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Taking The Devil's Advice

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (31 Dec. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552777668
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552777667
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,432,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"'A brilliantly orchestrated slanging-match'" (Independent)

"'Shot through with wit, and full of effervescence and good humour'" (Financial Times)

"'It is said to take two to make a quarrel but the casus belli for Constance after sixteen years of marriage is her philosopher husband Oliver's serene unawareness of ever having given grounds for one...clever and entertaining...a direly witty achievement'" (Guardian)

"'Anne Fine's black comedy bounces along its sprightly one-liners without flagging'" (Observer)

"'Alive with brazen charm'" (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

A brilliantly orchestrated slanging-match' Independent

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Katharine Kirby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Revisiting my Anne Fine novel collection is a much appreciated balm to my anxieties. Somehow, she often seems to be addressing the very problems that are besetting my nearest and dearest, and I feel I am in wise company. Along with Fay Weldon, whose writing is similar, this sisterly warmth and faintly feminist chatter soothes away the rough edges of everyday life. It also explains a lot and makes you aware that you are not alone with your fears. Everyone really has the same rat in a trap thoughts.

In 'Taking The Devils' Advice' we meet head in the air Oliver Rosen, a renowned academic philosopher, who prefers to be alone with his mental processes, even if it means squatting in a laundry cupboard while attempting to write his life story. Intriguingly, the hot pipes conduct sound and render him an unintentional eaves dropper to conversations carried on in the kitchen below, where his ex wife Constance rants and rails at her new husband Alastair, their ex gardener pre divorce, about Oliver's impossible conduct.

Their two daughters Nancy and and Bonnie are the Greek Chorus, while Alastair aka Ally suffers terribly over denied access to his young son Ned whose vindictive mother, his ex, Stella aka Ratbag torments him with. We hear from Constance and Oliver in turn as she takes to adding her two penny worth to his growing piles of memories, this volume of work is housed in a Victoria Plum pillow case for secrecy, but that trick has been quickly sussed. I loved what she had to add and felt the comments she made were so pertinent and true they should be issued as research for marriage guidance counselors, when trying to put a couple back together. They spoke to me directly and I was grateful for the truths contained within.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who's ever been married will enjoy this book. We hear Oliver's version of events, but also Constance's, and though they don't disagree on any of the facts of their long, failed marriage, the way they look at things is so different that you can see why things went wrong. It's extraordinarily funny. The plot is divinely sorted out - layer on layer but always so easy to follow. And the passage about the feelings of loss after divorce are immensely true and moving. And the portraits of the two children in the family are superb. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This book's clever central conceit is to take two flawed narrators (one more flawed than the other) and use them to give a slyly funny and unflinching (but somehow warm) portrait of a doomed marriage. Deceptively simple, effortlessly stylish, this book is easy to read and very absorbing.
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By A Customer on 26 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
It took me quite a while to get into this book, but it turned out to be quite an interesting read. The philosophy involved amused me, with Olivers theories. The plot of the life of Oliver was slightly irritating as he wasn't a character you could realate to and especially like, however the ending was good, if not a little sharp. The thing I liked most though was the element of philioshy, without that, i would have totally lost interest.
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