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on 13 March 2007
Tinniswood deserves a more prominent place in literature. I am lucky enough to own the trilogy (there was a fourth in the series but the first three are very much a continuum). I have derived more pleasure out of reading and re-reading these books than any other books (including the "classics" and Booker Prize stuff). They do have a slightly surreal element but they are written with style, brevity, insight and wit. Tinniswood was trained as a journalist and his observant nature and style I guess come from this backround. I have not seen the TV version but would recommend these books to anyone vaguely attracted to the series. The actual book I Didn't Know You Cared is the best of the bunch for me and is much more centred around Uncle Mort. A Touch of Daniel is the weakest, so if you like it get the others as fast as possible. I think that may be in some people's eyes the televising of the book has lessened the true worth of his work. It also seems odd to me that Amazon put Nobbs as co-author. I am not fully sure but I thought that they fell out because Tinniswood accused Nobbs over plagiarism. Though I enjoy Nobb's books, Tinniswood is in a different league. I would also recommend the BBC Radio Play, A Touch of Daniel, if you can get hold of it.
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on 16 January 2002
The Brandon series is Tinniswood at his finest, superb characters with brilliant dialogue, set against a backdrop of Northern Grime and Rugby league culture in the 60's. I have waited so long for these books to be published, my only dissapointment is that the rest of the series are not available yet, and so many people have yet to enjoy 'Uncle Mort', 'Les' and his son 'Carter'....a man of few words.
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on 1 December 2008
I first read this book whilst holidaying, late in the glorious Summer of 69', in Devon. I'd bought three paper-backs from a second-hand book-stall: ''The Itinerant Lodger'' by David Nobbs; ''Lucky Jim'' by Kingsley Amis; and, ''A Touch of Daniel'' - the combination of the three, and especially the latter, served to change my life.

This fortuitous trio of novels somehow awakened me to all manner of possibilities beyond my hitherto somewhat parochial expectations of life. From these three 'seeds' came 'university' and, a previously undreamed of freedom, of both 'mind' and opportunity.

''A touch of Daniel'' was Tiniswood's first novel and, arguably, his finest. Perhaps something of a victim of its own success; his follow-on novels played (admittedly, still brilliant) to the more obvious strengths of pure comedy. However, the darker elements of ''A Touch'' were swiftly, and increasingly, abandoned in favour of a 'winning formula' - not an uncommon problem amongst authors!

By all means read and enjoy all of Tinniswood's superlative 'off-beat' comedies; but, do yourself a very real favour and treat 'A Touch' as an entity in itself.....it admirably captures the 'mind-expanding' 'hopefulness' of the 'sixties' together with a more enduring surrealism, of infinite possibilities.

However you choose to read it, you will be delighted by this bizarre and intelligent novel; so, go read it!
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VINE VOICEon 20 February 2003
The recent death of Peter Tinniswood sent me back to the classic Brandon saga of the 1960s and 1970s. The deadpan delivery and creation of time, place and class via seemingly unconnected details remain as fresh as ever, and the mix of realistic comedy and absurdist flights is a reminder that surrealism doesn't have to wear a bowler hat. The fact that only A Touch of Daniel has been reprinted is as astonishing as the failure to repeat television's I Didn't Know You Cared. Any comedy that could make a catchphrase of 'Ay, well, mm' (not to mention featuring the wonderful Robin Bailey and John Comer) deserves an appearance between the 35th and 36th re-runs of Dad's Army.
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on 23 September 2013
A classic book which is dateless and must appeal to adolescents through to geriatric baby boomers. The one liners are hilarious and character observations endearing and truthful. A must read for anyone who thinks they have a sense of humour.
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on 23 July 2013
I came to this book cold, not having heard of the author or seen the TV series. It started slow but crept up on me - by the end, you feel as though you are part of the family. This is so dry that it's almost impossible to pull out a phrase and read it aloud to your partner (so they will probably appreciate it as well). There's a strong magic realism element, but absolutely grounded in a particular regional England. A lovely, lovely book.
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on 26 November 2004
The late Peter Tinniswood's first novel about the Brandon family is nothing like the BBC sitcom 'I Didn't Know You Cared' which was somewhat loosely based on it (by Tinniswood himself). And I'm not surprised. Carter Brandon's internal conversations with the baby Daniel, and the stange powers the child seems to have, are very surreal and strangely disturbing. The BBC would never have understood it (and I'm not sure I do, either). This part of the story is very much at odds with the rest, a comic kitchen-sink family drama set in a thinly disguised Sheffield. Tinniswood had a wonderful ear for dialogue, and a nice line in descriptive prose, but I'm not sure the Daniel business works, or what it's supposed to mean. Very odd. Aye, well, m'm.
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on 27 September 2014
"Some good aspects but the best description I can give is that they are like butterscotch Angel Delight. On the first mouthful you think you quite like it, then after a few spoonfuls, you realise you actually don’t like it that much at all and find it rather unsubstantial. Ultimately it leaves you feeling a bit sick..."
Full review at: http://stevek1889.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sheffield-novels.html
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on 9 March 2013
The whole Brandon family seem affected in one way or another with the upheaval caused by Stavely coming to live with them. Then Stavely's 'oppo', Corporal Parkinson finds a home with the ever growing Brandon household.Then of course there's Uncle Mort's wedding resulting in young Daniel being born. This is a funny, if sometimes surreal, look at a mythical northern household. Well done author Peter Tinniswood.
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on 12 December 2014
Quite simply the funniest book I have ever read. I read prolifically, including many books which claim to be 'hilarious'. This is the only book I can think of that I have found genuinely hilarious. A laugh on every page. The sequels are brilliant too.
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