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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable insight to an essentially private man
We all thought we knew what there was to know about the late and great Laurie Lee. Not so. Valerie Grove has unearthed a minefield of hidden agendas, thought processes and diversions of the greatest descriptive writer of his age. "Cider With Rosie" " As I Walked out..." " A moment of war" and others are mere blips in a life filled with lives,...
Published on 10 Nov 2000

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Irritating beyond belief
I quite like Laurie Lee's writing and thought that an interesting life like his would make for a good read. How wrong I was! This book is turgid and irritating in the extreme and - unusually for me - I fired it off after 300 pages. What continuity there might have been was shredded by continuous and annoying quotes from silly, pretentious, chattering letters to or from...
Published 7 months ago by Nick the Shaker


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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable insight to an essentially private man, 10 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Laurie Lee: The Well-loved Stranger (Paperback)
We all thought we knew what there was to know about the late and great Laurie Lee. Not so. Valerie Grove has unearthed a minefield of hidden agendas, thought processes and diversions of the greatest descriptive writer of his age. "Cider With Rosie" " As I Walked out..." " A moment of war" and others are mere blips in a life filled with lives, loves, hates and downright excesses. These excesses Grove explains with conviction and reason, moreover she has delved to look beyond just mere surface. There is no doubting Lee's masterful verses with the pen, what has now come to light is the many influences and sheer timing. It stems from a time no so very long ago, but seemingly a golden time before the very burst of modernism and the hateful traits that prevent such writing, such artistry, such poetic patronage. Valerie Grove has captured the character, the very things that made Lee and in some ways destroyed his will to continue writing beyond those pre and post war years. Although all his published masters were written from 1947 onwards,with breaks between each of the volumes, the reader of Grove's biography finally is told and can understand the reasons why. The theft of Lee's diaries in 1969 was not only a disaster, but the last remains of the true 'Spanish' picture, now subject to immense debate by scholars and historians. It is to Lee that we must thank for remembering almost the full picture from memory without the aid of the diaries, and thus bringing forth the many failures of democracy, let alone communism! Valerie Grove's book is a masterpiece in itself and can proudly sit beside Lee's work on the bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Laurie Lee: The Well-loved Stranger (Paperback)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Irritating beyond belief, 7 Dec 2013
This review is from: Laurie Lee: The Well-loved Stranger (Paperback)
I quite like Laurie Lee's writing and thought that an interesting life like his would make for a good read. How wrong I was! This book is turgid and irritating in the extreme and - unusually for me - I fired it off after 300 pages. What continuity there might have been was shredded by continuous and annoying quotes from silly, pretentious, chattering letters to or from the subject. Even Lee's experiences in Spain, which should have been an integral part of the early book, was marred by pointless references to childish twaddle from from his myriad women back home. When I got to the thousanth "Kissy kissy darling heart" I barked my annoyance, pulled out my bookmark and filed the whole sorry mess under "never again".
Does Private Eye still do a "Pseuds Corner"? This book will keep 'em in business for years. Alternatively, the hardback edition is big and strong enough (physically) to prop up a wonky sideboard.
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Laurie Lee: The Well-loved Stranger
Laurie Lee: The Well-loved Stranger by Valerie Grove (Paperback - 2 Nov 2000)
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