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A Perfectly Good Man Paperback – 24 May 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 224 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007465084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007465088
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

‘Guaranteed to give the reader a warm glow’ Independent

‘Warm and humane, this novel is beautifully written’ The Times

‘This being Gale there’s a compelling tale to be told … a convincing, moving account of man’s struggle with faith, marriage and morality’ Sunday Times

‘The unfolding nightmare for all the family of the consequences of adopting are exquisitely and painfully documented… The final chapter left me with a lump in my throat’ Salley Vickers, Guardian

‘At his best, Gale is an effortlessly elastic storyteller, a writer with heart, soul, and a dark and naughty wit, one whose company you relish and trust’ Julie Myerson, Observer

About the Author

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight in 1962. He spent his infancy at Wandsworth Prison, which his father governed, then grew up in Winchester. He now lives on a farm near Land's End. His most recent novels are The Whole Day Through and the Richard & Judy bestseller Notes from an Exhibition.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An absorbing story about being good, told through an ingenious narrative where all the characters are focalisers, and the chapters centre on each character at various ages, so the reader gets a non-linear account, but yet a comprehensive view of events from the ensemble cast.

However, it does get a little complex and the focus on Barnaby Johnson, the main character, a Cornish parish priest in a smallish village, feels a little decentralised. The intriguing topic of assisted suicide which opens the novel is also abandoned in the flurry of narratives and social drama revolving around Barnaby, his dependable wife Dot and their children, Carrie and Jim that take over soon after the first chapter, such that it feels like the novel climaxed a little too early on.

Set in against an idyllic and pastoral backdrop, it is nonetheless to Gale's credit that when he inserts an odious character like Modest Carlsson into the mix, he does not overdo the villainy but instead show how evil can lurk in a safe environment and spread its disease in frighteningly insidious ways. The subtlety of Gale's portrayal of Modest makes him one of the most interestingly vile characters I have come across recently and it gives me a chill every time he makes an appearance in a character's narrative.

Lastly, Gale's prose is strikingly fluid and unpretentious, and he has a very keen eye on the nuances of character traits, which in a novel with a large cast of characters, is supremely important.
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A Cornish setting again from Gale, which I must admit is why I initially chose to read his work. This has captured West Penwith beautifully, the ambiance and characters are perfect. Once again he covers areas of life that may have touched some of our lives and stir memories that lay hidden.
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Another book that I bought at the suggestion of a friend. Patrick Gale is a masterly writer and his books are like jigsaws which give you all the pieces, in the wrong order and allow you to put the story together. They are tight and well-written and a thoroughly good read.

I can do no more than recommend them.
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This was an easy read but beautifully written and carefully structured, rather like a fascinating literary jigsaw. Honest, human, uplifting.
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A wonderful read.
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Loved the story and how it was told through several characters view points. Great for a book club .lots to discuss.
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This is one of the loveliest books I've ever read - I had tears streaming down my cheeks when reading it on the train. So cleverly written, a thoroughly enjoyable and unforgettable read.
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My first time reading Patrick Gale, but certainly not the last! This is a beautifully and cleverly constructed story with many strands,which gradually knit together. At the beginning I couldn't quite understand how the characters were related but all is gradually revealed and makes for a thoroughly satisfying read. Thank you!
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