9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Heavy-proof coctail of profound, sad and hilarious,
This review is from: The Old Devils (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)Ageing "professional Welshman" Alun (nee Alan) Weaver decides to up-sticks from his fashionable North London home and go back to his roots. Taking with him his ex-hottie wife (Rhiannon) and many half-completed written projects and other half-formed ideas.
Despite the passing of time (in which he has gained a CBE and a minor talking-heads TV career - seemingly based on knowing a, here renamed, Dylan Thomas) he is soon back as leader-of-the-gang: The "Old Devils" (Malcolm, Charlie and Peter) who pub-crawl and party to their, undoubted, premature graves.
Starting by reviewing the reviewers (rather than the book) I am tempted to say (snobbishly?) is that you either get this or you don't. Like reading War and Peace not knowing it is going to be very long, heavy and set in Russia, or Robinson Crusoe not knowing it is about solitude, you might easily get off on the wrong foot. If not be thrown entirely.
However, please, don't be put off by bare headlines, topic or even the (much noted) loose meandering plot. Indeed marvel at its Houdini-like ability to break free of its, apparent, chains, handcuffs and heavy padlocks and come to the surface as a winner.
(Here we are in the land of aching limbs, borderline alcoholism, difficult bowl movements, false teeth and how difficult toes are to clip when clinically obese. And, I say with a chuckle, much, much, more and worse!)
If I was to give one negative, it does little for women. Maybe men get the wives they deserve and maybe women do bitch behind each others back in real life, but they come across as an extra jaded lot.
However it doesn't follow the comedy rule of women being the stay-at-homes armed with curlers, a hairnet and a rolling pin. Far from it, they have an eye for a party as much as the men. Even, as you would find by reading it, have very different agendas and priorities to the men folk.
Equally the massive lead character of Weaver does diminish and overshadow the others who, at least, don't like causing trouble for its own sake and are less inclined to be let their mouths run away with them.
One of these books that if you manage to read it once you will end up reading it twice...
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jun 2013 15:01:14 BDT
Dan "Lucky" Smith says:
I bought it when it first came out and didn't really get it.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2013 20:21:45 BDT
Peter H says:
You don't have to get anything. It is social satire. Would mean more if you are older.
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