The Hive Paperback – 23 May 2013
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An acute, funny and sometimes scary comedy of manners . . . the literary debut of the year (The Times)
Clever and witty . . . through the minutiae of school-gate politics, Hornby skewers human nature with the sharpness of a parliamentary sketch writer . . . Anyone who has ever found themselves picked last for games or not invited for lunch will shudder with recognition . . . subtle and insightful (Sunday Times)
Genuinely charming (Guardian)
Uproariously funny . . . There's jealousy, despair, hope, fury, smugness and disappointment all crammed exhilaratingly together . . . [and] a beautifully constrained love interest (Angela Huth Spectator)
The jokes are funny, the sad bits are sad and the tone strikes just the right mix of satire and affection. The result is a rich slice of literary entertainment (Daily Mail)
With a wicked eye and a giant heart, Gill Hornby weaves a lively and hilarious tale that's pure fun. If you loved BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY . . . THE HIVE is the book for you (Maria Semple, Author of WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE?) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Welcome to St Ambrose Primary School. A world of friendships, fights and feuding. And that's just the mothers...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found it hard to assign a star rating. i thought the basic structure of the book was quite brilliant. I did not agree with reviewers who said the book has no plot. The plot is hung on the idea of a group of parents - Mums only, in fact - raising funds for a new library for their primary school. I loved the idea of splitting the chapters into the drop-off and pick-up times, with the various events tucked in between. This very accurately reflects how rigidly a young mother's day is organized. The events picked were all very realistic in my opinion, very inventive and effective fund-raisers, albeit in a clearly prosperous home counties suburb.
So far, so good. But I'm afraid there were too many negatives. How many times does the word 'arse' appear? Far, far too many! It's not a word I associate with middle-class women, anyway. Such a limited vocabulary becomes very tedious. The conversations and arguments are not well done. I believe it is very rare for people like this to have direct cat-fights. In my experience, nasty things and barbed comments are almost always made behind people's backs, while they remain quite sugary in person to person contact. Georgie's rudeness at times makes her seem like someone with Aspergers, or Tourettes.
I agree with critics who felt the characters were not differentiated enough, and not particularly likeable. I am surprised more people have not mentioned Melissa, who seems to be placed on a pedestal for worship by all, including the reader!Read more ›
This is a story about mums and children at a primary school and how the author compares hierarchy and social standing of these mums to bees in a hive.
For me there were just too many characters introduced too quickly and the author did not give them any depth; I struggled to remember who they were and their place in the novel and this did not improve overtime. The way the author chose to switch from one to the other also added to the confusion so there were parts in the story where I had to go back and re-read pages as I didn't have a clue who I was meant to be reading about.
The pace was slow and dialogue contrived, none of the characters seemed believable and the plot (though difficult to identify this until mid way through the book) seemed to be disjointed in places and veered off the point so much so that I lost interest and it was difficult to make the effort to finish the book.
There were flashes of humour and clearly Gill Hornby has good powers of observation which did come across in the book but the whole story seemed flat, pointless, disappointing and I struggled to remember what was happening each time I picked it up to continue reading. Would it have been better to read in one sitting? Not sure, possibly, but how many people can read a book cover to cover in one sitting? The author has to remember that people can't do this and the story has to be memorable and engaging enough to make a reader want to finish it - this book didn't do this for me.
The many references to bees was also a little tedious - Bea being the self appointed Queen at the start of the novel, Clover and Heather, etc.Read more ›
The writing is clumsy; at one point Rachel visits a beehive for no very good reason other than for the author to get bees in somewhere and the name of the 'Queen' - Bea, is about as subtle as this novel gets. The world is breathlessly insular and middle-class with wealth being ridiculed and yet revered at the same time. 'Bubba' does not refer to her lake as a 'lake' out of modesty, yet she is lampooned for her money and her inability to undertake anything approaching work. On the other hand, Rachel, who is supposed to be a hard-working artist, seems to do little more than attend lunches and frequent cafes. Bubba is ridiculed for her reliance on her Polish au pair, yet we are supposed to admire Georgie for sacking hers, even though the result is a messy, dirty home, and we are meant to be reassured by the notion that although Georgie could afford to employ 'help', she chose not to.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lacked substance and I had to give in about a quarter way through. Life is too precious to persevere beyond thisPublished 1 month ago by Sarah Tarpey
I disliked this intensely. Primarily because every single character in it is so astonishingly vacuous and unlikeable. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Caterina
I hate the school gates! I was a bit disappointed with this book, it didn't really seem to go anywhere with the storyline & what there was, was a bit predictable.Published 5 months ago by MISS JG
The PTA and Infighting at the school gate. Beautifully observed. Readers should also read "All together Now" by the same author.Published 11 months ago by bernard hardy