Shire Hell Paperback – 7 Jul 2011
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Praise for Notting Hell
'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!--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
`An irreverent romp through the wilds of the English countryside...hilarious. Johnson's humour is wickedly delicious' She
`As witty as it is affectionate, will delight both townies and countrymen' Country Life
`Great fun' Closer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And everyone seems to want to move to the countryside, including Clare. Does she have an ulterior motive after her past arrangement with Ralph? She is not the only Notting Hill neighbour to look at relocating.
Then there's new bestie, Rose, who, let it be said, is a bit of a goer now that her artist husband doesn't take much notice of anything but the log he carries around. Is an eco-warrior the best type of lover (even if he is young and fit)?
It's a tapestry of country life that could rival The Archers (if there were more farming in it). Full of emotional ups and downs, it takes a little while to get going, but really delivers when it does.
Rachel Johnson ploughs much the same furrow as she did in her previous novel, Notting Hell. If you were amused by the recounting of what is chic in Notting Hill, you will be amused by this novel also; but if, like me, you wearied a little of this relentlessly sustained theme by the time you came to the end of the former book (see my review), your heart may sink a little at more of the same here. In Notting Hell there were some hilarious situations which made me laugh; but in this book, though it has some intricate plotting, the comedy of manners is not matched - at least in my opinion - by comic situations. It seemed to me that the author was for long stretches somewhat on autopilot. As in the last book, we have alternating female narratives: one by Mimi and the other by Rose, the only companionable friend and confidant Mimi has been able to make in Honeyborne. The situations are similar also: in Notting Hell a wealthy American outraged the other residents of the garden square by erecting an intrusive `garage'; in Shire Hell a (somewhat) impoverished local landowner plans to erect a huge wind-turbine on a beautiful hill-top, for which he will collect a handsome sum from an electricity company.Read more ›
But what appalling people! The lazy, hypochondriac Pierre, who carries a log around in order not to be asked to do anything by his enrage wife is one thing; the multimillionaire who describes himself as a "Jewray Henry" another. If these are the kind of snobs who set up their own literary festival and who smugly pat themselves on the back for having wind-farms then the guillotine can't come here too soon. I'm sorry the Johnson didn't turn her pen to the contrast between the real poverty in such areas and the kind of idiots who fret over the choice between Boden and Barbour. Less name-checks and more of the genuine venom of Notting Hell would have made it a stronger sequel.
However, this apparent lack of plot (there is one, it's just not signposted at the outset) was saved by rich and clever writing. I couldn't help but enjoy and admire Rachel Johnson's use of vocabulary, descriptions and witty observations; her description of an advert for a 'pack-away TV blanket' was hilarious.
I will definitely be reading more from this author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read five chapters and that was enough.Jilly Cooper et al it definitely wasn't.Too cliched and lacking in plot.Save your money.Published 10 months ago by Anni H
Boring, confusing and utterly forgettable. Real shame, I was looking forward to the book but found myself forced to finish which to my utter shame have to confess, I skipped a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by B. Morris
Such fun to read! The perfect holiday novel. Read all three books back to back and enjoyed them all immensely. A great set of characters.Published 10 months ago by David Brown
Ok book to read on beach or train.if you like reading about the doings of sloanes in the countryside then you will like thisPublished 11 months ago by amanda best
Honestly I felt a bit guilty reading this ridiculous saga in bed in the morning instead of getting up, but it's such a page turner and so wickedly funny it was impossible to put... Read morePublished 12 months ago by jackrock