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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On The Tin
I picked up this book quite randomly and now I've read it I can't believe I've never heard of this writer or this book before or that there's hardly any reviews for it. It's in the style a self-help/interior design book, full of over-enthusiastic 'magical mottoes' from seemingly shallow interior designer Alizia Tame. A fun start but it soon moves beyond satire into...
Published on 5 Dec 2010 by Jen

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Designs for a Happy Home by Matthew Reynolds.
Caught my eye and so I bought it for my design conscious daughter. She hasn't said anything. Bit lightweight I suspect.
Published 14 months ago by Ishora


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does What It Says On The Tin, 5 Dec 2010
I picked up this book quite randomly and now I've read it I can't believe I've never heard of this writer or this book before or that there's hardly any reviews for it. It's in the style a self-help/interior design book, full of over-enthusiastic 'magical mottoes' from seemingly shallow interior designer Alizia Tame. A fun start but it soon moves beyond satire into something quite wonderful and touching and by the end those mottoes don't seem quite so throwaway. As someone who's always hoping that 'this book' or 'that wallpaper' will change my life, it's awesome to find a book that actually, kind of DOES do that. I've emerged from it with a slightly altered view of my own world - and now I want to redecorate! For all the right reasons!

Just a shame the paperback version doesn't have such a gorgeous cover as the paint-chart hardcover that attracted me to it - looks a bit chick lit-ish. A shame 'cos there's much more to it than that.

Hope we see lots more from this writer.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful first novel, 1 Jun 2009
By 
Lems (Maida Vale, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
If you only read "Designs for a Happy Home" to marvel at the author's ability to write convincingly in many different voices, that's a good enough reason. I was rather nervous in the first few chapters. The novel is a journal comprising writing by Alizia, the main character, and other contributions that she solicits.The author chose to make the writing style of Alizia slightly ridiculous. The threat was that in sustaining this, he would tip over into easy ridicule. He deftly avoided that trap and the development of Alizia's style as the novel becomes darker is so .... what's the word... ok, perfect.

Alizia is an interior designer and some of the jewels in the novel are the elucidation of some of her fantastic creations. The mind boggles at some of the contraptions that Reynolds comes up with.

Reynolds writes beautiful prose In an argument with her husband that, on the surface is a reasonably conducted affair, for Alizia: "And in me, it was like I was sand, draining out of myself between my toes. I saw my face as if had been painted in a fresco, great black hollow eyes and a black wailing mouth from which no sound came out".

He is a kind novelist and a very funny one. Highly recommended.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Twisty Good Read, 21 Aug 2009
By 
bjgbjk (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This book is a surprisingly good read, and I do mean surprising. Alizia Tamé is more than just an unreliable narrator--she's unpredictable, which is even more interesting. In most comic fiction, you get a feel for the writer's tone pretty early on and either cotton to it or not, depending on your own sense of humor. Reynolds accomplishes something quite different here. Not only does he use a variety of narrative points-of-view, he also plays with the reader's perspective on Alicia. At first, she seems like a two-dimensional cartoon ripe for parody, yet along the way she deepens to become a sometimes-sympathetic, sometimes-maddening focal point.

Designs for a Happy Home walks a fine line between parody and sincerity, without falling wholly into either camp. It's a light read and a page turner, yet one that never follows an expected formula. For me, that's what made spending time with Alizia a real and unique pleasure.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Designs for a Happy Home by Matthew Reynolds., 10 May 2013
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Caught my eye and so I bought it for my design conscious daughter. She hasn't said anything. Bit lightweight I suspect.
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Designs for a Happy Home
Designs for a Happy Home by Matthew Reynolds
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