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Lost for Words Paperback – 13 Feb 1992


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; New edition edition (13 Feb. 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552137693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552137690
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 571,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Deric Longden was born in Chesterfield in 1936 and married Diana Hill in 1957. They had two children, Sally and Nick. After various jobs he took over a small factory making women's lingerie, but began writing and broadcasting in the 1970s and before long he was writing regularly for programmes like 'Does He Take Sugar?' and 'Womans Hour'. Most of his work was based on his own experience. The demands made on him by Diana's illness, subsequently believed to be a form of ME, forced him to sell the factory, and since then he has devoted himself to full-time writing, broadcasting, lecturing and after-dinner speaking.

Diana's Story, published in 1989, some years after Diana's death, was a bestseller. The book hit the Sunday Times best seller list straight away, won the NCR book award. It was followed by Lost for Words, The Cat Who Came in from the Cold, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, Enough to Make a Cat Laugh and A Play On Words. Deric Longden's first two books were adapted for television under the title Wide-Eyed and Legless, and an adaptation of Lost for Words. Both were nominated for multiple BAFTAs and Lost For Words, screened in January 1999, attracting an audience of more than 12 million viewers and won the Emmy for best foreign drama and a BAFTA for Thora Hird as best actress.

He married the writer Aileen Armitage in 1990 and now lives in Huddersfield. Aileen and he were jointly were awarded honorary Doctor of Literature from Huddersfield University in 2004 and Deric a honorary Master of Letters from Derby University in 2006.

Product Description

Book Description

Hilarious anecdotes about an eccentric lady, written by her son, Deric Longden. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

'You know, Deric - ten minutes of this rain will do more good in half an hour than a fortnight of ordinary rain would do in a month.' Deric Longden's mother had a marvellously dotty way with words and a very private brand of logic.She was one of the most amusing and endearing characters in Diana's Story, which Deric wrote some years after his wife Diana's death.Deric's mother is the central figure in Lost for Words.Here we find her making her devastating way through Marks & Spencer, conversing with her two cats - almost as eccentric as herself - offering her inimitable comments on the fresh developments in Deric's life, and finally enduring the stroke that led eventually to her death.Sad though the ending is, Deric Longden's gift for blending pathos with rich humour once again offers us far more laughter than tears. 'A lovely read' Good Housekeeping Now the BBC Television drama Wide-Eyed & Legless, starring Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent and Thora Hird. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. Barringer on 28 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read this book when it first came out, but hadn't got my own copy. I decided to order it, as I so much enjoy reading Deric Longden books over and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nobby on 24 Mar. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Deric has created a story we can relate to but has done it with such funny observation and caring that you realise he is a caring man who balances his life between caring for his blind wife and his mother who is suffering old age and strokes. The humour is so funny and real with lines you that make you realise why the late Dame Thora Hird loved playing Annie Longden that she almost single handedly got the award film made. Annie Longden washing the cat, selling a house by pointing out why poeple shouldn't buy it and realising it was time to move. Deric's writing has been compared to that of Alan Bennett or maybe Alan Bennett is like Deric Longden!
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Format: Kindle Edition
SPOILERS ALERT
I'd read most of Deric Longden's cat-oriented memoirs such as a The Cat Who Came In From The Cold about how they ended up with the kitten, Thermal, when I read this book which is essentially a biography of his late mother, Annie Longden and not actually cat-related at all.
By turns chuckle-out-loud funny and deeply moving, it showcases all too clearly that great African proverb: when an elderly person dies, a library burns. Annie and Deric had a close bond - when he was an infant his father was away in WWII and Deric discreetly but candidly hints at the terrible effects of PTSD when he reveals that Mr Longden could never integrate - and showed no willingness to try to - back into making the duo a trio. On page 131 he writes, "my father never shared my delight in the way she [Deric's mum and his wife] juggled with words or the way in which she lived her life."
Wise and intelligent (not the same thing) and also compassionate, Annie showed Deric how to be compassionate and enduring and that every individual had the right to personal dignity and self-determination:
"she believed in God yet never went to church, she took in four spinster sisters and nursed them for years until they died. Jessie [her sister] who she thought was a thoroughly selfish old woman [but she also thought] it was Jessie's god-given right to be obnoxious. She believed in the freedom of the individual." (p132) This upbringing stood Deric in good stead when his first wife, Diana
...Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful. It contains every emotion known to mankind - from love, passion and sex to heartbreak and despair. Love for wife, children, mother - all of these bring great joy and devastating despair by turn.

It's honest and it's real. You can feel every twist and turn of Deric's heart as his complicated life travels onward. The story is all the more powerful because he tells you the bad as well as the good - some of the story is difficult to read because he doesn't always do what the conventions might advise.

It's a beautiful book and I shall read it again - when I've had time to recover. I wish I'd read it earlier (like some of his other works) and could have told him how much I admired his simple honesty in this one. If you haven't read Deric Longden before, I suggest you start with "Diana's Story" to give you the background to this, which is chronologically the second. I don't think you'll regret it.

One small complaint: the Kindle version could do with a touch of proof-reading by a good editor. There are mistakes here and there in spelling, capitalisation and things like that which are annoying. But the content of the story makes these forgiveable - even by me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elaine on 16 Feb. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a fantastic book i had seen the film a few years ago and i bought it from amazon the same time as the book, it was so good i could not put it down, its the first time i have read a book with the words exactly like the film the value was very good the book was 1p postage was £2 80p the book was like a new one well done amazon
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Deric Longden brings sunshine to the dullest day, a gifted story teller with a great deal of humanity , humility and comedy. I've read everything he has written several times, I asked my husband to take me to Matlock on holiday, hoping to catch a glimpse of Mr Longden or indeed just to soak up the atmosphere of the area the book is set . The characters are so well described I feel I know them. There is sadly the reality that this book is about him losing his Mother after a stroke, but written with a sense of paying homage to his mother and how deeply he loved her.
At times scatty, farcical, romantic , others sad and revealing, but telling the story of a loving Mother and Son, with a few cats thrown in! ( not literally of course :-) )
Please read this book, I hope you will love it as much as I do.
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By leelarlou on 7 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Renal Colic!

I've read all of Derics books so far and love them all dearly!! I gave Diana's Story and Lost For Words to a friend... who then kept them! My edition of The Cat Who Came In From The Cold has lost its front cover and the first paper page... So I'll be replacing those asap... I wish all of his books were available on CD as I only have a walkman left to play tapes on and my eye sight is deteriorating thru illness that I can't read as much or for as long as I'd like to these days.... So I have not hesitation in recommending any of Derics books, whether they be about Diana... (my condition is ME but I read the book years before I was diagnosed!) Derics Mother or Aileen and the cats... If possible I'd like to be reincarnated as one of Derics cats...some day...
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