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Notting Hell Paperback – 18 Jan 2007

32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st Penguin Edition edition (18 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141020830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141020839
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Shiveringly brilliant (Jilly Cooper)

An addictively funny read about the lives of the rich and richer **** (Heat)

A wickedly funny comedy of modern manners (OK!)

From the Inside Flap

A spot of extra-marital with a close neighbour is one thing.
We're all grown-ups here. But selling a rare-to-the-market mid-Victorian
house - not merely a house, but our children's ancestral family home - on a
communal garden, the sort of house that a banker would trample over his own
grandmother to spend his City bonus on is another thing entirely! It's...
wrong.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
First Sentence
I don't know what woke me up - I drank no alcohol last night, I observed the carb curfew, I had only one espresso during the day, plus I did a Pilates class and hours of gardening in the fresh air - but I'm definitely awake now. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Fly Me to the Moon on 19 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is great fun to read especially if you know anybody with loads of money who is self-obsessed, spends their life shopping and keeping up with other similar over wealthy types. Also the sheer pretentiousness that is life in Notting Hill is brilliantly lampooned.

Johnson is clearly sending herself up as well as her nearby neighbours who must have a sense of humour since no one appears to have taken her to court yet.

It might not be worthy, serious literature but it had me laughing out loud, sometimes in horrified recognition and it's definitely a massive cut above much of the tedious chick lit out there.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By helen on 20 Feb. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must say I approached this novel with a certain amount of trepidation as I knew Rachel Johnson from her newspaper columns, and I was emphatically not a fan. They always seemed to want to show off - often about really mundane things , so one felt embarrassed for the author.
But the novel seems to be made of sterner stuff! I was totally surprised that not only was it not as feckless and show-offy as I had feared, it was really accomplished. The point of view technique of how the two narrators see each other is brilliantly executed and manages to move the action along as well as being rather hilarious. I also liked the way the time-line was skilfully used to allow for flash-backs, filling in gaps in the narrative and thereby changing the pace of the plot. A few hiccups remain -one really doesn't want to read the expression "A-listers" in a novel, and the animal attraction of Mimi to billionaire Si sounds a bit ropey. Still - I was massively impressed how Rachel Johnson manages to write a novel which is funny, entertaining , thoroughly modern and still retains elements of a now sadly nostalgic seeming English wholesomeness and wistfulness.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Craig HALL OF FAME on 9 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
For those who wondered whether life in Notting Hill is really the way Richard Curtis portrayed it in his film, Rachel Johnson's novel is a withering risposte. Don't be deceived by the trappings of glossy magazine designer labels, the occasional Jilly Cooperish puns about sex and the general YOU magazine stuff about Yummy Mummies. This is a portrait of hell, as lived by the super-rich.

It goes without saying that most readers will not know this life, or feel remotely sympathetic towards any of the characters, so it may be best to view them as being as weird as Desperate Housewives or bankers in Manhattan. The story is told through the eyes of two fortyish wives living on "Lonsdale Gardens", whose pistachio-painted mansions all back onto one of the areas famous private gardens. Clare is the childless wife of a modern architect remarkably similar to Johnson's neighbour (as we know from her columns), John Paulson, and Mimi sounds rather like Johnson herself being an "impoverished" mother of three and freelance journalist who can afford her house only because her posh husband Ralph inherited it back when NH was full of poor Afro-Caribbeans. Now it's a life of "haves and have-yachts", in which interior decoration is carried out on an annual basis and if one Mummy gets a swimming pool in her basement, everyone else must get one too.

The plot is pretty simple. Mimi falls for billionaire new neighbour Si Kasparian and enjoys a brief adulterous affair with him until discovering he's also shagging the gorgeous teacher at Ponsonby Prep. Clare is unaware that her husband is trying it on with every woman but her, but falls for Mimi's husband - a man so stuffily Old Etonian that he prefers fly-fishing to conversation.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jill Shaw on 26 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Johnson's book Notting Hell is a very funny, amusing, approaching brilliant at times, look at life in W11. Her acute observations of communal garden living and take on life of what is viewed as the norm -left me wishing that more of the second part of the book was like the first sixty pages. A very easy read and very enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lit Chick on 26 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good, light escapist nonsense poking fun at the yummy mummy/designer-slaves brigade in a gentle manner. Worth a read if you want some light amusement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G A Pycock on 26 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nearly gave up but kept going ...good holiday read ! Characters took some working out but I am pleased that I carried on throughout.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Rachel Johnson really gets under the skin of all that bling, but has a great feel for character development. I really enjoyed this novel, and would like it to be seen not just under the genre of chick-lit, which I do think does put male pigs like myself off reading such fiction. Funny, yet with a great sense of pathos, which does seem to conclude with the idea that money is really not everything...well, almost.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Alan on 24 Aug. 2006
Format: Hardcover
No surprise having read this fantastic book that my local book shop obtained copies in advance of the official publication. It is wise, witty, funny, moving, provocative and idealistic. To propose, as young Rachel does with such amusing aplomb, the radical redistribution of wealth, takes courage.I hail a remarkable new talent and pray that she retains her youthful radicalism.
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