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23 Reviews
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very funny
I bought this book because I had already read The Timewaster Letters and Return of the Timewaster Letters, both of which are hilarious. I also had the great good fortune to catch some of the Radio Four serialisation of this book with Paul Whitehouse as Robin Cooper, and it had me in stitches.
The book is a lovely thing. It starts where the Timewaster Letters...
Published on 29 Dec 2007 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Largely creditable fleshing out of the infamous timewaster
Robin Cooper is such a great character! So fastidious and eccentric. As with his letters the humour is gentle (some people call him "sweet") rather than satirical or sarcastic. This diary lets the reader travel into Robin's world. A world of crackpot inventions, bizarre poetry and obsessive inventories (including how many buttons there are on the coffee machine at work)...
Published on 5 May 2008 by SAP


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very, very funny, 29 Dec 2007
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
I bought this book because I had already read The Timewaster Letters and Return of the Timewaster Letters, both of which are hilarious. I also had the great good fortune to catch some of the Radio Four serialisation of this book with Paul Whitehouse as Robin Cooper, and it had me in stitches.
The book is a lovely thing. It starts where the Timewaster Letters finishes, with Robin being sacked from his job for writing letters on company time. It follows his trials and tribulations through the year, attempting to get a new job, exchanging visits with his Swiss German pen friend Gunther, and dealing with his mother's fling with an explorer called Gerald.
I thought it was a little weaker than the letters books, mainly because it was the serious replies in the letters books that made them so sublimely funny and you don't really get any of that counterpoint here. It is however, well worth reading and in places had me absolutely crying with laughter.
The episodes with Smithie the wood pigeon were particularly wonderful and turn into one of the key themes of the book, along with Gunther and his mysterious 'house handles'. I also loved that we got to meet more of the other characters in Robin's surreal world, his wife, Rita, his friend Tony and Millie the tramp to name but a few.
I hope there are more diaries to come, and this was well worth the investment.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, Inventive, Sweet and Warm, 13 Aug 2007
By 
Darren Dutton (Nottinghamshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
In this book we get inside the head of Robin Cooper for one year in his life- a Man with strange ideas and obsessions. A Man who makes lists of the contents of his shed. A Man who counts the greenfly in his bin at work (some dead some alive) and then puts them in an envelope to take home to feed the bird he keeps secretly in his loft.

I found this book special because even though many of the hilarious inventive comic ideas in it are quite eccentric, odd and unusual (I've successfully resisted the word 'quirky' here), it maintained reality and remained truthful to the character throughout. For me this made it even funnier and gave it depth and I found myself growing fonder of Robin as the book progressed.

The book cleverly weaves in and out of many different story threads, each leaving the reader wanting to find out more. As well as being hilarious it is also a warm and very sweet book which I heartily recommend for you to buy. Then buy another copy for each room of the house.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Funny, 2 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
Deserving of six stars out of five if not seven, The Timewaster Diaries is a wonderfully funny, sweet and likable story of failed inventions, broken ankles and very cheap beer. Like the best of the comic diary genre countless jokes are laid out and pay off wonderfully over the twelve months. Would make a great present for anyone with a shed or anyone who enjoys laughing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish himself look with the book, 21 Oct 2008
I loved the The Timewaster Letters and Return of the Timewaster Letters. Read and re-read them many times. Loved them.
When I heard that the next installment was going to be a Diary, I thought that this would be the moment that Robin Cooper "jumped the shark".
How wrong I was. I loved it too. I really had to be strict with myself and ration out the Timewaster Diaries as I didn't want it to end.
I could go on and on about the mystery of the "house handles", Smithy, Aqua Choc and Rita's ankle but I won't as I don't want to spoil for anyone the joy of reading this book.
More please.
J
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Largely creditable fleshing out of the infamous timewaster, 5 May 2008
By 
SAP (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
Robin Cooper is such a great character! So fastidious and eccentric. As with his letters the humour is gentle (some people call him "sweet") rather than satirical or sarcastic. This diary lets the reader travel into Robin's world. A world of crackpot inventions, bizarre poetry and obsessive inventories (including how many buttons there are on the coffee machine at work). I would love to be able to say that Robin Cooper is such a fully formed character that he seems real, but unfortunately this isn't the case. One can see great observational comedy in this diary that has obviously been inspired by real events, but in each case the situation strays over the line of believability. But I do just love the many strands of interest that run through this diary. We have several parallel storylines developing, such as the bewildering English of his Swiss German pen friend Gunter's letters, his car-phobic pupil Miss Marsh, whom he is teaching to drive, his mother's creepy boyfriend Gerald and his absent obviously gay son Michael (a bit like in Keeping Up Appearances).

I can recognise the infamous letter-writing Robin Cooper character in these pages and I can see why Popper decided to flesh out his creation a bit and introduce his fans (I count myself as one of those) to Robin's diary but I do have some reservations. For a start, there's a slight continuity error (I don't know if that's exactly the phrase I'm looking for) from the letters to the diaries insofar as some of his letters are just pure wind-ups whereas the character in the diaries is always genuine if misguided, naive and child-like. I cite as just one example his letter (from Return of the Timewaster Letters) to the Linguistic Association of Great Britain which is just a make-believe language. Now, I can't think of any reason the Robin Cooper of Diaries would have written that. It's completely out of character. Secondly, it doesn't begin very well. It's only by about March that the stories have developed enough for things to start getting intriguing. However I do enjoy Popper's seemingly limitless inventiveness and his wordplay. And why isn't it called The Timewaster Diary -- singular -- anyway?

I think this deserves 3.57 stars. (But I'm not willing to round up to 4.00.)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still not stopped chuckling ...., 22 July 2007
By 
C. Dodson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
An absolute classic. Very very funny. Gunter and his house handles had me in stitches.

Read this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally hilarious, 24 Aug 2007
This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
This is a really hilarious book, there's at least three good jokes on every page, and always enough funny stuff to make you want to read on. Robin Cooper is a great character - his expression of outrage, 'The cheek!' - and his bizarre optimism - 'I wish myself luck!' - are not only funny but oddly likable. The obvious comparison is with Diary of a Nobody and it's hard to imagine that if you liked that book, you wouldn't really enjoy this one. It's warm, sometimes delightfully off-beat, and all in all a great read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing Compared to the Letters, 13 Jan 2014
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I'm a huge fan of Robin Coopers letters, as I'm sure everyone is, but whereas you'd find yourself laughing a few times every page with those I'm not sure if I laughed once at this book. Tedious. Avoid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars timewasters diaries, 12 Sep 2010
By 
Mrs. S. J. Sutcliffe (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
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A present bought for a friend, though i have read robin cooper books before and thounght them very funny.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Adrian Mole and London Call Girl, eat your hearts out, 31 Mar 2010
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This review is from: The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper (Hardcover)
The best diary since The Diary of Adrian Mole was the Diary of a London Call Girl. Until Robin Cooper came along. In much the same vein as these first two (although funnier, less sexy, and less spotty) Robin gives us an insight into his humdrum dum-ti-dum and hilarious life (and wife).

Firstly, read 'The Timewaster Letters'. If it made you laugh....

...then read 'The Return of the Timewaster Letters'. If this still made you laugh....

...then make sure are you sitting comfortably, and read 'The Timewaster Diaries'.

Now laugh again. A lot. Unless you have no sense of humour.

Read them in that order. I've spent hours thinking about how to give this advice, and this is the best I can do. In fact, I can do no better; not with my wife's ankle how it is.
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The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper
The Timewaster Diaries: A Year in the Life of Robin Cooper by Robin Cooper (Hardcover - 5 July 2007)
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