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Description - Bad Attitudes by Agnes Owens

Bad Attitudes is a wickedly dark tale of Scottish council housing and murder. This first of two novellas also boasts a missing person, a lethally nosy neighbour, an extra-marital affair, a lusty councillor and a new housing law for tinkers. Who but Agnes Owens could concoct such a delicious brew of dour hilarity and then follow it with an unforgettable party? In Jen's Party, soon-to-be fifteen-year-old Jen immediately regrets agreeing to her crazy Aunt Belle's plan for a birthday party which involves, among other notions, flirting with the town's entire male population. With a perfectly tuned ear for the droll and the deadly, Owens can spin a tale of domestic mayhem that is at once disarmingly tense and movingly human.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780747565925
ISBN-10: 0747565929
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 13mm)
Pages: 192
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 16-Aug-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Bad Attitudes by Agnes Owens

Book Reviews - Bad Attitudes by Agnes Owens

US Kirkus Review » Two soporific novellas offer an insider's view of working-class life in modern Scotland. If these stories by Owens (A Working Mother, 1995) are a guide, the Scots' reputation for coldness, parsimony, gloom, silence, and joylessness is richly deserved. The first ("Bad Attitudes") takes place among housing-project residents in a small, dreary, and impoverished mill town whose outlines will be familiar to readers of James Kelman or Irvine Welsh. Mrs. Webb is an elderly pensioner with a lot of time on her hands, which she generously expends spying on her neighbors-especially a new family, the Dawsons, who've moved in upstairs. The Dawsons are not especially wild folk, but they do have two young sons, argue from time to time, and stay up later than sunset. As a result, they become the subject of a string of furious complaints filed by Mrs. Webb with the local housing council. In an attempt to stave off eviction, Mrs. Dawson begins sleeping with one of the local councilors and eventually leaves her family (whom she never much liked in the first place) altogether. Old gossip Mrs. Webb is delighted by this turn of events, but she hasn't seen the half of it: Soon, the neighborhood becomes the site of a murder, a gypsy encampment, and a demolition. The councilor is exposed and refuses to resign, and Mrs. Dawson has to return to her husband because the waiting list for flats is very long. The second novella ("Jen's Party") depicts the arrangements made for young Jen Boulting's 14th birthday party. Jen lives with her mother Maude and her aunt Belle, two sisters who are polar opposites in the Patty/Kathy Duke mold: Belle is an unemployed floozy who shoplifts, lies, and flirts her way out of any predicament, while Maude would make John Knox look like the life of party. Jen's party itself turns out to be quite a surprise. A kind of drawing-room comedy that isn't very funny. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Agnes Owens

Agnes Owens is the author of the novels Gentleman of the West, Like Birds in the Wilderness, A Working Mother and For the Love of Willie, shortlisted for the 1998 Stakis Prize. She is also the author of the short-story collection People Like That and contributed stories to the collection Lean Tales alongside James Kelman and Alasdair Gray.

Books By Agnes Owens

Agnes Owens by Agnes Owens
Paperback, July 2009
$40.46
Bad Attitudes by Agnes Owens
Hardback, July 2003
$31.50
For the Love of Willie by Agnes Owens
Paperback, July 1998
$35.06
People Like That by Agnes Owens
Paperback, April 1997
$29.69