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by Sylvia Smith

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Title : Appleby House. Authors : Smith, Sylvia. Product Category : Books. In the mid-1980s, at the age of 38, Sylvia Smith moved into a room in Appleby House, a shabby, peeling terrace in the East End. Her fellow tenants were all carefully selected single girls. This story of her time there, a brief tale full of incident, includes a host of colourful characters.

Appleby House Sylvia Smith Picador £. 9, pp160. Now the East End minimalist is back with Appleby House and again, against all probability, she draws us in, as if her book were a high suspense drama. Sylvia Smith's first book, Misadventures, was the non-event that became an event: the autobiography of a secretary from the East End to whom nothing much happened until she decided to publish her life story in hilariously puny slices. There was surprise at what Smith chose to record (nothing too little to include) and amusement at her tone, a flatness that she presumably intended - although even this was tantalisingly in doubt - to be comic.

Appleby House - Sylvia Smith.

In the most artless and amusing way, Appleby House thoroughly indulges our very human fascination with the day-to-day and the surprising, often inexplicable, behavior of our fellow members of the species. Read on the Scribd mobile app. Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Publisher: Random House Publishing GroupReleased: Dec 18, 2007ISBN: 9780307424860Format: book. Appleby House - Sylvia Smith.

The Smith-Appleby House Museum is open for tours during scheduled events, or tours may be arranged on. .Sylvia Smith - is a British author known for her volumes of autobiography

The Smith-Appleby House Museum is open for tours during scheduled events, or tours may be arranged on request. Sylvia Smith - is a British author known for her volumes of autobiography. Smith s first title Misadventures (Canongate, 2001) covered her life of office work, boyfriends and day today events.

Comments: (4)

I can't really articulate what it is exactly about this book that I love, but I thought it was a terrific little read. It's the mid-80's and a then 38-year-old Sylvia Smith moves into a small furnished room in a house in east London. Her housemates include Sharon, an art student and her boyfriend (shhhh--he's not supposed to to live there); Laura, an odd, seemingly angry, single thirty-one-year-old woman; Susanna, a twenty-something woman and her teenage sister (shhhh--the sister's not supposed to live there, either); and Tracy, a twenty-four-year-old woman recently separated from her husband. Smith recounts her year living in the house and describes the dynamics between the residents. Everyone hates Laura and Laura hates everyone else. From the weird aspects of the house (putting change not only in the telephone, but the bath heater and kitchen stove as well); to Mr. and Mrs. Appleby, the sweet, older couple who own the house, Smith entertains the reader with her simple life in a house that, is a lot of the time, anything but simple. Smith's writing style is straightforward and draws one in immediately.

There's just something charming about this book. It's a super-fast read, but hard to put down. It wasn't anything that I expected at all--I'm thinking London in the 80's: a lively, rocking house with lots of punk, parties, drinking, and drugs. With the exception of a few glasses of wine mentioned, none of the above made an appearance. To me it seemed more like the setting was the 50's or 60's rather than the 80's. But the drama makes up for the missing drugs and rock and roll. And the cozy feeling of the book made it worthwhile.
Publishers Weekly called this a pointillistic memoir, but I thought it was "pointless." I kept thinking as I read that the author was going to TELL me something, that there would be a POINT to what she was saying, but there never was. I didn't want to finish the book, but thought "there has to be something here." Alas, I didn't find it. Sylvia moves into a flat, meets other people in the building ( most of whom don't get along), and then at book's end has to move out when the building is sold. There is no more story than that. There is no meat in the dialogue. I kept waiting, and waiting...There is NOTHING there.
This is one of my favorite books, but I can't quite put my finger on why. I think a previous reviewer was on to something when she said it was cozy. It's just a book about the little details of the lives of some ordinary people who live in the same boarding house. There's not much in the way of plot, nor are any great secrets of the universe revealed. It reminds me of Carnival the Souls minus the supernatural element. If that sounds as appealing to you as it does to me, I recommend you read Appleby House.
I read this book in no time at all. It is too short actually, but the writing and the humour is wonderful and well worth the reading.
I was quite disappointed to see this book end as the author managed to convey a cozyness to this book that I found absolutely charming.
Appleby House download epub
Author: Sylvia Smith
ISBN: 0330491296
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Contemporary
Language: English
Publisher: Picador (2002)
Pages: 176 pages