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S.O.S.

(2001)
A novel by

 
S.O.S. serves as a welcome introduction to the fiction of Joseph Connolly, also a noted biographer. As the New York-bound SS Transylvania proceeds serenely across the Atlantic, those on board find themselves thrown from pillar to post, battered physically and emotionally. Only the most pig-headed disembark unscathed. Literate and witty, displaying a common touch while eschewing gratuitous vulgarity, this La Ronde for the 21st century beguiles and surprises, often both at once. A sense of pervading doom grows as the unlikely but inter-related couplings accumulate and multiply. The myriad surprises are revealed deftly. That protagonist David has a problem saying no in the pub is clear from the first line; that his wife Nicole has a problem in the casino is not. David's discovery that Nicole's new close friend Patty is his own older, even closer friend Trish is enhanced by the brevity with which it is described. There is a Joycean tint to the stream-of-consciousness narrative style, with an overlay of Henry Miller's grown-up eroticism and a strong suggestion of Evelyn Waugh's melancholic "orphans of the storm" passage in Brideshead Revisited. Rather more disturbing is the hint of Michael Dobbs as David finds himself in bed with the nubile and keen-to-experiment daughter of his new-found drinking chum Dwight (Oh Daddy, darling; just cherish me, won't you!). The constant shifting of perspective between major and minor players gives a 360 degree picture of life, or what passes for life, on the SS Transylvania. As the ship pitches and rolls, Connolly is sure-footed in capturing the voice of the despairing Englishman, arguably less so in depicting members of alien species, including Americans and all women. As the Transylvania approaches dock, the ending is rushed, even arbitrary, suggesting that it is indeed better to travel hopefully than arrive. The SOS metaphor is perhaps overplayed here, and, it must be said, not entirely accurately. There is little or no evidence that any souls have been saved, but then maybe the definition of "soul" has changed in the new millennium. --Brian Bollen

 
Used availability for Joseph Connolly's S.O.S.


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Paperback Editions

January 2014 : UK Paperback
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 1-78206-701-9 / 978-1-78206-701-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: riverrun
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

March 2007 : UK Paperback
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 0-571-23452-6 / 978-0-571-23452-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 2005 : Mass Market Paperback
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 2020813254 / 978-2020813259
Publisher: Contemporary French Fiction
Availability: Amazon UK   

July 2002 : UK Paperback
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 0-571-20439-2 / 978-0-571-20439-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

January 2002 : UK Paperback
Title: S.O.S
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 0-571-20449-X / 978-0-571-20449-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

August 2001 : UK Paperback
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
ISBN: 0-571-20444-9 / 978-0-571-20444-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

October 2013 : UK Kindle edition
Title: S.O.S.
Author(s): Joseph Connolly
Publisher: riverrun
Availability: Amazon UK   



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