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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights into Larkin's psyche
This is a very interesting collection, as it provides much of Larkin's prose in an unpolished form, and gives strong indications of what his erotic orientation was. Given the repressed era in which these fragments were written, one can sense Larkin's frustration and inability to be explicit about his leanings, although devotees of erotic flagellation will find evidence...
Published on 10 Nov 2006 by Clifford

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blushing beneath the bedcovers!
Philip Larkin will undoubtably be turning in his grave with the release of this volume. Containing all of the works he saw fit to 'shelve' in his own career, the book examines Larkin's 'author' period and reveals his sillier and more sinister side! Although 'Trouble at Willow Gables' is undoubtably a charming read, when taken in conjection with the numerous books about...
Published on 17 May 2002


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights into Larkin's psyche, 10 Nov 2006
By 
Clifford (Weymouth, Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Hardcover)
This is a very interesting collection, as it provides much of Larkin's prose in an unpolished form, and gives strong indications of what his erotic orientation was. Given the repressed era in which these fragments were written, one can sense Larkin's frustration and inability to be explicit about his leanings, although devotees of erotic flagellation will find evidence that he was a fellow traveller. A definite for Larkin enthusiasts, but still quite interesting to a more general audience.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Blushing beneath the bedcovers!, 17 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Hardcover)
Philip Larkin will undoubtably be turning in his grave with the release of this volume. Containing all of the works he saw fit to 'shelve' in his own career, the book examines Larkin's 'author' period and reveals his sillier and more sinister side! Although 'Trouble at Willow Gables' is undoubtably a charming read, when taken in conjection with the numerous books about Larkin and his 'pre-occupation' with lesbianism it becomes more sinister and one gets the feeling that its release is not so much about helping the literary world come to terms with the loss of Larkin's genius but rather to make him look a bit of an idiot!
Buy it and read it if you love all things Larkin but if you are looking for the same sort of poignant misery and self pity that Larkin is loved for stick to 'High Windows'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Hard core Larkin fans only., 3 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Hardcover)
This is a good book in and of itself but I would not recommend it to casual Larkin readers (like myself). The story "Trouble At Willow Gables" seems to me something that would appeal to teenage readers.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spanking laureate, 30 July 2002
This review is from: Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Hardcover)
Hardened readers of spanking novels will find much to enjoy and bemoan in Larkin's Trouble at Willow Gables. Have no doubts, the former poet laureate is one of us. All the signs are there. He's good on uniforms, of course. But, more importantly, he can't help gravitating towards the buttocks of his schoolgirls. The heroine of his fantasy, typically, is a slightly plump girl with a big bottom. She enjoys her food. She is beaten with a cane by the Head Mistress. In the book's best scene she gets lost in a wood at night, tears her tight trousers at the seat, and is forced to face the morning with her bare bum hanging out. Lovely. Another girl rides bareback with no knickers. Larkin almost winks at the knowing reader when he shows his boarders having their bowel movements controlled: a hapless teenager is given castor oil by the matron for a tummy upset and then spends a terrible quarter of an hour in the lavatories. Wonderful. He was way ahead of his time here, but remains circumspect and slightly red-faced.
Willow Gables stands out mainly because of Larkin's skill as a writer. Firstly, he understands genre. He was steeped in schoolgirl fiction when he wrote this. He sticks rigidly to the rules. Secondly, he has the novelist's ability to weave character, plot and moments of poetic vision into a story.
The second novella, Michelmas term at St Bride's, isn't as good. It features the same characters when they get to Oxford. The same pre-occupations are present, but the tension created by the claustrophobia of a boarding school is missing in the sprawling world of the university.
His essay on schoolgirl fiction at the end of the book is illuminating. It gives all the basic elements. It should be required reading for all those hacks thinking of writing a schoolgirl spanking novel.
My only regret is that Philip Larkin wasn't writing fifty years later. The thought of what he might have produced in this field if he'd really let himself go is positively mouth-watering.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions (Hardcover)
ARRIVED VERY PROMPTLY - PLEASED WITH PURCHASE.
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Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions
Trouble at Willow Gables and Other Fictions by Philip Larkin (Hardcover - 6 May 2002)
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