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31 Reviews
5 star:
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4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruislip revisited
I think this is a terrific book - warm and funny. Michele captures the flavour and the frustration of growing up in the 1950s beautifully, and the way one generation never quite manages to understand or connect with the other. Brilliant.
Published on 24 Feb 2012 by David

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nu?
Although I could identify very much with the time and the background, I found this book tedious, not very engaging and far too long. I know many people whose stories would make for much more interesting reading than this.
Published on 1 May 2012 by Naomi8070


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3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 4 Aug 2014
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I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was okay. I did not laugh out loud, as some of my friends had done, it did raise a smile a few times. Somehow it just seemed very ordinary and somewhat hackneyed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the grownups were doing, 9 Mar 2012
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Great book! Being almost the same age as Michele I could relate to the period time and even though I am not JewishWhat the Grown-ups Were Doing I could recognize the kind of beliefs and rules of her upbringing. I always look forward to her Guardian column and looked forward to this book. I was not disappointed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book, 9 Mar 2012
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
This book made me laugh out loud, and I keep buying it because I have to keep giving my copy to friends. The Jewish family background Hanson describes is very different to my own, but the universal story she tells of a girl's journey into the adult world - from the frilly bridesmaid dress and the bewildering experience of the flasher to learning to accept your relatives and the joy of becoming groovy - brought back all the hilarious ghastliness of my own '60s odyssey.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1950's nostalgia, 1 Mar 2013
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
My wife was looking to reading this having grown up in West London in 1950's.
She felt it disappointing as it fell short of an accurate description of the times for most people.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All about Ruislip, 27 May 2012
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
I only purchased this book because it was about the author growing up in Ruislip where I too grew up (although many years after the author).

It was interesting but I didn't feel much warmth for the author or her family and friends which would have made me enjoy the book more if I had.

Not sure I would recommend it to anyone who didn't have a connection to Ruislip, although if you had some other connection to the author (such as growing up in the 50s or being Jewish) you may enjoy the nostalgia.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly evocative, 24 April 2012
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
Michelle's book is so evocative of life growing up in a Jewish family. Although my background was East End rather than suburbia, the charactors she describes were so familiar, particularly the relations! The book is funny, poignant and empathetic. I loved reading and discussing it (and so did the other members of my family).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 20 Oct 2014
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enjoyed this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AOK, 4 Oct 2013
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
A wonderful - and very funny - evocation of a sweet time in recent history. Very highly recommended. Michele is well known to her many extant readers, but in addition all old beatniks, intellectuals and people who have ever been young will love it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Grown ups were doing, 25 May 2013
Excellent book, I could really relate to it as I grew up in the 50's. funny, true to life & I couldn't put it down. Well worth a read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What The Grownups were doing., 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia (Hardcover)
I found this book fabulously funny. Having been brought up in Ruislip near the woods in the same era, I can identify alot with what Michele describes. However I went to the (dreadfull secondary modern school) full of large fierce, common children!!lol. My Mother would have been horrified if we were categorized as such. I also went to the Heaven and hell and Two eyes club in Soho with friends as a rebellious fourteen year old, unknown to my Mother. As she says there was not much to do in Ruislip, so we had to go to Harrow or Uxbridge. I still look back at my childhood in Ruislip as happy and magical playing in the fields and the woods, rollerskating and to the Lido on Sundays where it seemed the whole world congregated.I have bought this book for my sister and recommended it to my friends who were also brought up in Ruislip.
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What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia
What the Grown-Ups Were Doing: An Odyssey Through 1950s Suburbia by Michele Hanson (Hardcover - 2 Feb 2012)
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