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If you like any of Indias fiction this is superb- try to read in order with the others.
I love everything this woman writes, she writes in a 'spit your drink out' way that sometimes will have you squealing with laughter which will probably concern your dog.
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on 6 August 2017
Great - thanks very much! Promptly delivered, specifications just as advertised and packed very properly.
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on 11 December 2012
I am a big fan of India Knight's journalism, she usually comes across as an intelligent, warm hearted soul. Not so in this novel; a horrible character assassination of middle aged women where the only crime for a woman is to be over the age of 45. It was such a depressing and soul destroying read, that I could not finish the book for fear of slashing my wrists. It was cruel, vindictive, downright nasty in places. India Knight has her own issues with ageing, she doesn't rise above the parapet to offer us any new insight, she simply falls in line with what most sexist males think about older women. So what if the main character has a natural sex drive? In this book she is portrayed as desperate, sad and unattractive simply because of her age. Age is something we can do nothing about. So why not offer an enlightened approach, instead of this miserable self deprecating downward spiralling attitude to life?

Thanks to the media and films, older women already punish themselves enough for being middle aged, and feel unattractive if men are not falling at their feet. Middle aged men, on the other hand, are encouraged to hunt for women in their twenties and still think they're drop dead gorgeous. Instead of leading the way for a radical revolution, to empower women's thinking, or to contribute anything original to the subject, Knight lays into herself and other middle aged women, in a mocking, cruel manner, which serves only to further humiliate women and damage the feminist cause.

Sad, because I expected more.
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on 8 January 2013
I was really looking forward to this book - I like reading India Knight's column, enjoy her on twitter and have read some of her other books - but this book left me really baffled. Given the title and a couple of media reviews I assumed it was a light hearted take on reaching middle age and the ongoing quest for some to hold on to youth and it did indeed start off like that - funny and sharp - but then seemed to completely veer off course and become something else entirely. It may well be that I just didn't 'get it' and missed the point through my own fault. I have even wondered whether my book didn't download properly and there were a few chapters missing but Mutton seemed to shift focus from Clara and mid-life to another character's fantasy novels. The frequent references to language or characters from those novels was a tad irritating for me and dominated the end of the book so much that I was left wondering whether the author herself became bored with the initial subject.
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on 8 January 2016
Love everything by India Knight. This is a great funny read.
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on 8 January 2013
India Knight writes very good non-fiction and comes across as a funny and feisty woman - I've been known to buy the Sunday Times just to read her column. But as a writer of fiction, she falls short. This story comes across as a very thinly veiled autobiography of Ms Knight with some minor fictitious points to the weak plot. The main character Clara is a similarly slightly overweight similarly middle-aged woman with a similar family set-up (several previous husbands/partners, all of whom she continues to get along with very well, and children of the same gender distribution and roughly the same age as Ms Knight's own children) who, like Ms Knight, enjoys cheese to the exclusion of chocolate, and who expresses very similar political and social views to those we've heard Ms Knight express in her column over the last many years. And therein lies the problem - we've heard this all before. So there is very little novelty and zero character development. Even her friend Gaby shows herself to be the person we knew she was going to turn out to be from the moment she appears on the scene (gosh - she's really thin and has had lots of plastic surgery in part because she's miserable after her husband left her for a younger woman, and - gosh, even more surprisingly - she's not childless by choice but in fact desperate to have a baby....). The cliches continue. Even the word choices are repetitive. Yes, India, we know 'nonplussed' means taken aback; in this short book, this word appears more than perhaps was strictly necessary...
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on 8 January 2013
What a disapointment, being of a certain age myself I was expecting a tongue in cheek belly laugh of a read. I would not say that it was tragic however it felt disjointed like several author's had contributed to it.
Not for me.
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on 9 January 2013
This book was dreadful - I had read mixed reviews but wanted to give India Knight and try and wished I hadn't. The main character was clearly Knight herself and she came across as unloveable and unbelievable. The 'story' was very depressing and basically felt you were written off by the time you get to your mid-forties. It was a depressing read and not enjoyable at all. Sorry for the poor review.
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on 26 November 2013
Firstly I'd like to thank the publishers for sending me this book to read and give an honest review.

The prologue was a funny list of things that Clara had began to do as a result of her age (46), I have to admit that there were a few things on the list that I do already and I'm only 31! When her friend Gaby returned from LA looking younger than ever, Clara was intrigued and this was the influencing factor in her decision to discover more about cosmetic surgery.

I found the cosmetic surgery side of the story fascinating and eye-opening, especially reading about some of the processes and after-effects. Although Clara was older than me I still found that I was able to connect with some of her feelings about growing older and motherhood etc.

The storyline didn't pull me in as I hoped it would but it was enjoyable - I particularly liked the conversational writing style and hint of randomness that ran throughout the book.

This was a fun, honest read that dealt with an interesting subject.
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on 21 December 2012
I approached this book with some trepidation as the Clara in Comfort and Joy was such an insufferable, snobby, nasty monster of a character but I hoped that India Knight would have toned down the obnoxiousness of her protagonist and yes, she has a little. However, Clara is still quite a judgemental, sneery sort and it's these traits that makes this book somewhat hard to get through. The woefully written mother-in-law character of Pat isn't in this novel but of course Clara finds new people to sneer at, including one of her best friends. Try this opinion from half way through when Clara talks about cougars (the best friend is one) - "They're not sexy felines, they're maladjusted oddbods who can't interact with normal adults that they have to pick on children". Jaw-dropping. Clara looks down on absolutely everyone...must be quite exhausting to be someone like that. It's certainly tiring reading about it. Worse, is that this isn't really an effective novel in that there's no substantial characters, there's too much overlong tract-like prose and the characters occasionally speak in protracted and artificial speeches that real people very seldom too. The plot is slender and just not compelling, culminating in a Rockwellian portrait that I didn't believe in. Mutton finishes on less than 250 pages - I thought the general lack of conviction and effort throughout came across loud and clear and that the book's length is one indication of this. It's also as funny as having a tooth extracted.

And yet it's readable to a degree in that measured and accessible style of India's and some of the musings on ageing are sharply perceptive as I expected. I didn't entertain the thought of not finishing this book. But the content just doesn't hang together as a successful novel, really.

Typing this upstairs in the library, where I returned this just now (aren't you relieved we still have them...?). I feel that the author should either retire Clara or just not bother with any further novels.
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