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on 28 April 2009
This is an absorbing, fast read - for those over 50, it's a heart-warming reminder of childhood,and recollections of the beginnings of 'sophistication' in the homes and lives of working families.

It is an imaginary reminiscence which weaves through a reader's own memories and experience, and makes entertainment of the mundane.
I almost felt that I was observing these lives as a child would.

The characters are colourfully but sensitively drawn, they are people we know......the story is at once hilarious and touching.
The best non-thriller I have read since Cider with Rosie and Tortilla Flat.
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on 19 May 2003
It's the early Sixties, and Ronnie Glover, wartime Petty Officer, respectable housepainter and paterfamilias, realises that he wants more from life. Then he meets his daughter's dance teacher. Will he change his life, or will those ten-o'clock horses get him? This book is beautifully written, keenly-observed, and manages to be both moving, and great fun to read. How does the author know so much about middle-aged men and the forces that propel them...?
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on 17 October 2007
Growing up in the sixties meant that this seemed so relevant, funny yet sad. Sometimes I was torn between laughing or crying. It also made me think how much of everyday life has changed since those days.The characters are all very well portrayed, they seemed so real. Ronnie Glover the hero aspires to so much more than he has in his life. This is a time when lifestyles were changing fast and he wants to benefit, though his wife is far from sure. I recommend this especially if you are of an age to have been there and done that!
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Ronnie Glover has a wife, two daughters, a dog and parents oh and a bike. He is a house painter and lives somewhere in 1960's England. But Ronnie wants more he wants to paint figs, have books in the kitchen and drink wine at home. His wife on the other hand wants him to stop dreaming and live an orderly life like she does with no fancy ideas. (This is a woman who makes him put a towel on the bed when they have sex). Then there is Ma and Pa. Ma is a mean spirted woman who cares for none but herself and Pa like Ronnie is on the look out not for class but for love and fun which he finds next door. Then Ronnie mets daughter Susan's dance teacher Jack.. A so what begins with a painting job ends with... We also met the lads Ronnie works with and the school dinner ladies make a small apperance
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on 25 September 2012
A really good book - a bit nostalgic about working class life but funny and moving - the central character is a man and is so believable
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on 10 July 2013
Really enjoyed this book. It was a very easy read and a good story with lots of humour and down to earth people.
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on 16 September 2013
Laurie Graham has written some excellent books (Gone With the Windsors, The Importance of Being Kennedy etc, etc) - whilst this book is quite readable it lacks sparkle. If you haven't read Laurie Graham before then this wouldn't be a good choice for your first read.
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on 19 May 2003
It's the early Sixties, and Ronnie Glover, housepainter and respectable Paterfamilias, is beginning to think there could be much more to life. His longings crystallise when he meets his daughter's dance teacher. Will he realise his dreams, or are the spectral ten o'clock horses of his unhappy childhood going to catch up with him?
This is a beautifully-written, shrewdly-observed story of a man boxed-in by his circumstances but longing to break out. I enjoyed it very much, and will certainly read some of the author's other novels with anticipation.
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on 13 January 2013
I like this author but this book is simply too short to be worth the money. I read it in a day. Gone With The Windsors was a fabulous read and as a result I have purchased more of Laurie Graham books but, so far, nothing has come close.
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on 20 July 2013
A nice enough book but not one of Laurie Graham's best. As usual she captures the essence of her characters and evoked a humerous and sympathetic view of the time it was set in - the early 60's but I found it hard to warm to any of the characters. The plot was simple and well constructed if a little bland. This book has not put me off this author and I will certainly read the other books I have not read but this does not come into my favourites list.
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