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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distasteful? Nah...I loved it!
JC manages to hit the high notes once again with 'Wicked'; packed with controversy and witty one liners, I enjoyed every twist and turn. It did feel ever so slightly wrong reading about pupils sleeping with teachers but it's written in such a funny, lighthearted way that I managed to forget it was bordering on tasteless. Also, I was more than a little peeved that as far...
Published on 26 May 2007 by LittleReader

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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
I eagerly read this novel as an avid Jilly Cooper fan, but I have to admit this novel really disappointed me. What drew me to her earlier and best novels, notably Riders, Rivals, and Polo was her ability to create an entire world to absorb yourself in - incredibly wild but at the same time believable - and characters you'd love and hate in equal measures at the same time,...
Published on 25 Aug. 2008 by S. A. Fowler


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!, 25 Aug. 2008
This review is from: Wicked! (Paperback)
I eagerly read this novel as an avid Jilly Cooper fan, but I have to admit this novel really disappointed me. What drew me to her earlier and best novels, notably Riders, Rivals, and Polo was her ability to create an entire world to absorb yourself in - incredibly wild but at the same time believable - and characters you'd love and hate in equal measures at the same time, along with plentiful helpings of raunchy sex scenes and agonising love stories.

Wicked just doesn't live up to these books. I found the story relatively tedious, and most of the characters, particularly the protagonist Janna, quite irritatings, without being loveable at the same time. It felt at times that it was verging on paedophilic, with the sex scenes described about children as young as 12. Additionally to that, it was just simply unrealistic. I couldn't believe in half the characters, which greatly reduced my enjoyment of it.

In summary, it is perfectly readable as any JC is, but I personally think it tries too hard to live up to its predecessors, and in doing so, crosses the line into the ridiculous.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Distasteful? Nah...I loved it!, 26 May 2007
By 
LittleReader (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Wicked! (Paperback)
JC manages to hit the high notes once again with 'Wicked'; packed with controversy and witty one liners, I enjoyed every twist and turn. It did feel ever so slightly wrong reading about pupils sleeping with teachers but it's written in such a funny, lighthearted way that I managed to forget it was bordering on tasteless. Also, I was more than a little peeved that as far as I can recall there wasn't one remotely attractive teacher when I was at school, never mind a handful! I can see how the content may offend the faint hearted but surely this is JC's trademark style and I, for one, would expect nothing less - Frankly, you just dont sail through 1000 pages of a story unless the writing is brilliant. And it is. A fantastic romp of a read that will keep you thoroughly entertained on the beach or in the garden with a glass of Pimms...It certainly lives up to it's title!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooper back on form!, 10 May 2006
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
Now, I'll make no bones about it: I'll read any Jilly Cooper that comes my way. I'm like a junkie needing a fix. However, despite enjoying 'Score' and 'Pandora', they didn't have quite the effect that their predecessors did, particularly my all-time fave 'Polo'.

Good god, I wondered - am I now that junkie for whom no high is great enough?? But then I got a hit of 'Wicked', which I so enjoyed from start to finish that I actually felt bereft when I had finished racing through it. Welcome back Rupert - plus a great new heroine, a hunk in shorts, some seriously stroppy teens, some very very daft puns, and a whole raft of loveable supporting characters who feel like pals by the end of the book!

It's not as perfect as 'Polo', and Rupert's getting on a bit now (though still the most ravishing man in literature), and I'd still like to see her go back to the equine world, but 'Wicked' is definitely the best thing I've read for a long long time.

So I say - "Go Coop!" and bring on the next one!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unrealistic? No! Jilly is moving with the times! AMAZING!, 17 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Wicked! (Kindle Edition)
I am re-reading Wicked at the moment for the fourth time and decided to have a look at what other people think of this book, being the first after a long wait in her publications. I was shocked and upset to see it has received so many bad reviews!

Jilly has written a riotous romp of a book in a similar style to all her others, where she portrays sex and extra-marital proceedings in a flip and casual manner, where politics mingle with the plot (which is, as always, immaculately researched), where you fall in love with the characters, some new and some old, where you lose yourself in a life that you wish you could be part of and where the romances and characters are written so brilliantly, you cannot wait for your bedtime reading which is, as always, overextended as I think to myself 'Just one more chapter'.

I can imagine this book is more enjoyable to people who have read the others in the Rutshire Chronicles. I have read and re-read and re-read again all of these books and can recite great reams of her books from heart because they are simply the best books I have ever read. Okay, so they aren't going to become classics and aren't going to be studied in English Lit A Level classes - but it doesn't matter, in their class they are in fact in a whole class of their own.

Wicked! follows the union of a public school and a comprehensive and relays all the high jinks and naughtiness that happens in her trademark style, packed full of witty one-liners and puns, with long rambling descriptions of her beloved English countryside. Now, reading all the reviews slating Jilly for the underage sex and drug use in Wicked!, I would just like to comment on how silly these reviewers are to think that this doesn't go on in schools.

I am in my last year of public school and since arriving here at thirteen have been constantly shocked at the scandals which take place and which are so artfully concealed by the teachers, governors and even the police. Underage sex DOES go on, and yes, it does happen between teachers and pupils, and yes, it can happen from as young as 12/13/14. Those readers who think it doesn't are kidding themselves. I personally think Jilly has been very brave to broach such a taboo subject and do it with such skill. I think teenagers reading this book will be nodding and roaring with recognition and laughter at the scenes taking place (because Jilly went along to a public school and asked for tales and gossip! So it is based on truth!) and it is only adults who will be shocked, simply because they prefer to pretend this sort of stuff doesn't happen.

