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Notting Hell Paperback – 18 Jan 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st Penguin Edition edition (18 Jan. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141020830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141020839
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Shiveringly brilliant (Jilly Cooper)

An addictively funny read about the lives of the rich and richer **** (Heat)

A wickedly funny comedy of modern manners (OK!)

From the Inside Flap

A spot of extra-marital with a close neighbour is one thing.
We're all grown-ups here. But selling a rare-to-the-market mid-Victorian
house - not merely a house, but our children's ancestral family home - on a
communal garden, the sort of house that a banker would trample over his own
grandmother to spend his City bonus on is another thing entirely! It's...
wrong.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is great fun to read especially if you know anybody with loads of money who is self-obsessed, spends their life shopping and keeping up with other similar over wealthy types. Also the sheer pretentiousness that is life in Notting Hill is brilliantly lampooned.

Johnson is clearly sending herself up as well as her nearby neighbours who must have a sense of humour since no one appears to have taken her to court yet.

It might not be worthy, serious literature but it had me laughing out loud, sometimes in horrified recognition and it's definitely a massive cut above much of the tedious chick lit out there.
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By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this once it got going; I wasn't too sure at first because the tone of the author seemed rather uncertain. Then she got into her stride about chapter 5 and from there on I was hooked.

It's a lovely soapy wash of a book set in those hallowed money-washed precincts where all the mummies (escept Mimi) are yummy and a delicious expensive snack is only a short walk away. I loved the detail, though some of the early clothes references got a bit tedious - we know Clare is rich, we get it, we don't need every designer's name.

It is quite a smile-a-thon as you recognise the types of people and their traits. In some ways it could have been set in any middle-England village. Mimi probably has the most interesting journey as she gets sexually infatuated with her billionaire. Her little escape from the regularity of her life makes it seem all the more precious as she discovers the age-old male proclivity of moving onto the next one.

Rachel Johnson keeps Clare's journey a little more under wraps, so you are not quite sure by what method she eventually achieves her goal. I loved the set pieces like the garden committee meeting and bonfire night.

Glass of Pinot Grigio, sofa, warm fire and this book - you're well away!
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Format: Hardcover
For those who wondered whether life in Notting Hill is really the way Richard Curtis portrayed it in his film, Rachel Johnson's novel is a withering risposte. Don't be deceived by the trappings of glossy magazine designer labels, the occasional Jilly Cooperish puns about sex and the general YOU magazine stuff about Yummy Mummies. This is a portrait of hell, as lived by the super-rich.

It goes without saying that most readers will not know this life, or feel remotely sympathetic towards any of the characters, so it may be best to view them as being as weird as Desperate Housewives or bankers in Manhattan. The story is told through the eyes of two fortyish wives living on "Lonsdale Gardens", whose pistachio-painted mansions all back onto one of the areas famous private gardens. Clare is the childless wife of a modern architect remarkably similar to Johnson's neighbour (as we know from her columns), John Paulson, and Mimi sounds rather like Johnson herself being an "impoverished" mother of three and freelance journalist who can afford her house only because her posh husband Ralph inherited it back when NH was full of poor Afro-Caribbeans. Now it's a life of "haves and have-yachts", in which interior decoration is carried out on an annual basis and if one Mummy gets a swimming pool in her basement, everyone else must get one too.

The plot is pretty simple. Mimi falls for billionaire new neighbour Si Kasparian and enjoys a brief adulterous affair with him until discovering he's also shagging the gorgeous teacher at Ponsonby Prep. Clare is unaware that her husband is trying it on with every woman but her, but falls for Mimi's husband - a man so stuffily Old Etonian that he prefers fly-fishing to conversation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fortunately, I only paid one penny for this tripe as a 'light read'. I'm all for light fiction that is well-written and deftly crafted. This 'novel' is neither. The characters are either one-dimensional or so unappealing one doesn't care what happens to them. Full marks, too, for the casual racism in this insular novel: immigrant domestic help is featured only as a vehicle for making fun of their accents (including 'Antipodeans' for whom the author has a totally tin ear). Uber rich Americans are envied and pilloried in equal measure while one character, a Frenchwoman, seems to be inserted so that the author can write italicised pretend English spoken by a French person ('eez zat yur 'at? type of 'frogbashing'). In between the insularity in that most insular of neighbourhoods, there is no room for the poor, the disabled, the mentally ill or, even, people who are good at conversation or simply pleasant. To make up for the lack of dimension is a litany of name-dropping, branded appliances and clothing and the London obsession with real estate. The author, a columnist of Sunday supplement ephemera married to an old Etonian, features the character, Mimi, a columnist of Sunday supplement ephemera married to an old Etonian. Mimi is smug, unlikeable, self-pitying and avaricious. Clare, a dull garden designer who appears never to do more than a spot of gardening when she feels like it, is simply dull, gossipy and whiney. I read on, hoping for something redemptive or screamingly funny. Not a sausage. Fictional and semi-fictional private worlds can be intriguing, funny, interesting or entertaining. The world of Notting Hell is none of these, simply insular and dull. Nul points.
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