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May Contain Nuts

May Contain Nuts [Kindle Edition]

John O'Farrell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


"As hilarious as it is spot-on" (Mail on Sunday)

"O'Farrell is a consistently humorous writer with an acute ear for the absurdities of middle class pretension. It's hard to fault his satire on competitive parenting or his conclusions regarding social inequalities" (Mail on Sunday)

"O'Farrell is one of the best contemporary satirists in the business and he has middle class pushy mothers down to a tee in this latest toe-curling, hackle-rising chronicle of hyper-parenting... The one-liners are sublime and the comedic situations utterly hilarious. Don't miss this" (Daily Record)

"O'Farrell has scored a bullseye with this satirical salvo... Taps into Middle England's neuroses with terrific wit" (The Herald)

Book Description

A satire about competitive, over-protective parents driving their children to tutors, to ballet, to insanity ...

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 471 KB
  • Print Length: 404 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0552771627
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital; New Ed edition (31 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSE09C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,648 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

John O'Farrell is the bestselling author of several novels including The Best A Man Can Get, This is Your Life, May Contain Nuts and The Man Who Forgot His Wife. He has also written the very successful history books An Utterly Impartial History of Britain and An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain, as well as a political memoir, Things Can Only Get Better. A former comedy scriptwriter for shows such as Spitting Image and Alias Smith and Jones, he is the founder of the satirical website NewsBiscuit and is well known for appearing on TV programmes including Grumpy Old Men, The Review Show and Have I Got News For You.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and (often) wise 11 Sep 2005
By A Customer
A very funny read. Especially for anyone who has been around over-anxious/over-competitive middle class parents in the UK. Some great scenes (i.e. teaching young kids to play contract bridge) and dialogue.
The ending lacks subtlety (tho' has a good message). But perhaps O'Farrell deliberately wrote a book that does not demand too heavy attention levels, so that tired and distracted parents can read it without too much trouble.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny 22 Jun 2007
This my first time reading a John O Farrell book and I was not sure what to expect. The book is written from the point of view of Alice an over anxious middle class mother desperately wanting the best for her children and loosing site to the fact that if she does everything for them they won't learn to do things themselves. After reading the first couple of pages (involving the `heroine' causing a car crash after ambushing an unsuspecting speeding driving with a mannequin dressed as Tony Blair in school uniform!) I was worried that the book was going to be ridiculous rather than satirical.

However I was wrong, though some of the premises in the book are a little off the wall (a mother sitting an exam for her daughter for one) he keeps the right side of satire and has written an extremely entertaining book. The over pushy parents timetabling every second of their children's life were priceless and sadly recognizable. I laughed out loud on several occasions especially at the children's book club.

The only problem that I had with the book was though I applaud the message that it is important that a school concentrates on pupils as people and not just their exam results I do think the last few chapters of the book were just a little over idealized. Generally a really good read.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could be any of us.... 16 Feb 2006
I picked this book up with no real enthusiasm, but after ten pages I was in fits of laughter. It is a very funny book indeed, and sharp as a razor. The characters are exaggerations but if you have a children of school age, or even better, if you know parents who do, you will immdediately recognise the absurd behaviour of people obsessed with protecting and promoting their little darlings. A wonderful, hysterical, bitter sweet satire of our time!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars May Contain Nuts 5 Nov 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
I really enjoyed this rather witty novel. The main character Alice is a bit of a ‘helicopter’ parent; always worrying about her children, never letting them walk down the street, or experience anything like the ‘real’ world; obsessing about their development, which school they will go to and more of the like. Alice and David’s friends are all fairly similar, and the competition heats up between them when it’s time for their 11 year olds to move to secondary school – how will they cope with the entrance exam of the only school that they really absolutely must go to!?

I can readily believe that there are parents out there like this, which makes the comedic aspect of this book quite brutally hard-hitting. The obvious irony of some of the things that Alice’s narrative tells the reader clearly sail well over her head – taking her children to school in the 4x4 and then complaining about other mothers who do the same, for example.

An entertaining read, this book loses one star for me because of the slightly heavy-handed way in which the moral dilemma faced by Alice is handled, but for an undemanding, witty and rather entertainingly engaging read, this was very enjoyable. I shall definitely look out for more works by the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny and optimistic, but ultimately far-fetched? 16 April 2008
I have read a few of John O'Farrell's other works and had a rough idea what to expect, some social comment mixed with a good deal of clever humour and satire. And I did get this. The novel made me have a really good laugh from time to time, at the main character and first person narrator's (Alice Chaplin's) thoughts and behaviours in her attempts to give her children everything in life, and more. O'Farrell cleverly pokes fun at over-protective parents doing everything for their children and wrapping them in cotton wool, until these children aren't really experiencing the 'real world' as such. A humorous situation plays out, involving entrance exams for private secondary schools. The ultimate message is that a secondary school can be just as worthwhile if not more so than a private fee-paying school in producing a well-rounded, happy child, with other underlying messages to go with it.

A good quick entertaining and humorous read, with well-intentioned messages, even if they are really just a little bit on the idealistic side.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternate 5 Sep 2008
I found this novel highly unreal - therefore astonishing. It was very interesting to read these reviews. Generally I have to say I disagree with most of the other viewers, as I did not find it funny, I found it so unbelieveable I rather chuckled at it. It looks like it was a fiction but it is rather like a story resembling to Oz. And how could anyone suppose to get real-life characters out of an eerie tale? I don't deem the storyline to be as interesting as the world created by this novel. I don't think it's about school selection, as some people said, either. Just enter the creation of JOF and let it take you to a different reality. That's how I felt. Thanks, John.
Ps. And do not think school selection is not an issue in Hungary. I have to enroll my baby for his/her starting nursery right when he/she is born (so I know for sure his/her name). Otherwise when he/she becomes 2 years old there will be no empty place in the nursery. And this is just the beginning!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, funny guy!
I love everything John O'Farrell writes and I wasn't disappointed with this book!
Published 3 days ago by Lesley Davison
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Properly funny - read it!
Published 1 month ago by kirstygabby
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Rubbish. Went in charity box
Published 2 months ago by samsing
4.0 out of 5 stars Weak on plot but so strong on middle-class satire
The actual plotline (a mother disguising herself as her daughter to sit the 11+ exam) isn't hugely strong, and the twist at the end is implausible and soapy. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chalfont
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you have kids read this, absolutely hilarious.
Published 3 months ago by kerry styles
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hilarious book!
Published 4 months ago by jayne
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant observation on modern parenting. hilarious.
I can't stop smiling when I hear parents talking about their children and getting them to perform. I started reading this on holiday and had to swim away when one dad started with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by neicer
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
Picked on this by chance and found it an interesting social view of education and how our social upbringing and what we want for our kids can be squed by what we would want for... Read more
Published 6 months ago by clanger3920
5.0 out of 5 stars very funny
Good observational humour taken to the extreme at times. It was embarrassingly cringeworthy in places.... but an excellent funny book.
Published 9 months ago by grannygrimble
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quick read for holiday
Good read and one I would have passed on to a friend had it not been on kindle! Enjoyed, easy to read. Some very true to life observations !
Published 11 months ago by Miss A. J. Wright
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