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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly marvellous
If you yearn for the nostalgia of post World War Two, rural England, coupled with romance, friendship, family & humour, then this book is surely a must.
This is one of the most enjoyable books of pure escapism, I think I have ever read.
The Larkins are a joy. The TV series was brilliant but the books, I feel, are on an even higher plain.
This is the first...
Published on 1 July 2007 by DavyA

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I chose this book having just read Fair stood the wind for France and it couldn't have been more different. Loved getting to know the characters and didn't want it to end. Will be reading the next one in the series.
Published 14 months ago by Mark walters


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly marvellous, 1 July 2007
By 
DavyA (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
If you yearn for the nostalgia of post World War Two, rural England, coupled with romance, friendship, family & humour, then this book is surely a must.
This is one of the most enjoyable books of pure escapism, I think I have ever read.
The Larkins are a joy. The TV series was brilliant but the books, I feel, are on an even higher plain.
This is the first of the Larkin tales,where Mr Charlton from the Inland Revenue pays the Larkins a visit but falls in love (with the way of life, the countryside & of course, Mariette) & never leaves (& to be fair why would he ?)
My top tip - buy every Larkin book you can get your hands on & indeed, the DVD of the TV series (if you can get hold of a copy of the complete "Pop Larkin Chronicles",in effect an omnibus of all the Larkin tales,prepare for late nights & cessation of discussion with family members, as you plough throgh the lot !) - this book,as with them all, is a real treat.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Kindle version is poor value for money., 28 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Darling Buds of May (Kindle Edition)
I paid £5.49 for this kindle book, which is incredibly short at 144 print pages. (Many light fiction books are £1-3 for about 400 pages.)
Thus, this is a very enjoyable book (5 star) at a very difficult price.

I am a female university researcher in the 18-24 age bracket. I bought this book looking for feel-good, slightly funny British home fiction. I found it very satisfying, and actually much funnier than I thought it would be!

I particularly loved the relationships between the Larkin family, and the way that Ma and Pop are so lovingly portrayed as being wonderful, joyful people. Popular media would demonize, mock and humiliate them for being fat, working-class, erratically employed,"tasteless," enamored of their TV, with an unfashionable amount of children. Any single one of these traits in a fictional character is usually an immediate signal that they are the "bad guy," the butt of the joke, the ugly ones, the slobs, the welfare cheats and scum of society, etc, etc.

Instead, the Larkins - and everyone who falls into their orbit, including the reader - are absolutely convinced that they live the happiest lives on earth. They are warm and funny and welcoming and completely unshakable. They admire education, the beauties of nature, the pleasures of sex and the joy of food. They're nourishing.

I loved that. I loved that when Ma tells Pop that their unwed teenage daughter is expecting a baby (occurs in the first few pages) his reaction is happiness and delight at the prospect of another child in the home. I love that Ma is described as being fat and remarkably beautiful, and that I love it's obvious that Pop can't get enough of her. They are the opposite of the typical snapping, snide, awful sitcom family (where an improbably beautiful woman is paired with a boorish slob of a husband and everyone hates each other) and they are infinitely funnier and better for it.

I would recommend it widely and highly.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy, fun and eccentric in post -war British countryside, 16 Nov 2009
I thought it was a great read! I had had this book recommended to me but did not know exactly what to expect. I've read the more serious book "A moment in time" by the same author and sort of expected something similar BUT this was totally different. His love of nature comes through in this book as well. But the family at the centre of this book is nothing ordinary! They are excentric, love life, live to the fullest and take nothing serious. I turned every page in shock but also in delight. I doubt anyone of us will ever come across such a crazy bunch of people but what an experience it would be to do so! If it was possible for such a family to exist, it could ONLY be in England. I am eager to start the second book in the series since I am hooked. I have indeed fallen in love with the Larkins!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So comfortable, 4 Dec 2009
By 
Graham Bedford (West Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
What a great advertisement for quality yet simple indulgence!
I have never enjoyed Guinness and port so much as during and after reading this!
Lovely storylines and so readable (all over in an evening or two). Pity there are only 5 books in this series. Always prefer the books to the 'screen'.
Looking forward to the rest of the Darling Buds books (ordered).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful little read!, 14 Aug 2010
By 
C. Rucroft "The little bookworm" (North Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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I hadn't realised that 'The Darling Buds of May' was a book, but I stumbled across this by accident and, seen as I love the TV programme, thought I'd give it a go.
This is the first in the 'Larkin saga'. We meet some key characters: Pop Larkin; Ma; Charley; Mariette and the story begins with Charley coming to do a tax inspection. He quickly gets thrown off course by Pop and is persuaded to stay the night. Quickly he falls in love with Mariette and gets drawn into all the money-making schemes, including strawberry picking (which was one of the funniest moments!). The story ends with a gymkhana (Mariette is wild about horses) and Charley asks her to marry him.
It lost a star because part of me wonders whether I would have enjoyed it so much if it wasn't for the TV programme. It helped me visualise a lot of the characters. Also, why does Pop go around kissing people on the lips all the time???
All in all, it's a nice, comforting read, which I would highly recommend. I have already ordered the next one ('A Breath of French Air') and am really looking forward to it arriving.

NB: The order of the books is: 'The Darling Buds of May'; 'A Breath of French Air'; 'When the Green Woods Laugh'; 'Oh! To be in England; and 'A Little of What You Fancy'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars H.E.Bates, 5 Jun 2013
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Ma Larkin is what was called a real woman, what H.E.Bates gives you is a piece of how things were a lost world of real people who enjoyed life to the full
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Darling Buds of May, 22 Oct 2011
Watched the TV series for the first time and enjoyed it immensely. So I thought I would buy the books. Have just finished the first one and ordered the second from Amazon. As usual the book is much better than the TV series. The 'Buds takes you back to a time when life in Britain was simple and straightforward, not taxed and regulated into misery as we are nowadays. Oh to be in England...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 8 July 2014
By 
TimM (Stoke-on-Trent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Darling Buds of May (Kindle Edition)
A wonderfully evocative story of a world that probably never existed but you wish still did. And the taste of Ma's cooking fair leaps off the pages
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pure nostalgia, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Darling Buds of May (Kindle Edition)
I have watched the series and wanted to read the books. Certainly not disappointed. A wonderful atmospheric and descriptive read. Can't wait for the next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars super, 28 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Darling Buds of May (Kindle Edition)
Great read very easy story line which flows well super for a holiday read would get through quite a few of this series on one hols.
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