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Machiavelli's Lawn [Hardcover]

Mark Crick
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: £10.99
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Book Description

3 Mar 2011
12 great authors offer their top tips on gardening, from Sylvia Plath's struggles with autumn bulbs, to JD Salinger's helpful hints on growing from seed. In Cormac McCarthy's hands a landowner's trip to the potting shed becomes a right of passage from which he will return transformed. Zola's striking miner finds life on the allotment more brutal and short than anything he imagined at the coal face. And Wodehouse's hero, anticipating a visit from his aunt, realises that the right choice of houseplant may well save him from the ignominy of marriage. Inspired, botanically-accurate, and utterly hilarious, "Machiavelli's Lawn" will appeal to green-fingered book lovers everywhere.

Frequently Bought Together

Machiavelli's Lawn + Sartre's Sink + The Household Tips of the Great Writers
Price For All Three: £26.67

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books (3 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847081347
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847081346
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 1.5 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 330,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Erudite and enjoyable prose, no less rewarding for its horticultural accuracy ... A little ge(r)m of postmodern humour' --Times Literary Supplement

`Mark Crick's new parodies continues his winning line in household hints from literary bigwigs'

About the Author

Mark Crick is a photographer and the author of Kafka's Soup and Sartre's Sink. He lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure pleasure 25 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third of the Mark Crick parodies that I have bought and enjoyed. Machiavelli's Lawn is a series of essays on horticultural themes in the style of great writers, ranging from Henrik Ibsen to Alan Bennett. He has the ability ot catch the tone ot the authors perfectly; an added pleasure is that the horticultural advice is accurate. The small book is well produced with illustrations by Crick himself; these are in turn pastiches of artists from Durer to Dali.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite amusing when you know the sources 22 Sep 2011
As the other review says, this isn't really a gardening book, but gardening advice in the style of famous authors. Which, as long as you know the author's style, is quite funny.

So Machiavelli talks of how a wise Gardener knows it is not prudent to cut back his lawn too harshly, thus stifling growth, nor too infrequently, thus inviting disorder and rebellious tussocks, and there's a moving description on Caring For Heather, once the delight of the seafront amusements, and now sadly confined to a windowsill in a nursing home by Alan Bennett.

I quite liked those. On the other hand, the section on Growing Potatoes with Berthold Brecht didn't really do it for me: a sergeant comes and digs up an old woman's garden so he can get potatoes to feed the army. Hmm.

I suspect this would suit people who are both keen gardeners and amazingly widely read, because if you don't know the style getting copied, it falls rather flat. I'm not certain that's a large market, but I guess it's out there...
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