on 13 June 2007
I loved this book. I picked it up because I liked the cover and I wasn't disappointed. The story is a strange and likeable and rather frothy one, about a Danish prostitute and her mother, who accidentally travel to twnety-first century London and where Charlotte, the heroine, meets and falls in love with a Scottish archaeologist. The plot hurtles along at break-neck speed and there is a wonderfully happy ending. The whole thing is a delightful and absurd concoction, a real feelgood story, full of love and naughtiness and perfect for reading on a hot summer's day. I will now seek out more of Liz Jensen's books!
K-G Holden, Banbury
on 25 June 2006
Liz Jensen is in love. In real life, that is, she is in love with a fellow author who lives in Copenhagen with his daughter. Liz Jensen lives in London with her two children. Problem? Nah, she just flies to Copenhagen for one week in every two and leads her double-domestic life. It's the not-quite-perfect solution and it's also the inspiration for this delightful novel. And oh, can't you tell she's in love!
Jensen has a remarkable ability to become your immediate and intimate friend within a mere page or two of her novels. This is never more apparent than in this novel where the reader is occasionally addressed as 'my darling', or 'dearest', and is also complimented on how splendid he or she looks! This intimacy, combined with Jensen's familiar, easy-going, but sparklingly observant and beautifully expressed writing, ('The era you have come to is called the Information Age. You will have access to all the knowledge in the world, but never, I wager, will you have met folk with less wisdom, curiosity or insight.'), are partly what make this another of her most original and satisfying reads.
This is more than a novel about time travel and Crocodile Dundee-esque stranger in a strange land observations. Jensen does all of this very well and in her usual astute and hilarious way, but what we get is ultimately much more than that. Since I first read the astonishing 'Ark Baby' I've always thought that Jensen writes men really well. She gets us. This novel is no exception (Fergus and Professor Krak are endearing and believable, the aptly named and deeply unpleasant Dogger is believable, sadly, but most definitely not endearing!). However, in 'My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time' we get a female protagonist, Charlotte, who is at once sexy, engaging, intelligent, savvy, loveable, likeable, and has you rooting for her with every word she writes. Rarely have I so wanted a character's situation to work out well. She inspires, moves, amuses, and amazes.
So this is much more than a book about travels in a Tardis-like machine; it is about love having no boundaries, not even time (but without the cloying sentiment of 'The Time Traveller's Wife'), and how, when surrounded by those who love you and given their support, seemingly insurmountable problems can still be solved. Liz Jensen only has the logistics of physical distance (as opposed to a gap of 100 years) to contend with. But I'm glad she does, for perhaps, if her unusual and romantic situation didn't exist, this hilarious, moving, quirky, and joyful story would never have been told.
on 22 July 2006
Beware, puritans! But for all warm blooded humans, it's a kaleidoscope of fun and fantasy; a fairy story in which anything can happen, and essentially for grown-ups. Liz Jensen's imagination carries us back to 19th Century Copenhagen, and with a perspective of that century, forward into our own, viewing our lifestyle with a fresh and sometimes satirical perspective. Its sexiness is light-hearted and funny, and her wit - for as ever Jensen's wit sparkles from every spage - carries us through outrageous fantasy, to a happy denouement, and a well-rounded narrative. There's a laugh a line, saved from superficiality by Jensen's idiosynchartic touches of darkness. It's fresh and original, and if it's sometimes daring, then why not?
on 24 June 2013
I discovered Liz Jenson by reading The Rapture recently and have since read two more of her excellent novels. This is one of the best books I have read this year, and I read a lot.
Lottie is a warm and witty companion, the pace of the story never lets up, it is original, funny and very well written. I am about to order another of Liz's novels, so keep going M' s Jenson. I love your work.
on 22 June 2012
Charlotte is a young prostitute, working in turn of the century Denmark. After what appears to be a `chance' encounter in a bakery, when she is offered a job as cleaner to a quite unpleasant woman named Fru Krak, she thinks she has fallen on her feet. There are early warning signs that everything might not be as it first seemed, when she discovers mysterious locked rooms and sees ghostly apparitions, but Charlotte believes - or wants to believe - that if only she can harness all the information at her fingertips she might escape her past and carve out a new future for herself.
Well, coincidences are definitely not all they appear to be, and the future actually turns out to be much closer than Charlotte could ever have imagined. Thanks to the secret basement in Fru Krak's house, Charlotte is suddenly thrown into modern-day London and her future reinvents itself before her eyes. Herr Krak, the husband of Charlotte's employer, convinces her that his convoluted plan for the future is in her best interests as well as his own, and she is happy, at first, to play along. But then she meets Fergus McCrombie, and a plan to exploit him for financial gain falters when she finds herself, for the first time in her young life, in love.
This startling pastiche of gothic horror is laced with tongue-in-cheek burlesque humour and packed with bawdy, irreverent, larger-than-life characters. Unashamedly melodramatic, this journey through time and space unexpectedly turns into a huge, warm-hearted (and possibly a little convenient/unconvincing) love story.
I didn't enjoy it as much as 'The Ninth Life of Louis Drax' but it was likeable and good fun.
on 7 August 2014
I’m not adverse to a bit of sweet talk so I certainly didn’t mind being referred to as ‘my dearest darling reader’ and ‘beloved one’. If only all my books were as flattering I would probably feel much better about myself!
Liz Jensen’s protagonist, Froken Charlotte, a 25-year old from 1890’s Denmark, is a woman of rather interesting means. Her opportunistic nature sees her taking up a cleaning job for the unusual and highly strung Fru Krak, where, amidst whisperings of demonic machines and ghosts, she uncovers rather more than she could have fathomed, as her world collides with the 21st century. Charlotte finds herself stranded in a place and time where coming to terms with mobile technology and ‘horseless black carriages of iron’ are the least of her adventures.
Jenson’s masterpiece is so deliciously conspiratorial in tone that you can’t fail to be won over by this book. With her charming protagonist, Charlotte, unashamedly romping her way through the novel and conducting herself with the utmost disgrace it is not one to be missed. Jensen proves herself extremely adept at creating interesting, funny characters who evolve throughout the course of her novel, Charlotte’s transformation from harlot to sweetheart will leave you smitten with Jensen’s storytelling.
A modern classic (in more ways than one) that would have Austen blushing at its audacity. I bloody love this book and so will you!
on 27 June 2006
Liz Jensen is great. You never know what to expect and her latest is a gem. Jensen has stepped away from her darkside, portrayed in the fantastic Louis Drax, to give a light, enchanting, funning and infectious love story with a difference.
on 25 August 2015
I found the style of the writing to be enjoyable, I think Liz Jensen does a great job a setting a scene and taking you there. There are some great characters in the book and some exciting suspense.
I think the 1 star reviews are harsh, I don't see how anyone could hate this book.
on 17 June 2007
It's an outrageous read - spicey, fresh and compellingly funny. Charlotte, as a poor-girl prostitute - as with all real fairy stories - makes good. Such is the sharpness of Jensen's pen, that one enters easily into the lumpen world of nineteenth century Copenhagen, and even the happy-ever-after ending does not cloy. So,if you are ready for some time-travel, want to be startled and amused, and are ready for something entirely original, then give it a go! I loved it.
on 5 June 2010
I was not aware of Liz Jensen's work until my daughter bought a copy of this book, and suggested that I also read it. It's quite different to anything I have read before, but I have to say, I could not put it down! I absolutely loved it. I don't need to spell out any of the story line as that's already been done by other reviewers. But if you want a great holiday read, then treat yourself to a copy of this little gem. Worth every penny.