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Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read, but a masterful reworking of Dumas it is not..., 22 Feb. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stars' Tennis Balls (Hardcover)
Having opened the book and settled down for a pleasurely evening read, I was instantly gripped by the flagrant use of the English language. Characterisation of Ned was fantastic, we all knew people like him, and the twisted Ashley, envious Rufus, and of course Gordon. Only upon the introduction of Oliver Delft and his mother (the wonderfully upper-class Phillipa)did recollections of the Count arise. And from here on, despite the wonderful, flowingly twisted, intelligence of the language, it was all downhill.
After this, I couldn't help thinking I was reading a text translated from another language. The same characters, with the same flaws as in Dumas' classic, existing in a time when the internet allows me to do as I do now...
And yet, the romance of Dumas' original was lacking. The original panache gone. Instead, a sterile tale told in sterile times, only the how different, and each villain's vice magnified a hundred-fold to remove any pity we may have had for their counter-parts in the original.
And as for the end? For Ned? The count we were happy for. Ned, we just pity him. My enjoyment of the book was overshadowed by this, maybe exaggerated in my mind, lack of originality on the part of Mr Fry. I wondered if he was having a laugh at the uneducated oiks we obviously are...
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