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Bess Paperback – 29 Jun 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Jun 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140286268
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140286267
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.7 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,675,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

It's oddly reassuring to know that after 20 years spent editing The Guardian Peter Preston is incapable of separating fact from fiction--or indeed, past from present from future. His second novel, Bess, following the successful 51st State, takes its lead from the 1990s premier soap opera, the Royal Family, and mischievously spins its web into the next century. The results are riveting.

Much is the same. "New" Labour holds the reins and is squeezing tight on what's left of the royals' privileges. But when the king dies and young Bess, third in line to the throne, is swept to power in a backstage coup, it all goes wrong. With Elizabeth III in place, no longer can the government be sure that the Windsors will lie down and take it, pouting with the stiffest of upper lips. Preston is a skilful writer, forcing the reader to be drawn into his complex plot before letting on what's going on--by the time you're on top of it, you're hooked, and dragged inexorably towards the cataclysmic climax. And hardly hidden by the maelstrom of his witty, pacy creation, there is at heart a serious pondering of the vexed relationship of government to crown, by one of the most informed cultural spectators of his generation. --Alan Stewart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
being dyslectic, I find reading and writing rather difficult. However, I managed to read this book in 3 weeks. I am not saying that it had simple language. In fact it was very detailed and had wonderful descriptions. I am only saying that it was really gripping and had a very good story line. In a nutshell, it was about 50 years from now, when Prince William was king. It starts off with most of the royal family being blasted in a plane accident. The crown then falls on the head of 17 year old Bess, the daughter of Prince Harry, who is studying at Rodean at the beginnig of the book. It is all about her life as queen. It gave insights as to what could be in 50 years in:politics, life at top universities such as Oxford and showed us how the royalty of England is getting to be more like puppets day by day. On the whole I would reccomend Bess to anyone aged 13+. It was a very enjoyable read.
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By A Customer on 24 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
I gave this to my daughter as a birthday present, she galloped through it; passed it on to me, now my husband is glued to it. A family read you might say! I really enjoyed this, especially as the pace was hotting up towards the end - which I won't give away or too much of the plot. A really good read, highly reccomended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Jan 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am totally disappointed. When I read about the book, I thought that it must be a very interesting read and expected an unconventional view, interesting details, innovative and provocative thoughts. Simply a good and enjoyable read. Well, I expected too much. Far too much. Bess, the main character, and Queen is characterised in an unlikely way. When you are a woman, like I am, you will feel reduced to something only a man can think of. This characterisation isn't very convincing at all, just like the other characters. Not very original and not very funny. Preston did not think of many innovations - they still use fax machines, fly in old planes etc. Even if this is not so important, one would at least expect some original details. The part of the plot which I found was the most improbable was when the young Queen went to Oxford to study and what a surprise! chose the author's own college to live in. It seems as if Mr Preston wants to boast with his education and background. He is not able to use it in a refinded and subtle way which can be amusing and quite interesting to read but rather wants to let his readership know that he, too, is part of the Oxbridge elite. In addition, the book is simply boring and I had to force myself to finish it. It may sound good when it comes to advertising it, but it will disappoint anyone who expects something different and new.
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