gifts.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Who is Jane Stevenson, and how does she know all this stuff? With Several Deceptions, this hitherto unheard-from British academic has unleashed a brilliant debut collection of four wicked, chatty novellas. If her astonishing range of milieu is anything to go by, Stevenson seems to be a Tibetan monk who studied European law at a prestigious Dutch university after swinging with David Bailey in '60s London. So firmly does she grasp all these different worlds--and quite a few others--you feel that she must have lived them. Her first novella, perversely titled "The Island of the Day Before Yesterday," tells of an Italian semiotician who, in the 1980s, decides to play a little new-historical prank on the academic community by passing his dumpy secretary off as a former '60s wild child. In Stevenson's world, though, the first laugher is never the last. In the second novella, a really beautiful piece of writing called "Law and Order," twin brothers fall under the spell of a powerful law professor at the University of Leiden. The author writes a vaguely sardonic--but dead-on--pastiche of aristocratic European student life. This Mann-ishness is shot through with scenes of aching loveliness, as when she describes the skaters on the canal: "From a distance, their modern dress did not call attention to itself, and the whole composed itself into a series of Breughelesque pictures, softened by the snow which fell in fat, soft, feathery flakes from the dark sky."

The third novel, "The Colonel and Judy O'Grady," takes us further afield still, to the foothills of the Himalayas, where two exile communities bump up against each other: the "strange and pathetic group, known, collectively, as the Ancient Britons," left behind by her Majesty's retreating Empire and Tibetan monks fleeing religious persecution. Stevenson, bless her, is alive to the absurdities of the situation: "The shaven heads and the Panama hats met periodically in the bazaars, like animals at a watering-hole, with an entire lack of mutual curiosity." The final story, "Crossing the Water," sets in motion a wild Feydeau-ian farce involving three art historians and a manly soldier in a Suffolk country house. Despite her diverting fictional globetrotting, maybe Stevenson had better stay at home in future: this last story is a corker. The farce is hilarious, the denouement heart-wrenching. But what's most wonderful is the knowing tone. The narrator observes of his art-historian friend: "Adam knew, of course; his omniscience was legendary. I sometimes scrounge dinner with some friends in Hampstead who keep a list of things he doesn't know: it is short, and peculiar." Fans of the shifty narrations of Francine Prose, John Lanchester, and Michael Frayn will find much to love in this new voice. --Claire Dederer

About the Author:

Jane Stevenson is the author of two collections of novellas, Several Deceptions and Good Women, and four novels, London Bridges, Astraea, The Pretender and The Empress of the Last Days. She is a professor in the history department at Aberdeen University and holds the Regius Chair of Humanity.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. These four novellas are narrated by a brilliantly distinctive voice telling the stories of an Anglo-Italian Professor of Semiotics undone by his own cleverness; an Irish woman who joins a Tibetan nunnery in India; the old university friends whose party is galvanised by a pugnacious newcomer into a demented Buchanesque mission to restore their hostess s lost humour; and an international lawyer who takes to terrorism in pursuit of a theory. Several Deceptions is clever, funny and a little cruel and introduces a writer of quite remarkable gifts. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.17
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Stevenson, Jane
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. Book Condition: New. The four novellas that make up this book share a common theme: deception and self-deception, practised on or by the protagonists. Num Pages: 272 pages. BIC Classification: DQ; FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 135 x 17. Weight in Grams: 225. . 2000. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.61
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Stevenson, Jane
Published by Vintage
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. The four novellas that make up this book share a common theme: deception and self-deception, practised on or by the protagonists. Num Pages: 272 pages. BIC Classification: DQ; FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 135 x 17. Weight in Grams: 225. . 2000. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.84
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. These four novellas are narrated by a brilliantly distinctive voice telling the stories of an Anglo-Italian Professor of Semiotics undone by his own cleverness; an Irish woman who joins a Tibetan nunnery in India; the old university friends whose party is galvanised by a pugnacious newcomer into a demented Buchanesque mission to restore their hostess s lost humour; and an international lawyer who takes to terrorism in pursuit of a theory. Several Deceptions is clever, funny and a little cruel and introduces a writer of quite remarkable gifts. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Vintage
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
4.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Stevenson Jane
Published by Random House
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Majestic Books
(London, ,, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Random House. Book Condition: New. pp. 272. Bookseller Inventory # 38610639

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.50
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Random House (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Random House, 2000. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # F4-9780099273745

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
4.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 272 pages. 7.80x5.08x0.67 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0099273748

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.35
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

STEVENSON,JANE
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Herb Tandree Philosophy Books
(Stroud, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. paperback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780099273745 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE01343857

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 8
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Jane Stevenson
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273748 ISBN 13: 9780099273745
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0099273748

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
28.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds