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Bad Heir Day Paperback – 6 Jul 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New Ed edition (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755305310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755305315
  • ASIN: 074726130X
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.5 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,689,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Wendy Holden was a journalist on The Sunday Times, Tatler and The Mail on Sunday before becoming a full-time author. She has written nine novels, all Sunday Times Top Ten bestsellers. She is married and has two children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Becoming a writer is the dream of Oxbridge graduate Anna but a flurry of CV mail-outs draws nothing but blanks. However, when the poisonous novelist Cassandra takes her on, her luck appears to be changing. But, soon, Anna is in a domestic hell--a glorified au pair coping with Cassandra's philandering, ageing rock-star husband. So when Anna meets the handsome Jamie, a Scottish laird who is heir to a Balmoral-style castle, she is exhilarated at the thought of escape from her grisly circumstances. Her luck, though, is about to run true to form.

Wendy Holden's Bad Heir Day is a blackly comic anatomising of society life, with a liberal sprinkling of hilarious moments and a cast of characters that have a fully realised solidity, while still being several sizes larger-than-life. The superbitch Cassandra is a particularly memorable monster, spitting out cutting putdowns in a fashion that would give Bette Davis pause. Having honed an analytical eye working for Harpers & Queen, Holden made a splash with the similarly witty Simply Divine. This one takes the Wodehousian flair of her debut book and adds a more irresistibly plotted narrative to its corrosive picture of the glossy magazine world. Holden's take on modern manners among the Upper Crust is always clear-eyed and extremely funny, whatever the situation:

Sex scenes had been Cassandra's stock in trade. She was celebrated among the commuting classes for the ability to produce erections on the Circle Line at seven in the morning, "here was a writer at the peak of her powers." But for the moment, those powers had deserted her. Cassandra doubted now she'd be able to produce erections among a gang of footballers being lapdanced in Stringfellows.
--BarryForshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'The perfect holiday read: sexy, satirical, funny, light as air' The Scotsman

'A frothy, spiky book, brimming with puns and caricatures of ghastly social gargoyles' Daily Mail

'Girl-meets-earl fantasy from a very funny British novelist... The whimsical ingenuity of PG Wodehouse meets the sex-o-matic action of Jackie Collins. Holden stays in control of her supercharged face all the way, though, even when a host of hysterically funny characters almost steal the show' Kirkus Reviews

'On gloomy days, Wendy Holden's novels should be handed round like aspirin. Her new book, PASTURES NOUVEAUX, is guaranteed to bring a smile evne to the baddest of moods... The hills are alive with the sound of high jinks in this laugh-a-minute romp' B magazine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Mar. 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry to be the party pooper, but I was bored stiff by this book. I bought it full of hope and was trapped into reading it whilst on holiday because it was all that I had. It appears to be written by someone who was very good indeed at writing up the funny, sexy puns that are splashed accross the front pages of glossy magazines - so Ms Holden wrote a few thousand of them and strung them all together with a book binding around them.
But, and its a big but, a thousand catty witicisms do not a novel make. There is absolutely no authenticity to the characters let alone anything in the way of character developement. There is precious little plot, a huge scarcity of plot motivation and no meaning whatsoever to any of the stories developments. Story? What story?
Its very clever and funny for the first 3 pages and then I just long for something real. I just luuurved Bridget Jones, This Life, Amanda's Wedding and Ralph's party. But this was a three minute sketch on a comedy show spun out into 250 pages. Boring, annoying and a wast of money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 2000
Format: Paperback
I loved Simply Divine, though it reads a bit like a witty Jilly Cooper but this was a bit of a disappointment. There were bits of plot borrowed from Simply Divine eg: a woman followed by a man who just wants her money. Cassandra is another caricature, to mirror Champagne, but she's not funny. Whereas Champagne was described through the eyes of appalled characters, we actually get into Cassandra's head, as though Holden expects us to sympathise with such a dreadful character. It's just not as funny or sharp or successful as the first and there are so many of these Jilly Cooper rip-off novels about that it's easy to take them or leave them and pick out the better ones. I would really recommend trying Jane Green's 'Bookends' which is so brilliant and has so much more depth. Or Marian Keyes 'Last Chance Saloom', which is touching, warm, funny and poignant. Or Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell. I'm sorry but Bad Heir Day suggests Holden had a Bad Hair Day when she wrote it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Feb. 2000
Format: Hardcover
What an absolutely fantastic read...side splittingly funny. I thoroughly enjoyed Simply Divine and desperatly awaited Ms Holden's second novel and, boy, was it worth the wait. Hilarious from start to finish, this is one book I know I will read again and again and can be assured that I will still laugh out loud on the bus! Please, Please don't make me wait too long for Ms Holden's third book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By misty on 3 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I persevered with this book because I thought it had to get better, but it didn't. My main gripe with it is that it's all so unbelievable. Some of the main characters were so over the top it was ridiculous. I know it's meant to be a comedy, but I didn't really find it that funny. The plot wasn't particularly rivetting either.
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By Shouna Falconer on 20 Nov. 2010
Format: Paperback
I chose to read this book because I had enjoyed "The Wives of Bath" and to begin with I thought it was less good. However I was soon drawn in. The main character, Anna, is so likeable that it's hard not to emphasise with her and care what happens to her. She's aimiable, insecure but breezily philosophical with a touch of wry humour, and such a real person that reading about her makes the readers feel as if they are with her observing all this madness. There is the occasional straight character thrown in for good measure to prevent the novel from becoming ridiculous, but otherwise they are all completely "over the top" caricatures, to a greater or lesser extent, with the "nanny brigade" providing a bridge between Anna's sanity and the socialites' lunacy.

I would describe this book as being the first I have read of its genre - or perhaps it's a genre all of its own. It's too clever to be merely a funny book. It's not quite "chick lit" either. In fact there is something of the comic novel genre about it. I would call it a "trashy comic novel", if the word "trashy" wasn't so negative. Comic novels have a place in literature. "Trashy" novels do not. Yet reading this book I got the feeling that this author could easily turn her talents to literary works, comic or otherwise, but much prefers to write this kind of enjoyable satirical romp.

There are only two negative things I could say about it. Firstly, the prose is clunky in places and sometimes you have to read sections twice before they make sense. Secondly, she clearly hasn't researched life in Scotland properly as there are a couple of inaccuracies - the horrible Scottish "midgie", for example. As someone who grew up fighting the creatures, I know her description of their attack on her is not how they operate. I can't remember the other inaccuracy, but it jarred.

But these are small points. Read this book and enjoy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. El Jones on 8 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
i love a chick lit, but they have to be done well, i find if you dont care what happens to the character then the book is a bad one. i was bored by the storyline and thought the plot was rubbish and not at all interesting, i tried to finish the book and have got to the point where there is a chapter left and i have read many books inbetween and cant bring myself to finish it because, truth be told i just dont like it. i love a book where i can't put it down and am willing something to happen and i find with this one it leave me emotionless and quite frankly uninterested.
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