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The Man in the Wooden Hat | [Jane Gardam]

The Man in the Wooden Hat

The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam's masterpiece. And now that novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat. As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, this novel is a triumph.
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times called Sir Edward Feathers one of the most memorable characters in modern literature. A lyrical novel that recalls his fully lived life, Old Filth has been acclaimed as Jane Gardam's masterpiece, a book where life and art merge. And now that beautiful, haunting novel has been joined by a companion that also bursts with humor and wisdom: The Man in the Wooden Hat.

Old Filth was Eddie's story. The Man in the Wooden Hat is the history of his marriage told from the perspective of his wife, Betty, a character as vivid and enchanting as Filth himself. They met in Hong Kong after the war. Betty had spent the duration in a Japanese internment camp. Filth was already a successful barrister, handsome, fast becoming rich, in need of a wife but unaccustomed to romance. A perfect English couple of the late 1940s. As a portrait of a marriage, with all the bittersweet secrets and surprising fulfillment of the 50-year union of two remarkable people, the novel is a triumph.

The Man in the Wooden Hat is fiction of a very high order from a great novelist working at the pinnacle of her considerable power.

©2009 Jane Gardam (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Witty, subversive, moving." (The Times, London)

"[T]old with quintessentially British humor.... Gardam's prose is witty and precise." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (232 )
5 star
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 (79)
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 (38)
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 (7)
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 (8)
Overall
4.1 (183 )
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 (86)
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 (5)
Story
4.3 (186 )
5 star
 (100)
4 star
 (61)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 07-13-12
    John S. Seattle, WA United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    338
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    181
    147
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    Story
    "Slightly disappointing"

    Unlike "Old Filth" where Eddie's character is fairly thoroughly examined, Betty remained fairly unknown to me - for one thing, the bit about her time in Japanese camps is frustratingly alluded to a couple of times, but otherwise completely dropped. Tough to say more without invoking spoilers.
    I strongly recommend the book for its descriptions of Hong Kong, as well as the minor characters (who interested me more than Betty herself). Until the end, I had seen these two novels as completely complementary, more or less standing alone. However, the ending of "Hat", which I found riveting as opposed to the slow start, serves as a highly satisfying closure for the combined stories. Reading "Old Filth" first would make more sense in terms of background for this one; reading this one first would cause a "spoiler effect" for some of the issues raised in the other book that were resolved here.
    Graeme Malcolm narrates both books well.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 04-10-12
    Stephen 04-10-12

    Fictional characters in narrative

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
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    243
    29
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    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easygoing"

    I don't remember the story after a month or so at all, but I enjoyed the audio at the time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris New Canaan, CT, United States 12-19-11
    chris New Canaan, CT, United States 12-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "A little slow"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Pleasant enough book but not terribly exciting. I finished it so that in itself rates at least a C plus. Loved the narrator.


    Would you recommend The Man in the Wooden Hat to your friends? Why or why not?

    sure, but would tell them it's a little slow.


    What does Graeme Malcolm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He makes it worthwhile.


    Do you think The Man in the Wooden Hat needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Grass Valley, CA, United States 01-07-13
    Linda Grass Valley, CA, United States 01-07-13 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "1st time with this author. I want more like this."
    If you could sum up The Man in the Wooden Hat in three words, what would they be?

    Storyline has turns and unusual character development.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Follows several characters with good insite with the twist being one tht wealth and success do not always satisfy the spirit.


    Which character – as performed by Graeme Malcolm – was your favorite?

    Ther heroine was my hero. The others were real people with virtues and flaws. All the character were worth pondering.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I prefer to listen and think and listen some more. I wanted to return to this one each time I approached the car.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to more by this author/narrator combination.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanne Alexandria, MN, United States 08-13-12
    Roxanne Alexandria, MN, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    106
    4
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    Story
    "Difficult book to follow."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I acutually read the bood twice because it was hard to follow. It was a short book so I could take the time and read it again and I did catch a lot more but still not one of my favorite books.


    What could Jane Gardam have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I am not sure. I think some of the accents was hard to follow.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Santa Clara, UT, United States 02-23-12
    Tina Santa Clara, UT, United States 02-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    "Book was OK"
    What did you like best about The Man in the Wooden Hat? What did you like least?

    The narration was excellent. However, for all the rave reviews, which were the impetus for me purchasing this title, the book was boring. I only finished it because I had invested quite a few hours into it.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M Shep 01-02-12
    M Shep 01-02-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    268
    15
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love this book"

    Jane Gardam is a terrific writer -- every sentence is a jewel. That means it's not good for listening to in complex driving situations. This book focuses on Betty, the wife of Eddie Feathers, who was the subject of her wonderful earlier novel, Old Filth.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Bozeman, MT, United States 02-08-12
    Barbara Bozeman, MT, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    125
    9
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    Story
    "Just okay"
    What did you like best about The Man in the Wooden Hat? What did you like least?

    It was better than Old Filth


    Has The Man in the Wooden Hat turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It hasn't


    How could the performance have been better?

    I am not interested in reading anything more by this author. I only read the second book to see if it could shed any light on the first.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    The narrator was just fine.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-18 of 18 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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