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The Glittering Prizes Unknown Binding – 1976


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Penguin; Paperback edition (1976)
  • ASIN: B003UM17XE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE on 26 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
Those of us who have been to university may well remember our excited, optimistic, fresher selves staring up at the gates of our halls of residence, full of anticipation, surveying the entrance to the promised land of opportunity. Here, we believed, was our ticket to knowledge, wisdom, experience and improved life, love and job prospects.
It seems that, in this respect at least, the young Adam Morris and his contemporaries were no different to those starry-eyed young things. Through him, in this semi-autobiographical novel (Morris appears to be heavily modelled on Raphael himself), Raphael follows the life, loves and fortunes of a group of Cambridge students from their time at the university in the late 50s/early 60s and beyond into later life.
Although after university nothing is ever quite the same again, this is not a novel weighed down by disillusionment and despair (although, naturally, as in life, they do make an appearance). It positively sparkles with wit (particularly in the dialogue where, perhaps, the author's theatrical background shines through) and in many ways reminded me of the writing of Martin Amis, Rachel Papers era. I think, however, that in a number of aspects it may possibly surpass even that particular eminent debut.
Raphael is not afraid to confront some of life's grand overarching themes head on, namely: youth, how we handle difference (particularly with anti-semitism and racism in general), politics, the arts, education, love, family life, disillusionment etc. None of these swamp the book, however, and it all flows along nicely. It is sometimes a little difficult to follow owing to the sheer proliferation of characters - remembering who is who can be tricky. However it is never of sufficient difficulty to spoil one's enjoyment of the novel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Siegi M on 24 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
quite simply, a good read; I became interested, very early, in the characters, and the style of writing pleased me
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Den Parry on 5 July 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel, but think that most of the sly humour is aimed predominantly at an older readership. The characters are very well fleshed out, with the exception of Adam, who remains an enigma.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The more things change... 21 Jan 2004
By Mark Silcox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This novel tells the story of a bunch of Cambridge graduates from the '50s and their journeys into adulthood and responsibility. It was made into a terrific British TV series with Tom Conti, and it reads like it was written for TV - there's tons of absolutely brilliant, witty and sparkling dialogue, but so little background information about each scene that it's sometimes tricky to keep track of which character is saying what and how specific remarks affect the people who hear them.
It's worth the effort, though, because the book provides a wonderfully vivid snapshot of how a bunch of clever folks of widely varied personalities responded to the challenges of their time. These are people with well-developed social consciences, great senses of humor and a deep appreciation for their friendships, but they're also incredibly furtive and childish about sex and their education has badly under-prepared them for the exigencies of making a living, which leads many of them to become awfully cynical awfully quickly as soon as the prospects of fame and wealth start to intrude upon their intimacies.
Come to think of it, these were probably the most widespread character flaws amongst the people I went to college with, back in the 1990s. Perennial problems of the educated classes, or has our civilization just been in a weird holding pattern for the past 50 years? Hmm.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The miniseries came first 13 Mar 2006
By Steven D. Bryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have this paperback book somewhere on a shelf or in a pile. I remember that the miniseries was excellent and I was anxious to read the original. I found the book and read for a while but quickly noticed there did not seem to be anything that was not already in the miniseries. After a little more investigation I found that the book was adapted from the miniseries rather than the other way around.

Now that it is hard (impossible?) to get the miniseries it might be worth reading this novelization but I wish they would issue it on DVD.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Glitter Prizes Perhaps, but VERY Superficial, Movie-Script Writing 31 May 2010
By Jack C. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first of a trilogy, which I found much more like a TV-Script than a serious novel: a plethora of characters, most superfically defined, and few that I could care for, or even remember on completing the book. Fortunately the succeeding volume is substantially better, making it worth the chore of homework here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Brio and Wit 21 Jun 2007
By Jerry Engelbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Though much in the stories is predictable, the book's real strength is in the quality of its prose. Raphael is a master of both brio and wit. If you admire and delight in such qualities, you'll love this book as I do.

I wish, like another reviewer, that the TV miniseries were available on DVD. It introduced Tom Conte to American audiences, and I think he's never been better in any of his subsequent work on film and the tube.

Raphael has produced an enormous amount of excellent fiction, non-fiction, and TV and film writing. Best known among the latter are "Two for the Road," "Darling," and "Eyes Wide Shut."
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
DVD Please 17 Aug 2007
By J. Baybusky - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is very good but the miniseries was wonderful. Tom Conti is one of my very favorite actors but very few of his TV appearances have been released on DVD and this is one of the best. What can we do to get this released?
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