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Customer Review

on 18 July 2013
It's not the kind of novel I usually read, but Hidden Lives has a certain charm. The characters are painted very visually, and there's a delightful sense of the author behind the narrative, indulgently critical of his creations and sharply insinuating their faults through careful detail and knowingly observed cultural nuance.

The 1960s is affectionately but critically remembered here, and the cultural and political observations are often sharp. The characters are very human - almost upsettingly so - and rise from the page - it's easy to imagine this as a TV miniseries with its very British tone of nostalgic self-deprecation.

What is interesting is how the witty and sardonic judgement passed on the assembled cast and their respective social positions, preoccupations and values gradually shapes a more general and subtle critique of the much wider values of a certain social class. As the characters develop, the irreverent black humour gives way to an impending sense of creeping doom and some of the concluding drama is unexpectedly stirring as the characters meet their inevitable fate, watched over by the omniscient narrator's gentle pity.

I think this would make a killing as a TV serial. It just hits the spot in its genre.
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Product Details

4.4 out of 5 stars