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Living Alone

Stella Benson

Book Overview: 

Set in London during the First World War, Living Alone tells of the meeting of a recluse and a witch, then rambles through magic, morality and aerial dogfights on broomsticks. With its curious blend of fantasy and practical detail of a country in war-time, it's a charmingly weird novel that I hope will entertain.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . is no charge for residence?"

"How d'you mean—pay?" asked the witch. "Pay whom? And what with? Look here, if you will come and live here you shall have a little Wednesday every week on the stairs, under license from me. Harold the Broomstick is apt to shirk cleaning the stairs, but as it happens, he is keeping company with an O-Cedar Mop in Kentish Town, and I've no doubt she would come over and do the stairs thoroughly every Tuesday night. Besides, we have overalls in stock at only two and eleven three——"

"Oh, I like your merry mood," said Miss Ford, laughing heartily. "You must remember to talk like that when you come to my Wednesdays. Most of my friends are utter Socialists, and believe in bridging as far as possible the gulf between one class and another, so you needn't feel shy or awkward."

The splashing of the ferry-boat was once more heard, and then the shop quaked a little a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

honnêtement je ne pense pas avoir saisi mais j’ai trouvé terrrrrablement drôle

'Now there is hardly anything but magic abroad before seven o'clock in the morning.'

A very original novel that is funny in the beginning, magical in the middle and (view spoiler)[very sad (hide spoiler)] in the end.

It is full of clever, insightful observations like this one:
'She was defenseless against impressions, and too many

This is a brilliant book, it's not what you'll expect from a book and that makes it absolutely perfect.

"This is not a real book. It does not deal with real people, nor should it be read by real people. But there are in the world so many real books already written for the benefit of real people, and there are still so many to be written, that I cannot believe that a little alien book such as this, wri

From the first paragraph I knew this was my kind of book. I wish I could write like Stella Benson, though without the casual anti-Semitism. There is some extraordinary writing in this book -- it skates on the edge of tweeness without falling unforgivably over, I think, but many might and probably wo

This book is so hard to rate, because the brilliant parts are so brilliant that they outshine the fact that the author seems to have set out to write a novel apparently without ever having read one, like it completely fails to do what you expect it to, it doesn't fit together, the tone is constantly

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