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Larger Than Life Paperback – August 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Georgie met Hugh during her first year at university and knew that he was the man for her. Unfortunately, it took Hugh one marriage and two children to decide that she was the one for him. Georgie spent the intervening years transforming herself for the momentous occasion, but now she is no longer the svelte woman making a splash in advertising and living the high life in London because she's pregnant, moody, and, unforgivably, gaining weight. Her friends are falling by the wayside because they don't understand the vagaries of pregnancy, while her sympathy for Hugh's wife is increasing. Hugh, however, is not turning out to be the ideal domestic partner. His life continues to be the same while Georgie deals with the coming baby without much support. An array of interesting, very British characters adds to the flavor of the story, making for a Bridget Jones meets motherhood scenario in Parks' fun and funny ode to motherhood in modern London. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Marie Claire Entertaining and sophisticated.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (August 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743457609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743457606
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,964,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 2 million books in Great Britain and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.

She has published twelve novels in the past twelve years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.

Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on September 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
In the past, I read Playing Away and roared with laughter and sometimes recognition. Adele Parks got the sexual and emotional aspects of infidelity down to a tee. Now she has returned with another novel that illustrates her wit and intelligence.
Larger Than Life - much like Playing Away - centers on infidelity. However, the theme is somewhat different from her first novel. This second effort has a darker subject matter.
After years of patience, Georgina has finally obtained full possession of Hugh, the love of her life. He's chosen her over his wife and children. Now she's able to take a step back, relax and be at ease. She no longer has to go to great lengths to be the glamazonian mistress she's always been. But things take a turn toward disaster when she finds out she's pregnant. Will Hugh stick around? Was the fantasy life she once lived with Hugh better than the reality she now endures? There are some interesting turns throughout the novel.
As previously said, Larger Than Life has a rather dark language. The problems Georgina encounters after making the transition from mistress to girlfriend are insightful and poignant. Adele Parks is a great chick-lit author and I look forward to more work from her in the future.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
At eighteen Georgina saw Hugh for the first time and knew he was her soulmate though he did not quite see it that way at that time. Now fourteen years later, Georgina lives in London with her beloved Hugh, and on top of that likes her job and is financially solvent. Georgina wonders if life can get any better than hers is?
When Georgina learns she is pregnant she has a mixed reaction. She wants to be a mother, but worries how Hugh will react. While wondering who to tell as she fears Hugh might recoil from her and her mother detests having a thirty something child, Georgina immediately rules out abortion. She knows that if Hugh behaves badly, she is financially secure to raise the child on her own. She is only in the beginning stages and as she grows rounder, her world as she knows it spins off its axis starting with seeing Hugh in a different filtering of me-me not we-to the three.
This book should be labeled chic lit even though it contains elements of mainstream drama and because a pregnant woman seems within the lanes of this interesting sub-genre. The amusing story line is told mostly in the first person, which provides an interesting series of events as Georgina progresses with her pregnancy. Her actions, frustrations, and reactions change too. Hugh comes across as a pathetic loser making it difficult to see why the bright, gregarious G saw anything in him. Fans of chic lit and character studies will want to read LARGER THAN LIFE as this is a fine one sitting novel.
Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Sandell on September 4, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If author Adele Parks keeps writing like this, I really think that Brit Chick Lit author Jane Green will have some competition! I was hooked well before the first chapter ended and was thuroughly entertained by this intelligent novel.
Thirty-two year-old Georgina finally has everything she has ever wanted: Hugh, the manshe has loved for years and now has all to herself, she also has a wonderful career in Advertising at which she makes boat-loads of money. Georgina is thrown for a loop to say the least when she finds out she is pregnant. How will Hugh handle the news? Will you, me and Baby makes three be their new anthem? Georgina is pretty sure she wants to be a mother, or is she? Everything in her life for the last fourteen years has been filtered through Hugh. Georgina becomes obsessed with her pregnancy and how she is going to handle the rest of her life and there are many trials and tribulations associated with both. This book is a combination of chick lit intelligently mixed with a study of human behavior.
I should also mention that this is my third Downtown Press book. Previously I have read: The Song Reader and The Man I Should Have Married. Good story lines and entertaining, intelligent reading seem to be the hallmark so far of Downtown Press.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
After reading Adele Parks Game Over and Larger Than Life, one can instantly see the mastery the author has over writing and narrating a novel. The language is funny, clear, and entertaining in some parts.

However, her themes tend to be very negative. Certainly, in the end, the characters undergo a realization and surpass any immorality of their previous behavior, but it takes till the very end of the novel until that metamorphasis occurs.

The author gives an interview at the end of the book, and indicates that writing an imperfect heroine with complications in her character is more challenging to create. However, as a reader, I want to feel like I am rooting for the main character at least fifty percent of the time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Georgina is pregnant. She should be happy - while the baby was not planned for, her partner Hugh (long wanted, finally divorced and hers, already a dad) is definitely happy- but for some reason she is less than elated and can't figure out why.
Interestingly, although the story is narrated through Georgina's voice in the first person, it quickly becomes obvious to the reader that darling Hugh is not such a catch, but more and more reveals himself in more or less subtle ways to be a complete...well, you end that sentence as you want and imagine.
So, what is she going to do about it?
In a word, it's the story of a young woman who lives a bit in denial and slowly comes awake.
The transformation is both external (people around her are full of surprises) and internal (her pregnancy is not exactly of the glowing sort, and she loses her thin, energetic identity completely).

There are funny secondary characters - her self-centered mother (called "Jessica" and not "mum", which should tell you a lot already), her friend Sam who desperately wants to be married, too much for her own good, Hugh's oh-so-perfect-ex-wife...

The twist at the end caught me completely by surprise, in a good way! I read other novels by Adele Parks and this one is one of my favorites. I just don't get the title!
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