In a tale that mixes contemporary Jane Austen with the brilliant social commentary of Gosford Park, Julian Fellowes chronicles Edith's rise and fall with twists and turns aplenty. Through the eyes of his narrator, a journeyman actor who manages to negotiate the choppy waters of snobbery and excess as he moves between the upper and middle classes, in Snobs Fellowes gives us a delicious comedy of manners to rival Oscar Wilde at his wittiest.
Includes a bonus interview with Julian Fellowes, the Academy Award-winning author of Gosford Park.
©2005 Julian Fellowes; (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
"Mr. Fellowes knows his turf well." (Dominick Dunne)
"Provocative, titillating, and seductive." (The Spectator)
"Sparklingly rompish....As long as this world does still exist, Fellowes is a delectable guide to its absurdities." (Sunday Times [London])
Sounding much like his commentary for his Academy Award nominated film, "Gosford Park," this catty, witty, bitchy novel makes the perfect amusement for a long summer day. Don't let the title fool you, this book is full of lovable characters, most of whom are finely drawn, so much so that one feels that the character is someone real and one who has lived a life of love and disappointment. This is not an indictment of "Snobs," but a loving portrait of a "certain class of people," each of of whom it would be a true treat to meet.
The story follows Edith, a woman who does not marry for love, but for money and position. After a rather short period of time, she discovers that she has made a bad bargain, and leaves. Why she leaves, and with whom, and what her life becomes, makes a charming and sometimes moving story. What will happen to Edith after this defection? That would ruin the plot, but the journey is more than worthwhile.
This book is well worth listening too in its unabridged version. You wouldn't want to miss one razor sharp notation of someone's character, or appearance, or tone.
The best fun I've had in quite some time!
I expected light fluffy reading but was really surprised to find the level of ironic insight in this book. It was extremely well written...not heavy, but certainly no formula romance. The reader was great, the characters well drawn and sympathetic. A very enjoyable read.
This was a great listen! It's a story of contemporary London, and has the "haves" mixing with the "have-nots" -- a wonderfully written (and read) glimpse into the politics of relationships and families in English society.
I have to say I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book…even though I feel kind of guilty that I did. The heroes in Fellowes’ novel are the people who, poor they, were attempting to live out their aristocratic existence and would have done so, undisturbed, if they, alas, had not been bothered by those pathetic ‘arrivistes’. Like, for example, the quite-wealthy girl who married a guy she wasn’t really in love with in an attempt to belong to that World. How dare she! On the other hand, the unabashedly snobbish matriarch is portrayed with almost love. Fellowes is a product of his upbringing and quite proud of it. Still, the book is a joy to listen to. The characters are all quite human. The wit is biting. Richard Morant, as the reader, is pitch perfect -- I have, in fact, downloaded another book by another author that he has also read. (Unfortunately, I went straight from "Snobs" to “Past Imperfect,” Mr. Fellowes' other novel, and it is as much of a failure as “Snobs” is a success. I am in the middle of it and hope that the imperfect novel is not coloring my review of "Snobs," which I totally recommend.)
This was a very enjoyable book from start to finish. It was very well read by the narrator and the story clips along at a good pace. I liked the characters and the story, which is an entertaining, and often funny, account of ambition,the consequances of choices made, and of course, snobbery in near present-day England. It was also a bit of fun to see somewhat behind the curtain of the British mid-royals (not the level of the queen).
A sociological study as much as a work of fiction, this novel deconstructs the "happy-ever-after" fairy tale of the untitled beauty who snares an aristocrat and is instantly transported into the stratosphere of social privilege. I would buy it again for Fellowes' almost compulsive interest in the habits and dysfunctions of the upper classes. Fellowes is sympathetic to his characters, regardless of their flaws. Yet I found it difficult to really care deeply about any of them.
A fascinating tour through the inner workings of the English upper-upper class, replete with old aristocrats and social climbers, the rich and the riche, sprawling country homes and expensive London flats. Told quietly by a keen observer, with a wide array of well-written characters, Snobs is a National Geographic special on the strange customs and rituals of the landed-gentry and their hangers-on. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I thoroughly enjoyed snobs, but less as a novel and more as a voyer into a world that is quite foreign to me as a middle class American. I'm a great Anglophile and lived and worked in London teaching American study abroad students. I'm fascinated by all things British and this was true of this novel as well. The story itself was very pedestrian, a little lacking even for my personal taste in novels. And yet I enjoyed this immensely. (Talk about snobbish!)
I liked that the author writes for Downton Abby. I felt as though I was getting a lesson in how British upper classes conduct themselves, which I found fascinating from a sociological perspective. Similar themes were present, although the characters are not as likeable in this book, but then again, Snobs aren't likeable, are they?
The central drama left a bit to be desired. If it was Downton Abby in a novel form, that would have been more preferable.
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