- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 2 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: AudioGO Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 18 July 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DU57FVE
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Top Customer Reviews
The letter-writers are all old friends (though this impression soon fades) and their complex relationships are revealed over the course of the book. We never see any action but only read letters talking about it. We see affairs, comings-out, even possibly a murder as the detective uncovers evidence that the wife of one corespondent may not have commutes suicide several years earlier but been killed by one of her friends.
I loved The Wimbledon Poisoner and enjoyed this greatly too. I thought I might find it hard to keep track of each character but actually found it fairly easy and loved the gradual unwinding of the marriages, relationships and plots. And I now really want to see the performance of Hamlet some of the characters act in, with codpieces, rutting and dodgy accents. Reporting it by letter worked well to make it all the funnier.
Will continue to look out for Williams' books. Lots of dark fun.
Told in the form of letters between each of the characters (except of course for poor Pamela, now deceased, but subject of much wondering by the others), Nigel Williams made me chuckle and chortle out loud many times.
The correspondence begins when Elizabeth Price hires private detective Roland Gibbons:
Dear Mr Gibbons, I am writing to you because I think my husband may be having sex. I am not sure with whom he is having it but it is certainly not with me...........
This first sentence sets the scene for the whole book, sharp and straight to the point ..... and rude, so rude! There comes a time in life when 'telling it like it is' is the only way forward and each of these characters have arrived at that point at the same time. Hidden lust is suddenly out in the open, suppressed feelings are made clear. Feelings are hurt, revenges are sought and truths are told.
Nigel Williams has entertained me over the past couple of day with this comical tale of what could be called a suburban melt-down. There are some cracking one-liners in there (a couple of which I will be saving to use myself one day!).
Using letters to communicate in this day and age is something of a stretch, to say the least, and the author is forced to go to agonising lengths to justify his chosen narrative technique. Most of the correspondents' 'voices' sounded the same, the plot-lines were ludicrous and guffaws came there none.
Williams' book is told entirely in epistolary form. This way of telling the story has one large problem; in today's world the hand-written letter is almost a thing of the past. To believe that eight people today would write letters - not email - beggars the imagination, but somehow, it seems to work in Williams' book. And, if it works, its because the reader wants it to work. This is a very humorous book, with very off-the-wall characters who are still a bit like people you probably know, and in some cases, love.
Four couples, who used to be friends, have grown apart. They were friends because their children went to school together and when the children grew up and left home, the reason for the parents' friendship ended. In 2000, one of the wives was found dead in her living room, the supposed victim of suicide. Ten or so years later the group of former friends was brought together by a private detective, supposedly hired to look into the philandering by one of the husbands, Gerry Price, QC, and husband of Classics teacher, Elizabeth Price. Who hired the detective is one of the mysteries that doesn't get solved til the book's end.
Marriages change as they grow in years. The four couples in Williams' novel have changed possibly more than most partners.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The mix of comedy and seriousness is the same as in his other books. Almost 5 stars, but it was little too long. Say 4.5 stars. Glad I bought and read it.Published 6 months ago by Ransen Owen
Filthy, witty, and darkly hilarious. It was recommended to me by a friend and he hasn't let me down.Published 12 months ago by neighbour
Hard to empathise with any of these unpleasant and selfish people, nor even to find them credible,
An irritating format too. Read more
Fabulous book by my favourite living comedy writer. Welcome back.Published on 16 July 2014 by Mr. R. A. Bould
Another Nigel Williams hit in my opinion - good fun.
Made me want to read yet more of his novels.
Recommended as good read by Yours Magazine. This is the reason I brought it. This being my first purchase with AmazonPublished on 26 May 2014 by Janet Hammond