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South of the River Paperback – 3 Apr 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (3 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099502569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099502562
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 298,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Brilliantly written, horribly truthful, utterly absorbing" (Kate Saunders The Times)

"Morrison anatomises our times and achieves that rare thing: the creation of something substantial and important in fiction out of history as it unfolds in the here and now. His filleting of the new Labour zeitgeist is so ruthless and precise that one is torn between hilarity and despondency" (Neel Mukherjee The Times)

"Often very funny, constantly vigorous, constantly intelligent, constantly enjoyable" (Evening Standard)

"An ambitious stab at a state-of-the-nation novel pitched somewhere between Jonathan Coe and Franzen" (Time Out)

"Intimate and epic, compulsively readable" (Tony Parsons)

Book Description

Compelling, contemporary, comic, a significant change of direction for Blake Morrison - a kind of English The Corrections but sexier, sharper, broader and (for us) infinitely more recognisable.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "Belgo Geordie" on 13 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a very good novel but not a great novel, although, two weeks after finishing reading it aspects of the story have stayed with me. The connections between the parallel characters and their relationships is both credible and fits in with the time sequence. I liked the eighteen month progression between segments which required joining the threads of what might have occurred in-between. Although there are similarities to some other recent English novels (In the Kitchen-Monica Ali, The Finkler Question-Howard Jacobson, The Northern Clemency-Philip Henscher to name a few and one about a city stock broker This Bleeding City-Alex Preston that my review of on Amazon appears to have dissapeared) about the comfortably well off and/or employed living post Thatcher, Blake Morrison carries the life and story of his characters with compassion, wit, insight, warmth and some kernel of hope and still reveals the flaws that make people of all persuasions ordinary, engaging, interesting. Woven through the story is the image of the fox. It works, sometimes mythologised at least it adds to the narrative rather than dominating it or undermining it. I read it on the train to work, 30 minute bursts and it is easy to pick up and put down. And the Blair era? Although the politics barely seep through, the post modernist, selfish society's breath is all over the lives of the protagonists. Recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Janie U VINE VOICE on 23 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is written how a soap opera should be with all the day to day minutiae of life - showing how people deal with the big issues and that they are usually swamped by the little issues. Often the characters in the story are unable to see the consequences of their actions today (like real life) but the annual updates throughout the story show the consequences effectively.
The social and political setting was used well and (being in my 20s at the time) it felt familiar and comfortable.
The stories are intriguing and complex, leading the reader in one direction then turning you around to face the real story.
All the way through there are clues about the characters meaning that you are continually wanting to know more.
I was hooked to this book right to the last page and thought it could have gone on for another 500 pages.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Mccredie on 30 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book and I also thought that it was very funny in parts. I was engaged in the stories of the five characters who are all inter connected in some way particularly Nat and Libbys story. Nat has absolutely no insight at all in respect of his selfish and narcisstic behaviour and I found him horrifyingly believable. I also liked the structure of the book which follows the characters over 5 years dropping in each year, it shows how their lifes and expectations change. The novel starts on election night 1997 and the initial surge of euphoria and optimism that followed New Labours coming into power. I would thoroughly recommend.
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