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Oh Dear Silvia [Hardcover]

Dawn French
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (540 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 12.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 3.32  
Hardcover 12.55  
Paperback 3.50  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged 14.16  
Audio Download, Unabridged 13.10 or Free with Audible.co.uk 30-day free trial
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Book Description

25 Oct 2012

Dawn French, number one bestelling author of A Tiny Bit Marvellous and one of Britain's best loved comic writers, returns with Oh Dear Silvia, a darkly comic pageturner that will have you hanging on her every word.

Who is in Coma Suite Number 5?

A matchless lover? A supreme egotist? A selfless martyr? A bad mother? A cherished sister? A selfish wife?

All of these. For this is Silvia Shute who has always done exactly what she wants. Until now, when her life suddenly, shockingly stops.

Her past holds a dark and terrible secret, and now that she is unconscious in a hospital bed, her constant stream of visitors are set to uncover the mystery of her broken life. And she must lie there, victim of the beloveds, the borings, the babblings and the plain bonkers.

Like it or not, the truth is about to pay Silvia a visit. Again, and again and again...

Oh Dear Silvia is the brand new novel from one of Britain's most loved comic writers and the number one bestselling author of A Tiny Bit Marvellous.

Praise for Dawn French:

'Extremely funny' Sunday Times

'A fantastic slam-dunk pageturner' Mail on Sunday

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose. As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of this country's most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents. . ., Murder Most Horrid, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.

Her bestselling memoir, Dear Fatty, was published to critical acclaim in 2008. Her first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, was also a great success, going straight to No.1.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph (25 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718156064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718156060
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 16 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (540 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 70,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose.

As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of the
UK's most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including
French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents ..., Murder Most Horrid,
The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more
recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.


Product Description

Review

Beautifully observed. Makes you laugh on every page (The Times)

Hilarious. Chortle-out-loud turns of phrase, razor-sharp observations (Stylist)

Fresh, extremely funny (Sunday Times)

Really enjoyable and highly recommended. Dawn French is a wonderful writer - witty, wise and poignant (Daily Mail)

A hilarious and compelling read (Good Housekeeping) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Dawn French has been making people laugh for thirty years. On purpose. As a writer, comedian and actor, she has appeared in some of this country's most long running, cherished and celebrated shows, including French and Saunders, The Comic Strip Presents. . ., Murder Most Horrid, The Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, Lark Rise to Candleford, and more recently, Roger and Val Have Just Got In.

Her bestselling memoir, Dear Fatty, was published to critical acclaim in 2008. Her first novel, A Tiny Bit Marvellous, was also a great success, going straight to No.1.

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Was Silvia? 25 Oct 2012
By ACB (swansea) TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This second novel by Dawn French is easy to read but in the early parts difficult to interweave the various contributions of the narrators into a cohesive piece of work. Persevere, it is worth it. Silvia Shute has fallen three floors from a balcony. She is in intensive care in a coma on life-support including mechanical ventilation. She is the younger sister of the eccentric Jo. They lost their mother at a young age and their army-trained father went off the rails. Sylvia divorced dependable Ed after showing little love for him or their two children, Jamie and Cassie who after leaving home had no love or respect for their mother.

This background is the canvas on which the author paints the past and mysteries of Silvia through a series of monologues delivered by family and friends. She is inert and unresponsive 'like a marble sarcophagus'. The content of the monologues alternate between love and hatred, sibling rivalry and jealousy with Ed in particular, 'dead inside'. The prose jumps from straight dialogue to charming descriptions particularly of the woods where Silvia and Ed spent much of their courtship. The dismal outlook and depressing medical predicament of this tragedy are broken by episodes of humour. The Indonesian Tia (Silvia's cleaner) spends her moments relating the contents of current gossip magazines in an amusing format. Jo refuses to give up hope and reality of waking her 'frozen sister' with a series of bizarre, funny and hilarious attempts to stimulate some response.

The novel is held together by Silvia's Jamaican nurse, Winnie. She treats Silvia with the repect she gives all her patients and is the only one with no axe to grind, no anger, hate or questions but only wishes good things for Silvia. She is a totally professional caring person.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dead as a Doornail 11 May 2013
By Carl Spencer TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Dawn French has a great concept. Silvia lies in hospital in a coma. Her family and 'friends' come to visit her and, whilst sitting with her, recall old memories and reveal their inner secrets. Their lives have all been influenced by Silvia in one way or another and we learn more and more about their pasts as the visit count increases.

