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on 7 March 2005
These tapes are just SO funny! Patricia Routledge & Prunella Scales are beautifully cast as two acerbic women in their 60s/70s who maintain over some years an ongoing correspondence. The writing is exquisite, the performances spot-on. The oneupmanship & cattiness is tempered by the underlying truth that the two old girls really only have each other, their families use them chronically and generally disgrace themselves at every possible opportunity.
Highly recommended, also be sure to get Ladies of Letters Spring Clean to complete the set. I understand that another series may be in the offing, but the website address that is the title of one of the tapes is now active and one of the writers may be able to give you an update as to when series 7 will be out.
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on 25 March 2003
This gentle, typically British form of humour is a real tonic to listen to. Listening in my car means I get "installments" rather like the original programmes on Radio 4 and I found myself actually looking forward to the next long drive! From amusing to very funny these two ladies with their "between the lines" jibes at each other are brilliantly characterised by these two renowned actresses. I like the fact that it is more what is not said than what is said that makes it and a piece of good old fashioned wit. Harmless escapism. Listening to their lives in one continuous series like this is rather like an amusing soap opera while you drive.
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on 31 December 2002
I have just finished reading the 7 cassettes of the Ladies of Letters Collection audiobooks. The story is fun, varying and comic to start with. After a few cassettes one feels a repetition of events, even though there is some (dubious) progression in the lives of these two socalled friends and grandmothers. The idea of so many letters as a way of telling a continous fun story gets a bit tedious at times, although entertaining also. There was a slight disappointment in that the two excellent main characters / readers of these audiobooks are too much like their old parts of Sybil in Fawlty Towers and Hyacinth in the TV series, one should have hoped for some greater variey in type and voice. Good fun, but hardly worth the effort to read them all over again.
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