Customer Review

87 of 101 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..., 17 Mar 2011
This review is from: A Tiny Bit Marvellous (Hardcover)
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[Reviewed by Mrs O']

I wanted to really like this book by Dawn French, as I like her as a comedian very much, but I'm afraid this book leaves a lot to be desired - sorry Dawn! The book is about the Battle family who unsurprisingly live up to their title. The characters are all loudly drawn caricatures and leave no room for imagination by the reader. There is a foul-mouthed sulky angry teenage daughter (Dora), an intelligent eccentric gay son (Peter/Oscar) and Mum (Mo), a child-psychologist who obviously has problems with her own children but can solve other parents' children's issues and has a mid-life crisis to boot. So the stage is set in a predictable way that sadly plays out until the end. The book itself I found to be a bit schizophrenic, not knowing who it was really supposed to appeal to. In my opinion it tries a bit too hard to be 'hip' by its use of shocking language from the outset, which did nothing but annoy me right from the very beginning. Additionally the use of modern day teenage 'isms' pitched it at a younger audience, who I feel were probably not the majority audience for a book by Dawn French. Sadly, this book is a 'miss' from me and I suggest you don't read it on the train if you're concerned about people reading over your shoulder, as the level of swearing and foul-mouthed ranting on the pages could cause early morning commuters to have a funny turn!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Mar 2011 14:06:05 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2011 14:06:44 GMT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2011 22:07:04 GMT
Hello Lee, what a nice surprise to hear from you. I will have a shufty at Mile's stuff and post my thoughts on this thread once I've done so.
As for the book - it REALLY must be trash: it's rare that the missus gets so wound up about a novel but she complained long and loud about this one.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Apr 2011 13:43:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 15 Apr 2011 13:45:13 BDT
The Wolf says:
Hello K O'K

Oh Crikey! I bought this for my Mother-In-Law for Christmas!
There's another reason for her to hate me I guess!

Our brief dialogue got me thinking....
....Have a listen to 'Long Live', the 2010 album by Snowblink,
if only to hear the lovely voice of Daniela Gesundheit (Really!)
It is a truly lovely recording.

Best Wishes

The Wolf

Posted on 28 Jul 2011 10:19:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jul 2011 10:23:25 BDT
TDMayne says:
Thanks for tipping me off. I might well have bought this book, as I do find Dawn French very funny & witty, but if she stoops to over-use of foul language when let loose...well, I'd rather not bother!

Posted on 11 Aug 2011 10:27:57 BDT
you mentioned, the level of swearing, and foul-mouthed ranting in the book, that it may ause early morning commuters a fuuny turn,, well thats their fault for reading over your shoulder, or maybe you should read it in your mind, and not out loud !!

Posted on 3 Nov 2011 18:00:31 GMT
F. H. Turner says:
Again I totally agree with this review and cannot believe this book stayed in the top ten bestseller list for so long. I can only assume that it was bought on the premise that as Dawn French is funny her novel would be - I didnt finish it.

Posted on 6 Feb 2012 19:33:56 GMT
Mrs. Sa Benn says:
I couldn't have put it better,as a middle age female Dawn French fan I thought it might be a Tiny Bit Marvellous,sadly it read as if it was written for a teenager with a short attention span and a thoroughly modern vocabulary.I gave it to my teenage daughter

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2013 15:26:53 GMT
I can't help feeling that those who objected to the bad language in this book are a tiny bit wrong. The language is essential to show the character of one member of the family - although by the end of the book you can certainly tell where she gets it from.

To my mind, it was essential to the text - anyone who's heard teenagers speak should find it perfectly recognisable.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2013 15:51:14 GMT
The 'bad' language is but one problem with the book. The others being poor plot, weak characterisation, annoying style..need I go on? Still, judging by the amount of '5 star' reviews there are people out there who clearly loved it..

Each to their own I suppose.

Posted on 5 Feb 2013 11:02:44 GMT
Profound thanks, Mrs O'.

I was a few chapters in and wondering whether to ditch it; your review has convinced me not to continue. I have better things to do with my time than read about the shenanigans of stereotypes - the housework, for instance! (Never thought I'd find myself saying THAT!)
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3.2 out of 5 stars (417 customer reviews)
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Kevin O'Keefe

Location: Yorkshire, England

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