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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading
This is a slim volume collecting essays Nick Hornby wrote from Dave Eggers's magazine the Believer. In these essays, produced monthly, Hornby chronicles his reading, telling us about books he's enjoyed and books he's struggled with, keeping a detailed record of what he's bought and what he's read (not always the same), and reflecting on the way life and reading...
Published on 26 May 2005 by The Fisher Price King

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read - up to a point
I write this review having woken up at 5.30 this morning and analysed the World Cup winners and doing my stats of which country won the most cups (Brazil obviously), what proportion of tournaments resulted in the home nation winning the cup (6 out of 19 of the tournaments)and finally which of the winning team has never won in its own country (it was Brazil who failed to...
Published on 8 July 2010 by Bacchus


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4.0 out of 5 stars A book about reading, 3 Feb 2014
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Being a huge fan of Nick Hornby's novels I was hesitating with this review, especially after having been called a bastard for being an Amazon reviewer right in the beginning of the book. Dear Mr Hornby, I took it personally. Nevertheless, I shall proceed.

The Complete Polysyllabic Spree is first and foremost a great company. It is a needed pause between our endless reading wish list, it gives us time to reconsider why and how we read books and wether we are doing it for all the right reasons. And, of course, it is always interesting to learn what other people think of books you read and loved (or hated), especially if these people happen to be someone you respect.

I have a healthy appetite for books. As your average nerdy child I used to read everything that landed on my parents' book shelf and now that I'm at liberty of buying as many books as I please I feel that I read too much and sometimes "badly" - a term fully explained in the first few months of the spree. I will not spoil the book by discussing it further, but I will give a fair warning for the potential reader - if you think that this book is a collection of reviews you run the risk of reading it "badly". This book is all about the experience of reading, its joys, challenges and purpose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and informative, 10 Aug 2013
By 
Philip Mayo - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
A writer's observations on books he has read, and why, and how we become addicts to our collections. What a relief to those of us who just cannot throw a good book away, who continuously add to our space-absorbing collections against the face of all logic, what a relief it is to find that this character flaw is shared by one of the very authors whose works sit dustily, post-read, on our shelves, and will jealously be guarded by us, even unto death.

Witty and informative. I used it to make quite a few future reading choices, so hopefully our tastes are in synch, which I think they may well be, as his opinions included here on books I have already read are more or less the same as my own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 26 April 2013
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Very accessible and enjoyable way to be introduced to a pile of new books. My bookshelves will be groaning even more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing Read, 7 Feb 2013
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Enjoyed very much, it is basically a collection of articles but provides useful information on books worth reading. In particular I am very grateful for the advice to read Mystic River, I am now a confirmed Denis Lehane fan!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nick Hornby Will Hate This Review, 25 Jun 2012
By 
takingadayoff "takingadayoff" (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man's Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He's Bought and the Books He's Been Meaning to Read (Paperback)
Only because Hornby loathes Amazon reviewers, even the ones who write positive reviews. He doesn't say why, just hates 'em. Too bad. I won't hold it against him.

I love the idea for Polysyllabic Spree: list the books you've bought or borrowed in the past month, separately list the books you've read, then discuss. Nick Hornby writes a column for the San Francisco magazine The Believer (which I had been unaware of until reading Hornby's book) in which he does just that. The book compiles fourteen months worth of columns.

The columns read like a blog, with Hornby going off on tangents often, as you do when you talk about books. He doesn't really review many of the books he's read, because The Believer has strict rules against saying anything bad about a book. Their philosophy is that there are plenty of publications that will tell you about bad books and they want to use their space to let you know only about good books. So if Hornby buys or reads a book he doesn't like, he lists it without title as "unnamed literary novel" or "unnamed work of non-fiction." Even with this rather significant restriction, it's fun to read and compare Hornby's opinions with your own and to get suggestions for more books to read. The tangents are good too, especially those about his brother-in-law, Robert Harris (author of Pompeii, Fatherland, Enigma).

The title is apparently a play on the name of a "happy music" symphonic pop band from Dallas called The Polyphonic Spree.

And good news -- a new collection is coming this September, titled More Baths Less Talking: Notes from the Reading Life of a Celebrated Author Locked in Battle with Football, Family, and Time Itself.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gold Mine, 7 July 2008
By 
Mr. M. O. Penrose "rock_dude86" (LEEDS, ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I just finished reading this book and it is brilliant! Obviously having been written by Nick Hornby it would be but the idea of compiling a selection of book reviews makes a great book in itself, from his reviews it has inspired me to go out and find some of the books he has talked about but I would probably have never heard of...or if I had, i wouldn't have considered myself as the kind of person to read them!

for readers this is a great book if you are in a lull as there isn't a story or a plot to get around, it is just one man talking about the books he has read. fascinating.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book about books, 24 Aug 2007
By 
Pedro Silva Ramos (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book about books and about the whole process of reading and a bit about the process of writing. It made me curious about many books. I didn't necessarily feel like reading them, though Hornby's writing about them is always compelling. I felt more like hanging out at Nick Hornby's pub or having a season ticket close to his. I hope there'll be a volume 2 of his columns for The Believer.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly enjoyable, 27 Jun 2008
By 
SJSmith (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I enjoyed reading this novel about all the books Hornby had read over the course of two years. The book is presented as a series of magazine articles with each article being just the right length if you are in need of short sections, such as if you read whilst travelling. I liked the fact that his bought column was always longer than his read column! Just like me!

Not only do the articles discuss his love of reading but they also discuss why we feel we have to read certain books just because they are deemed winners or classics. It rang true with me on quite a few occasions throughout my read. You find out about what he has been reading and I liked the fact that he compared the novels to others at times, helping you make an informed decision as to whether it's a one you'd like to read. I came away from his book with a few recommendations of my own.

Written for an American audience he talks about which of the books he's read haven't been published there etc and I suppose his humour may have been presented differently for this audience. Nonetheless it is both informative and entertaining. So although Hornby says he doesn't like Amazon reviewers, well actually he's a little stronger, this Amazon reviewer is saying give the book a go. It's a pleasant read.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 22 Dec 2009
By 
Product arrived on time and in good order. As it was a present I cannot comment any further.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nick Hornby, 3 Mar 2009
By 
Nick Hornby's my fav author but this book is painful and slow, not my favourite book of his
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