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3.6 out of 5 stars
33
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 March 2017
I did not enjoy this book at all
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on 7 April 2014
Cannot believe anyone would dislike this book - its hilarious! I defy anyone to read the funeral scene without being reduced to uncontrollable fits of the giggles. It seems to me some of the people leaving bad reviews were expecting a straight "murder mystery" - they should've read the product description! And as for the genius who criticises that it was unrealistic - again, this is a FARCE, a black comedy! Its not meant to be "realistic". Nigel Williams is one of the most talented writers in modern English. (For a darker, straight crime novel by this author, try "Stalking Fiona".)
The Wimbledon Poisoner is highly recommended to anyone looking for a satirical comedy of manners with a very dark heart and plenty of belly laughs.
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on 24 June 2014
I read this book twice many years ago and was looking for Nigel Williams' latest books on Amazon when I stumbled across the previous reviews for this book. I was truly astonished to find that the 4 people in the world with the least developed sense of humour had all read the book. Although I don't know them personally I am confident in my belief that this is the case because to give The Wimbledon Poisoner a one star review is cast iron proof of a complete sense of humour bypass. The book is hilarious from start to finish. The quality of the writing is sublime. I remember re reading passages several times just so I could fully appreciate the crafting of the comedic prose. Please ignore the poor reviews. Download a sample onto your kindle and give it a try. If you don't like it after the sample, consult a doctor.
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Henry Farr is a solicitor who, as he embarks on his daily routines of going to the office, taking his daughter Maisie to her piano classes/library/swimming lessons, bemoans his lot. The focus of his deep unhappiness is his wife, Elinor, currently undergoing therapy and discovering feminism in an alarming way. In fact, the only way that Henry can see to deal with his problems is to poison his wife. "Being a convicted murderer had the edge on being a solicitor..." he decides, as he embarks wildly on his plan to become 'The Wimbledon Poisoner'. Armed with his vast knowledge of local history and a poisoner who has gone before him, Henry has wild fantasies of poisoning Elinor and freeing himself from her tyranny. Soon, Maple Drive, the quiet suburban street where Henry lives, alongside his humorously self-titled neighbours, will never be the same again. For poisoning is not as straightforward as Henry first thought and, as one of the neighbours is not only fascinated by poisons, but is a member of the local police force, he can feel freedom slipping through his fingers.

This book is as English as a novel can get. Henry's apologetic conversations with victims, his desperate attempts to stop the events he has put in motion and his hysterical address at a neighbour's funeral give the book an air of suburban farce. Never again will you push your trolley through Waitrose without imagining the Wimbledon Poisoner selecting a chicken...
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on 1 October 2013
Semi comical, yet believable tale of a mid-life crisis to beat them all. The main character has thoughts we all have [well most middle aged men have], has experiences [ditto], and considers options [again ditto] but resolves them in a lateral manner that actually seems quite normal and believable - until you realise what he is doing.
Makes a great change from most crime books where you are left wondering who-done-it. This one you know for sure from page one who did it, its just a question of where-are-we-going. Only half way through it, but want to go on the ride to the end.
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on 16 November 1999
Linguistic dexterity makes this book a real gem - alerting you forever to your family, friends and neighbours and their funny little foibles; Mr "is the Mitsibushi scratched yet" is alive and well and living in Northern Ireland (though in real life he drives a Toyota).
Williams has written a biting satire on middle England in the late 20th Century, which manages to make the reader laugh aloud. THe TV series in no way did the novel justice - this is clearly one of the most entertaining books of the decade.
Oh yes - and if you're not getting on so well with your spouse and/or child, or anyone else for that matter, it gives some great handy hints on how NOT to do away with them... Madame Bovary and Therese Desqueyroux have nothing on this!
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on 21 August 2000
The book is an absolute marvellous read. I thought the characters in the story to be very convincing. Henry Farr is a man with a few problems - his 'wife' and how he thinks up ways in which he can 'finish her off' are both very wicked and very very funny. I would highly recommend this to anyone, a must!
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on 6 May 2014
Easy to read and keep abreast of characters and plot. Difficult to place in a specific era, which means it won't become dated, with many references that will strike a cord with the reader. A story in a similar vein to Ben Stiller's woes in Meet the Parents, well worth a read on the old Kindle!
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on 6 January 2014
The book was a modern whodunnit, which leaves the reader guessing until the very end. Having read a number of books on poisoning (both fiction and non-fiction) I found the book both funny and serious and would certainly recommend it for a little light reading.
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on 4 November 2013
I enjoyed reading this book especially the first half. I thought the second half of the book was a bit padded out, but overall worth reading and very funny at timessin its observations on surburban living. Will probably read the rest of the trilogy soon.
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