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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
39
4.6 out of 5 stars


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on 12 May 2017
Outstanding! No other word for it. The clever,witty and acerbic friendship between Irene and Vera (Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge, and in one series Anne Reid) is like no other. Very well written, and acted, this series, 11 in all I think, is definitely the best of British humour. I actually discovered these by accident! I'm so glad I did though.
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on 18 May 2013
I am very grateful to my dear friend in England for sending me a copy of this as a surprise a while ago....since then have bought the rest of the series, so I think that speaks for itself.....
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on 8 June 2017
Lovely, gentle amusing read
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on 22 January 2015
Good, but not quite as good as earlier in series
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This is great fun. You can enjoy the interchange (mostly by e-mail) between these two ladies in book, audio book of tv format. The availability of instant interaction via e-mail nowadays has up-dated and enlivened the potential for satirical humour. Irene Spencer and Vera Small are the figures of fun here, elderly ladies who share a love-hate relationship and whose lives are an unending series of crises, misunderstandings, confusion and catastrophe.

Almost every institution and ideal is satirized by authors Lou Wakefield and Carole Hayman. It seemed, as the series continued, that the gay relationship of Vera's son an his partner might be the only thing that surives amongst so much cheating, mayhem, violence and crime, but in the Sixth Series even this constant factor comes under threat.

The humour is carefully paced and the characterization well-crafted. Vera is the more gullible and Irene the more manipulative of the ladies. Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge deliver all this in a wonderfully entertaining double act in the audio book form, and Anne Reid and Maureen Lipman feature in a tv adaptation.
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on 31 March 2010
It is the first in the series. Here we are introduced to the various characters that will entertain us through out all of the future series. I enjoyed some good belly laughs. This series is not just for ladies who may be of a certain age, ie retired. im only 33 and have really enjoyed all of the series. The Ladies saterise everything from aging to children and politics, very topical, very clever. The characters are hateful yet really likeable, recommended. looking forward to more.
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on 20 December 2009
Great book. I did watch the TV series but to be able to read the extremely funny, (and witty), words again is a real treat.
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on 24 September 2013
Enjoyed every minute of reading this book and would strongly recommend to other readers. Pity it's such a short read
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 September 2015
I saw this on television a while ago, and browsing the library shelves, couldn't resist reading it. It only took a couple of tram journeys to read, and made me smile throughout.

You can hear the voices of Irene and Vera quite clearly as you read, the two old ladies who meet at a wedding and decide to keep up a correspondence by letter. Sometimes polite, sometimes catty, always hilarious - recipes are swapped. Insults are swapped. We learn about their children, their health complaints, the problems of living alone.

And of course... it escalates into a farce of silliness that starts with a protest, and leads to the law...

Very wittily written, they are such good fun. I might seek out more episodes as they make quick reads that have you cackling in amusement (not good on a public tram!) and their friendship feels very true - women who care for each other but can't resist a little claw in the back on occasion.

And the case of minor characters is excellent as well - ungrateful children and other eccentric relations included.

You'll not regret giving this a try.
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This is the paperback version of the Radio 4 Audio series, Ladies of Letters. I have not heard the radio programme,but got this book because I wanted something light and amusing. I started reading it last night and finished it two hours later. This book is actually the first and second volume of correspondence between the two fictitious women, Vera Small and Irene Spencer.
Their acquaintance begins at the wedding of Irene's daughter at which it turns out that Vera has gatecrashed, helping out her friend who is doing the catering. Their correspondence starts with thank you letters, but soon moves to a deeper intimacy and sporadic visits.
It's a wonderful relationship. At first you are lulled into a false sense of security by the gentle humour of their old ladylike ways and ideas. This soon becomes secondary to a hilariously vituperative and belligerent correspondence between them in which the vie over all aspects of their lives, large and small to do each other down.
It is witty and dark and funny, and I imagine, read by Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge as on Radio 4, would be perfect in almost every way.
I thought the first volume of letters was far superior to the second, as this stretched the genre rather and got a little too far fetched. I much preferred it when their idiosyncracies were more muted, because they were so deliciously unexpected. Travels to trailer parks, drug busts and antipodean adventures in the second volume sometimes overshadow the sheer evil skill of the writing, which is a shame.
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