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Mr Rosenblum's List: or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman: Or Friendly Guidance for the Aspiring Englishman [Kindle Edition]

Natasha Solomons
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

List item 2: Never speak German on the upper decks of London buses.


Jack Rosenblum is five foot three and a half inches of sheer tenacity. He's writing a list so he can become a Very English Gentleman.



List item 41: An Englishman buys his marmalade from Fortnum and Mason.


It's 1952, and despite his best efforts, his bid to blend in is fraught with unexpected hurdles - including his wife. Sadie doesn't want to forget where they came from or the family they've lost. And she shows no interest in getting a purple rinse.



List item 112: An Englishman keeps his head in a crisis, even when he's risking everything.


Jack leads a reluctant Sadie deep into the English countryside in pursuit of a dream. Here, in a land of woolly pigs, bluebells and jitterbug cider, they embark on an impossible task...


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Review

Prepare to be seriously charmed. (The Times)

'The descriptions of England - as friend, adversary and eventually homne - are exquisite. Jack Rosenblum, a foolish, deeply sympathetic protagonist, is exasperating and admirable in equal measure. A touching, surprising and satisfying read.' (Sadie Jones, author of The Outcast)

'Utterly charming and very funny' (Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)

'In her charming debut, Natasha Solomons folds together Jewish baking, golf and Dorset folklore to create a singular comic confection... Solomons crafts a fine pastoral comedy from Jack's eccentric endeavours to reshape the land and from his encounters with rustic labourers who seem to have absconded from the pages of a Hardy novel... Sadie provides a touching counterpoint to the comedy... Much of the delight in this novel stems from Solomons' feeling for types of traditional knowledge that are on the verge of obsolescence.' (Telegraph)

The light yet poignant tone makes for an unusual, richly comic novel...a treat of a book. (Guardian)

An affectionate portrait of a spirited man trying to find a little corner of the world where he can truly belong...[Solomons] successfully treads the fine line between comedy and the precarious plight of refugees in an entertaining tale that has resonances in contemporary Britain. (Herald)

'a subtle and moving examination of the dilemma faced by immigrants to modern Britain'. (Observer)

'a tender exploration of the nature of home'. (Marie Claire)

written with and skill, humour and sympathy (The Lady)

[Solomons] has an exceptional feel for the Dorset countryside. (Country Life)

A delightful tale of one man's determination to fulfil his dream. (Stylist)

delightful debut...Solomon's narrative has shades of both P.G. Wodehouse and Isabel Allende...There are also echoes of Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem in this whimsical novel's deep seam of inquiry into the nature of Englishness. (TLS)

almost irritatingly impressive...she strikes the perfect note with simple, evocative metaphors. I was forced to accept that this was a rare treat; a debut novel that is pretty much flawless... (The Times)

Sprinkled with a hint of magic, this debut is a delight. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A charming novel about an irrepressible man, his long-suffering wife and a Very English dream.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1684 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0340995645
  • Publisher: Sceptre (8 July 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003OIB9XC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,153 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Natasha Solomons is the author of the internationally bestselling Mr Rosenblum's List, The Novel in the Viola, which was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club, and The Gallery of Vanished Husbands. Natasha lives in Dorset with her son and her husband with whom she also writes screenplays. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages. Her new novel, THE SONG COLLECTOR, is published in July 2015.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The English through Mr Rosenblum's eyes 30 Mar. 2010
By Damaskcat HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jack and Sadie Rosenblum come to England from Germany in the 1930s. Jack is keen to become an Englishman and takes to heart the information about integrating which is detailed in a pamphlet he receives on landing in this country. As he attempts to put the advice into practice he adds his own notes to the list in the hope if writing a new set of guidelines. He insists his family speak English at all times and do their best to fit in and fade into the background. But his wife is not happy and misses her family back in Germany.

Jack builds up a successful carpet making business and his cup of happiness would be overflowing if he could only find a golf club which would allow him to be a member. He hasn't ever played golf himself but he knows the true Englishman plays golf and belongs to a golf club. Eventually he decides to build his own golf course and buys a tumbledown house in the wilds of Dorset with 60 acres of land attached. His aim is to have the course finished by the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. In spite of Jack's tenacity and determination he has his work cut out as it is already the middle 1952.

