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on 25 June 2004
I have read all three of Beverley Nichols trilogy of books from his Glatton days. This is the first one and it really brought him the fame and kudos he deserved. It is partly about gardening but don't be put off by this. There is much humour, pathos and solid enjoyment for the general reader. The characterisation is sharp and brilliantly executed in a style that is endearing and enviable. His observations on character and life are spot on. I promise you a very good read. Go on to the next two 'A Thatched Roof' and 'A Village in a Valley' where some of the same adorable and lovingly irritating people appear as well. Such a pity these books have to end.
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on 18 October 1999
Nothing much happens in Beverly Nichols book.No sex,no crimes,just the miracle of growth, of life in a cottage garden.A witty,charming book that makes you look at your own garden with different eyes.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 December 2014
As I now live in a third floor flat with not so much as a window box, and as I was never a gardener (though I did own a small garden in Huntingdonshire for twenty-three years), this famous gardening memoir is not the usual kind of book I read. But I came across a pristine Folio Society copy of it recently for £5.00 in a secondhand bookshop in Brighton, complete with its green slipcase and decorations by Rex Whistler, and I thought it would 'do' as Nichols might say. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It's very much of its period, the 1930s, when you could live cheaply in cottages in the country that would cost a fortune today, when one's neighbours were colourful natives with country accents and earthy wisdom (or foolishness), when one had maids, chars and gardeners, when one could live the life of the gentleman bachelor and invite down a host of uppercrust - or raffish or dubious or retiring - guests up from London for a jolly weekend. It's written lightly, elegantly, poetically, but takes pains not to seem serious; it's written with the kind of wit you find in E F Benson's 'Mapp and Lucia' series; it appears confidential in its style yet draws a polite veil over personal elements; and its written with an inimitable sense of Englishness, a real period piece. Despite it's age, it is not fusty, it's as fresh as the day it was published (although one has to disregard a lot of un-pc stuff about women). Gardeners are sure to love it, but its appeal is not limited to them. It's a good-natured, happy book, relaxed and relaxing; beneath its comedy - and there were passage that made me laugh aloud - is a celebration of beauty, of the wonders of the cultivated garden, of the miracles to be found in blooms, all wrapped up in a delicious, self-deprecating style.
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on 22 August 2015
Of its period, a gentle, entertaining, well-observed and slightly bitchy work. Not for everyone, perhaps, but there are times when I want an unexacting read, and Beverley Nicholls fits the bill very well. His books can be read in chapters, making them perfect for a bedtime read.
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on 25 March 2013
Not as interesting as Merry Hall or Laughter on the Stairs. Down the Garden Path seemed patchy and did not have the same depth to the interesting characters the author encountered. It was however fairly entertaining, but very short.
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on 21 November 2012
Excellent book which i am in the throes of reading --Brilliant so far and agree with the comments that I would love this book
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on 19 November 2013
when my wife was young she read a lot but many books got damaged by water some years ago.
We thought they were lost for ever but NO Amazing Amazon has found them all.
Well nearly
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on 12 November 2013
The book is in very good condition. It is an excellent read in Beverly Nichols inimitable style. Would recommend it. Easy reading.
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on 28 October 2013
My elderly Mum was delighted to be able to read Down the Garden Path again. This edition has very clear print.
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on 11 January 2016
Lovely to read again thanks JNR
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