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66 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Witty and (often) wise
A very funny read. Especially for anyone who has been around over-anxious/over-competitive middle class parents in the UK. Some great scenes (i.e. teaching young kids to play contract bridge) and dialogue.
The ending lacks subtlety (tho' has a good message). But perhaps O'Farrell deliberately wrote a book that does not demand too heavy attention levels, so that tired...
Published on 11 Sep 2005

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware of over anxious Parenting!
The time when our children are totally dependent on us is actually such a short phase of our lives.
At the time you think they will need you for ever, requiring us to make every decision in their young lives. Beware of overanxious parenting as it hinders your enjoyment, as seen in this satirical novel, which works so well because it is based on home truths...
Published on 15 April 2008 by LindyLouMac


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit disappointing...., 29 Dec 2012
This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Paperback)
I have read John O'Farrell books before and thought they were original and witty - even laughed out loud on many occassions, but not during this read. I found this book a bit dull and tedious. It was rather predictable.

Basically the story revolves around a group of competive snobby parents wishing/wanting at any cost the best for their children(like all parents) which results in:- fraud, bullying, lying to name but a few negative aspects of human nature. In fact I found the main character Alice Chaplin rather distasteful and her trying to make good at the end a cop out...I think it would have been better if she remained as bad if not worse than all the other bullying, competitive parents. John O'Farrells ending was lacking momentum and conviction I found it rather hard to believe.

On a positive note it was easy reading and flowed rather well, although I thought it was a bit too long.
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny in spots but..., 21 Feb 2006
By 
D. C. Carrad "augustabookman" (Augusta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Paperback)
Five stars for wit, prose style and some interesting moments; 0 stars for plot and "message". The central problem of this book is that it confuses politics and aesthetic judgements with morality, and when it does so it becomes quite leaden. Whilst this is satire and the author is thus allowed to exaggerate and paint with a broad brush, Battersea Comprehensive and the estates are just too good to be true -- they don't have to be perfect, as they are portrayed, to make the author's point. He does, however, confuse his prejudices and notions of what is Good for Society with morality ("if you don't agree with me, you are a fascist") which is annoying and tedious. Well worth buying and enjoyable reading, but cum grano salis.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nowhere near as good as his other books, 5 May 2009
This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Paperback)
Read This If Your Life before you read this one - it's full of characters that you dislike straight away!
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5 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Naïve, and a poor advert for Mr. O'Farrell's friends..., 8 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Hardcover)
It is not surprising that John O'Farrell feels the need to apologise to some of his friends at the end of this poorly put-together 21st c. morality play. Several times I did laugh out loud at some of the amusing phrases he uses, or situations he concocts, but the story itself is wafer-thin, appallingly naïve and self-satisfied, and typically metropolitan. If the characters in this represent the author's social circle, as he seems to imply, I'd get some new friends rather than satirising them, and if he thinks this kind of much is going to save the comprehensive school system, he'd be better advised going back into local politics... Avoid like the plauge!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An amusing and quick light read, 9 Sep 2005
This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Hardcover)
Don't try and make too much of this tale of the privileged wealthy worrying about their children's schooling. I think it's just John O'Farrell having lots of fun at the expense of the people he's writing about, who do exist. There are a few thought-provoking points made, but it's such a "rich" subject to mine, isn't it? He mentions his own children's names at the very end - but they can't be their real ones, can they? Freddie and Lily? Sounds too posh to me.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish, 5 Nov 2008
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This review is from: May Contain Nuts (Paperback)
I bought this book on recommendation of a friend. It amused me that her and her daughter spot the may contain nuts brigade.
Well after reading the book, my comment is what a load of rubbish!!!!Poorly written and only a few comical incidents I did not find that funny. I would definately not recommend this to read, just bung it in the bin.
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May Contain Nuts by John O'Farrell
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