Customer Reviews


145 Reviews
5 star:
 (61)
4 star:
 (30)
3 star:
 (17)
2 star:
 (13)
1 star:
 (24)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
A delightful book that is vividly descriptive and subtly gripping.
We are shown a single street in a northern town. The narrative records the actions of the people, almost of of them unnamed, and is like a documentary camera - observing but not judging, letting actions and words be their own story.
"In his kitchen, the old man measures out the tea-leaves, drops...
Published on 12 April 2005 by Tom Douglas

versus
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nobody speaks of anything interesting.
This novel divided critics: it won several literary prizes and was slated by many critics. It is founded on an interesting approach, two viewpoints, one first person and one objective narrator. Without being clearly identified, the first person narrotor is described in the third person narrative. And here begins my annoyance with the style of the book. All our...
Published on 23 Nov 2011 by disappointed


‹ Previous | 113 14 15 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars does everyone in this book have to be so profound?, 27 May 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
in one cul de sac is it possible to have so many deep introspective characters? can there be so much heart break and despondancy?
to be honest i haven't even finished this book - i have 40 pages left - and i am struggling to give a damn what happens. had it not been bought in a 3 for the price of 2 deal i would be very annoyed. simply not involving, reads like little more then a prolonged episode of Casualty
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 20 July 2008
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
Read this book thinking it would be an intelligent read. Really did not like it very confusing and nothing becomes clear at anypoint. All a bit wishy washy for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 10 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
very good pleased ( i will not write words that I do not want to write even to make it 17 words)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars remarkable things, 10 Sep 2010
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
Delivery and condition of book fine. Found the poetic style distancing, was unable to get involved with the characters. Am guessing this would appeal to an'auditory ' person and I am a visual one so did not click with it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable, I don't think so!, 23 Feb 2004
By A Customer
The only remarkable thing about this book is the title, which along with its Booker shortlist status tempted me to read it in the first place. Usually I'm a very speedy reader, but this took me ages, it was like wading through mud. Why oh why did none of the characters have a name?... the boy at no 7, the twins down the road ...etc, how can you empathise with any of them when they are nameless? And am I being dense, what are the remarkable things that no one speaks of? their names perhaps! The idea for the story was brilliant, when I read the synopsis I imagined growing close to all the protaganists during the story, and then being devastated when it was revealed which one of them had been involved in the incident. Quite frankly by the end of the book, I couldn't have cared less if they had all dissapeared in a nuclear holocaust, in fact it would have been a merciful release!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star for Mr. Mcgregor, 9 July 2003
This is a very disappointing book indeed, which made me angry with the author for wasting my time it took me to read it, and confused from the disjointed narrative. Firstly, there are none of the usual story elements, such as a plot, or sub plots, or characterisations, or dialogue, or conflict, or a hero, or even a protagonist etc, but instead, it reads as a disconnected list of thoughts or observations. Secondly, you cannot relate to any of the characters. In other words, you cannot understand their motives or reasoning for their actions. You do not understand how they get from A to B. You do not learn anything about the characters’ personalities (strengths, weakness etc.), so you do not know whether the character has grown or developed because of their interactions in the story. Thirdly, as a fictional novel, you expect certain elements to be present. There is none of the traditional three-act structure. From studying Shakespeare, you learn the basic ingredient of any fictional story, especially in novel form, is that you need to see how a character logically progresses down a path in order to achieve a specific goal. Finally, and more importantly, there is too much ‘Telling’ and not enough ‘Showing’.
Accordingly, the biggest let down is that after several pages you learn that an event of some kind happens three years before the time period of the book. As such, you go on reading expecting to find out what happened three years ago, simply because you expect it to be relevant to the story line, or it would not be there in the first place. However, because of the disjointed narrative, when you get to the end of the book you do not know if the event being described is a flash back to the same event three years prior, or a completely new event in the present.
Therefore, for me, there was no closure to the narrative, and I am left wondering why I spent a few days reading it. If the book was supposed to be a look at life, or offer some sort of moralist advice, then there are better ways, and better books that do this. Perhaps the author should have considered poetry to express his look on life, which perhaps would have been a better medium for this story. When a story is written in a novel form, much like this one, then readers expect it to be in a certain structure, otherwise it can lead to confusion as to what is going on. Nevertheless, whatever the point of this book was, it could have been better written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, 27 Nov 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
I usually like novels that deal with the small choices of ordinary lives. So why didn't I like this? Will somebody please tell Mr Mcgregor that a novel is about characters - characters who are fully fleshed and not shadows; characters who grow and change; characters who have NAMES? "What's your name?" is the first thing we say when we encounter another person. We name pets and buildings and hills and rivers and stars. It is our way of making connections with, and to, the world. I could not connect with these nameless ghosts and so didn't care about them. I found the language intensely mannered and self-conscious and the abandonment of speech punctuation irritating. Writers of distinction like John Banville can disregard the conventions but beginners should beware. In inexperienced hands such insouciance smacks of idleness and/or pretension. The poetic has its place in the novel - John Steinbeck and Annie Proulx, for example, have passages of exquisite delicacy in their work but they are integral and unobtrusive, woven into the fabric of the writing like a subtly textured tweed. This is more of a child's collage, stuck all over with twinkly beads. The attempt to create atmosphere through endless lists is amateurish; quite promising in an ambitious schoolboy but annoying in a published writer for whom I've shelled out good cash. Very disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 Star I am afraid Mr. Mcgregor, 7 July 2003
