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The Dreaming Suburb [Paperback]

R. F. Delderfield , R.F. Delderfield
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

6 Mar 2008

Jim Carver a tough, resolute war veteran, he returns from the trenches to build a better life for his family to find his wife dead.

Archie Carver Jims eldest son, smart, ruthless, he has a quick eye for financial profits and beautiful women.

Elaine Frith seductive and ambitious, she uses her charms to snare the man she thinks will give her wealth.

The First World War ends and the soldiers return to the peaceful Avenue. On the surface their homes look just the same but behind the carefully tended front gardens everything has changed and their families lives in the next twenty years will be as turbulent as any they have known.

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The Dreaming Suburb + The Spring Madness of Mr. Sermon
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034096376X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340963760
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Highly recommended. Combines tension with a splendid sense of atmosphere and vivid characterisation. An excellent read (Sunday Express)

Mr Delderfield's manner is easy, modest, heartwarming (Evening Standard)

R F Delderfield is a born storyteller ( Sunday Mirror)

Sheer, wonderful storytelling (Chicago Tribune)

It is always a pleasure to read R F Delderfield, because he never seems to be ashamed of writing well (Books and Bookmen)

He built an imposing artistic social history that promises to join those of his great forebears in the long, noble line of the English novel. His narratives belong in a tradition that goes back to John Galsworthy and Arnold Bennett (Life Magazine)

Book Description

On the outside the Avenue appeared so peaceful but this is a story of turbulent change, of boom and bust, mass unemployment, new freedoms and restrictions, the Blackshirts, and jazz.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 27 Feb 2008
This book is the first in a set of two books. I love the way that it concentrates on one road in a suburb of London and follows the lives of several families. It starts in the early 1900's and progresses to the second world war. Can't recommend it enough....once you've read it you will have to read the sequel 'The Avenue goes to war' straight away.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars between the wars 1 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book and its follow up "The Avenue goes to War" are two modern day classics. They tell the story of an avenue in South London between the first and second world wars and then continues through the war to around 1948. It tells the story mainly around the Carver family at first and we are introduced to the other residents through the eyes of the Carvers. If this book reminds me of anything it is the wartime film "This Happy Breed" which tells a similar story around a wartime, suburb of London.
Reading between the lines and looking at maps of London I think the Avenue Story is based in Croydon but of course this is Hypothesis and supposition. No matter it is a great story telling the story of the Avenue from 1919 until 1940(The Dreaming Suburb) and then from 1941 to 1948 (The Avenue Goes to War)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 22 July 2012
By Barbara
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in social history of England between the wars, try this one. A good read, although there are some historical inaccuracies which I found annoying.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Old Favourite 20 May 2013
By MaggieB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very good book by an excellent author. I first read it many years ago and enjoyed it just as much today, together with its sequel "The Avenue Goes To War" As someone who grew up in South London, I could identify with the road and the people who lived in it. I t gave me a great deal of pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dreaming Suburb by R.F.Delderfield 5 April 2013
By Rosa
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Had not read any R.F. Delder field since my teens; I vaguely remember this being televised and am trying to remember who the actors were. I found it difficult to put down as I got so involved in the brilliantly created characters. Reminded me a little of Noel Coward's 'This Happy Breed'.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars old friends 14 Mar 2011
By sueb
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I returned to this book ,and vol 2 the avenue goes to war,having read them both years ago,and enjoyed them just as much as i did back then,.Delderfield writes with a ecconmy of words but without leaving the reader wishing it was otherwise,the story of the avenue ,s doings between the wars ,will make the reader keen to read vol 2.A VERY GOOD READ SUEB
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Typos in Kindle version 1 Oct 2012
By Andi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish I had seen the review stating that the Kindle version of this book is full of typos as I wouldn't have wasted
money on it. Do I get a refund ? If I bought a book with so many errors I would be returning it !
The story is good, not the best Delderfield, slightly aloof, but still enjoyable once I have figured out what the words are supposed to be !
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4.0 out of 5 stars England in the Suberbs between the Wars 28 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Deader field at his best! The story line starts in 1919 and then follows the lives office family's who live 'in the Avenue' on the outskirts if London. It is the story of 'ordinary folk' with the traumas of England leading uptown and through the Second World War.. Times of great change seen throughtothefinal the lives and activities of the five families who could be any from the whole fabric oBritain.
Very readable written by a master writer, maybe the book should be on the syllabus for any local history students.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
One of Delderfield's best in my opinion (along with "To Serve them All My Days"). I think he is out of fashion at present but tells such a good story with believable... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jane Hunt
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten masterpiece.
I remembered The author's name from a t.v. Series in the late seventies on I.T.V. But had never read anything by him.
What a revelation this book proved to be. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Wordy
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story but...
Enjoyed the story as it is a favourite classic but typing errors make it lose some of it's appeal. (Much incorrect use of punctuation)
Published 14 months ago by Mrs RJ Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dreaming Suburb
I adore RF Delderfield and this and The Avenue Goes to War are among my favourite books. His writing so envokes the time.
Published 15 months ago by Susan Alves
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version sucks
I loved this book when I read it as a teenager so I was looking forward to rereading it. I enjoyed the story as much as ever but the Kindle version is ruined by the frequent and... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Hester
3.0 out of 5 stars the dreaming suburb
book ok not worth the money it cost on post and packaging it had a oxfam sticker on it so i coul have gone in a charity shop and bought it cheaper
Published 23 months ago by avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book
I really enjoyed this book. I have only recently discovered this author and I would like to read all of his books now.
Published on 19 Mar 2012 by Rockzee
5.0 out of 5 stars Life as it really was
Another favourite on Kindle. Future generations can now have a real reading experience. Loved this book within minutes of turning the pages
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Mr. M. Kennard
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