Larry's Party

Front Cover
Fourth Estate, 1997 - 339 pages
18 Reviews
The San Diego Tribune called The Stone Diaries a "universal study of what makes women tick." With Larry's PartyCarol Shields has done the same for men. Larry Weller, born in 1950, is an ordinary guy made extraordinary by his creator's perception, irony, and tenderness. Larry's Party gives us, as it were, a CAT scan of his life, in episodes between 1977 and 1997, that seamlessly flash backward and forward. We follow this young floral designer through two marriages and divorces, and his interactions with his parents, friends, and a son. Throughout, we witness his deepening passion for garden mazes--so like life, with their teasing treachery and promise of reward. Among all the paradoxes and accidents of his existence, Larry moves through the spontaneity of the seventies, the blind enchantment of the eighties, and the lean, mean nineties, completing at last his quiet, stubborn search for self. Larry's odyssey mirrors the male condition at the end of our century with targeted wit, unerring poignancy, and faultless wisdom.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TBergen - LibraryThing

Pleasant enough, like the title character Larry, I suppose, but while it tries to touch on this or that 'big topic' it does so only out of obligation and never makes anything of it. Larry is not ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mirrani - LibraryThing

You can say there is a lot of symbolism in this book. Larry, who is a florist at first, discovers the art of the hedge maze on his honeymoon and from there finds that it becomes a large part of his ... Read full review


chapter two Larrys Love 1978
chapter three Larrys Folks 1980
chapter four Larrys Work 1981

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About the author (1997)

Carol Shields is a writer and critic who was born on June 2, 1935 in Chicago and grew up in Illinois. Shields resided in Canada, where she was the Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg, and a professor at the University of Manitoba. Shields's first novel, Small Ceremonies, was published the week of her 40th birthday. Her other works of fiction include The Orange Fish, Larry's Party, Various Miracles, and The Stone Diaries, which received the Governor's General Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Shields has also been awarded the Canadian Bookseller's Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the CBC Prize for Drama. She died on July 16, 2003.

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