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4.1 out of 5 stars24
4.1 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 January 2007
This has to be the best book ever to be given away on the front of a magazine. I know that completely contradicts with another reviewer's opinion, but that is all they really are, so read between the lines to make up your own mind. However, I cannot help but love this book. It is my comfort reading. And this review is long overdue. It's a book I always come back to; I'll never grow tired of it. It acts as a kind of catalyst, helps me put things in perspective, as many good books do.

I actually bought this book long before it was given away with `Marie Claire'. Unfortunately I leant my copy to my best friend whose stepsister trashed it, so I ended up with the free copy. But it's not what the cover looks like or how much it cost, but what's inside that counts. This book is an absolute delight.

The lexicography & chess themes throughout the book give it an intelligence not often found in the chic-lit genre. In fact I find Abigail Bozanko's approach to this book rather reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith [& not only with the Edinburgh theme] she [like McCall Smith] has this casual way of educating us whilst telling the story. Dropping in philosophy; linguistics; politics; science; music; literature; travel, it's a veritable feast for the mind. Bozanko is obviously a very well-read & interesting character herself.

Every time I read `Lazy Ways to Make a Living' I see something new that I missed the first time. I've just read a joke [well, more of a pun actually] that I must have missed before about `Cuban Physiotherapy' that really made me giggle, & some of the Jane Eyre similarities were lost on me until I read that also.

The characters & story can at times be a little predictable but there are some excellent twists and turns that you wont see coming to keep you interested. Rose can be a little naïve when it comes to certain things but is also well balanced with her intelligence. Overall, she's not a bad protagonist. Many of the other characters have wonderful eccentricities that will keep you thinking & laughing the whole way through.

Delightful. Lovely. Wonderful. I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2003
As a confirmed man, i was very pleasantly surprised to actually enjoy a 'woman's novel' after being coerced / blackmailed into buying it by a (female) work colleague.
I liked the heroine (could have been horribly girlie with a name like 'Rose'), but she wasn't wet & pathetic yet i did still feel sympathetic towards her and (thankfully) she wasn't a modern-day man-mocking superwoman either.
Most surprising it actually came across as a sexy(!) book, not jilly cooper 'sexy' (see blokes do read some women authors) but actually 'real people, real feeling & real passion' sexy.
Very importantly, i found something funny every couple of pages and a decent laugh at least three times a chapter.
The chess metaphor wasn't over my head, i even understood a bit of the Jane Eyre stuff. The Edinburgh references amused me, as i know the city, enough to recognise places i've been (and it is a great restaurant), the GM potatoes are very contemporary, but still comic, the Vegas bit is more realistic than it sounds, the kept woman heroine is an intriguing concept done well and i even learnt the origins of certain words, to show-off with.
And it was romantic, with being sickly bile-inducing sweet. I was actually on the edge of my tube seat for the final 'will-they-won’t-they' 12 pages.
Not really a total page-turner but a fine long weekend / holiday / way to work book.
It gets the fifth star for shamelessly flicking Vs at political correctness, and doing it in a very intelligent way.
I’d recommend it to anybody who can read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2006
I was stuck at Edinburgh Airport one miserable evening with nothing to do but wait for my delayed flight. I bought a magazine purely because this book came free with it and I thought one or the other would keep me entertained. I didn't expect much from it, but I was hugely entertained! The idea of an modern, educated woman choosing to be kept might seem anti-feminist and non-PC but Rose's choice is completely understandable - she is happy, in love and it's only a temporary stopgap while she gets her career back on track. Jamie's attitude is less forgiveable but he's still a very attractive character. He and Rose are each odd in their own way but perfectly suited to each other.
I love Jamie and Rose's enjoyment of fine living - good food, good booze, hot baths and chess - and each other. I also love all the little bits of information - from the Gaelic word for love to the use of fishing line for stringing necklaces - that are scattered throughout the book.
I re-read this book regularly. It's like a warm quilt and a cup of tea by the fire.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2003
I enjoyed "Lazy Ways to Make a Living" tremendously. The fact that the book is set in Edinburgh was the selling point for me as I live there myself. The detail is fantastic, it includes some of my favourite parts of the City.
The plot is well written and extremely funny. The twists and turns throughout kept me guessing right to the end.
I haven't read a book that I couldn't put down in ages!
It was thoroughly entertaining. A must read for anyone who loves chess, Edinburgh and endings that keep you on the edge of your seat!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2003
This book is just pure pleasure. A first novel and a fantastic read. It kept me up till 2 am two nights running. The story is funny, clever, witty and really emotionally involving. You really CARE what happens to the heroine and the hero is the coolest, sexiest hero I've ever read. This is a superb modern love story with really unexpected twists and turns and I hope this new writer is writing another book because I can't wait for her next one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2006
I can't remember the last time I picked up a book and got glued to it. Neither can I remember the last time I loved a book so much that I found myself thinking about it for days afterwards.

I liked this book because it wasn't one of those that are predictable. The main character, Rose, isn't a complete moron, bumbling around and making herself look stupid. She's educated and stylish. I loved the chess theme; an interesting way of keeping the plot moving. This book seems to me to be a "smart" chick-lit book.

I couldn't put it down all the way through, so I recommend it to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2002
This is a story of two people starting off an unequal relationship - she is the kept woman, against her principles, to a ridiculously rich man; and the problems that ensue, and consequent outcomes.
It is a fairly predictable story, but written in an entertaining way. The characterizations are a bit thin at first, but they fill out in the second half , and there are a lot of entertaining situations and people on the way.
At times witty, it also effectively uses a chess metaphor - to link in with the interest in chess that first brought the main characters together.
There's even a bit of politics, in the form of the ethics of genetically modified food, and relationship politics, in the form of: being a kept woman - good idea or not for the health of a relationship? But the issues aren't treated in a heavy way, and the book avoids moralising: the focus stays on the main characters.
Overall, a fun, quick-moving read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2006
The novel is witty, fresh, emotionally involving and a very, very enjoyable read. I think those that nit pick about how believable certain things are miss the point, its fiction! Abigail Bosanko writes with a really intelligent and wry humour.
Lazy Ways to Make a Living deserves praise for the mere fact that it tries to be a little different from the average chick lit book. I can’t say I loved the heroine Rose (Bosanko’s heroines are always a bit vague and naïve) and Jamie’s attitude to her could be a little patronizing. However, unlike most chick lit books you get a sense of real emotion between the characters rather than the romance just being a tired and uninteresting plot device.
I would definitely recommend this. Her next book A Nice Girl Like Me doesn’t have the same easy wit and style of her debut though so if you get both don’t expect quite the same quality.
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on 21 May 2011
Hooked by the first paragraph I knew I was going to love this book and I wasn't disappointed. Apart from being romantic and full of "will they? won't they?" type suspense, it's also pretty educational!

I feel like I've come away a cleverer person, with all kinds of knowledge relating to etymology and strategies for playing chess! These snippets of quirky esoteric knowledge are what make this novel all the more entertaining. The characters are likeable in an oddball way and the writing is sparkling with wit throughout.

Am off to order "A Nice Girl Like Me" in the hope that it is as good as this one.
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on 26 January 2015
Abigail Bosanko doesn't get spoken about enough in my opinion, Lazy Ways to Make a Living is one of those lovely books that touch your lives, the writing is so gorgeous, the characters so vivid. The lead character Rose is who I'd like to be when I grow up, grin. She's brilliantly smart (almost a genius) compiles dictionaries for a living, and has a penchant for learning Russian and chess.

Read this book if you feel like a well-written escape, a touch of fairy tale living. I loved it.
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