The problem is that the story and the way it's told just isn't very good. The story is neither funny, dramatic, romantic or poignant. It sometimes tries to be all at once and normally fails. It's characters are dull - as Silvia thought of some of them herself when she was alive and well - or just downright annoying. The characterisation and accent of Winnie, Silvia's caring nurse, teeters from stereotypical to a wee bit racist. The story development is slow, some of the hospital visits are the same or similar to those which preceded them. That may be representative of real life but an exciting book it does not make.

It was a real struggle to get through. Only in the final few chapters did the book pick up a bit and become a tiny bit compelling. Then it was over. The resolution was minimal, the final reaction 'meh'. Rest in peace.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me but maybe for others. 2 Nov 2012
By Dave VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
By giving this book only 2 stars I am not trying to imply it is a bad book but it was not to my taste. Maybe it is my fault for buying a book that is outside of my normal genre but I wanted to try it as it was by Dawn French who I do like a lot on the telly.

I only got up to page 60 odd before giving up but later thought it would be fairer to the author to give it another go. I got to page 100ish before giving up again and passing the book to my missus.

Basically this is a book that revolves around the thoughts and feelings of the friends and family of Sylvia. Unfortunately Sylvia is in a coma and cannot answer back and these thoughts and feelings are expressed at visiting times at the hospital. I just thought that the mundane thoughts of Sylvia's visitors was quite boring and I had no desire to carry on.

I am sure that when the missus reads it she will have much better views than mine.

One thing I did not like was the authors habit of underling words quite frequently. I thought that this indicated that Ms French has not got the confidence in her readers to understand the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointing. 17 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I have just finished this book. I am actually proud of myself fort getting through it! It was boring, nothing happened. The characters were neither here nor there. Silvia was an awful woman. The way Dawn wrote the dialogue for Winnie was cringeworthy and unreadeable at times. I thought it would be much better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring 9 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Boring, very dull, it wasn't until the end that I enjoyed it ! The underlining of a lot of words was very annoying !
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear Dawn! 8 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover
I've just joined a book club and this was the first book chosen for us all to read, and I'll be honest and say that it wouldn't have been one I would have chosen to read otherwise. I've not read anything by Dawn French before but I admire her as a comedian/actress. The problem I found was that Dawn writes the way she speaks and so when I was reading the book all I could hear was her voice, doing all the different accents. The premise of the book is very interesting and explores the notion of how we are all different things to different people, but I just found the characters to be flimsy, one dimensional and unbelievable. Some parts of the story are touching and poignant but in other chapters it dissolves into farce and I found the humour rather infantile. Like someone said in another of the reviews, the story would make a great play rather than a book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear indeed...
The concept is good and the characters, on paper, should be intriguing and make for a riveting read... Read more
Published 5 days ago by TigerLily
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
big fan ! sad it came to a sudden end but loved it all the same just wish there was more
Published 8 days ago by jennifer wilkinson
2.0 out of 5 stars Slightly boring
I found it difficult to care about any of the characters so the story line didn't grab me. Skimmed most of it as there is also quite a lot in each chapter that isn't pertinent to... Read more
Published 14 days ago by BriNa
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing
Bit depressing. Nothing funny, would not recommend. Although she can write can Dawn! If you expect a funny, this isn't for you.
Published 20 days ago by Kerry
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear Silvia
Amazing book - very clever perspective of story telling! Would definitely recommend made me chuckle and couldn't put it down!
Published 1 month ago by Nicholas Harvey
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear sylvia
I thought it was going to be a funny book. I was wrong. I wouldn't recommend it. I liked Dawns previous books. I had to skip most of Winnies dialogue as I found it annoying
Published 1 month ago by whiterose
5.0 out of 5 stars I charming book that will have you laughing (and crying!) right...
I read Dawn French's first book after being lent it by mum...she isn't my normal genre of writer that I'd go for but I found her book refreshing and easy to relate to. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Katy
1.0 out of 5 stars Could not finish it!
I like Dawn French but not this book. Very disappointing. It is a long time since I have not finish a book that I have started!
Published 1 month ago by Edward J Towse
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
I just loved reading this and kept finding excuses to sit down and get stuck into it again. The unexpected twists were great and the family dynamics well thought through. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nician
5.0 out of 5 stars oh. dear dawn. brilliant .
Loved. Loved. Loved this book. It will make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
Anyone could enjoy this story , even if you've been unfortunate enough to have to go through... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Di of West Midlands
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