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4.6 out of 5 stars
32
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 30 October 2009
As always Alan Titchmarsh makes reading a book a wonderful delight. As you read you can hear Alan saying the words to you. He has such a lovely way of expressing things that you can relate to each and every thing he writes about. As yet I have not found any of his books to dislike. They are all great and Knave of Spades is yet another great book by him.
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VINE VOICEon 9 April 2010
I have read Alan Titchmarh's previous autobiographical offerings, Trowel and Error(which I have reviewed) and Nobbut a Lad: A Yorkshire Childhood (which I have not for some reason!). Knave of Spades continues, the story; the current one, past adventures and misdemeanours (of which there are few) and childhood experiences of gardening.

Gardening is the major theme of this book, even though like a good Yorkshire man he goes off the point, for example the Last Night of the Proms and balancing on 2 chairs - you will have to read it to find out about the reference. Everything comes back to gardening.

It is a delightful tale of where it all began for one of our most famous television gardeners. Stories of his childhood and what was obviously a struggle to convince his parents that gardening was a `trade' and it would go somewhere. His move into the local Ilkely council department which dealt with the gardening side of the town - decorating the town hall to name one. Alan recounts the characters he met while working there, as well as referring to his personal life as well, as his development with girls was not blossoming as well as the flowers under his care.

From this Alan moves us through the rest of his gardening/horticulture career, college and interestingly Kew Gardens, all stories smattered with tales of characters but practical information about gardening and a lot about plants, and their Latin names. Not being a gardener of any sorts, not even a window box, this bit I found dull, but that is only because of my lack of knowledge on the subject. Not because of the writing, this is well done.

The stories of Kew develop into his love of writing, and the amount, which surprised me of what he had done, before he got to be on Gardner's World, and subsequently in our televisions sets with an entertainment programme called 'Ground Force'!

There is much to this book, and we gain further insight into a man, who has a passion for many things, gardening is the most important, music and books. It is great to be able to relate to many things in a book, even if one of the topics is not quite your thing. A must for all fans of Alan Titchmarsh but also an interest and love in gardening.
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on 4 November 2009
Naturally written and very interestingly expressed, especially when you are of a similar age and also fond of gardening. A sincerely written book by a down to earth author.
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on 12 October 2009
The Knave of Spades is up to the usual high standard of writing by Alan Titchmarsh. A very interesting and entertaining book about his life. Can't wait for him to write another book.
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on 3 January 2010
A lovely book, just the thing to relax with over the festive season, a witty and gentle piece of prose.
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on 11 January 2010
Once again Alan has produced another great book, I have all his others and although the 3rd in his autobiography, still a joy to read
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on 13 July 2010
I read and enjoyed greatly AP's earlier work "nobbut a Lad". This latest of how his career has developed after leaving school is fascinating and pleasurable in the extreme. There are many funny parts and it is a book very hard to put down. Recommended wholeheartedly.
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on 10 January 2010
bought for my mum for Cmas cos she watches his show - she loved it and read it every day - lots of interesting facts about his early life too - going to borrow it
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on 6 January 2013
Seems to be written in an engaging style, I expect the person it was bought for will enjoy it and the print size will be appreciated
Update: the recipient did enjoy the book very much and found she could pick it up easily each day. The large print made it comfortable to read day or night.
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on 20 February 2014
Enjoyable read, if a little rambly!Felt more like listening to a conversation, which had its own plus sides, but made it feel less dynamic and lacking in pace and direction. Nevertheless, worth a read for Alan fans!
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