Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/725/14821

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 July 2012

Book review

Various Pets Alive and Dead

Derek Macmillan reviews: Various Pets Alive and Dead by Marina Lewycka.

ISBN: 9781905490912

Various Pets Alive and Dead, by Marina Lewycka, published by Fig Tree

Various Pets Alive and Dead, by Marina Lewycka, published by Fig Tree   (Click to enlarge)

This book, by the author of "Two Caravans", tells two parallel stories about a 1970s hippy commune and the adventures of two of its children in the 21st century. Much of the humour comes from ridiculing some of the more ultra-left views current in the 1970s, then contrasting the morality of the parents with the immoral world in which Serge - one of the children - has become embroiled.

I don't intend to ruin the plot but the banking world is summarised for Serge thus: "Imagine gambling in a casino. Everything you win, you keep. And every time you lose, a kind-hearted donkey called Joe Public comes along with a sack of gold and pays off your debts ... He just has to keep the government onside by keeping them running scared."

Drawn into this world because of the easy money, Serge develops a whole new meaning for the term "fictitious capital." The parts of the financial plot which seem most bizarre, like making money out of a downturn, are the parts which are most accurate.

In the hippy commune, the attempts to explain the role of marriage - or the "pastry arky of the domestos fear" - to young children are a salutary warning about fitting your language to your audience.

Marina Lewycka does not spare anybody, left or right, from her comic ridicule. This is a thoroughly good read.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 July 2012:


Socialist Party campaigns

Jail the banksters! Nationalise the banks under popular democratic control


Socialist Party NHS campaign

SAVE OUR NHS

It's our NHS - let's fight for it!

Welsh Labour's health service 'redesign' means cuts!

South London NHS: Socialist councillors said: 'Axe PFI, not our NHS'


Socialist Party feature

PCS votes to stand candidates in national elections


Socialist Party LGBT

Sexuality, austerity and socialism


International socialist news and analysis

Kazakhstan: Resisting state oppression, fighting for survival


Socialist Party workplace news

London buses: "This is why we're in the union"

Wales Shop Stewards Network conference calls for 24 hour general strike

RMT conference: Vote for one-day general strike

Essex FBU strike back at bullyboy management

Unite needs fighting socialist policies

Supporting Sheffield recycling workers

Workplace news in brief


Obituary

Obituary: Roger MacKay, a tireless fighter for socialist ideas


Socialist Party appeal

Save our server!


Youth fight for jobs

Immolation horror - we demand jobs

Leicester: Police undermined opposition to racist march

Racist and hooligan EDL invades Dewsbury

Olympic-watch

Them&Us


Socialist Party review

Various Pets Alive and Dead


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 July 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Children:

triangleEnd Tory war on poor

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

triangleGlenfield victory shows people power can save our NHS

triangleVictory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangleSave Glenfield Children's Heart Centre! Save our NHS!

Commune:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The 1871 Paris Commune

triangleVivid visual account of the Paris Commune

triangleRevolutionary themes in games

triangleLambeth Socialist Party: The Paris Commune of 1871

Parents:

triangleSchool staff strike against privatisation

triangleTeachers, students and parents demand an end to the schools funding crisis

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Government:

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

6/12/17

Fire

The Socialist Inbox

6/12/17

Surrey

Comment: Socialism and truth about Zane

6/12/17

Labour Party

Blairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

30/11/17

Theatre

Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

22/11/17

Working class

Left comic's take on politics will have you in tears

22/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

15/11/17

The Socialist

The Socialist Inbox

15/11/17

Abortion

TV review: Abortion on Trial - hard-hitting look at impact of 1967 act

15/11/17

Vietnam war

Comprehensive account of bloody conflict

8/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

8/11/17

Obituary

Obituary: Paul Randall, 1959-2017

8/11/17

Theatre

Welsh update of Chekhov an engrossing tale of 1980s class conflict

1/11/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Letters

The Socialist inbox

25/10/17

Fidel Castro

New musical on life of Castro

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle11 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Campaigning workshop

triangle11 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas Quiz

triangle12 Dec Birmingham South East Socialist Party: Can the Labour Party be changed?

triangle12 Dec Liverpool Socialist Party: Fighting council cuts

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2