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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

on 26 April 2002
The third instalment of Gervase Phinn's narrative of his time as a school inspector is as welcome as the first two. In the first two volumes, we followed Gervase's meeting with Christine, and their courtship. In this book, they eventually get married, and set to renovating the derelict country cottage with its overgrown garden, in which they start their married life.
The real stars of the book, though, are the children, and it is clear that Gervase Phinn has a wonderful relationship with them, and a real affection for them. He must have been a fantastic teacher.
We also meet old friends from the previous books - the rest of the inspection team, Brenda Savage - the alarming PA who made a pass at Gervase in an earlier book - Julie (the inspectors' secretary) and Connie, who rules the Professional Centre with a rod of iron.
If you have read the other two books, you will love this one. If not, buy the paper back versions of the other two, and then enjoy this one.
Oh, and if you are a teacher, read this to remind yourself what life was like before OFSTED inspections!
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on 17 April 2002
"Three Chairs for Gervase" (read it and you will realise I am not a poor speller!) Being a teacher I can relate to this even more and I think how much money could make writing a book of the great things children have said. Just one difference - I couldn't do it like Gervase. I feel like I know him and Christine, and the gang! They should have their own comedy show.
Don't hesitate to buy it!
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on 16 June 2010
Book Number 3 in the Dales series by Gervase Phinn.

Another delightful book full of anecdotal tales. This story also delves a little more into the personal lives of the various characters we've come to know pretty well over the course of the previous two books - in actual fact, it can be likened to getting to know colleagues at work: a few interesting facts and titbits dropped here and there in the course of the rest of the story.

So we hear about Connie's father, and Harold's intention to retire, and, as always, the backdrop to the rest of the story is the love affair between Gervase and Christine, who is now Mrs Phinn.

I'm thoroughly enjoying my romp through these gentle books.
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on 21 June 2009
I've bought the first three Gervase Phinn books on audio for my wife who listens while doing her chores. We've both read the books, and the audio version doesn't let you down. Simply hilarious and moving. I too have had them on my headphones while in the garden and feel a bit foolish when I suddenly burst out laughing seemingly at nothing. Buy them all, you won't regret it.
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on 31 January 2013
Yes really enjoyed Gervase Phinn's Head Over Heels in the Dales and intend reading more of his books. I particularly liked it as it was a warm relaxing read (apart from the fact that it was interesting too!) I belong to a reading group for partially sighted people (mostly retired or "getting on a bit".!)and this was the choice of our "leader". I am partially sighted but also quite deaf (hearing aids) and at present find audio books difficult to hear. So, because I am still able to read Large Print but find large print books very difficult and heavy to hold I have started ordering them on my Kindle and find the large print on this( at present !)very "comfortable" to read!
The Kindle has brought pleasure to this old lady - long may it last!. Going back to "Head Over Heels" I really enjoyed this - it made such a change from some interesting but sometimes "morbid" tales I have read lately. "Head Over Heels" is a jolly good book to go to bed with!
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on 13 March 2016
He writes interesting and sometimes amusing books. I've read several, and a lot of the same material is in most of them. It's hard to distinguish which is non-fiction and which is fiction, as the characters keep popping up in different books under different names. His use of adjectives is somewhat lacking in variation too. Great seems to be his favourite for describing anything that is large, great appears in almost every paragraph. His use of similes is also tedious. The same ones crop up ad nauseum. I found them very irritating. Face like a smacked bottom, rat up a drainpipe, on and on they go. My English teacher would have given me low marks for such writing, and probably made me re-write everything. For such a highly qualified man, and English Inspector for Schools no less, I think his writing is somewhat poor in general, though the stories are quite entertaining.
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on 1 July 2013
I have ready many of Gervase Phinn's books and they never fail to make me smile and even laugh aloud;
sometimes even shed a tear when memories are triggered.

I chose this book having read and enjoyed the previous ones.

As a Christian I know I will not be upset by bad language and the author delving into weird spiritual blackness
which is totally unacceptable and dangerous. Gervase has a wonderful way with words and as a School
Governor I can relate to some of the issues he describes relating to Head Teachers, Teachers and even
Connie the 'Caretaker'.

I would recommend this author to anyone; his books make excellent presents.
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on 19 August 2015
This is the third book in the "Dales" series, and it is every bit as good as the first two. Gervase marries Christine, and settles down in Peewit Cottage. We also meet Brenda Savage again and David Pritchard and Sidney Clamp also fare in the book. Harold retires, and Gervase has to interview Mr Carter for Harold's post. We also meet Terry Mossup, who is an extremely troubled child, until they find he has a talent for cricket and football.

We also see again, Connie the cleaner, who continues to have run-ins with Sidney Clamp, over Sidney's untidiness in class!
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on 23 February 2013
I couldn't put your book down Gervase. It is so true to life. I work in a non academic role in a village school. When School finishes I hear their little chatter and smile at some of their little sayings BUT it isn't until someone like yourself writes all the anecdotes down that a child comes up with. That you can really appreciate the humour it holds. I have told the Teachers about your stories only to find out some have read your books and like myself found them very entertaining. Keep on writing in this style we love it.
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on 8 November 2012
Gervase Phinn's books are fantastic because they come from the heart. He is passionate about teaching, compassionate and funny! Anyone who has children of their own or works with children will spend hours chuckling at the things he tells us that they say and do. He is honest and kind and the books would make a fantastic present for anyone.
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