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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crying with laughter
As always Gervase Phinn does it again. I spent less than a week reading this thoroughly good book. All the familiar characters are back and a few new little gems along the way. Connie, Julie, Mrs Savage, plus an array of wonderful children and the things 'kids say'! Throughout it though there are elements to make you think, and perhaps look at life differently. This book...
Published on 5 Aug 2007 by Jo D'Arcy

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing
I have loved the previous books but found this one not quite as satisfying. I feel that he may have almost exhausted his own store of stories now - I recognised a couple of rather old jokes from other places. There were still very funny moments though.
Published on 2 Jan 2009 by S. Milburn


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crying with laughter, 5 Aug 2007
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
As always Gervase Phinn does it again. I spent less than a week reading this thoroughly good book. All the familiar characters are back and a few new little gems along the way. Connie, Julie, Mrs Savage, plus an array of wonderful children and the things 'kids say'! Throughout it though there are elements to make you think, and perhaps look at life differently. This book will make you cry with laughter, it did me and when you are in bed anyone listening would have wondered what was happening! I hope this isn't the last book Gervase writes in the 'Dales' series - you have so much more I am sure. Write another one!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the Dales, 3 Nov 2007
By 
E. Dale "elained2" (W. Yorks, England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
Gervase Phinn continues to delight in his latest offering The Heart Of The Dales. Still working as a school inspector his tales of the bluntness and honestness of the Yorkshire children will have you once more in stitches, especially when he goes to see a version of the Nativity Play written by the children and performed in Yorkshire dialect, with lines like "Hey up,Joseph". I thoroughly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 2 Jan 2009
By 
S. Milburn "sjm1013" (Harrogate, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Paperback)
I have loved the previous books but found this one not quite as satisfying. I feel that he may have almost exhausted his own store of stories now - I recognised a couple of rather old jokes from other places. There were still very funny moments though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Brilliant, 15 April 2008
By 
David Cranson (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
This is a very welcome return to the Yorkshire Dales and the people - both young and old - who inhabit them. This book is imbued with the love, laughter, hardship, tears and honesty that his previous books have been filled with.

"Mester Phinn" is a very good story-teller and has an easy style about his writing. The love he has for the people and places he writes about is thee for all to see. The characters and characterisations are as colourful and fulsome as in his previous outings.

This book is a wonderful way to spend a pleasant few hours after a hard day at work, or just a good book to become lost in at any time of the day.

The ending has the feeling of the last in the series, although there are one or two 'loose ends' that could do with being tied up in (at least) one more book. I, for one, would be more than happy is another in the series was to come along in the not too distant future.

Finally . . . how about a TV series based on the series. If done properly and with due respect to the books, then it could be a sure-fire winner!!

Very much recommended - to young and old. Guaranteed to have you laughing and crying with the best of them. sometimes at the same time!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The heart of the dales, 11 Oct 2007
By 
Dj Gregory "gregorydj2" (Grimsby) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
This is a very entertaining book. I Laughed all the way through it.I have read all of the dales series and they are all as good as each other can,t wait for the next one.keep writing Gervase . If you get the chance to see Mr Phinn doing his theatre tour he is just as funny live.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hopefully more books to come, 3 Aug 2007
By 
Mr. John Mcknight (N. Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
I laughed the whole way through this wonderful book. As ever Gervase entertains us continually as we welcome old friends back into our lives. It would be a pity if there were not a few more books in this series. Keep up the good work Gervase..they only get better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality prose, 16 Jun 2010
By 
A. L. Rutter "Floor to Ceiling Books" (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Paperback)
This - the fifth instalment in the Dales series - reached the same quality as the first three, after the slightly slow-going fourth book. It had a gossipy quality to it, as though sitting down to talk with some friends. It was extremely easy reading.

The biggest positive for me was the high quality of the prose by Phinn, both of the beautiful Yorkshire landscapes and the people that he meets in the course of his school inspecting. Here is a good example: "...a cheerful little cleric with a round red face and white bushy eyebrows which curled like question marks below a shiny pate..." It perfectly captures the essence of the person described and helps lend a very visual characteristic to the book.

I also deeply loved the wonderful Yorkshire dialect that Phinn employs to lend character to the people, especially the children. For instance, here is a snippet of Joseph's conversation in one of the Nativity performances that Phinn attends: "That's a rum do. We've been on t'rooad all day and both on us are fair fit to drop. We're fair fagged out! I've got t'wife out 'ere an' she's 'havin' a babby, tha knaas."

My only real complaint about the book was the way that Phinn constantly referred back to tales from previous books - they tickled me the first time round, but by the second or third time I've read it it simply feels like padding.

This is a small negative, though, and didn't greatly hamper my enjoyment of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Droll, 17 Jan 2011
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Hardcover)
As ever, Gervase Phinn presents a colourful cast of characters who will live long in the memory - the exceedingly eccentric staff of the County Hall - not to mention the children themselves; constantly striving to find different ways to humiliate the school inspectors - generally succeeding to great effect.
Full of heartwarming whimsy, droll humour and wry moments, this is another enjoyable effort for fans of Phinn.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Heart of the Dales by Gervaise Phinn, 16 July 2009
By 
R. McCloskey "Rosemary J." (Belfast BT14 6QL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Paperback)
I just love Gervaise Phinn's books. They are so down to earth. I suppose having been a teacher for many years myself I can identify with some of the episodes which he describes. I have never visited this part of England but his pen pictures make it all come alive for me. This is a very entertaining book, full of description and humour. If you don't enjoy it then you don't have an appreciation of God or the wonderful world of school days in the Dales!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of Heart, 7 July 2009
By 
A. Marczak "mazzarak" (Mordor) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Heart of the Dales (Paperback)
This is the fifth installment of Gervase Phinn's Dales series, and we find ourselves in familiar territory. Wicked Mrs Savage, caustic Connie, beautiful Christine, and the usual suspects in the Inspectors office.

Curiously, as mentioned in other reviews, the anecdotes appear a little forced. That doesn't mean they aren't funny, but some of the subject matter didn't quite sit right.

It's a testament to the writing style that the time period of the story isn't obvious. There are no mentions of brands of cars, foods, etc, which means that this could have happened any time. That's one of the most enjoyable aspects of the series.

While there are the usual set pieces, there was less continuity than in previous books, but the sheer pleasure from reading about the kids is enough to give this 4 stars.
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The Heart of the Dales
The Heart of the Dales by Gervase Phinn (Paperback - 24 Sep 2009)
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