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Hemingway's Chair Paperback – 1 Apr 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Apr 1996
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New edition edition (1 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749319305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749319304
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 2.2 x 17.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,085,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

*"An intricate plot with some grand, Pythonesque moments." The Independent * "A beautifully constructed thoughtful novel." Scotland on Sunday * "Hemingway's Chair is padded with the charm and humanity that typifies Palin's work." Independent on Sunday * "Comic dialogue that leaps off the page." Literary Review * "A beguiling comedy." The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Palin is a comedian, actor, writer, and TV host best known for being one of the members of Monty Python and for his travel documentaries. His books include "Himalaya," "Sahara," "Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventures" and his most recent novel "The Truth". --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is sold as a comedy novel and for the first half of the book I would say that it fits that description well enough. For the second half of the book, it's a novel: the comedy and light relief fall away. I'm not sure all of this is a bad thing since the comedy aspect of the first half didn't dominate and neither did it intrude. I suppose the basic underplot of saving a town's Post Office from International Wheeler Dealerdom was funny in itself!
I liked the way this book and the main characters all developed and the storyline was credible and moved along very well.
My lasting impression of this book won't be the way the post office was taken over by a not very nice chappie; but that Palin himself seems to sit four square as the main character. The knowledge of Hemingway and his works that was liberally spread around this book was real knowledge taken from someone who has clearly read, learned and appreciated everything that Hemingway had to offer. I even have the feeling that Palin owns THAT chair: the chair that is at least partly central to the plot.
Drop the comedy tag and approach this as a good read and you'll enjoy it I'm sure.
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Format: Paperback
Michael Palin continues his Monty Python theme of quiet, stifled, inhibited lower middle class suburban rage for his first novel 'Hemingway's Chair'. Palin, though is so satisfied with life (and why shouldn't he be), that he only manages mild angst in this tale of how high technology and corporatism give no benefit to the communities in whose name 'progress' is championed. The hero, a slightly inadequate 'bicycle clips' type of man (who Palin would lovingly play when it comes to TV) with the Pythonesque name 'Sproale' and is goaded into imitating his hero, Hemingway, by a visiting academic. The result is slightly amusing, slightly serious, slightly inconsequential. and very charming, as befits the author. Some books are tough going, some the words race off the page at you, but this book the words ran away so fast it was all over in a flash. But, hell, it was fun while it lasted.
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Format: Paperback
Michael Palin's career from `Monty Python' through `Ripping Yarns' to globe trotter and TV presenter of `Around the World' and `Pole to Pole' laid no groundwork to prepare the reader for his debut comic novel `Hemingway's Chair'.

Written in 1995 but still relevant today `Hemingway's Chair' tells the story of Martin Sproale, Assistant Post Master of Theston Post Office and what befalls him when on the retirement of the Post Master rather than be promoted is usurped by a Manager sent from head office with plans for privatisation, sale or worse, franchise. At an initial glance not a very inspiring plot but this belays the themes of changing society, the effects on the little man and the general outcome of kicking against the pricks.

As a polite suburbanite no one would credit Martin's obsession with Ernest Hemingway whose famous quote `A man can be destroyed but never defeated' inspires Martin to stand up and be counted and lead the fight back.

Palin's debut novel is as inspired as its hero and all throughout the reading the reader is forever wondering, when can we expect Palin's second novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having devoured all of Michael's travel stories, I was initially concerned that I would be disappointed by his fiction. HOW WRONG WAS I?
This was an incredible story, well written and well told. I am a gigantic fan of Michael Palin (not literally), but thankfully, not in the way that the protagonist hero worships Ernest Hemingway.
This is a love story with a big difference.
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By A Customer on 12 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Typically Palin in his best 'Ripping Yarns' hero role. Martin Sproale is a seething mass of frustration masquerading as a lowly Post Office counter clerk. Full of humour, pathos and a scathing view of how progress affects the life of small town England. Couldn't put it down.
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Format: Paperback
I just couldn't get into this book at all. It seems to have been crafted and polished professionally enough but is strangely devoid of soul. The words simply meandered by me without ever affecting me or engaging my interest in the characters or storyline. I don't normally give in so thought I'd listen to Palin himself reading this book in a radio 4 extra serialisation. Strangely his own reading did nothing for me again and I found myself easily distracted as his words and beautiful annunciation swirled round me like literary muzak.
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Format: Hardcover
I was disappoined with this novel. I have read and seen lots of Michael Palin's efforts,but I really felt that this novel never really went anywhere. The connnection to Ernest Hemingway,although was there remained weak, and did not support the main idea of the novel. Ithought the characterisation was weak, and the did not create any feelings within me,whether love or hate. I found very little humour,which I was expecting,Mrs Harvey-Wardrell seemed like a character out of Fawlty Towers,and hers was the only bit of humourous dialogue.
I think that Michael Palin should stick to the travel writing,he does that much better.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can not remember what this book was about(bought it originally came out the first time). So decided to by it again and reread it. Really happy with the quick and prompt service. Packaged really well.
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