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Lives of the Improbable Saints [Paperback]

Richard Coles , Ted Harrison
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

17 Oct 2012
From St Fillan of Munster, patron saint of the mentally ill, who read by the light of his miraculously glowing arm, to Santa Lucia, who tore out her eyes to dismiss the lascivious attentions of her would-be husband, here are nearly 200 classic stories of the saints of Christian legend. Richard Coles, former half of 80s pop duo The Communards, now a Church of England priest and presenter of Radio 4 s Saturday Live, has collected these wonderful tales from around the world. Despite their bizarre, colourful and sometimes grotesque stories, many of these saints are still celebrated and prayed to today. This collection is arranged thematically, with an index of saints days at the back of the book for anyone who wants to discover or pray to a saint a day. Every page illustrated by cartoonist Ted Harrison, giving the book a saintly Horrible Histories feel. Meanwhile, the sequel 'LEGENDS OF THE IMPROBABLE SAINTS' will be available in all good bookstores from AUGUST 28.

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Lives of the Improbable Saints + Legends of the Improbable Saints + Rules for Reverends
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Darton, Longman & Todd (17 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232529558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232529555
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Richard Coles is one of the best-known celebrity vicars previously one half of The Communards, now a Church of England priest and regular broadcaster. He hosts Radio 4 s Saturday Live, and makes regular appearances on TV, and is an unofficial advisor to actor Tom Hollander in his role of Adam Smallbone in Rev. Ted Harrison is a writer, cartoonist and broadcaster with a particular interest in religion and cults. He is author of the forthcoming Apocalypse When?

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, informative, witty. 31 Oct 2012
By Padua
Format:Paperback
The Lives of the Improbable Saints is a refreshing, lightness of touch approach to some of the more colourful Christian characters dotted through history. Coles has a natural ability to shed light on to some of the darkest and most gruesome events with innate charm and wit - funny and informative. The book is illustrated throughout. Continuing in 'lightness of touch' theme, each saint receives its own cartoon caricature. Brilliant and hilarious! An excellent addition to any Christmas stocking.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Depth of knowledge, warmth, wit and enthusiasm. 31 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
The lesser known saints are brought back to life as 'twere in the author's lively and witty style, with many an unexpected turn of phrase. The author has an obvious wide-ranging depth of knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm for these bizarre tales, and does not spare us the weird and sometimes gruesome aspects, but it is done with great humour and a gentle, masterly touch. Lives of the Improbable Saints...it'll make you laugh, honest!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quirky little book 24 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Really loved this short book - kept me smiling on every page. Richard Coles has done a great job in researching some really quirky human beings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heathen's view 11 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't believe, but there's no escaping that I am culturally very much CofE, it still informs my moral compass and so I allow myself to enjoy the peace and glories of churches and the kind, sometimes eccentric and often very clever and funny people within it. Especially vicars.

I'd long loved Richard Coles' daily tweets of saints so this was a must-buy. A very happy afternoon was spent amongst strange and often deranged men, women and creatures. It's not obligatory to believe in God or the saints if you read this, and part of me has to wonder who really ever would still believe in any of them by the end of the book. It's a fascinating, funny romp through the past and the sheer colourful weirdness of the human imagination. And, taking all the saints together, says something wonderful about how people over the millennia have interpreted and described determination and bravery. Highly recommended. Bravo. I definitely feel enriched for reading it and so will you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and unusual 3 Jan 2013
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An entertaining and unusual book which I read with amusement and interest, having already seen some of the articles entered by the author on Facebook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Rev Richard Strikes again. 13 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being an avid follower of the Reverend Richard Coles on twitter, I was delighted to acquire his book of saints. The book is suitably light hearted and lived up to expectations. The illustrations are good too.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyfully lively view of unlikely saints! 31 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read the regular excerpts from this [and have just ordered the book now it is available] and it is an absolute joy.

The saints tumble out of history into our delighted imagination - with all their faults - and we can only marvel at these accounts, and at the curious viewpoint that decided they were quite definitely 'saints'. Halos, warts, and all.
Hope for us all, I say!

Lives of the Improbable Saints
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny book 2 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well worth a look whether you area fan or sceptic about the saints. Some of the stories are highly amusing and the pictures add to the fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading
It is all here - that is apart from those who are in the Legends book, don't miss this great volume.
Published 8 months ago by Oursin
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This book was recently given to me as a present because of my interest in Saints. However it has been a complete disappointment. Read more
Published 10 months ago by AMTS
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Gift Option!
Living in France with family and friends back in the UK, gifts used to be an expensive problem, but this is a great example of the perfect solution. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Hallibee
3.0 out of 5 stars Browsing suffices
This is not a serious book and presumably intends to be funny. At times I found it silly and superficial. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dirk van Leeuwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives of the Improbable Saints
Amusing brief and informative. It was just what I needed to give to people doing a brief family worship and looking for ideas.
Published 16 months ago by Mrs J M James
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and funny.
Quirky,interesting,quite extraordinary at times.A brief canter through some very funny and almost unbelievable,but true,histories of Saints.Great as a humourous gift.
Published 17 months ago by Fifi60
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather weird
Bought as a gift to amuse but I suspect the recipient finds it a little offensive. Seems to be undecided between historical account and mockery.
Published 17 months ago by Rocky
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual book
An unusual yet fascinatign book I did not realise how interssting qand varied could be the Saints and their stories are amazing. Peter Baden
Published 18 months ago by P. M. Baden
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny book
I would recommend this little book to anyone with a thirst for strange facts and who enjoys the quirky. It is well written and very funny. Have fun.
Published 18 months ago by Stevie
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
The thinking man's vicar, writing with his customary flair and wit - highly recommended, whatever your attitude to religion is.
Published 18 months ago by Piers Fletcher
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