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Last Chance Saloon Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Desperately single thirtysomething men and women populate Keyes's breezy novel. Childhood friends Tara, Katherine, and Fintan muddle along, dealing with the indignities and inconveniences we all face--and then some. Tara's perfectly horrible, freeloading boyfriend Thomas watches her diet like a hawk and remarks cruelly on the size of her posterior, comparing her unfavorably to younger, thinner women. Katherine is a professional success, but her personal life is nonexistent. Every one of her prior relationships--six in all--has ended disastrously, with Katherine getting dumped. Each time, she retreats further and further into her shell, until her most intimate relationship is with her remote control. Fashion industry insider Fintan has found true love with his Italian boyfriend, Sandro, but a health crisis threatens their happiness. Tara, Katherine, and Fintan, as well as their quirky cast of friends (people with names like Lorcan and Mandii), live, love, and learn the hard way, the only way they can. Not quite as obsessive as Bridget Jones and that damn diary of hers, Keyes manages to convey a painfully accurate portrayal of what it means to be single today, tempered by a few of life's less humiliating and more important lessons, like the value of true friendship. Funny and irreverent, Keyes's Last Chance Saloon is a terrific vacation read. --Alison Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Imagine Bridget Jones in a Jacobean revenge drama, a sort of 'Tis a Pity She's Single that's the flavor of this entry in the urban unmarried female angst sweepstakes. This time, the protagonists are two London women who grew up together in the small, repressive Irish town of Knockavoy. Tara, a computer analyst, lives with Thomas, a bitter and miserly high school geography teacher. Afraid to live on her own, she is willing to overlook the fact that Thomas ignores her birthday, constantly monitors her eating habits and insults her friends under the guise of being "honest." Katherine Casey, an accountant for an advertising agency, wears boring suits, has a hyperorganized underwear drawer and brushes off all advances, including those of attractive advertising account executive Joe Roth. As they turn 31, each woman is full of suggestions for improving the other's life and full of excuses for doing nothing about her own. That begins to change when Fintan O'Grady, their gay pal and fellow Knockavoy refugee, falls ill with a mysterious disease. As their paths are crisscrossed by a self-centered Irish actor named Lorcan Larkin, Fintan emotionally blackmails Tara and Katherine into making long-needed changes. Keyes (Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married) effectively describes the young women's searches for autonomy and love, but her flippant, arch tone is less effective when recounting the more grim stories of Fintan and Lorcan. In addition, some of the repartee, perhaps fresh when the book was originally published in Great Britain in 2001, already seems shopworn. The Knockavoy refugees are a sympathetic trio, however, and their deftly plotted saga is likely to appeal to fellow singletons. (Aug.)Forecast: Readers will have to be nearly as desperate as the heroines of Keyes's relationship drama to find satisfaction here but there's no underestimating the appeal of even halfway decent girl-talk books.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; English Language edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380820293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380820290
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (550 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marian Keyes lived in London for ten years before returning to her native Dublin. After receiving a law degree and studying accounting, she began writing short stories in 1993. She is the author of three previous novels--Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, and Rachel's Holiday--all major bestsellers around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Bryna L. Reed on July 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There is a reason Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors. I think I read this book nearly two years ago. I was first introduced to Marian Keyes when my husband bought me Watermelon. When I finished it I knew I needed to have more! That began my search for her books. That is when I found Amazon.co.uk. I ordered everything she had written and pre-ordered one of her books that wasn't published yet. All of the books were well worth the extra cost to ship overseas and well worth purchasing from the UK. Rachel's holiday became my favorite. Which was amazing because I swore that I couldn't find a more entertaining book than Watermelon.
Rachel's Holiday is a wonderfully entertaining book about Rachel, the sister of Watermelon's heroine Claire. Rachel is addicted to drugs and alcohol and nearly ruins her life although she thinks there isn't anything wrong. She looks at rehab as a "holiday", she could use a vacation anyway, and she might get to see some celebrities while she is there. This isn't your typical book about a 20-something hitting rock bottom and having to pick up the pieces of the life she has ruined. The story is so witty and so funny that I laughed out loud but it is much more than that. I really fell in love with this book and the author. I wait for her books the way kids wait for Harry Potter!
Buy this book and you won't be disappointed. Better yet buy all of Marian Keyes' books.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes. First of all, the depth of information it gave about addiction was astounding -- Ms. Keyes really seems to have done her research. I don't see how anyone could become an addict after reading this book!
What I especially found interesting was the dichotomy of Rachel's viewpoints -- she thought one way while she was still abusing drugs (and when she first started at the treatment center), and a completely different way when she began to recover. There were people she considered "stingy" or "no fun" while she was abusing drugs; she later realized they were only trying to help her. On the other side of the coin, there were people she used to think were almost godlike, and she finally realized that these people were human just like her -- and not really as great as she originally made them out to be.
Above all, though, I found this book entertaining. Marian Keyes has a wonderfully wicked sense of humor that I can truly appreciate. I'm starting to figure out that I really like books told in the first person; this book and Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married (which I read first) both drew me in with their cozy girl-talk style. I know this is a major cliche, but I really did not want to put this book down -- I felt so involved in everything that was happening to Rachel.
The only problem I found with the book is that I thought the ending was a little too convenient and a tad too predictable. Anyone who read it kind of knew how it would end about a quarter of the way through the book. That in itself was not necessarily so bad; to me, a lot of the enjoyment in a book is watching the journey from point A to point B, even if you already know what point B is.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Henning Henning on January 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read this story a couple of days after I read Watermelon (also by Marian Keyes) and I liked it even better. Rachel's Holiday is a perfect choice if you are looking for some quality light reading. Keyes still uses the same technique as in Watermelon, where Rachel talks directly to us and therefor is our only source of information about herself in the first half of the book. Later we get some more information about her trough the metings with others. It is written in the same chatty, humorous tone that makes all of Keyes' novels such a pleasure to read, but this story is a little different and a little more daring.
When we first meet her, she is about to be admitted to the Cloisters, a Irish sort of Betty Ford Clinic. She is in denial. Anyone who has had personal experience with addicts (of one kind or another) will recognize how they may fool you (and sometimes themselves). In the first part of the book, she seems pretty shallow and definitely a bit dense, but she grows as a person through her therapy and her friendships with other recovering addicts. Rachel has not really got a clue about who she is in the beginning and why she is becoming an addict. She develops as a person in and trough the story and grows to become something more than a cartoon figure or a heroine of a cheap weekly magazine story. Keyes has written this story with much fine humor and I laughed out loud many times to the great fun of those who were around me.
Two warnings: Highbrows who do not enjoy light reading should stay away from this book and secondly if you do not like happy endings of any kind, please also stay away from this book.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "erin_g" on August 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book a few months ago after much internet hunting trying to find it so I didn't have to wait for its US release.
While Keyes' previous works have also dealt with serious subjects, they were underlying, not at all the main topic in the book. This book, however, takes a hard look at addiction. While she does it with humor, she doesn't necessarily sugarcoat it. I especially appreciated that it was the main character's point of view the story was coming from. This book is written in first person, which I like, but at first you may find it rather disconcerting. The story coming directly from Rachel helped me to relate to what addiction is like, how hard it is to overcome. In the beginning, I actually found myself truly wondering if she was an addict. That kind of scares me. It told me why addicts have such a hard time overcoming.
I don't want to scare anyone off in making them think that this is an depressing, deep book filled with sorrow and woe. It's not. It's very funny at times. I love the way the family interacts. I think they're a lot like most families, just most families would never admit it. If you've read Watermelon then you've already been introduced to the family, if you haven't, read it. It doens't really matter which one you read first. Just enjoy them.
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