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Description - Variations in the Night by Emily Listfield

Amanda halfheartedly works in Legacies, a small Greenwich Village clothing boutique. She's never had a serious involvement, only casual flings. Sam is a midwesterner trying to make it as a reporter in the big city. He just left his hometown girlfriend back in Ohio. Amanda is afraid of commitment, but doesn't know it. Sam is prepared to abandon the budding relationship rather than risk rejection. From New York City's downtown night spots East to Lower East Side Lofts, here is a wry and bittersweet look at the complex 1980s relationships of two people whose own hearts have them terrified. Reviewing her first novel, It Was Gonna be Like Paris, " The New York Times "called Emily Listfield "an accurate, often disarming reporter of her generation's foibles." Variations in the Night continues her contemporary chronicles.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780553344424
ISBN-10: 0553344420
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 10mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group)
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publish Date: 19-May-1989
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Variations in the Night by Emily Listfield

US Kirkus Review » More lo-cal fiction in Bantam's line of lite-lit, this one about that newest of urban phobias - the fear of commitment. Listfield's second novel - the first was It Was Gonna Be Like Paris (1984) - follows a rube from Ohio and a jaded Manhattanite. Bored and bred in New York City, Amanda Easton is "something of an expert at hanging out," but less expert at making decisions regarding love and work. When she's not helping out at her friend's boutique, she shows up at all the most happening clubs, where she makes clever remarks to all her hip friends. That's until guileless Sam Chapman, one year out of the Midwest, shows up in her life. He's something of a yokel, even though he writes for the very chic mag, Background. His enthusiasm for everything "Manhattan" eventually turns into depression and homesickness ("He wanted to be done with this city where everyone about him was getting ahead, getting going, getting, getting, getting. . ."). He's bummed mainly because Valium-popping, chain-smoking, shade-wearing Amanda merely includes him among her other lovers (". . .it was simply what it was - fucking in the night"). A trip back home, where everyone's glued to the tube, and some sex with his old girlfriend ("It was like fucking ashes") convince Sam to give Amanda one more chance - a final bout of love-making in which they both manage to whisper those three magic words. Various subplots allow for lots of fashion details and glib quips about baby-boomers and their babies. Listfield's prose (" 'Fabulous,' Sam said dryly. Amanda looked at him and laughed curiously") isn't helped much by her strange echolalia ("There was something, something he needed to know or to say or to ask or to hear before he left. Something"). A poor-girl's Tama Janowitz, or MTV meets Harlequin Romance. (Kirkus Reviews)


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