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
This is a very disappointing book indeed, which made me angry with the author for wasting my time it took me to read it, and confused from the disjointed narrative. Firstly, there are none of the usual story elements, such as a plot, or sub plots, or characterisations, or dialogue, or conflict, or a hero, or even a protagonist etc, but instead, it reads as a disconnected list of thoughts or observations. Secondly, you cannot relate to any of the characters. In other words, you cannot understand their motives or reasoning for their actions. You do not understand how they get from A to B. You do not learn anything about the characters' personalities (strengths, weakness etc.), so you do not know whether the character has grown or developed because of their interactions in the story. Thirdly, as a fictional novel, you expect certain elements to be present. There is none of the traditional three-act structure, nor does it follow the guidelines for story telling as outlined by Aristotle over 2000 years ago, to which exist, and have been adhere to by many other writers, simply to prevent the reader or listener from becoming confused. From studying Shakespeare and Aristotle, you learn the basic ingredient of any fictional story, especially in novel form, is that you need to see how a character logically progresses down a path in order to achieve a specific goal. Finally, and more importantly, there is too much 'Telling' and not enough 'Showing'.
Accordingly, the biggest let down is that after several pages you learn that an event of some kind happens three years before the time period of the book. As such, you go on reading expecting to find out what happened three years ago, simply because you expect it to be relevant to the story line, or it would not be there in the first place. However, because of the disjointed narrative, when you get to the end of the book you do not know if the event being described is a flash back to the same event three years prior, or a completely new event in the present.
Therefore, for me, there was no closure to the narrative, and I am left wondering why I spent a few days reading it. If the book was supposed to be a look at life, or offer some sort of moralist advice, then there are better ways, and better books that do this. Perhaps the author should have considered poetry to express his look on life, which perhaps would have been a better medium for this story. When a story is written in a novel form, much like this one, then readers expect it to be in a certain structure, otherwise it can lead to confusion as to what is going on. Nevertheless, whatever the point of this book was, it could have been better written.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A fun review, 6 Oct 2012
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
"Can I get you another? Hang on, just got to pay a visit....do you want any nuts? Okay"
......................................
"There you go...What was I saying? Oh yeah! I was in this pub about a month ago with john. You remember John? He's that tall bloke you met at that party a while ago. He dropped out of Uni,,,,Ah, it doesn't matter. Anyway, we were having a few pints and we got talking about films and books and stuff....And he asks me what was the most boring film I've ever seen. I knew instantly what it was, but I'm bad at remembering titles. I'll never forget the film. It was about a bunch of women chatting about their lives and the most exciting thing that ever happened in it was when one of the women was having her hair done and she went a bit 'funny' - you know, like she was having a fit or something. Turns out she was having a diabetic thing and they had to get her to eat some chocolate...Wish I could remember the title. All I remember is that it was a metal and some flowers...'Iron Daffodils', copper chrysanthemums,...something like that.."
"Steel Magnolias?"
"Yes! That was it!"
"Really, really boring! Anyway, then he asks me about the most boring book I've ever read. At first I told him the worst book ever has to be that one about that bloke who spent his life in a tent in a coal mine..."
"Eh?"
"He was that German Nazi geyser. Whatshisname....? You know"
"What, Hitler?"
"Yeah!"
"What's all this about tents in coal mines, then?"
" I told you. I'm rubbish at remembering titles. It was something like MINE CAMP"
"Is that supposed to be funny?"
"....But then I remembered another book I read. It was years ago. In about 2005, something like that. Well, I didn't actually read it. I got out an audio book from the library and it had a really weird title. I mean really weird! But I still couldn't remember it. This book, right! It was about absolutely blinking nothing!It was so boring! There was a description of a woman making a cup of tea in great detail. I remember it...'She POURED the boiling water into the tea pot...' and the way the reader said POURED with deep significance. I shouted out loud in my car - I was listening to it in the car, see - I shouted SHUT UP! I could have turned it off, I suppose!"
"And you can't remember what it was called?"
"Well, I did in the end. I just repeated the rhythm in my head over and over. It went Da Da Da Da Da Da Da Da....Then a few
words started to come back. I thought it began with 'When' and I also suddenly remembered 'remarkable things' in the title. I put in a few guesses into the amazon search thing and up it popped"
" If Nobody speaks of Remarkable Things"
"Yeah! That was it. The most boring book I've ever read. Pretentious, dull, as dull as 'Brass Bluebells"
"- Steel Magnolias"
"The same!"
"Was it as boring as this bit of daft dialogue?"
"Na! This is Wobblesword in comparison!"
" Shakespeare?"
" Don't give up the day job...."
"I want to be a writer. This book has given me the confidence to keep going. Thanks Mr McGreg..."
"Yeah, yeah, Irony, Satire, bit of fun. I bet there'll still be people who will hate this review "
"But not as much as that book, I'll be bound"
"Cheers and shut up!"
"Bottoms up! Happy reading"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time., 4 Jun 2008
By 
P. Van Der Linden (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things (Paperback)
If the fact that only one person from our book club finished reading the book is an indication of how good it was then that says it all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 113 14 15 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor (Paperback - 5 May 2003)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews