Love in Idleness Paperback – June 8, 2004
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who read this book also read
“Beguiling, very funny. . . . Craig writes with charm and wit.” —The New Yorker
“Amanda Craig is a marvelous writer—both playful and graceful, she gives darting sidelong glances into the human heart. Love in Idleness is the perfect summer read. Escapist in the best sense, it suggests that we may need to get lost in order to find ourselves.” —Allison Pearson, author of I Don’t Know How She Does It
“Lush and light … loving and witty…. A brainy beach book.” —Newsday
“With slapstick confusion, magic potions, and Shakespearean references galore…. [It] manages to surprise in a way old Will never dreamed of.” —Entertainment Weekly
“A leaf-light summer frolic of a novel. . . . Craig’s bardlike command of the story doesn’t waver, and she masterfully conjures the poetic beauty of the Tuscan countryside, making Love in Idleness a perfect read for a summer vacation–or for those in need of one.” –Salon
“Sharp dialogue, smart lines, well-timed revelations–all in all, a pleasing, evocative, weightless performance.” –The Washington Post
“The magical descriptions of Italy and hilarious observations about love, travel, natives and foreigners in Love in Idleness are but a few of its many pleasures. Amanda Craig has created a hot shimmery climate in which a cast of old friends, quirky family members and naughty children who make love potions come to know themselves and their hearts. A delightful brew.” –Jane Hamilton
“A social comedy with a hint of magic. . . . An entertaining and good-hearted summer read by someone who knows, and loves, her Shakespeare.” –Seattle Times
“Sprawling and sweet, Craig traces how romantic, platonic, and familial relationships change over time.” –Elle
“As the magic kicks in and the misbehavior begins, it is as if Craig applies a potion to her readers’ own eyelids, drawing them into an enchanted dream where her hold over them is complete.” –The Observer (London)
“Literate, surprising, and funny, Amanda Craig's haphazard houseparty in the Tuscan hills kept me in a midsummer night's dream from the moment the shutters were flung open until all ended well.” –Frances Mayes
“Carefully plotted, its prose sharp, its characters nicely, sometimes mischievously, observed. . . . Enjoyable and clever.” –The Independent (London)
“Craig’s creative enough to stray from Shakespeare when the need arises, and her lyrical prose suits the Italian landscapes.” –Orlando Sentinel
“An absorbing, playful summer read. . . . Craig has a wry affection for her characters, and the novel leaves one feeling Puckish: Lord, what fools these mortals be!” –The Telegraph (UK)
“Amusing and intelligent. . . There are layers of meaning that will repay careful reading. . . . A delightful summer read.”–Library Journal (starred)
“Charming. . . . Craig, a compassionate and good-tempered fairy godmother waving her wand, presides wisely and kindly over the comedy of errors.” –The New Statesman
From the Inside Flap
When Theo, a workaholic lawyer, his English wife Polly, and their two children rent an idyllic Italian villa, they expect a relaxing summer holiday together. Polly, with her loved ones romantic interests at heart, has invited an eccentric mix of friends and family along--including three eligible bachelors, a former model, an Indian-British divorcee with a young son, and her own appalling mother-in-law. They soon discover the Casa Luna is a strange, enchanted place where people find their heart's desirebut at a price. Everyone falls in love, though not with the people they expect, and the results are surprising and hilarious.
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Paperback : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1400031079
- ISBN-13 : 978-1400031078
- Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.75 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Anchor; Anchor Books ed. edition (June 8, 2004)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,165,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This is a thoroughly engaging and funny novel that is an up to date revisioning of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Although the tone of the novel maintains a comic air, Craig doesn't shy from tackling difficult social issues such as racism, sexuality and our culture's obsession with beauty. These problems are woven into the characters lives making them a fully-realized, modern and recognizable group of people. Most importantly, this book ponders the question of love in a way that is not trite or sentimental. Rather it shows the maddening confusion of it, the heart-stopping joy it brings and how it pulls us in the most unexpected ways.
I thought this written with even more assurance than A Vicious Circle, and a lightness of touch that somehow goes deeper. For a comedy, it has many melancholy touches that prevent it being just froth, and it describes is the way the world is transformed by love, and the imagination. It's easy to read, but demands an answering intelligence in the reader. The ending, incidentally,is one of the best I've read in a modern novel for a very long time.
Top reviews from other countries
Promoted on my paperback copy as a "wonderful and life-affirming read" and having been recommended this novel by a friend with similar reading tastes, I was expecting quite a lot from this book - probably too much and, in consequence, I do have to admit to being a little disappointed. It is true that Amanda Craig's descriptions of Tuscany are evocative and there is certainly some wry humour, but I found the characters rather stereotypical and mostly unsympathetic. Polly, who normally has staff to help her (even though she doesn't work and doesn't want to), can't control her children, and is rather irritating as a character, especially when complaining about how others don't realise how hard it is for her being a full-time wife and mother; Theo is a hypochondriac workaholic, who barely spends any time at home and won't stand up to his over-bearing mother; Daniel is too wishy-washy, and then there is the attractive and supposedly independent Ellen, who is desperate to get married and worries that she won't ever marry because she's "not thin enough, or toned enough". The only person that I warmed to in any way was Hemani and, as the novel progressed, I found Ivo Sponge became slightly more human as a character, but I have to say that I wasn't really concerned about what happened to any of these people - which is a shame. As already commented, there were compensations in Ms Craig's descriptions of Italy and there were some amusing observations, but despite having read and enjoyed a couple of other books by this author, I found this particular novel a less than satisfying read and I'm sorry I can't be more enthusiastic about it. (Perhaps I need a holiday in Tuscany?)