It is also true that independent schools will happily keep a pupil on who is certain to get into Oxbridge, even after being caught with drugs etc. She has captured the terrible elitism of schools and the things which go on, the ridiculously wealthy nouveau-riche children (Jade Stancombe) and the rich foreigners (Anatole) with the attention-deprived children of celebrities (Cosmo Rannaldini), mixed in with delightful characters such as Dora Belvedon who restore one's faith in privately educated children. I found her portrayal of the Larks kids heart-breaking and shocking yet infinitely touching, and fell in love with Paris and little Pearl with her stick legs. The sacrifice Hengist makes for Paris was a huge twist and it made him seem more normal.

For all those reviews expressing annoyance about the national papers following the GCSE results of a state school, I see it as no less realistic than the papers in all her other books following the stories. Have you ever seen the national daily papers writing about the scandals of showjumping or polo stars? No, but it is a fictional world we are reading about and the press interest makes the story seem more riveting. Jilly has always used the press in her stories and nobody has seemed to comment on it before.

I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down. Paris and Dora's romance was heart-warming, the Shakespeare play a riot of laughs, the Bagley Babes envy-making (there are three girls a couple of years below me whom I constantly pictures when reading about Amber, Jade and Milly), the ghastly Council employees hilariously portrayed, the horror of what can happen in deprived state schools (ie Cara Sharpe) truly horrific. Jilly, you have done it again, and I love you all the more for it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked or not so Wicked!, 2 Jun. 2006
By 
Coco (Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
I am a massive Jilly Cooper fan and in my eyes she can do no wrong, But.... Wicked just didn't hit the spot for me.

I agree with the other reviewers that it is difficult to enjoy the story when its largely about 12 - 13 year olds having sex, its just not fun to read even if it is true of today.

From another side I lent it to my 15 year old cousin who is not into reading and she loved it. She is now making her way through the Rutshire Chronicles, while Wicked is now working its was through her friends.

Perhaps to really love this book you need to still be at School!
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A book about naughty teachers...Great fun!!!, 3 May 2006
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
Just finished reading this book and I really enjoyed it. I have a been a long time fan of Jilly Cooper's books (I started with Rivals when I was fifteen - a book I highly recommend). The main characters are very human - sometimes entirely likeable and at other times seriously misguided. I adore the witty, sarcastic characters with seriously racy lifestyles! What I like best about this novel is Cooper's ability to build a whole society and large cast of characters and hang them all together. If you are a fan of Cooper's earlier books you will enjoy Wicked!. If you have not read this authors previous books, stick with it - the story is well worth the effort.

On a personal note as someone working in the education field, I appreciated the very true to life teaching staff (both the good and bad!) in the book and in particular a teacher who was constantly being corrected on their grammar - its the bane of my existence as you can probably see from this review....
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic-A Return to Form for Jilly!, 14 May 2006
By 
R. Bell (Goole, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
I have just finished Wicked and feel like I have lost a close relative! The past few years books have been a bit average-Appassionata and Score e.t.c but Polo, Riders and Rivals are the best. For me this book was in the same league as them unputdownable, funny and well written-of course starring all the old favourites such as Rupert CB, and we get to see how Rannaldini's son has turned out, which is what made me pick it up to start with. I would reccommend it to any Jilly Cooper fan. Very exciting hope she does another like this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wicked!, 10 May 2006
By 
C. E. Fry (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Wicked! (Paperback)
I have just finished reading Wicked, which is classic Jilly Cooper! Great characters, and as always, amusingly written and absorbing. Feel bereft now that I've finished it. Am looking forward to the next book!
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jilly scores again!, 10 May 2006
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
I was so excited about receiving this novel! I love the continuity with the same old characters popping out. This novel is no exception, with Rupert and Taggie making appearences, and I loved Rupert's bet in this one to pass English Literature GCSE. (He then quite liked Jane Austen, and there is one part where he just wants to go and finish Emma, as he thinks Mrs Elton is as bad as Anthea Belvedon!)

Her heroine, Janna is a likable headmistress who really cares about her students at Larks Comp/High, and although some of the content is gritty, for example students who are beaten by their parents, forced to deal drugs and cut themselves, she has created the characters who you learn to love and you want them to do well. There is quite a lot of underage sex going on too, but which goes on at both schools, and thus reflects that it doesn't matter on your background!

There is also a lot of politics involved, as Janna is a staunch labour supporter, who then feels let down by the education system, and has a lot to do with the Conservative crowd who are involved with the Bagley Hall private school. It follows current affairs from the early 2000's with the Athen's Olympics and the ban on hunts.

I also liked meeting Xavier and Bianca Campbell-Black for the first time, and Dora Belvedon is a wonderful character. Her new kids from Larks High are fabulous too, and Paris, Graffi and Feral touch your heart when reading about their backgrounds and what they want to achieve.

All in all, it's a riotus novel, with realism of the education system, but with so many excellent chracters it will be the best summer novel and I recommend you take it on holiday with you! I shall certainly be re-reading it soon!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars she back !, 6 May 2006
This review is from: Wicked! (Hardcover)
At last after 4 years we see something from the unforegettable Jilly Cooper. For all avid fans such as myself , this book did not disappoint! Ooodels of Rupert Campell black towards the end of the book - we see how his adopted children are doing at school and how his relationship with Taggie is after 15/16 years of marriage . Age has definately given Rupert charachter - and we see him mellow and taggie as always ,an angel .

Yet the central theme is the story of the schools and you cant help but enjoy the mischievous goings. It is certainly different from her other books and be prepared for lot of tony blair bashing !
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Wicked!
Wicked! by Jilly Cooper OBE (Paperback - 7 May 2007)
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