Thorpe, Adam Shifts

ISBN 13: 9780099284314

Shifts

3.38 avg rating
( 8 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780099284314: Shifts

In his first collection of short stories, poet and novelist Thorpe explores the lives of his characters through the work that they do. The first-person confessionals include a Ghanaian immigrant with an identity crisis; a bin-man uncovering spooky filth; and a death caused by Verlaine's cigar butt.

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

Review:

Shifts, Adam Thorpe's first collection of short stories, appearing in the wake of three novels, Ulverton, Still, and Pieces of Light, and three volumes of poetry, including From the Neanderthal, takes as its premise the fact that what we do has a bearing on what we are, that work is what defines and shapes us. The 12 stories here are all first-person narratives, and range widely in time and place: from the memories of an English bin-man to an Australian mason struggling for employment in France, from the tribulations of a Ghanaian immigrant in 1960s London to sawmill workers in post-independence Congo. Thorpe displays an almost virtuoso ability for mimicry, for the idiosyncratic cadences and rhythms of speech and the way in which the cant and argot of the workplace seeps into the vocabulary and metaphorical reach of the protagonists, as in the story "Glass":

Her face was all sour. More and more she looks like her mum, with her hair rolled up like that, and the parting. You can see her bare skin in the parting. Like its been engraved. Like her head is smoked glass and I've taken a sand-engraver to it. Or brushed a line of my hot glue mixture, ripping it off when it's hard.
This is not just a series of exercises in ventriloquism: Thorpe, ever aware of the social contexts beyond the localised perspectives of the individual, illuminates issues of racism and class, the legacy of war and imperialism, the relationships between men and women, and how the facts of work affect partners and families, through the tensions and releases of what people choose or are forced to do for a living. This, however, is never at the expense of good storytelling or the human dramas of everyday life--the tales are by turns poignant and witty, tragic and epiphanic, always revelatory of the complex humanity that lies behind each social facade. -- Burhan Tufail

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

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2001. Book Condition: Very Good. In his first collection of short stories, poet and novelist Thorpe explores the lives of his characters through the work that they do. The first-person confessionals include a Ghanaian immigrant with an identity crisis; a bin-man uncovering spooky filth; and a death caused by Verlaine's cigar butt. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129. Weight in Grams: 187. Some minor shelf wear but remains very good. 2001. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # KTJ0044439

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
5.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

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

2.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Vintage
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: Very Good. In his first collection of short stories, poet and novelist Thorpe explores the lives of his characters through the work that they do. The first-person confessionals include a Ghanaian immigrant with an identity crisis; a bin-man uncovering spooky filth; and a death caused by Verlaine's cigar butt. Num Pages: 256 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 129. Weight in Grams: 187. Some minor shelf wear but remains very good. 2001. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # KTJ0044439

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
6.19
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

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

3.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ally's Book Shop
(PEMBROKE DOCK. PEMBROKESHIRE, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2001. Bookseller Inventory # 29937

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
0.81
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.13
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Eastleach Books
(Newbury, BER, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2001. 1st edition.. Paperback, F. 239pp, a mint as new copy. A collection of 12 short stories on the theme of work, and what work dose to people & their lives. 200 grams. Bookseller Inventory # 12751

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
4
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.03
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Vintage (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Eastleach Books
(Newbury, BER, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2001. 1st edition.. Paperback, F. 239pp, a mint as new copy. A collection of 12 short stories on the theme of work, and what work does to people and their lives. 200 grams. Bookseller Inventory # 12752

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
4
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.03
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Jonathan Cape 2000 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
G. & J. CHESTERS
(TAMWORTH, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Jonathan Cape 2000, 2000. 239p VG pbk [0224052810]. Bookseller Inventory # 50712

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
4.50
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 7.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Thorpe, Adam
Published by Trafalgar Square (2001)
ISBN 10: 0099284316 ISBN 13: 9780099284314
Used Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Nearfine Books
(Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Trafalgar Square, 2001. Book Condition: very good. Gently used. Expect delivery in 2-3 weeks. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099284314-3

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
431.36
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.23
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds