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The Way Things are [Paperback]

Roger McGough
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Aug 2000
In his first new book since "Defying Gravity" in 1993, Roger McGough mixes surreal nonsense with gentle humour.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (14 Aug 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140286322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140286328
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 849,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, funny and heartbreaking. 27 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This book is full of clever ideas executed brillantly. They include things like the apologetic host of a poetry evening in 'An ordinary Poetry Reading. There are parodies too, like the take on Auden's famous poem,'Stop all the Clocks'. The subject changes to the demise of the Metro car. At once, these poems not only grab you, they make you laugh out loud. There also some which poignant and stop you in your tracks. In short, there is something for everyone in this collection. If you any soul, you will buy this book and revel in its genius.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
What else is there to say? This book varies between brutally realistic, ruefully anxious and laugh-out-loud wit. Definitely worth the read, even for the most dubious reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Roger is slimmer but has not lost weight 30 April 2001
By A Customer
Another collection of spot-on poems. Shame the book is a little thinner than some of his others. Very intuitive and as usual well observed. I will read these again and again.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McGough at his vocal dilema best 2 Jan 2002
By A Customer
Quite simply, McGough is the master of today's dilemas, responses, and chants to a fickle world we all accept as norm. This is McGough at his vocal best: the riotious title poem could easily be woven into "Stop All The Cars." "The Sad Astronomer" could well be a living tribute to Sir Patrick Moore whose observatory was badly damaged during a freak tornado that hit Selsey in January 1998, with other highlights contained in this collection including "Old Fashioned Values", "An Ordinary Poetry Reading", "Vague Assumptions", "In Case of Fire", "Nothing Ventured" and "Sheer." These plus other poems bring forth McGough's tongue-in-cheek almost teeth grating opinionated voiced poetry that leaves no harm but rightly, sub conscious questions! "The Way Things Are" is both excellent and his best collection to date, and hopefully will lead to new wistful but occasionally reality checked poetry collections in the near future!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Can he be serious ? 29 Nov 2008
By Jeremy Bevan TOP 500 REVIEWER
These are performance poems - and it shows. They're wry, witty and dramatic, with unexpected turns and a whiff of the absurd. But they also come across as ephemeral and light: reading them, you get the feeling that McGough is rarely - perhaps can't be - serious, even if he's occasionally poignant. `In Vain' for example, comments wistfully on the wastefulness of plastic surgery, while `Dressed for the Occasion' is about an old man clearing out the wardrobe, with death anticipated as the next occasion to dress for. But poems like `Bad Day at the Ark I - IV' (hinting at ecological crisis and species extinction) and `The Father, the Son' (about Judas Iscariot) are missed opportunities - entertaining and diverting without being either moving or terribly profound. A light-hearted cynicism seems to pervade the collection, constantly fearing (it seems to me) to engage with things on a deeper, more meaningful level. If you like your poetry that way, of course, you'll probably enjoy the book. Otherwise, steer clear of what is largely a frustrating offering.
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