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3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
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on 31 March 2000
Sorry to be the party pooper, but I was bored stiff by this book. I bought it full of hope and was trapped into reading it whilst on holiday because it was all that I had. It appears to be written by someone who was very good indeed at writing up the funny, sexy puns that are splashed accross the front pages of glossy magazines - so Ms Holden wrote a few thousand of them and strung them all together with a book binding around them.
But, and its a big but, a thousand catty witicisms do not a novel make. There is absolutely no authenticity to the characters let alone anything in the way of character developement. There is precious little plot, a huge scarcity of plot motivation and no meaning whatsoever to any of the stories developments. Story? What story?
Its very clever and funny for the first 3 pages and then I just long for something real. I just luuurved Bridget Jones, This Life, Amanda's Wedding and Ralph's party. But this was a three minute sketch on a comedy show spun out into 250 pages. Boring, annoying and a wast of money.
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on 16 July 2000
I loved Simply Divine, though it reads a bit like a witty Jilly Cooper but this was a bit of a disappointment. There were bits of plot borrowed from Simply Divine eg: a woman followed by a man who just wants her money. Cassandra is another caricature, to mirror Champagne, but she's not funny. Whereas Champagne was described through the eyes of appalled characters, we actually get into Cassandra's head, as though Holden expects us to sympathise with such a dreadful character. It's just not as funny or sharp or successful as the first and there are so many of these Jilly Cooper rip-off novels about that it's easy to take them or leave them and pick out the better ones. I would really recommend trying Jane Green's 'Bookends' which is so brilliant and has so much more depth. Or Marian Keyes 'Last Chance Saloom', which is touching, warm, funny and poignant. Or Ralph's Party by Lisa Jewell. I'm sorry but Bad Heir Day suggests Holden had a Bad Hair Day when she wrote it!
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on 29 February 2000
What an absolutely fantastic read...side splittingly funny. I thoroughly enjoyed Simply Divine and desperatly awaited Ms Holden's second novel and, boy, was it worth the wait. Hilarious from start to finish, this is one book I know I will read again and again and can be assured that I will still laugh out loud on the bus! Please, Please don't make me wait too long for Ms Holden's third book!
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on 3 January 2007
I persevered with this book because I thought it had to get better, but it didn't. My main gripe with it is that it's all so unbelievable. Some of the main characters were so over the top it was ridiculous. I know it's meant to be a comedy, but I didn't really find it that funny. The plot wasn't particularly rivetting either.
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on 20 November 2010
I chose to read this book because I had enjoyed "The Wives of Bath" and to begin with I thought it was less good. However I was soon drawn in. The main character, Anna, is so likeable that it's hard not to emphasise with her and care what happens to her. She's aimiable, insecure but breezily philosophical with a touch of wry humour, and such a real person that reading about her makes the readers feel as if they are with her observing all this madness. There is the occasional straight character thrown in for good measure to prevent the novel from becoming ridiculous, but otherwise they are all completely "over the top" caricatures, to a greater or lesser extent, with the "nanny brigade" providing a bridge between Anna's sanity and the socialites' lunacy.

I would describe this book as being the first I have read of its genre - or perhaps it's a genre all of its own. It's too clever to be merely a funny book. It's not quite "chick lit" either. In fact there is something of the comic novel genre about it. I would call it a "trashy comic novel", if the word "trashy" wasn't so negative. Comic novels have a place in literature. "Trashy" novels do not. Yet reading this book I got the feeling that this author could easily turn her talents to literary works, comic or otherwise, but much prefers to write this kind of enjoyable satirical romp.

There are only two negative things I could say about it. Firstly, the prose is clunky in places and sometimes you have to read sections twice before they make sense. Secondly, she clearly hasn't researched life in Scotland properly as there are a couple of inaccuracies - the horrible Scottish "midgie", for example. As someone who grew up fighting the creatures, I know her description of their attack on her is not how they operate. I can't remember the other inaccuracy, but it jarred.

But these are small points. Read this book and enjoy.
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on 8 August 2007
i love a chick lit, but they have to be done well, i find if you dont care what happens to the character then the book is a bad one. i was bored by the storyline and thought the plot was rubbish and not at all interesting, i tried to finish the book and have got to the point where there is a chapter left and i have read many books inbetween and cant bring myself to finish it because, truth be told i just dont like it. i love a book where i can't put it down and am willing something to happen and i find with this one it leave me emotionless and quite frankly uninterested.
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on 27 October 2000
Delicious observation of life in the upper circles is served, as the author entertainingly, ungraciously, introduces the scenery and characters . The play of words are wonderful, and inspiring. At least throughout the first half of the book. As the mastery of wicked words and bent sentences occupies the main part of the pages' prints, the action seems to be standing waiting in line, like in front of a too-hot-to-trot night-club, not really approaching the entrance.
I found the author's first book "Simply Divine" better. Even though the question pops up here too; will the too-typical-BC-trademark; titles and money surprisingly accidentally follows when the heroine goes for her heart's voice (BC being short for Barbara Cartland), still prevail, the "Simply Divine" had it's several moments of surprise in the action, as well as action.
Action, an ingredient I personally fancy, but then, who am I, coming from a country with the freshest air and cleanest waters, not a trace of good or bad heir pollutants or their reminiscent to be found anywhere, except from some occasional few incidents accompanying the rain from the west in the salmon fishing season, who am I to criticise a person who actually achieved the ultimate goal, of her characters and a great deal of her readers, myself included, - to hitch up a literal agent?
If you enjoyed the concept of the last sentence a hint, I bet you will enjoy the book!
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on 24 October 2000
My Mum told me to read this book to see if I agreed with her judgement that it was the worst book we had ever read. I have to admit, I wholeheartedly agree. It didn't even raise a smile (and I don't think I'm completely lacking in a sense of humour yet). It wasn't funny, it wasn't interesting and Anna was so shallow that it's impossible to care about her. I don't think I'll be reading another by the same author. I only gave this a 1 star rating because there wasn't a o-star option !
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on 3 May 2000
I am one of the legions who loved Simply Divine and was therefore thrilled to find that Bad Heir Day delivers more of the same fare as its predecessor but with altogether more structure, substance and style. Strewn with more puns than punctuation marks, Ms Holden's tale unfolds in the very best tradition of British farce, laden with caricatural mirth and Wodehousean drollery. I hear Simply Divine is being made into a movie - this is the one they should go for. Amazing stuff!
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on 8 February 2000
...I'm starting to wonder whether I've had a sense of humour breakdown. I was looking forward to a really entertaining read; I think I chuckled about once. I didn't identify with the characters at all. I've been a nanny for 13 years to all sorts of people who send their children to private schools. I don't think I've ever met anyone who reminds me of Cassandra....I've given it a star simply for the fact that the built in bookmark was a fantastic idea!
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