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100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confined to bed; this almost made it worthwhile.
What an amazing, moving, autobiography. A strong person who through her relentlesly non-self-pitying honesty gives hope to all of us with our own acknowledged flaws, and allows us to form other perspectives on various ideas about life without thrusting her own views upon us. Thank you, Clarissa. Perhaps you could now turn your hand to writing novels, since it would be...
Published on 11 Sep 2007 by Mrs. C. L. Clarke

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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Or perhaps 3 and a half
I've read a lot of biographies and on the whole this is pretty interesting, with a couple of gems of tales of thrown in. The only reason I can't give it a better rating is that you could almost tell when she was starting a new day writing at her desk. In a couple of sections the writing did not flow quite so fluently or with the same style/tempo as the rest of the book...
Published on 9 Jan 2008 by Random Reader


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100 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confined to bed; this almost made it worthwhile., 11 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Hardcover)
What an amazing, moving, autobiography. A strong person who through her relentlesly non-self-pitying honesty gives hope to all of us with our own acknowledged flaws, and allows us to form other perspectives on various ideas about life without thrusting her own views upon us. Thank you, Clarissa. Perhaps you could now turn your hand to writing novels, since it would be unfair to expect another volume of your autobiography just yet. You have left me wanting to read more of your fabulous thoughts, which could surely be given somewhat more of a free rein in a novel, so please think about turning your talents in that direction.

Sadly, I don't suppose you will ever see this. If anyone else does, I cannot recommend this book more strongly; it is both uplifting and inspiring.

Cora-Lynne
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful insight into a facinating personality, 10 Sep 2007
By 
Mrs. B "Mrs.B" (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Hardcover)
I have always loved Clarissa Dickson Wright's TV programs and books. I followed the Two Fat Ladies and Clarissa and the Countryman avidly. When I caught a preview of this book in the Sunday Mail, I preordered it there and then.

It was from the beginning an very matter of fact tale of a person who has led an incredible life of ups and downs and then when it seemed all was lost, turned it around when so many may have just given up.

From being violently abused by her famous father, becomming a barrister just to spite him, to falling into the abyss of alcoholism and then digging herself out again, this story had me enthralled and amazed from the first page to the last.

I recommend it to anyone who is facinated by the human being's ability to survive against the odds.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alcoholic, Eccentric - how truly English, 16 May 2008
By 
avid ravid (Dorchester, Dorset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Audio CD)
I have the audio book read by Clarissa and thoroughly enjoyed this candid report of the ups and downs of her life. Born into a privileged family but with the downside of an alcoholic and abusive father, Clarissa details how she initially used her intellect to survive by taking to the bar then abused herself by taking to the bottle. A committed Countrywoman, skilled cook and clever raconteur, she details how her cooking skills helped her survive both the loss of her mother, her career, and the death of a dearly loved friend. I am glad you got off the bottle Clarissa - so you will live that much longer to remind us that we must not let those who are anti everything ruin our enjoyment of simple pleasures like real Country Life - oh and cooking with cream!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, funny, sad, moving and story of survival!, 24 Mar 2008
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This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Hardcover)
I loved it! Clarissa is so funny and very clever! Sadly, she had been affected by alcoholism brought on by the loss of her mother, that said, her father was an alcoholic so the addictive gene is there!

She has had an eventful life to say the least and although was struck by alcoholism and the truama of what happened to her in her earlier years she is a born survivor and an example to all! You can recover and pick yourself up and even better with the support of friends - she has lots of them.

This book was laugh out loud at points - you could actually hear her speaking as you read. There were of course very poignant times too which affected her deeply.

She was never afraid of hard work and proved that even although she was a barrister, when she hit an all time low she took a job in a country manor as a cook! She had no qualms about doing so either. A lesson to us all!

A fine read and well worth the money - I loved it and recommend it to anyone!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a troubled bon viveur, 2 July 2009
By 
Mrs. S. Biddulph (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Paperback)
I throughly enjoyed Clarissa's memoirs. She is a formidable woman - intelligent, robust, flawed - and utterly human. I am left with an overbearing feeling of respect for her. She is a survivor, but of her own making. There's not even an ounce of self-pity in this book, her joie de vivre shines through even in the darkest of days. It seems as though she has packed a number of lifetimes into hers. Her story is a rich tapestry spanning a rich middle-class upbringing dominated by a brutal father and a wonderful mother, to life as a barrister trail-blazing for women, to the "Fat Lady" cook we all know and love to a countryside crusader. She has crammed so much in. Her book is considered and well written, her command of language, I'm sure, would have made her a frighteningly successful barrister. But above all her style is honest, bravely laying herself bare. However towards the end of the book I felt her pace slowed and it didn't hold my interest as much. It seemed to lumber through her days as a campaigner for the countryside, whereas in other parts of the book the narrative raced and I simply couldn't put it down. That is the only reason I cannot give it 5 stars.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for a thought provoking insight into addictions, 24 Oct 2008
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Paperback)
Was thoroughly enjoyable and an eye opener. A very well educated and eloquent lady who tells not only her story but gives us all something to think about. Life is not always as it seems and that is something we would all be better off understanding. So many people judge others and if you want to read something inspiring then this is it. Honest and uplifting to think that there is someone who so obviously "bothers" about helping others. all those who havent given 5 stars need to question their intelligence and humanity - such petty comments I thought!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, well worth reading.., 6 Jan 2009
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Paperback)
Absolutely fantastic, I couldnt put this book down once I started reading it. I am amazed by so much life experience and cant beleive one person has been through all this. I cant recommend it highly enough and will pass it onto whoever I can. Clarissa I take my hat off to you and admire you thoroughly.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Or perhaps 3 and a half, 9 Jan 2008
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Hardcover)
I've read a lot of biographies and on the whole this is pretty interesting, with a couple of gems of tales of thrown in. The only reason I can't give it a better rating is that you could almost tell when she was starting a new day writing at her desk. In a couple of sections the writing did not flow quite so fluently or with the same style/tempo as the rest of the book. I would buy it again though - I now have a huge admiration for her ability to just get on with things without feeling sorry for herself. A really genuine and likeable person. I've spoken to Clarissa to set up an interview for a regional fair she was attending and she was one of the most pleasant people I have ever dealt with, not at all 'precious' - very down to earth and easy to work with.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cuddly Clarissa reveals all, 30 Jan 2009
By 
Mrs. Annette Hawkins (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Hardcover)
I bought this for a friend's Christmas present. She says she enjoyed it immensely. We are both fans of the "Two Fat Ladies" series. We recommend the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honesty illuminates, 16 Mar 2009
By 
J. R. Moss (London UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Spilling the Beans (Paperback)
Nothing prepared me for the blinding honesty of this book, its desperate sadness in parts and its understanding of the dark and troubled childhood the author experienced as a result of the erratic violence of her drunken, much respected, respectable father. How does a person recover from that? Slowly and with setbacks, but essentially alone. A truly inspirational book and not what I expected from a cookery boff. I wholeheartedly recommend this honest and illuminating work.
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