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4.6 out of 5 stars105
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2007
As always Gervase Phinn does it again. I spent less than a week reading this thoroughly good book. All the familiar characters are back and a few new little gems along the way. Connie, Julie, Mrs Savage, plus an array of wonderful children and the things 'kids say'! Throughout it though there are elements to make you think, and perhaps look at life differently. This book will make you cry with laughter, it did me and when you are in bed anyone listening would have wondered what was happening! I hope this isn't the last book Gervase writes in the 'Dales' series - you have so much more I am sure. Write another one!!
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on 3 November 2007
Gervase Phinn continues to delight in his latest offering The Heart Of The Dales. Still working as a school inspector his tales of the bluntness and honestness of the Yorkshire children will have you once more in stitches, especially when he goes to see a version of the Nativity Play written by the children and performed in Yorkshire dialect, with lines like "Hey up,Joseph". I thoroughly recommend this book.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2008
This is a very welcome return to the Yorkshire Dales and the people - both young and old - who inhabit them. This book is imbued with the love, laughter, hardship, tears and honesty that his previous books have been filled with.

"Mester Phinn" is a very good story-teller and has an easy style about his writing. The love he has for the people and places he writes about is thee for all to see. The characters and characterisations are as colourful and fulsome as in his previous outings.

This book is a wonderful way to spend a pleasant few hours after a hard day at work, or just a good book to become lost in at any time of the day.

The ending has the feeling of the last in the series, although there are one or two 'loose ends' that could do with being tied up in (at least) one more book. I, for one, would be more than happy is another in the series was to come along in the not too distant future.

Finally . . . how about a TV series based on the series. If done properly and with due respect to the books, then it could be a sure-fire winner!!

Very much recommended - to young and old. Guaranteed to have you laughing and crying with the best of them. sometimes at the same time!
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on 2 January 2009
I have loved the previous books but found this one not quite as satisfying. I feel that he may have almost exhausted his own store of stories now - I recognised a couple of rather old jokes from other places. There were still very funny moments though.
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on 11 October 2007
This is a very entertaining book. I Laughed all the way through it.I have read all of the dales series and they are all as good as each other can,t wait for the next one.keep writing Gervase . If you get the chance to see Mr Phinn doing his theatre tour he is just as funny live.
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on 3 August 2007
I laughed the whole way through this wonderful book. As ever Gervase entertains us continually as we welcome old friends back into our lives. It would be a pity if there were not a few more books in this series. Keep up the good work Gervase..they only get better.
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VINE VOICEon 7 July 2009
This is the fifth installment of Gervase Phinn's Dales series, and we find ourselves in familiar territory. Wicked Mrs Savage, caustic Connie, beautiful Christine, and the usual suspects in the Inspectors office.

Curiously, as mentioned in other reviews, the anecdotes appear a little forced. That doesn't mean they aren't funny, but some of the subject matter didn't quite sit right.

It's a testament to the writing style that the time period of the story isn't obvious. There are no mentions of brands of cars, foods, etc, which means that this could have happened any time. That's one of the most enjoyable aspects of the series.

While there are the usual set pieces, there was less continuity than in previous books, but the sheer pleasure from reading about the kids is enough to give this 4 stars.
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on 16 July 2009
I just love Gervaise Phinn's books. They are so down to earth. I suppose having been a teacher for many years myself I can identify with some of the episodes which he describes. I have never visited this part of England but his pen pictures make it all come alive for me. This is a very entertaining book, full of description and humour. If you don't enjoy it then you don't have an appreciation of God or the wonderful world of school days in the Dales!!!
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on 17 January 2011
As ever, Gervase Phinn presents a colourful cast of characters who will live long in the memory - the exceedingly eccentric staff of the County Hall - not to mention the children themselves; constantly striving to find different ways to humiliate the school inspectors - generally succeeding to great effect.
Full of heartwarming whimsy, droll humour and wry moments, this is another enjoyable effort for fans of Phinn.
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on 25 February 2009
Format of this book is similar to its predecessors but if you enjoyed those you will not be disappointed with this one. A good selection of stories,some quite amusing, and a wide range of characters. This book would also make an ideal present.
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