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Temples of Delight Paperback – 25 Jul 1991


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 July 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140159533
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140159530
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,694,225 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'One of the funniest books I've read in a long time' Time Out 'Temples of Delight is so readable, so full of incidental pleasures and curiosities, that one could easily overlook its terrifying honesty' Philip Hensher, Guardian 'Her characters are larger than life ... Temples of Delight shows how grief is implicit in joy. It makes you laugh and it moves you' Sunday Times 'Steel yourself for a baroque romance of untimely deaths, orphan babes, stolen novels, canny nuns and dark, forceful lovers' Company --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Barbara Trapido was born and educated in South Africa and came to London in 1963. She lives in Oxford. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
JEM WAS a joyful mystery to Alice. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "eeawdob" on 26 Aug 2002
Format: Paperback
Why couldn't I have gone to school with Jem McCrail? She breezes in and out of Alice's life like an intelligent and stimulating whirlwind, and Alice, the ordinary, is never the same again.
Make no mistake, this IS a girls' school story - but in the modern idiom. The girls grow up and have families, feelings and characters. Alice's is very shallow, but Jem's is a vibrant foil. The pathetic Flora and her sad little family will make you sad, or angry - so will Alice's patronising teacher boyfriend! Then there is Alice's father, the north eastern building manager, who is lovely and a joy to encounter; he is refreshingly down-to-earth in Alice's world, which has been mixed into a frothy consistency by the arrival of Jem.
This is a lovely, lovely book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jesjaspers on 15 Oct 2000
Format: Paperback
This starts of a bit schoolgirlish but wow after a couple of chapters I was hooked. This is the second Trapido I have read now and will read more. Both have musical themes to them - The Travelling Hornplay quotes Schuberts Die schone Mullerin, words by William Muller as its chapter subtitles, and Temples of Delight uses Mozart's The Magic Flute. Not being a Classical fan didn't stop me enjoyed these immensely although I am sure someone who loved opera would get more out of the references than I did. The book was so good however that it made me go and borrow a copy of the Magic Flute!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the second time I have read this book and I am still enchanted by the freshness of the characters - the eccentric Jem, with her tall stories and her subsequent humility, the people-pleasing Alice who, after the 'worst day' of her life starts to get angry, and Flora, who ends up biting the hand that feeds her.
True, the first part of the book does read a little like a schoolgirl story, but that is comforting in itself. As you read on, you will Alice to come out of her comforting coccoon and cheer at her growing discontentment with the subtle bully Roland. Yet the delayed drop of Alice's 'growing up' is tantalising as yet again she is 'rescued' and cosseted by her well-meaning yet suffocating parents, then suffers compounded misfortune and finally starts to question and think for herself.
A very enjoyable book that I will read over and over.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Janet Male on 19 July 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this quite a few years ago but it still stands out in my memory as one of the best novels I have ever read. It was warm, quirky and in parts hyserically funny. I recommended it to a few people, who also loved it. I had to 'rush out' and buy a more of Barbara Trapido after that, which I also enjoyed. But this, for me, is definitely her best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pentimenta on 12 Jun 2007
Format: Paperback
My first Trapido: a strange experience. Initially I was annoyed, found Jem insufferably precocious, Alice insipid. I agree with below reviewer that Alice behaved like a doormat, not just with men but also with awful Flora. In all, I found the characters schematic, a bit like puppets in a puppet theater, very colorfully painted but not very convincing. But then - this is what it is, isn't it - not a puppet play, but it has all those parallels to the Magic Flute. I don't know enough about the opera itself to appreciate all the allusions fully, but surely it's a colorful opera. Subtleness of character is not one of opera's main points, but flamboyance and stage sets (Flora's place in Paris!) are. - I liked both Robert and the flamboyant Angeletti in spite of myself. So, whilst reading, I never really knew where I was at, but that in itself was an amusing experience, and, in all, in the end, I'd enjoyed the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
I thought that this book was extremely well written. It captures the imagination, and keeps you in suspense, with a great many twists and turns in the plot throughout.
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By Belle on 22 May 2007
Format: Paperback
Without doubt this is the best book I have ever read! I first read it a number of years ago and loved it, and it has remained at the top of my list ever since.

I'm not going to list all the reasons why you should read this book - there are already other reviews that do that, but if this gets one more person to read it and hopefully to love it as much as I do, then my work is done!
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By ruthamidthealiencorn on 8 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Barbara Trapido always comes out tops. I've read all her books now and simply hang on waiting for more of the same. Of course I can always read the ones I have all over again, and I do. I don't give synopses to the would-be reader; just read them and find out for yourselves how wonderful it must be to write like this. Never a boring moment for the reader! Thank you.
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