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Not Funny Not Clever [Paperback]

Jo Verity
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

10 Mar 2011
Two middle-aged women, one handsome TV star and three hormonal teenagers...all stuck in the middle of a heatwave with no plans. Elizabeth was hoping for a week of idle chatter and cold white wine, Diane for an answer to a difficult dilemma from her personal agony aunt and Jordan certainly wasn't planning on spending a week with a woman old enough to be his Gran. Jo Verity throws a smorgasbord of characters together to work out what makes life worth living, on a journey full of ups and downs, temptations and terrors. A week can be a flash in the pan - or an entire lifetime.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: HONNO WELSH WOMEN'S PRESS (10 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906784248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906784249
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jo Verity is the author of five novels - 'Everything in the Garden' (2005), 'Bells' (2007), 'Sweets from Morocco' (2009) and 'Not Funny, Not Clever' (2011) - all published by Honno. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies, magazines and been broadcast on Radio 4. She won the Richard & Judy short story competition in 2003 and the Western Mail Short Story Prize in 2004.
Her fifth novel, 'Left and Leaving', has just been published (January 2014).
Jo lives in Cardiff.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is funny, and it IS clever! 16 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I learned that Jo Verity's "Not Funny, Not Clever" had been shortlisted for an award, and decided to buy it, and I'm SO glad I did! It's the sort of heart-warming, enjoyable, lovely story that isn't written often enough. There's no violence, no bad language, and if that all sounds a bit stuffy, fear not, it isn't.
So. What is it? It's not "chicklit" which I hate. It's not "Fifty Shades" of anything. It's Mumslit if it's anything. It's the story of a perfectly normal woman, happily married, who by a series of occurrences beyond her control finds herself temporary guardian to a teenage boy. By further occurrences they end up at Llangennith, on the Welsh coast, staying in a house next door to a very attractive male weather forecaster. The economically written, accurate and captivating descriptions of Llangennith are instantly recognisable to anyone who loves the Welsh coast as I do.
"Not Funny Not Clever" is funny, it's tender, it's beautifully written and it's the sort of book I recommend to my friends. It often made me smile that sort of "I know how that feels!" smile while I was reading it, and I'm still smiling about it as I'm writing this. It is, in short, a feelgood book.
Jo Verity knows her characterisation, and that of Jordan the teenage boy, is a masterpiece. But every single character rang beautifully, resonantly true, and not once did any character behave in a way that I felt was out of that character. I enjoyed it so much I wrote to Jo Verity to tell her so, something I've done only twice before in my whole life.
I wish I'd written it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and engaging 28 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Not Funny - Not Clever" is Jo Verity's fourth published novel and it's an engaging read. It is essentially a character study where the feelings and emotions of the main protagonists take centre stage, rather than the plot.

It is a fairly straightforward story told as a linear narrative and describing the events of a single week in the life of Elizabeth Giles. This tightly focused timeline gives the book a satisfying structure and Verity's deft writing allows the storyline to gently develop and gather pace.

Elizabeth has settled into a largely uneventful life. When her husband heads off to France on a cooking course she decides to visit her old school friend Diane in Cardiff. However, just as she is making plans to leave an unexpected problem arrives on her doorstep in the shape of Jordan, the teenage son of her own son's older lover. She decides to take Jordan to Cardiff with her for the week, setting a train of events in motion which will challenge her perceptions and force her to re-evaluate her life. The catalyst for this re-evaluation is Diane's neighbour, the charismatic TV weatherman Dafydd Jones. Elizabeth, Diane and Jordan are invited to stay at Dafydd's parents-in-law's holiday cottage on the Gower peninsula along with Dafydd and his two teenage daughters. In this idyllic setting Elizabeth is challenged to confront the direction her life has taken.

Jo has a great ear for dialogue and it's the conversations she constructs for her characters which makes them authentic and convincing. She also does a superb job of balancing the various characters' back stories with their present actions, teasing out details that provide a depth and a resonance to each of her cast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good 27 May 2014
By Geri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well writen engaging characters. Elizabeth middle aged and married has her life turned upside down by her best friend, a teenager and the weather man. A light hearted journey that takes Elizabeth from her safe suburban London to South Wales where a secret is revealed and she has a romantic encounter, will her life be changed forever?

Great book enjoyed it from start to finish.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intimate view of a woman's dilemma 22 May 2014
By Alexx
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great articulate read for a mature woman. We still have these interesting dilemma's. Love affairs don't stop just because you are that little bit older and married! Intelligent and witty, this was a diverting read and helped me escape into a different world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Small canvas, huge emotional leaps 26 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
The time-scale is very small (a week?), nothing much really happens, and yet everything does: by the end of the book the main character has made several huge internal leaps in relation to her husband, her son, her best friend, and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. And the final sentence sums it up wonderfully. This author isn’t soft on her characters. She makes them gritty, quite challenging, and eminently believable.
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