Jasper Fforde is a complete original, and so are his stories. This is the first story in his Nursery Crime series featuring Detective Jack Spratt aka The Giant Killer and his partner Mary Mary (from a long line of Mary Marys, for some reason people ask plant advice of her). This is a witty take on nursery story characters that are all grown up.
We meet the main character, author Nicholas Kolt, as he is spending three days at an exclusive Italian resort with his high-maintenance girlfriend. Although Nick has only written one book, it was a best-seller, selling, we are told, 30 million copies worldwide, and was the basis for a movie starring Robin Wright. Unfortunately, while Nick enjoys the food, sun and champagne, we are treated to his excruciatingly whiney inner dialogue regarding his inability to stay away from Twitter, Facebook, mirrors and sexting long enough to write his next book, for which he has accepted a healthy advance. Halfway through this book I don't know what the secret promised in the blurb is, nor do I care. No secret could be worth having to listen to this self-pitying jerk for another four and a half hours.
but I really prefer Robert Hardy's performance. Having said that, I will listen to this book again. This is the second collection of Rumpole stories, and if you enjoyed the first book, there is no reason you won't like these. because Horace Rumpole is here in all his subversive glory! A true advocate, Rumpole believes that every defendant is entitled to a vigorous defense, even if they are a member of the Timson clan. To that end, he continues to actively resist the efforts of his wife and fellow members of chambers to become a judge, "take silk," or retire: he wants to continue to be "Rumpole of the Bailey:" drinker of plonk, smoker of cheap cigars and wearing of disreputable hats!
If you enjoy sly British humor, this book is for you. EF Benson has created two characters who can't stand each other, but can't live without each other. There are other books in the series, but this is the best.
I love the voyeuristic feeling i get when reading an epistolary novel and listening to this book feels like overhearing conversations between friends. Some of the stories are funny, some are sad, many are both and in between all of that is a sweet love story. Each of the book's characters has a unique voice and they all ring true, and for that reason listening may be the ideal way to experience this story. I waited for months to buy this book and now wish I had gotten it sooner; it is so much better than I thought it would be!
My son and I used to listen to MARY POPPINS in the car when he was little, and although this isn't the version we listened to, it has brought back memories for both of us! The story is as charming as ever, but I was a bit disappointed with the reading. Nevertheless, you will do your children and yourself a big favor by downloading this audio book and listening together!
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