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  • Published: 2 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409041023
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

The Stars in the Bright Sky

Pitch perfect, darkly comic and brimming with life – in all its squalor rage, tears and laughter – this is an unforgettable story of female friendship

The Sopranos are back: out of school and out in the world, gathered in Gatwick to plan a super-cheap last-minute holiday to celebrate their reunion. Kay, Kylah, Manda, Rachel and Finn are joined by Finn’s equally gorgeous friend Ava – a half-French philosophy student – and are ready to go on the rampage.

Just into their twenties and as wild as ever, they’ve added acrylic nails, pedicures, mobile phones and credit cards to their arsenal, but are still the same thirsty girls: their holiday bags packed with skimpy clothes and condoms, their hormones rampant. Will it be Benidorm or Magaluf, Paris or Las Vegas? One thing is certain: a great deal of fast-food will be eaten and gallons of Guinness will be drunk by the alpha-female Manda, and she will be matched by the others’ enthusiastic intake of Bacardi Breezers, vodkas and Red Bull...

  • Published: 2 May 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409041023
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook

About the author

Alan Warner

Alan Warner is the author of eight novels: Morvern Callar, These Demented Lands, The Sopranos, The Man Who Walks, The Worms Can Carry Me to Heaven, The Stars in the Bright Sky, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize, The Deadman's Pedal and Their Lips Talk of Mischief. He is Writer in Residence at Edinburgh University.

Also by Alan Warner

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Praise for The Stars in the Bright Sky

The Stars in the Bright Sky is starry in spades

Tom Adair, Scotsman

Sit down for a book that, within the bounds of the law, is both philosophical and scatological

Roy Wilkinson, Word

You don't have to have read The Sopranos to make sense of The Stars in the Bright Sky, or to be instantly hooked by it


One of Scotland's finest young writers ... The Stars in the Bright Sky can scum you out, surprise you with lyrical description, and feel like a dizzying stint on the Ezzy Dancer in the airport's amusement arcade


This is a snarly group picaresque, a black comedy in which Gatwick airport is like Kafka's Castle in reverse... stifling, hilarious and indelible

Nora Chassler, Scottish Review of Books

Highly-crafted, often beautiful writing

Irish Times

Readers would be sorry if Warner were to have finished with these characters

Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph

The author of The Sopranos catches up with the same cast of party-going wild girls, all beautifully imagined in pitch-perfect social satire

The Sunday Times Summer Reading

This entertaining comedy of manners

Adrian Turpin, Financial Times

This hilarious novel is also a study of female friendship


Warner's comic depictions of the multiple tensions that run through the group finds its masterstroke in the grotesquely deluded yet impossible to dislike Manda, who is a neat satirical cipher for modern celebrity-obsessed culture. Terrific


Warner puts these very flesh-and-blood girls into locations of almost J G Ballardish sterility, with sodium lamps, flyovers and neon-signed hotels, all described beautifully. The way he manages to inhabit his gang of girls with such gusto is one of the small miracles of contemporary fiction

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

Pitch-perfect dialogue elevates this exhilarating, genuinely inspired novel into something that is, in Manda's phrase, 'dead brilliant'

Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

Embedded in an unflinching portrayal or working-class femininity - all binge-drinking, chain-smoking, shrieking vulgarity and copious vomiting - is a brilliant anatomy of shifting group dynamics, many nods to Beckett's waiting games, and a sly engagement with Ballard's reading of airport space as the ultimate home of deracinated modernity

Chris Ross, Guardian

Warner is fascinated by the strange domesticity of 'non-places', and occasionally cranks up the alienation to describe their fixtures - literally, the light fixtures, room numbers and air-conditioning units - with a nouveau roman blankness... The most striking passages of the novel are in this clunky yet exoticising register, which inverts the technique of The Sopranos by making the warmth and fluency of the gang seem contained by the proprieties of adulthood. It brings with it a control-tower angle of vision that subtly distorts familiar language...

London Review of Books

Beautifully imagined in a pitch-perfect social satire

Sunday Times, Summer Reading

The way that this middle-aged man manages to inhabit a gang of girls with such gusto and conviction is one of the small miracles of contemporary fiction, and Warner has done it once again.

Phil Baker, The Sunday Times

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