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Notting Hell [Paperback]

Rachel Johnson
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

18 Jan 2007

'Our neighbours divide into the haves ... and the have yachts.'

Meet Mimi and Clare, two married women making the most of their Notting Hill postcode. New best friends, and close neighbours, that doesn't stop them being rivals, in fact it compels it. Both are aspiring Notting Hill Mummies (Clare needs the baby, Mimi needs the six figure income) and, keeping up with all the area's fads, fashions and fabulousness is a full-time job. But the arrival of sexy billionaire Si in their exclusive communal garden strains loyalty to friends, family, spouse and feng-shui guru alike ... and only one of them can win. But who will that be? Clare or Mimi? Are they friends, or just...neighbours?

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Notting Hell + Shire Hell + A Diary of The Lady: My First Year As Editor
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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: 2 x 13.1 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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...

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure witty, cleverly observed entertainment 19 Oct 2006
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read 7 July 2010
i enjoyed this. A witty insight into the self obsessed Notting Hill set, and a peep at how the other half lives (or pretends to!) Its light hearted, slightly 'P'-taking, with several celeb name drops. Read it for light entertainment not for a rivetting storyline, that was all too predictable.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a surprise! 20 Feb 2007
By helen
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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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chilling satire on yummy mummies 9 Sep 2006
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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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars notting hell 26 Sep 2006
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable 18 April 2014
I don't often read chick-lit but was looking for a light read and found this book in our local charity shop. Having just finished reading it, I found it thoroughly enjoyable. For me, the old cliche of "unputdownable" very much applied to Notting Hell, surprising me no end. I found the book very funny, mercilessly observant und endearingly bitchy for all the right reasons. I will now be hunting for its sequel, Shire Hell.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Notting Hell 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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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars nothing going
I bought this book based on the endorsement by Sophie Kinsella, but unfortunately I couldn't get into the story or identify with the characters. I found it actually rather boring. Read more
Published on 2 Mar 2011 by rexclick
3.0 out of 5 stars Happy with purchase
Product condition was used and clearly had been. Happy with purchase and would buy again from seller.
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by Anna
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to write home about
This was really nothing special and I was quite disappointed overall because it had all the ingredients to be a great yarn. Read more
Published on 11 July 2010 by Net
3.0 out of 5 stars Tied up in Notts
I'm really not too sure what to make of this. It's not your usual tired chick lit (haphazard heroine, on the look out for a man who does all manner of amusingly endearing things on... Read more
Published on 27 Aug 2008 by S.M. Gidley
1.0 out of 5 stars A hellish read
Johnson's stated aim is to mock the super-rich, super-elite West London social sect she belongs to. Instead, with every celebrity name check and description of their absurdly... Read more
Published on 17 Jun 2008 by James Lyons
2.0 out of 5 stars Thought I was going to love it, but it let me down!
I loved the beginning and middle of this book - it's a sharp, accurate and satisfying satire about the 'haves and the have yachts' of London's most exclusive district. Read more
Published on 18 Oct 2007 by Cando
1.0 out of 5 stars A big disappointment...
Sorry guys, I really wanted to like this book and best thing about it actually is the title, which I found great. It simply does not live up to its hype or the blurb on the back. Read more
Published on 17 Sep 2007 by T. Ljubic-Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible...
I cannot begin to describe how ghastly this book is - words genuinely fail me. Rachel Johnson is a freelance writer/housewife who lives in a large house in Notting Hill with... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2007 by Ingaborga
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
What a joy. What a giggle. Rachel Johnson had me totally hooked on her rolicking tale of West London Yummy Mummies, whilst simultaneously stiring my bread sauce over Xmas; I... Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2007 by G. Fordham
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