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on 28 February 2011
Emma Tennant's Strangers is a boring piece of vanity publishing made worse by Vintage/Random House's editing and book production - the worst I have ever encountered. I gave up the agony of trying to read it. Vacuous writing aside, the text contains sloppy editing, for example in the use or non-use of appropriate punctuation; there is a terrible typesetting problem throughout whereby letters are typed on top of each other leaving the reader to guess the intended word; the photographs are very poorly produced on the same paper as the text, rather than glossy paper - in one photograph I had no idea of the gender of the subject, until I read the caption `Stephen Tennant' (unless of course he really does look like a bloated androgyne). The book opens with the text `Here they are, in the inevitable photograph.' And then goes on to direct the reader to the various characters in the photograph. Pity the publishers didn't include the photograph as was obviously intended by the author. Strangers: A Family Romance
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on 7 May 2003
A wonderful family history which requires clever reading and a desire to use one's imagination to fill in the gaps. A wonderful family who are anything but normal but who wants to read normal. The scandal adds to the beautiful way the author gets inside the minds of relatives she never knew.
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on 31 March 2009
Deftly mixes family history, childhood memories and comedy of manners. The writing is sophisticated, evocative and frequently poetic. Couldn't recommend it more.
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on 7 August 1999
The cover blurb for this book suggests cleverly crafted interesting biographical detail and nothing could be further from the truth. A confused and tedious series of anecdotes which went nowhere, this book was dull, dull, dull.
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