The story of Jack's golf course and the way he is taken to the hearts of the Dorset villagers is well told. There are some marvellous humorous touches and some poignant happenings. Sadie remembers her lost childhood in the ramshackle house and the green countryside and loses herself in baking from her mother's recipe book. The villagers call them Mr and Mrs Rose-in-bloom even when Jack changes their name to Rose. But there are serpents in this Eden and not everything goes smoothly.

I enjoyed this heart-warming story and the way rural England is portrayed from the point of view of an outsider.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual and touching 28 July 2011
Format:Audio Cassette
I loved Natasha Solomons' 'Novel in the Viola' - one of the best books I've read for years - and was surprised that this is completely different in tone and direction. It's the unusual, subtly clever story of Jack and Sadie, Jews who move to England from Germany and try VERY hard (or at least, Jack does) to fit in in rural Dorset.
Jack's obsession with 'fitting in' leads him to another compulsion, which drives the novel along - his all-consuming desire to build his own golf course, as he can't get admission into any all-English ones.
Jack's oft-thwarted journey to the final hole is both funny and heart-breaking. I have to say, I have never wanted a character to succeed so badly. I haven't read many novels recently where the main character was a man who isn't typically heroic and doesn't solve exciting crimes, so Jack was a bretah of fresh air. Sadie's loneliness and isolation contrasted perfectly with his never-say-die, optimistic attitude and their middle-aged love story is really sweet (and another breath of fresh air - I'm sick of good-looking professionals in their 20s who pervade everything in book-form at the moment).
You don't have to love golf to enjoy this weird and wonderful novel. You don't have to be Jewish. And you don't have to be typically English. But if you are fed up with the same-old crime, romance and daddy-beat-me-up-when-I-was-little novels, give this a try.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously delightful book 20 May 2013
By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I thought this an excellent, immensely enjoyable book. It wasn't quite what I expected: from the publisher's description I thought it would be a gentle comedy of the conflict between the manners of the English middle-class in the 1950s and those of German Jewish refugees - something like George Mikes's How To be An Alien in the form of a novel. Well, there is some of that, certainly, but there is far more depth and subtle observation in the book, too.

Natasha Solomons writes in a straightforward, gentle way. The prose is a pleasure throughout and she writes of what she knows: of the place where she grew up and now lives, and of the heritage of her family. All of this makes the book an easy and very enjoyable read; she captures beautifully the Dorset countryside, the turn of the seasons and the people of that part of England. However, within this almost cosy setting and structure, this book has a great deal to say about some very important things - among them the meaning of belonging; the effect of evil forces destroying a person's family and most of what gives them the sense of who they are; the pain of exile and people's responses to it and - not least - the meaning of being English. Solomons also catches, with a lovely lightness of touch, much of the experience of exile - the tiny reminders of the past, the importance of food, the significance of names, the never quite feeling secure, and so on.

Jack and Sadie, refugees from the Nazis, respond quite differently to their situation. Jack, by means of the eponymous list, is determined to forget all about the past, to be relentlessly cheerful and to make himself into what he believes to be an Englishman.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A seriously delightful book 16 Aug. 2014
By Sid Nuncius HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I thought this an excellent, immensely enjoyable book. It wasn't quite what I expected: from the publisher's description I thought it would be a gentle comedy of the conflict between the manners of the English middle-class in the 1950s and those of German Jewish refugees - something like George Mikes's How To be An Alien in the form of a novel. Well, there is some of that, certainly, but there is far more depth and subtle observation in the book, too.

Natasha Solomons writes in a straightforward, gentle way. The prose is a pleasure throughout and she writes of what she knows: of the place where she grew up and now lives, and of the heritage of her family. All of this makes the book an easy and very enjoyable read; she captures beautifully the Dorset countryside, the turn of the seasons and the people of that part of England. However, within this almost cosy setting and structure, this book has a great deal to say about some very important things - among them the meaning of belonging; the effect of evil forces destroying a person's family and most of what gives them the sense of who they are; the pain of exile and people's responses to it and - not least - the meaning of being English. Solomons also catches, with a lovely lightness of touch, much of the experience of exile - the tiny reminders of the past, the importance of food, the significance of names, the never quite feeling secure, and so on.

Jack and Sadie, refugees from the Nazis, respond quite differently to their situation. Jack, by means of the eponymous list, is determined to forget all about the past, to be relentlessly cheerful and to make himself into what he believes to be an Englishman.
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