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3.8 out of 5 stars
40
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Price:£4.74


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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Clanchy is a very good writer: her prose is snappy, sharp, acutely observational, wry and sometimes savagely funny - but the novel isn't the right form or medium for her style of wit. This style of writing works wonderfully well in short stories, comment pieces and serial columns, but it just bogs a novel down.

The characters, as other reviewers have pointed out, tend to the usual clichés of the Hampstead literati, though Clanchy does humanise them. And Struan, our dour Scot experiencing London for the first time, is just adorable.

So there are lots of little gems in this, some moving, some hilarious, some which skewer social pretentions effortlessly - but as a novel this ends up being less than the sum of its parts.

I'd definitely read Clanchy again but, like the great Dorothy Parker, the novel form isn't right for her brand of wit and writing.
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on 14 November 2014
A young Scots boy comes to London for his gap year from a small mining town in the Central Lowlands. It is 1989, and it is his first visit to London. His job is to assist an esteemed writer who has had a sever stroke, and his family in their Hampstead home. It is far removed from the world that Struan has known and quite muddling! He finds both a wife and an ex wife and her children in the house.

The writing is bright and witty, the characters vividly painted, and there are some lines that had me laughing out loud. I really enjoyed this book, - a brilliant debut novel, and can't wait to read more from this writer.
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on 2 December 2015
Well-packaged trash. Has no real substance.
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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2014
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Interesting, amusing in parts, unusual characters well-portrayed. Hampstead Heath, 1989 (a hot summer) is the backdrop for the interaction between a strange, engaging bunch of characters, and we see the significant changes that take place in them during a few short months. Not the sort of book I would usually choose, preferring darker crime fiction usually, but it is beautifully written, the prose is taut and precise, and I loved it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 November 2015
The London divorced family at the centre of this dark comedy are met by an Iranian second wife and a young Scots lad.

In 1989 a playwright has a serious stroke and as the months go by his squabbling family brings him home from hospital and engages a caregiver. Each person goes his or her own way and we see them change over the summer. The tale contains acerbic social comment on towns with shut coal mines, European dictators, property prices and growing up, among other aspects.

Praise to the author for a strong focus on a person with serious illness and the care involved, while keeping up a brisk pace and stretching all the other characters. The book won't suit everyone but if you want something with more depth than chick-lit, you might well enjoy the read.
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on 5 July 2013
This is a good read - great for taking on holiday. The characters are well-rounded and involving with good humour and some pathos thrown in. The author has a feel for the literary world. I enjoyed it very much as I have all Kate's written work. I look forward to her next book.
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on 12 May 2013
Struan Robertson, our hero, is eyebrow-raisingly well-read and sage for an orphaned seventeen-year old lad brought up in the Scottish sticks. Meeting the English chronicles his first visit to London to look after an incapacitated famous playwright - but nothing really happens that can't be anticipated and there are no completely unforeseeable twists, layers or zigzags (and the ending is a bit "hey-ho"). So why five stars? Entirely for the wholly delightful and engaging character the author creates in Struan. Kate Clanchy draws the reader onto Struan's side on the first page and keeps us there; we are rooting for him, willing him to triumph over adversity. Meeting the English is a lovely read - highly recommended.
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on 16 February 2015
None of these characters, young or old, English or Scottish, carry conviction, yet this does not appear to be satire. I was finding it all a bit embarrassing, to be honest, when I gave up on it near the half-way mark. Stick to the poems, please, Kate!
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on 6 May 2013
It is rare indeed to find a serious novel that is this enjoyable to read. Kate Clanchy's Meeting the English is sharply observed, cleverly satirical and effortlessly poetic but above all, it is hugely entertaining.
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on 25 June 2013
I read this novel in one sitting, laughing out loud in several places and enjoying it thoroughly. The characters were recognisable, amusing and painted with compassion.
The end feeling was rather like the fun and the magic of a Midsummer Night's Dream. Kate Clanchy had mastered yet another genre. I recommend this highly.
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