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on 15 February 2014
Bought on the basis of the quotes on the cover for a family member and because they made me giggle too.

And I quote: "You know when you're trying not to laugh out loud on a train or something? Well, I was reading these late at night in bed and I had to bite down on the duvet to try to stop myself from waking up the neighbours!"
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on 22 November 2015
Surely just a gift you buy when you're completely stuck on December 20th? Perhaps, but it'll be the best one of these you ever give; it's completely hilarious in the best tradition of British self-deprecation, taking the p'ss out of genuinely miserable things like loneliness and failure in love. I would go out on a date in a heartbeat with almost every person who wrote one of these lonely hearts ads.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 January 2012
This book is really little more than a collection of personal ads, from The London Review of Books, a few of which are quite witty indeed; And many of which, it must be admitted, fall short of greatness. Nonetheless, it certainly does what it says on the tin. However, as suggested, because not every contributor is even remotely close to an undercover 'Oscar Wilde', I can't give this book full marks.

Now, I'm not a 'London Review of Books' reader, nor have I had to write many 'personals' in my life to date; yet this remains a reasonably entertaining collection, to be dipped into, and enjoyed, from time to time. Of those I found particularly funny, there is: "Man 46, An Animal in Bed. Probably a Gnu" or how about this one?

"Found love yet? Console yourself with our range of fabulous fitted wardrobes... Write for free catalogue to desperate salesman, 44, divorced, no access to the kids, sleeping in his mother's Astra. Box no.xx"

Of the patently sad ones, there are these: "I went to university to learn how to write ads like this. Woman, 32. Box no. xx" Or:

"I've memorised every step to Waitrose, Caversham. Woman, 43, just about ready to take a step up the social ladder with any reasonably-minded moneyed male up to 90..."

And there are plenty which don't pass the Oscar Wilde test, such as "World's worst univocalic personal ad writer. Male 43. Box no. xx" Or, there are those which are simply succinct to the point of meaninglessness, "I beg to differ. Box no. xx"

In conclusion, it's worth buying, particularly if it can be found in the 'bargain bin'... and the above quotations whet your appetite, but certainly not indispensable.
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on 22 June 2012
An excellent book. One that makes me laugh out loud. Very very funny. I challenge any of you who read it, not to do the same.
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on 8 February 2012
Sadly, about 50% of the book was given over to footnotes & explanations, which is fine if you want to really dig deep into the whole thing and learn how clever (or otherwise) the author of the ad was/was trying to be, but really, I didn't think that they added a great deal to the book. However, for the small price paid, I got enough good giggles to make the purchase worthwhile.

The Kindle edition loses something, as you can't readily "dog-ear" the pages of those you liked best.
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The success of this book relies on people being willing to write something that is unlikely to get a single reply but which is very funny. Some are hilarious, some are so creepy it makes me glad to be married. Most could be met with the question “Why on earth did you think that was a pertinent thing to mention in a personal ad?”
If scary, angry women make you hot then you might combust because they are very well represented in these pages. If men that sound as if they’ve been wearing a sock plus sandal combo for decades are your weakness then you are in for a treat. Most of the footnotes were very useful but a few seemed unnecessary (I’m confident I could work out what a cup-a-soup was even if I’d never had one).
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on 13 January 2011
This book is ok but very over hyped. It quickly became boring as most of the really good quotes were in magazines and newspapers.
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on 9 August 2011
This is a collection of person ads from the London Review of Books, some are ridiculous, some are hilarious, some are down right weird. The perfect book to just pick up and read a couple of pages of at a time.
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on 22 December 2014
Funny - and ideal as a book to pop in the guest loo. The weird thing is that none of the quotes are made up; they are all genuine.
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on 17 January 2012
This book is so so funny. It makes a brilliant gift for anyone vaguely literate with a sense of humour. Buy it!
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