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5.0 out of 5 stars The true successor to Jeffrey Bernard
But Lezard's book is even funnier and without the misery and self-pity that sometimes marred Bernard's work. when a middle aged man is thrown out of the family home - some would say not before time - how does he cope as a suddenly single chap now back on the market>
Published 13 months ago by Liz Hodgkinson

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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I find it very difficult to take seriously a man who, while claiming to be too poor to buy mayonnaise, gets his avocados from Waitrose.

Fairly disappointing read, not least because absolutely nothing happens.
Published 1 month ago by HP


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5.0 out of 5 stars The true successor to Jeffrey Bernard, 8 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
But Lezard's book is even funnier and without the misery and self-pity that sometimes marred Bernard's work. when a middle aged man is thrown out of the family home - some would say not before time - how does he cope as a suddenly single chap now back on the market>
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 24 Jun. 2015
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
I find it very difficult to take seriously a man who, while claiming to be too poor to buy mayonnaise, gets his avocados from Waitrose.

Fairly disappointing read, not least because absolutely nothing happens.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 19 Aug. 2013
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Well, I just about read this in one sitting and will buy this for my son - who seems just like Lezard himself and is going through the same sort of stuff.

I like the way in which Lezard uses his knowledge of literature to take his points home - and make more real his experiences and I was very touched to read his acknowledgements and particularly the reference to his EW
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Me also, 6 Sept. 2013
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This bitter experience has taught me to be wary of books which are cobbled-together episodes from the lives of newspaper columnists. An insight into the angst of the early 21st century separated male with children if you like that sort of thing but you may not wish to line the author's pocket.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Withnail and I: the menopause years, 14 July 2013
This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
If you have no sense of humour, you won't enjoy this book. It wrecked, rocked and racked me with laughter. I was prepared to be exasperated and irritated by this account of his post-marital shenanigans - middle-class WASP males feeling sorry for themselves aren't top of many sympathy lists - but it is written so deftly, with such balanced and well-maintained self-awareness and humour, that I wanted to skip work and stay in bed to finish it. It's the sort of book that makes you stop to laboriously type out large chunks of it and text them round. I'm sad to have finished it but have a few pithy new phrases and words in my vocabulary, and a great new present to give. Thanks for sharing, Nick.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huysmans via Jeffery Bernard, 21 Dec. 2013
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Far better than expected, but probably not for the reasons that Nick would anticipate.
Laconic melancholy with a sharp tongue fuelled by booze, ennui and having read too many books... The great novel is still 'brewing' one hopes.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nauseating, 30 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
I hadn't come across the author before, but from reading this, he comes across as a fairly spoilt, self absorbed middle-aged man who hasn't suffered much adversity in life. He thinks he's a bit cool and good looking, reinforced endlessly with self-deprecatory comments that are about as believable as Boris Johnson's denials of Prime Ministerial ambition.

Lezard has written about the 3+ years he rented a shared flat following the breakdown of his marriage. He seems to think there's something inherently remarkable about this situation, and I kept reading, expecting some kind of descent into seedy depravity hinted at in the blurb. Instead, what emerges is a dull sequence of chapters charting Lezard's intertia as various amenities in his flat malfunction: Gasp as this well-connected, well-educated, gainfully employed adult chooses to be overcome by problems like moving a sofa; Try to contain yourself as Lezard alludes to - but declines to divulge - interesting anecdotes concerning reader-friendly characters like like C_______, S_______ or WWUtLM.

The saddest thing about this miserable exercise in reverse glorification is that Lezard clearly thinks that his Zone 1 rental experience is somehow interesting or noteworthy. Maybe you have to know him - maybe it is remarkable; maybe this guy was born to rule the empire or edit The Times. But if you don't know him, he writes about a lifestyle that millions of people would envy, living in a central London flat that's never short of willing co-habitees, being paid to write book reviews and articles about how he hasn't told the landlord that the lightbulb has broken.

After something like 280 pages of wallowing, of his privileged rants at capitalism (no doubt his education was paid for by the meritocracy fairy), the book culminates in him receiving a birthday card, having a "nice drink with my friends" and getting the phone call he was waiting for. As with his anecdotes - I can only imagine how hilarious the Keith Allen one must be (literally - he refuses to elaborate) - the identity and content of the call remains a mystery. If only it had been an editor telling him to rewrite this nauseating Mummy's Boy whine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
Everyone (who is divorced/separated) should buy this!!!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely funny, with a vein of melancholy, 4 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
I bought this book because I read the author's pieces in The Guardian and the New Statesman. This is a compilation of those writings in the latter magazine and they evoke the comedy and the destitution of a downwardly mobile life post-divorce. Pace the rather silly one-star review, it's beautifully written with a keen eye for the comic absurdities of the situations the writer finds himself in. For me, there are two things which make it particularly funny (and it is, extremely so): firstly, a wonderfully mordant wit runs through the whole thing, which is alert to the constant need for to know where the next bottle of wine is coming from, while also being aware of the bigger picture of a contemporary Britain in which poverty - indeed, penury - is a reality for many people. I've been post-divorce myself, living in a friend's house, and what the author writes rings very true. The other thing which appealed, and this might be a specialised taste, is the way the writer captures that sense of incipient mortality that middle-age brings with it, particularly to the male of the species - he writes superbly about the comedy of the male body past its summer prime. Above all, there is humour - the kind best enjoyed sitting in the kitchen with the first glass of wine of the evening. I'd recommend this book very highly indeed.
PS: I live well away from London and have no connection with any of the supposed 'North London literary scene' as predicted in that malicious review.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clever, ironic, deliciously louche and oddly moving, 16 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Bitter Experience Has Taught Me (Paperback)
I'm sure loads of people will find this deeply irritating, but this compilation of New Statesman columns works very well as a book. For me it distills the essence of a certain kind of bloke - in fact I'd recommend this to women as a kind of set text. They might be surprised.
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Bitter Experience Has Taught Me
Bitter Experience Has Taught Me by Nicholas Lezard (Paperback - 4 July 2013)
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