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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too clever to be too clever by half?
I wanted to enjoy this book because I enjoyed the series Meades presented on TV a few years ago, where he bent his coruscating wit to the deflation and/or praise of modern art and architecture. The wit is very much in evidence and the coruscation proceeds apace in this collection of short stories. However, there is an air in some of the stories of a show-off high on his...
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by Eileen Shaw

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meadian Rare
Jonathan Meades' "Filthy English" is a skilfully written collection of dark short stories. The obscure style is rather grating and may well have brought more pleasure to the writer than it does to the reader.
Published 13 months ago by barbicandy


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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meadian Rare, 5 Nov 2013
This review is from: Filthy English (Paperback)
Jonathan Meades' "Filthy English" is a skilfully written collection of dark short stories. The obscure style is rather grating and may well have brought more pleasure to the writer than it does to the reader.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too clever to be too clever by half?, 16 Sep 2009
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Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Filthy English (Paperback)
I wanted to enjoy this book because I enjoyed the series Meades presented on TV a few years ago, where he bent his coruscating wit to the deflation and/or praise of modern art and architecture. The wit is very much in evidence and the coruscation proceeds apace in this collection of short stories. However, there is an air in some of the stories of a show-off high on his principles as the English language in particular takes a fair old snobbish bashing. In other stories he gets the tone much closer to right and displays a wonderful range of skills and craft in fictional perspicacity.

He is brilliant at atmosphere, particularly good at settings in recent history (wartime, the 1950s and 60s) and good at delineating characters in a few words. With a few delightful phrases he can create images that burn in the mind or make a phrase that is worthy of his undoubted wit (`...truncated trunks in trunks...' to describe a set of suitcase murders, for instance).

Is he "Too clever to be too clever by half" - as one of his characters says of another? Perhaps, but he is also savagely funny - the narrative of an Alsatian dog in the world of porno films springs to mind.

I would like to read a novel by him, where the format need not be so crowded, and the storytelling has room to breathe. He is undoubtedly a brilliant man, but is he a brilliant writer? Maybe not on this showing, but he could be.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very unusual, take on the English. To say the least...., 18 Dec 2012
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Stephen Sutton "Relaxed Steve" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Filthy English (Paperback)
The authors style is as per his excellent TV programmes, with many of his favourite locations visited again. However the stories that unfold describe other interesting aspect of life that may or may not be typically English.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars read it., 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Filthy English (Hardcover)
perfect english.he knows england.
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Filthy English
Filthy English by Jonathan Meades (Paperback - 5 May 2003)
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