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Never the Bride Hardcover – 28 Aug 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (28 Aug. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755332865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755332861
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 24.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,192,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'NTB is a brilliant extravaganza, gripping, ingeniously plotted, and
tragically funny, with unforgettable characters. PM is an original talent with a wonderful and sympathetic ear and eye for the hidden craziness of contemporary life. This book deserves to be widely read, enjoyed and garlanded with praise'
Shena Mackay

(Shena Mackay)

I wasn't at all sure I'd read it as I didn't think it would be my thing. I imagined I'd skim through the first few pages, have my doubts confirmed and put it to one side. But...I was wrong! Instead, I have spent the weekend ignoring my family and absolutely racing through the book. It is wonderful, I love it and really hope there will be sequels starring Brenda, whom I love to bits. Many congratulations on having written such a fab book, it deserves to be a huge success (Jill Mansell)

An absolutely delicious black comedy... quirky, idiosyncratic, wildly funny (Susan Hill)

NTB is a cornucopia of playfully sinister delights. Funny, poignant, clever and hugely original. I loved it (Daren King)

Book Description

Set to attract the same kind of cult following as Jasper Fforde, Malcolm Price and Mark Gatiss.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've read` pretty much everything Paul Magrs has written and loved all of it but I am beginning to think that the Brenda and Effie series could end up being thebooks he is most fondly remembered for - though I hope to get to read much, much more of his work and am prepared to be proven wrong!

Magrs takes the seaside town of Whitby, installs Brenda the most mysterious landlady since Mrs Madrigal and sits back as we are taken on a Gothic romp via magic realism. It's a hoot! I sat and read the book in almost one sitting and then turned to the first page and read it, more slowly again. Each creepy character leaps out from the page and you are left wondering who Brenda is and of course wanting more.

More there is! Personally I'd buy books two and three now so you don't have to wait for the second one to arrive - you'll be kicking yourself if you don't.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bride: "A woman with a fine prospect of happiness behind her" - Ambrose Bierce

Part of what marked Paul Magrs' "Doctor Who" books out from the tie-in herd is the plethora of ideas which seemed to pour out from his head onto the page, with one insanely wonderful concept following the next like a series of bright marbles thudding down a wooden staircase. Glass men and cardboard UNIT captains tumble after mutating gila monsters and time splicing pinking shears; manipulative power-mad poodles bound alongside fantastically-endowed Robins, the Queen of Spring and Tom Baker-shaped sex robots; and a TARDIS in the shape of a double decker bus putters down behind the lot of them, a gin-soaked old harpy at the wheel.

On the other hand, in the non-Who world Magrs started off writing 'traditional' magic realist novels. Interesting and imaginative ones, as well written as you would expect, but in certain ways deliberately limited by their chosen form. It was only in Who that he appeared to really let rip and in doing so created work which you really can't imagine anyone else doing.

With his previous novel, "To the Devil - a Diva" Magrs began to bring more of the style of his Who novels into his mainstream work, but it's only in "Never the Bride" that a wholly successful mix has been achieved.

There are obvious similarities between the two novels and in some ways "To the Devil" can be seen as a rehearsal for "Never the Bride" - specifically in that both novels use the tropes and trappings of horror movies to weave a truly fantastic tale set in contemporary England.

It's an interesting point, actually - for Magrs to write this kind of book, he needs something to play with, something to roll between his fingers, mutate and subvert.
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Format: Paperback
Set in Whitby (famous as the North Yorkshire seaside town where the ship carrying dracula's coffin was washed ashore in Bram Stoker's Dracula) 'Never the bride' has as its main characters two mature ladies: Brenda and her good friend Effie. Effie runs the ramshackle family junk store which has more than its fair share of disturbing items in the attic. To the untrained eye, Brenda is simply a lady of a certain age running a B&B just like any other. But Brenda had led a VERY colourful past, one that she hopes will leave her in peace now.

But the thick fog drifting in from the sea is hiding quite a few unsavoury goings-on in Whitby, and wherever the two women go, trouble is never far behind. As well as the two main characters, there is a cast of oddballs - each one camper and more sinister than the last. I LOVED it!

Paul Magrs has managed to combine elements that the reader is familiar with in a way that they haven't considered before. He's taken the theme of elderly curtain-twitching/sleuthing ladies and put a very funny gothic twist on it - think Miss Marple meets Horror Hammer meets The League of Gentlemen. Having said that this book isn't easy to compare to others. Just one of the things that makes it so fantastic.

I have to say I don't usually read horror fiction, but Brenda and Effie are so well drawn that you simply can't help but get pulled into their adventures. I thought they were wonderful and their antics so entertaining, you'll be rooting for them right from the beginning.

And do you know what the best thing about Brenda and Effis is? This is a series!!! Four novels have been published so far with the fifth coming out in October this year. I am so tempted to just devour the second one right away but I won't. No, I am going to try and show some restraint - for once in my life!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First up: I read this AFTER Something Borrowed because I didn't realise that it was a sequel. I thought it was unusual that the main characteors would make casual reference to incidents that had happened previously, as if the reader should know about them. Of coure I should, but I didn't. Never mind.

This book is imaginative, clever, witty and on occcasion, quite insightful. You can feel the charactor develope as the book progresses, and from my perspective of being one book ahead, I could see it all pulling towards the sequel. An odd but interesting way to go about reading.

There are a few short stories woven into this book in the form of the early adventures of these two women(?) but they are nicely interlaced with the book as a whole so you feel that you are getting several short books in one, but properly meshed.

I definietly recommend this book, but even more so the sequel, Something Borrowed, which to my tastes was even better.
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