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on 16 March 2002
...Apart from 'Red Dog', the shorter texts [...] were all written some time ago. This suggests that de Bernières has always written such idiosyncratic pieces alongside the novels, and the difference now is that publishers want them. Anyway, some of them are good: 'Labels' is a gem. He can write what he likes, can't he? How terrible it would be to have to churn out writing to the same formula all the time to satisfy a stern and rapacious readership: the quality would certainly suffer. However, although it is evocative, has some good observations and jokes and it's fun to trace the influences, I agree that 'Sunday Morning' doesn't work particularly well on the page. It's better on the radio. The music is wonderful, although the fake sarf London accents of the middle-class actors didn't fool me for an instant.
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on 9 October 2001
Have just heard this book read aloud on the radio and must get a copy for myself! Louis de Berniere succeeds masterfully in painting a huge ranging panoply of contemporary characters in life (and death) with unabashed, sometimes insolent, always sharply-observed humour. His lyrical language sweeps swiftly from scene to scene and we get taken on a virtual tour of a single Sunday morning in Earlsfield ... or Anyfield! lifting the ordinary into the extraordinary and making us laugh at ourselves along the way.
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on 2 August 2002
I stumbled across this little gem a while ago in my local bookshop, and found myself fascinated by the excellent characterisations and idiosyncracies. It is probably a little expensive for what it is, and yes, it's self-indulgent, but it's still an entertaining read, and I would love to hear the radio play.
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on 21 July 2013
I didn't realise it was a play. Was hoping for more of a novel...but this is probably more down to me not reading the sales thing. I had read Captain Corelli which I thought was so good I ordered all of this author's works assuming they'd all be as good.
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on 9 December 2013
This a wonderful read particularly if you have ever lived in London or the suburbs of a large UK city. Read it with a friend, ideally in bed on a Sunday morning.
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on 13 February 2014
Well the book is fine. Pity about the play. The author may have been inspired by Dylan Thomas but he can't hold a candle to him as far as prose goes.
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on 25 September 2011
Read this some years ago, then saw Louis de Bernieres at Latitude Festival, reading as the Narrator with a Theatre group acting all the characters. Magic! Now I'm working with a local writing group to try to write our own form based on characters in our local market, and we bought an extra copy so more could read it. Really inspirational! So, a lovely book or play to read and act.
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on 21 March 2013
Husband enjoys L de B as author but struggled a bit with this one . Part of a series best read in sequence
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on 21 April 2010
A very short volume of pretentious rubbish. A total waste of money - wish I hadn't bought it.
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on 20 February 2002
Let's be honest: if this had been written by anyone else, it wouldn't have been published. This type of thing (see also 'Labels' and 'Red Dog') is not what made de Bernieres rich and famous and the sooner he stops writing them the better.
I can understand de Bernieres taking his chance to indulge himself and try other styles and forms, but it really doesn't become him. And unless he returns to writing his stupendously good fictions, he is in danger of alienating a large part of his hard won readership. People are going to get tired of buying short stories about cat food, independent dogs, or unlikely people in Earlsfield.
Maybe I'm being harsh. After all, Sunday Morning was written to be heard rather than read, and maybe it sounds great on the radio. But in that case, it shouldn't be marketed to an unsuspecting readership.
Overall, it was barely okay, and I won't throw my copy away, but I certainly wouldn't recommend it. I also feel let down and wish de Bernieres would write another real novel that I could truly enjoy.
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