- 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: 3,239,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Bad Heir Day Paperback – 6 Jul 2000
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More About the Author
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.
'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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very prompt delivery and really delighted with book. Thank youPublished 17 months ago by j m edwards
Such a lovely and funny book! My husband enjoyed it even if is a book for women mainly. Quality was good, too, looked like new.Published on 21 Feb. 2013 by Cory
Hilarious, clever, brilliant! I read this book ages ago and bought this particular copy for my German friend to help her with her English. Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2011 by Don Simon
I really can not believe people have given this book such bad reviews!!! This was the first book of Wendy's I have read and it made me go and buy 3 more!! Its great!! Read morePublished on 14 May 2010 by Terri Berry
Absolutely loved this book it was hilarious, can't believe it got a bad review on here!!!
Cassandra is a fab character, hysterical and made the book shine. Read more
This is my favourite of WH's books so far, largely for some of the brilliant mini-scenes. I have to agree 100% with the reviewer who wanted to give Alice a bloody good shake: yep,... Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2008 by R. Griffiths
This was also my first Wendy Holden book and have found it very disappointing! Its slow to get into and the plot is very disjointed and lacks detail. Read morePublished on 26 Sept. 2008 by C. L. Scott