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The Giles Wareing Haters' Club by [Dowling, Tim]
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The Giles Wareing Haters' Club Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

'A sharp and fun ilbert Pinfold for the modern age.' -- The Times

'An acerbically dry and hilarious tale.' -- InStyle Magazine

'Dowling keeps up a strong narrative thread and never for a moment loses sight of his primary purpose and talent.'
-- Spectator

'Dowling's novel is a fine comedy of domestic triviality, reaching
laugh-out-loud funniness reassuringly often.' -- Metro

'Here's a novel that'll make you laugh out loud.' -- Eve

Book Description

What do you do when your nice, run-of-the-mill midlife crisis is interrupted by something much more terrifying?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 794 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008ERRJSM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #161,528 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For a born and bred American (so I understand) Tim Dowling has a peculiarly English sense of humour. For Americans it's the big things that get you down. For the true Englishman it's the endless multitude of everyday trivial hiccups that is far more depressing. Mainly because there seems to be no end to it.

If you like Dowling's Guardian column then be sure you'll enjoy this. Part of Dowling's success as a journalist is that he doesn't veer far from home and knows his limits - unlike Wareing, Dowling's alter ego in this book, who essays a ponderous heavweight piece on the Barbary War. You'll already have guessed that Wareing is more or less the Dowling of the Guardian. And, like the real thing, Wareing, tired of, but beset by, work and family, decides to pass some time by Googling himself. He finds that, however insignificant he may appear, there is, out there in the universe that is the internet, a group of people who truly hate him with a vengeance.

Part of the joy of the book lies in the irony that Wareing just isn't bad enough to be really hated. His columns are next day's fish and chips and he makes no attempt to hide this fact. He may be freelance but he remains a wage slave, churning out rubbish about the history of the moustache and the virtues of VHS as against Betamax. Only the truly weird can find real offence in any of this. But the internet is the natural habitat of the truly weird. And finding himself the object of derision, Wareing sets out on a quest to seek out and identify his detractors, to the point of adopting an on-line personality and meeting for drinks in the pub.
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Format: Hardcover
Apparently there is a known mental condition (social anxiety disorder) when you think everyone is talking about you behind your back and criticising you. Tim Dowling (the funny one who writes half the Guardian) has come up with a very witty, very modern story about paranoia, boredom, family life, and the dangers of getting too bogged down in what others think, specially when they're a bunch of chatroom names and the whole thing is going on 1) in your mind and 2)on the internet. Recommended for anyone who has ever googled themself because they can't be arsed to do all the things they obviously should be doing but they can't remember what they were. Also for those who want to know what it's like being a freelance journalist.
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Format: Paperback
I'd hesitated before buying this because, even though I enjoy Dowling's column in the Guardian Weekend magazine, I'm not a big fan of whimsical, humourous novels. But while The Giles Wareing Haters' Club is funny, and at times a bit too whimsical for my liking, its depth and heart surprised me. By the end of the book, I was unexpectedly moved by Giles's dilemma and found myself relating to this hapless, at times infuriating character. If you're a fan of Nick Hornsby, you'll enjoy this. In fact, it's the book that Hornsby's How to Be Good should have been.
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Format: Hardcover
In Tim Dowling's brilliant humorous journalism, there has always been a welcome sublayer of middle-aged male angst ("I like to think that I have now passed through my midlife crisis and come out the other side (although this is not strictly accurate because I have discovered that there is no other side)"), so it was a relief, to me, to know that the subject of his debut novel The Giles Wareing Haters' Club is a middle-aged humorous journalist - although this will be enough reason for others to slam the book closed before they've even opened it.

But as suburban, middle-class, comic novels go, this is everything we could hope for, a sort of Nigel Williams that doesn't get boring halfway through. Giles Wareing is a man who has begun to feel that he's not really participating in his life. He writes sycophantic puff-pieces about grotesque celebrities ("his novel covers several other themes, including gangsta rap, the post 9/11 zeitgeist and the redemptive power of fox-hunting"). He mends household appliances ("The microwave beeped and went dark. It was as if a little play about a rotating mug had come to the end of Act I"). He develops gout and is unable to refuse going on talk shows to discuss it ("I had dreaded the notion of becoming Mr Gout, but now that the title had been conferred I felt oddly proud"). He has erotic dreams about women who call at the door to try to get him to switch electricity suppliers. He feels detached from his sons, whom he refers to as "the older one" and "the younger one." And of course, he worries about getting older:

'"I'm forty," I said quietly. This was not even strictly true; I was still thirty-nine, but with less than a month to go I had made a decision to meet inevitability halfway, to attack forty at a run.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Tim Dowling's regular Guardian column and recently devoured his 'How to be a Husband' with relish. I thought I'd give his novel a try and am glad I did though it wasn't quite as much for me as the 'confessional' writing. It was similarly funny, dry, wry, melancholic etc but the central character of Giles is rather, no, very much harder to like than Tim himself - he's self absorbed and spiraling through a mid-life crisis with seeming disregard for all around him! There is much that is clearly drawn from real life (profession, acerbic wife, the 2 boys, the little dog, walks around the dodgy park, embarrassing radio appearances, the taking up of a musical instrument in mid-life) and I think I got distracted somewhat wondering just how much of this rather sad tail of woe was based on Tim's own experience of turning 40 when his kids would have been a similar age to these fictional ones. Definitely worth a read as I found its exploration of the motivations of people in online chat groups interesting and despite my worries about real Tim's alcohol and drugs use, depression etc, it still had me snorting with laughter just like his column.
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