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The Best of Times Paperback – 18 Mar 2010

4.0 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 896 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (18 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755320891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755320899
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Astute Vincenzi is at her absolute best (Daily Mail)

A very personal, intimate exploration of goodness and doing the right thing at the right time (Mirror)

An unputdownable novel of hopes and dreams, setbacks and secrets (Woman & Home)

Book Description

THE BEST OF TIMES is the unputdownable new megaseller from No. 1 bestselling Penny Vincenzi

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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book to take on holiday in a couple of weeks but I thought I would open it just to see what it was about and I ended up not going to sleep that night. Penny is back on her best ever form and she presents her characters in a sympathetic light but she also makes them human. Some are likeable and some not so likeable but we end up understanding those that maybe we can't really like. I loved this book and her idea of a motorway crash has been well researched and this central theme allows this novel to unfold. It is going to be one of the summer reads
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I'm a Vincenzi addict, I did feel that her last book wasn't up to the usual standard, This one sees her right back on form and it's totally compulsive. Once again life came to a stop for a complete weekend as I greedily devoured the stories of a group of people whose lives become connected through their involvement in a particularly nasty car smash on the M4.

The characters are believable and have real depth and the plots are innovative and credible. All in all, it's a really good read. When the paperback comes out, it will be the perfect holiday book - shame I won't have that pleasure as I just couldn't wait!
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Format: Hardcover
At one point I began to believe this book would never, ever end. There absolutely no mystery or suspense to it at all, yet it is dragged out seemingly interminably for over 700 pages. At page 600 as an experiment I started reading only the last paragraph of each passage and realized I missed absolutely nothing. At page 650 I admitted to myself I knew exactly how it would end so just skimmed the last few pages - and by gosh I was right. I only wish I had stopped at page 200 and saved myself several hours of my life.

This is such a huge disappointment to me - Penny Vincenzi's first four or five books were absolutely unputdownable - what on earth happened? This book is completely predictable and overlong by AT LEAST 300 pages. I had hoped her last two snoozers were flukes but this sealed the deal for me - sorry to say but I am never buying another one of her books again.
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Format: Hardcover
I have read all Penny's book and this was the most disappointing. I was looking forward to it with relish but found the characters disappointing and annoying. It was very predictable and not enough mystery to it. How annoying the characters Linda and Alex were especially. You can do better than this Penny!
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Format: Hardcover
Having read almost all of Penny Vincenzi's books, I was so looking forward to this new one. But what a massive disappointment. Apart from being far too long at 751 pages, and far too heavy, it really did not hit the spot at all. Quality not quantity was needed here. The storyline was spun out until I longed for it to go somewhere. A great deal of pruning was needed to make this book much more readable. It lacked so much and I felt that the characters had no depth, and some were downright irritating. There was far too much dithering and navel gazing. I ended up not actually caring what happened to any of them. If only Miss Vincenzi could go back to the brilliance of the Lytton Trilogy, etc. with the wonderful storylines, depth of character and superb detail. Books like that you simply could not put down. Not any more. She is now merely scratching the surface and making no impression. It is sad to see a previously excellent author's writing deteriorate like this. Exactly the same happened with Maeve Binchy's books.
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Format: Paperback
Where has the Penny Vincenzi I used to love to read gone?
The last couple of publications have been so far below her best ,that I find it deeply upsetting. I loved the Spoils of Time Series and yearn for her to recreate that magic again.
This time we have a Motorway Crash and all the Characters involved spun out for over 700 pages.This book should have been pruned by about 300 pages.I found myself struggling after 500 pages to finish it.The ending was weak and devoid of any point.
The characters in it were mostly dull, uninspiring and I couldnt care less what happened to most of them and their vaccous lives.The only ones I loved were Russell and Mary .
Penny please I beg you rediscover what made you great again - this bestseller rubbish is so beneath you and an insult to your wonderful Lytton Family stories.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too am a huge fan of Penny Vincenzi and couldn't wait to get stuck into this huge, blockbuster of a novel. I enjoyed it up to about three-quarters of the way through but even though there was still a good 300 pages to go, I lost interest in the plot and characters and had to put the book down.

This latest novel really did need pruning. I suppose it's a personal opinion but I felt that the stories of some of the characters who took centre stage just went on and on and bloody on! I really couldn't give a toss about them eventually because they were far too self-indulged and added nothing to the story.

And I shall admit here and now that I still haven't finished the book! I am an avid reader and huge books don't worry me - providing they have something to say right to the last page.

I put down the book last weekend and since then I've read two other, shorter, novels because I was longing to read them and don't see why I should have trudged all the way to the end of 'The Best of Times' just because I'd bought it. I may get round to finishing it off eventually, but I picked it up again this morning and sighed... there was a another novel I wanted to read much, much more and so, back to the bottom of the reading pile it goes.

All I can say is: Ms Vincenci, get yourself an editor who knows how to edit (there were some dreadful typos within its pages as well) who knows what your fan-base really wants and that's a well written yarn without lousy sex and bad language. We expect more of you and I, for one, am disappointed.
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