A CURIOUS INVITATION
The 40 Greatest Parties in Fiction by Suzette Field, Harper Perennial, London 2013
I picked up this book in London and love it.
It is party time of the year all over the world and this book hits the mark in offering readers the chance to crash some of the great parties in literary history like in Vanity Fair, a ball before the battle with Napoleon; others draw on a writer’s imagination, like Stephen Kings’ high school prom in Carrie.
The author divides the party into sections:
The Invitation, The Hosts, The Venue, The Guest List, The Conversation, The Dress Code, The Food and Drink, The Entertainment, The Outcome, The Legacy…… which all make for a fun and light holiday read (also is a great gift).
Here are some of the parties you might recognize, there is a very good cross section of parties from the literary world, from the movies, from fiction and non-fiction:
The Fifth Avenue Party from The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987) by Tom Wolfe
Gatsby’s Saturday Night Parties from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Queen Alice’s Feast Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
McMurphy’s Ward Party from One Flew Over theCuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
The Thomas Ewen High School Prom from Carrie by Stephen King
The College Summer Ball from Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
The Ponteleone Ball from The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lammpedusa……….(my favorite)
The Beverly Hills Party from Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins
Mrs. Leo Hunter’s Costume Breakfast from The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
A Pooh Party from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne