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22 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Miss Buncle
This book is a sheer delight. D E Stevenson's style is fluent and witty, and congratulations are due to Persephone for re-publishing this forgotten book.
Miss Buncle publishes a book using a pseudonym, and features her neighbours as characters, changing their names but not their temperaments so they are still, in fact, recognisable. The neighbours resent the way...
Published on 5 Dec 2008 by Miss Mapp

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very bland
I read this book as my local book club choice for November and I was very disappointed. It was originally published in the 1930s and it seemed really dated. I suppose the best I can say is that it possibly gave a sort of picture of what life might have been like in an English village in the 1930s but I doubt it could be a true picture as it seemed too light and without...
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. A. J. Brown


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Miss Buncle, 5 Dec 2008
By 
Miss Mapp (Oxford, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
This book is a sheer delight. D E Stevenson's style is fluent and witty, and congratulations are due to Persephone for re-publishing this forgotten book.
Miss Buncle publishes a book using a pseudonym, and features her neighbours as characters, changing their names but not their temperaments so they are still, in fact, recognisable. The neighbours resent the way they are represented and strive to find out who is the author.
Pacey and funny, this is an excellent read.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Buncle's Book, 10 Jun 2009
By 
H. Hizzard "Clyn Glas Cottages" (Cwmhiraeth, Llandysul, West Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
This is a delightful story of village intrigue, based on thoroughly believable characters in a pre-war setting. I have only recently read this, having first come across it when it was read on "Woman's Hour2 in the 1950's and it has stood the test of time. It is a gentle read, but leads one to want to read its sequel - still, apparently, out of print! I would recommend this for those who seek refreshment from the sometimes harsh reality reading typical of today.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read for cosy evenings., 3 Oct 2009
By 
A. Rawlings "rawlingsandrea" (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
Miss Buncle's book is a wonderful light read; full of humour, wit and charm! The story of a book within in a book sounds confusing but makes absolute sense once you get into it. This heart-warming novel is the literary equivalent of a comforting cup of cocoa on a cosy winters evening- I can't recommend it highly enough! I love all of the Persephone classics that I've read so far and this is no exception. The classy grey covers, neat binding and beautiful inside cover designs gives these books a super high quality feel. Well done to Persephone for bringing us these forgotten classics!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic present, 15 Jan 2010
By 
B. Ferguson "Storyteller" (Edinburgh) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
I have to admit to never having written a review for Amazon before, but have been forced into it by reading this delightful, witty and captivating read. I was given "Miss Buncle's Book" as a birthday present by a friend who said it was the book which she had re-read more than any other. I devoured it in one sitting - unheard of for me. I have given copies to all my discerning friends for Christmas and so far have had rave reviews from all of them. It's far too good a book to keep to yourself.Miss Buncle's Book
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime, 7 May 2009
This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
Sublimly written tale of village life in the 1930's, amusing and gentle story of Miss Buncle who writes of a parallel village to make an income, with surprising and, in once case, terifying consequences!
Read from start to finish in two sittings, one of Persephone's best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, brilliant Miss Buncle, 2 Mar 2011
By 
Ms. Mary H. Smith (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
I have only just discovered the author D E Stevenson, although I do remember reading Anna and her Daughters many, many years ago. I re-read it recently and then bought Miss Buncle's Book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Miss Buncle is struggling to make ends meet in the 1930s as her dividends dwindle so she writes a book, using a pseudonym which is accepted by a publisher and becomes a best seller. However, the book she has written includes all her neighbours and their foibles and personalities and although their names have been changed they are instantly recognisable. A huge furore follows.
The book is beautifully written, very funny with a sometimes sly wit and the author is clearly someone who had tremendous powers of observation. The good news is that Persephone is about to republish the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very bland, 20 Nov 2012
By 
Mrs. A. J. Brown "Anthea" (E Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
I read this book as my local book club choice for November and I was very disappointed. It was originally published in the 1930s and it seemed really dated. I suppose the best I can say is that it possibly gave a sort of picture of what life might have been like in an English village in the 1930s but I doubt it could be a true picture as it seemed too light and without substance. At least there are no swear words or even a hint of sex in the book but some of the happenings in the book just didn't ring true. (e.g. two small children were kidnapped from a party and nobody seemed particularly worried about it). Even in the 1930s surely their parents would have been distraught.
I cannot recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 14 July 2013
By 
K. L. Beeden (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
I am a big fan of Persephone Books. They currently publish 102 titles, books that should have been classics yet have been overlooked. The books themselves are classically beautiful, understated dove grey covers with a cream title box and discreet Persephone logo. However, you open up and see beautiful endpapers, in the case of Miss Buncle's Book a 1934 design by Vanessa Bell. Persephone books also come with a bookmark to match the endpapers, a fabulous idea (and you really won't want to bend back the corners of the pages of a Persephone book, so much needed). Another feature of Persephone books which appeals to me is the layout on the page-rather than cramming as many words as possible onto each one, pages are set out with wide borders which makes them easy to read. The materials used by Persephone are high quality, making each book a delight to behold.

Of course, this would all be irrelevant if the novels themselves were poor quality. However, I'm yet to be disappointed by a Persephone book. Some are more accessible than others, but all the titles I have read have been engaging.

Miss Buncle's Book is extremely readable. The plot is simple- Barbara Buncle has written a novel under the pseudonym John Smith. The characters in her novel are all based on residents of Buncle's village, Silverstream. When the book becomes a success, uproar ensues. The villagers recognise themselves in the book and are determined to uncover the identity of the mysterious John Smith.

Stevenson's writing style is perfect-not too verbose to distance the reader, yet detailed, charming and classical. Much of Miss Buncle's Book focuses on the banal, day-to-day life of an average British village in the 1930s. It is the characters and the interactions between them that will hook you in, and the book hasn't dated despite the fact it was written in 1934. Yes, life is portrayed differently to how it would be in modern society, but it still feels relevant and believable.

Would I recommend Miss Buncle's Book? Absolutely. I only wish I had read it sooner. This really is a book that deserves to be widely read and held in high esteem. As Sarah says in the novel, 'You miss a lot by not being able to read...these people are real, live people-they are quite delicious'. I feel exactly the same about the characters in Miss Buncle's Book. DE Stevenson deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as female authors held in the highest regard. Miss Buncle's Book really is delicious, delightful, divine. Please go and read a copy, and when you enjoy it, tell your friends to read it too.

9.5/10

* this review was first published at [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful escapism, 16 Sep 2011
By 
Mrs. V. Bradley "bookaholic" (Kidderminster, Worcs., England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
This is the first D E Stevenson book I have read and I found it utterly enchanting, very amusing, and all in all a pure delight. Miss Buncle Married is the next D E Stevenson book on my reading list. Miss Buncle is a very plain looking, mousy person who decides to write a novel set in a village with a set of diverse characters. What it turns out to be is a thinly disguised story of her own village and the people she encounters in it. When it is published many of those who read it become in turn angry, and paranoid and determined to find out who the author is and get the book taken out of circulation. If you want a good chuckle then read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully quaint!, 30 July 2010
By 
Suzie (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Miss Buncle's Book (Paperback)
`Quaint' may seem an unusual adjective to describe a book but in this case it feels entirely apt.

Miss Buncle is in her late thirties, a perfectly pleasant but rather dull woman, similar in some ways to how I imagine a younger Miss Marple would have looked. As she casts around for ways to supplement her dwindling dividend income, nothing appeals until Dorcas, her nurse when she was a baby and now her loyal maid, suggests that she write a book. Acknowledging that she has no imagination, Miss Buncle writes about the only subject she knows - the village where she lives and its inhabitants. The consequences are the main thrust of the story, a light-hearted tale that's amusing, perceptive, and beautifully written in an old-fashioned sort of way. Even so, it has its moments of tension and suspense.

This is another Persephone gem, attractively presented (in this edition, at least), with a plain grey exterior opening to reveal a muted but colourful floral design.
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Miss Buncle's Book
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson (Paperback - 23 Oct 2008)
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