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on 13 October 2001
Paul McDonald is a genius, its official. This is a superbly comedic novel, which combines intelligent humour with just the right balance of poignancy. The hero Dave McVane (A reluctant intellectual) falls head over heels in love with Jools (the beautiful girl from an ugly estate), and chaos ensues.The characters are wholly believable (especially if one comes from Walsall)and throughought the book, one is compelled to laugh out loud.
The story captures the essence of the late 70's, and whilst reading it one finds oneself almost reliving the past. If you are not old enough to remember that particular period in time,fear not....adolescence never really changes.
I advise anyone to buy this book. You will not be disappointed (Even if you have never heard of Walsall). Anyone who comes from the town, should be more proud of this novel than the "World famous" art gallery!
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on 8 July 2003
This book manages to tell a bizarre story, with bizarre characters, whilst maintaining a level of realism. This alone is a great accomplishment by Paul McDonald. He also manages to tell an interesting and altogether hilarious story, which is irresistable in its charms and excentricities. A must read from one of the most promising new authors in the country.
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on 27 February 2002
I read Surviving Sting on a train journey through the picturesque Tuscan countryside on my way to Siena. Surrounded by vineyards, beautiful views and the sweet tones of Italian chitter-chatter, I felt like I was in fact on the 51 bus to Walsall surrounded by Yam-Yams. A very vivid and extremely funny book.
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on 6 October 2001
Paul McDonald captures the essence of late adolescence unerringly. I'm nearly thirty years his senior but easily identify with his side-splitting narrative of the triumphs and anguish of lads in their late teens - some things are clearly independent of period. Best read in private: your responses get some funny looks if you're reading it on the train.
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on 18 December 2010
I don't normally write reviews but I've got to tell everyone about this guy. He is the funniest writer I've ever read. Forget Ben Elton, Paul McDonald is a genius. I bought it after reading Do I Love You?, his fantastic novel about Northern Soul. Surviving Sting is his first book, and it's a bit less polished than the others, but McDonald's trademark skills are there: the ability to create suspense (believe me you won't be able to put it down), an incredible sense of humour (he is hilarious), and an amazing eye for plot - everything comes together in an ending that is both surprising and perfectly apt. I'd love to see a film of this.
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on 7 October 2001
I bought this book because a) it was written by my very funny university lecturer and b) it was set in Walsall (where I live!). I wasn't disappointed. Paul McDonald's characters are side-splittingly funny and there were parts where I laughed out loud and realised that I knew real people who had the 'qualities' of Paul McDonald's characters. They were ultimately believable, as well as comedic, a parody of the people (and rough estates) of Walsall. I would recommend this book if you have a sense of humour. I guarantee at least 50 belly laughs.
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on 9 November 2014
Wonderful read, especially if you're from the West Midlands - very funny!
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on 15 November 2010
Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the other reviews. I came to Paul McD from his 3rd novel 'Do I Love You', and was so impressed that I searched out his earlier work, of which this, 'Surviving Sting', is his first. What this book needs is a good Editor, or someone to tell Paul McD to add some normality. Almost every character is given a trait of eccentricity so pronounced, that any chance of placing them in an everyday scenario is doomed to failiure. I had one or two laughs early on, but it palled as more and more disbelief is added. The novel simply tries too hard to be funny, and ends up failing badly. Read the 3rd novel first and you'll see what I mean. Having said that, this guy genuinely has a talent, and is worth watching/reading.
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