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David Nobbs was born in Kent. After university, he entered the army, then tried his hand at journalism and advertising before becoming a writer. A distinguished novelist and comedy writer, he lives near Harrogate with his wife Susan.
The wonderfully entertaining new novel from bestselling author of The Fall and Rise of Reggie Perrin. Long-time Potherthwaite resident Sally Mottram cannot stand the decline of her town. The bookshop is about to close, abandoned buildings line the canal and Potherthwaite's residents seem stuck in a disheartened rut. Something has to be done, but what? And who will do it? When an unexpected tragedy shatters Sally's life, she bravely takes on the task herself. Supported by a group of locals, including thrice-married Marigold Boyce-Willoughby, who is forever looking for love, and married couple Jill and Arnold Buss, who might both be falling for their new neighbours, Sally embarks on her ambition to bring the town back to life. But can one woman rally a whole community to save itself? David Nobbs' much-anticipated new novel is a hilarious, heartwarming tale about what keeps our community spirits alive.
A great bit of writing, thoroughly enjoyed. Nobbs created Reginald Perrin and is, in my mind, a comic genius. Here he tackles an odd subject, one where both people in a marriage want a sex change. How they and their teenage children adapt is beautifully handled, both with genuine humour and great sensitivity. A very fine book indeed.Comparison: Nigel Williams, Stephen Fry.Similar this month: None, but try John Mortimer for his dry humour or Peter Ackroyd for his fine writing.
Henry Pratt, back home from National Service, is a man at last. As eager to prove it as he is to please, he is in at the deep end in his chosen profession - cub reporter on the Thurmarsh Evening Argus. As trams and typewriters chatter to the echoes of Suez and Hungary, Henry finds himself in an exciting if bewildering world. His first scoop about a stolen colander is not quite as straightforward as he hopes. Misprints and chuckles abound as ever-hopeful Henry manages to fall foul both of typesetters and attractive women. And, in a profession not noted for kindness to the diffident, he is as prone to accident as practical jokes. Nothing ever goes quite right for Henry. So when the scoop of a lifetime finally comes his way it threatens to upset the family and complicate further his ever-hopeful love life.
The much-anticipated latest novel from David Nobbs is the spiritual follow-up to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and is as witty as it is prescient. When revelations about the scandalous relationships and less than honest business practices of Sir Gordon Coppinger - infamous financier and devotee of excess - are made public, the glamorous facade of his London life begins to crumble and those around him fear the worst. But, much to Sir Gordon's surprise, all he can feel is relief. In this brilliant and funny examination of modern British values, where success is governed by the principles of wealth and celebrity and driven by the insatiable desire to attain more and more, we meet the perfect anti-hero: Gordon Coppinger, a man going quietly sane.
The classic follow-up to A Bit of A Do, about the comedy of Yorkshire life, told through seven more do's. Life is still a social minefield in this small Yorkshire town. From the opening of a vegetarian restaurant to the inauguration of the Outer Inner Relief Ring Road, join Ted and Liz as they struggle through another series of excruciatingly funny `do's' in this sequel to A BIT OF A DO. Can Ted find happiness with a waitress, now that he and Liz are no longer an item? Can Liz bring comfort to the grieving Neville, her strangely immaculate second husband? Above all, how will Ted's ex-wife Rita manage as her family becomes more dysfunctional at every function? Can she possibly be as happy as she seems?
From the author of the Reginald Perrin series comes a classic tale of two families, one posher than the other, set in a Yorkshire town. `I'm the groom's father. You're the bride's mother. It's their wedding day.' When Ted Simcock, maker of toasting forks in a small Yorkshire town, tries to avoid the inevitable with beautiful dentist's wife Liz Rodenhurst, his anguished attempt fails utterly, with huge consequences for both their families. From one awkward `do' to the next, via a dentists' dinner dance and the Crowning of Miss Frozen Chicken (UK), the fall-out touches everyone, but none more than Liz's husband Laurence and Ted's wife Rita, the unexpected heroine of this tale. Charting the relationship of newlyweds Paul and Jenny, along with the infamous coupling of their respective parents, Ted and Liz, this book will have you cringing, crying and laughing out loud.
Life after Deborah reaffirms Nobbs as the best writer of comedy and observer of the nuances of human nature that there is today. One man, five very different women. James Hollingshurst is a man shaped by those who surround him. And in James's case, it's some very different women. Be it his trusty wife Deborah, his hapless PA Marcia or his ex-girlfriend Jane. And there's one woman in James's life who looks set to upset the status quo... But a tragic accident is about to shake the bedrock of life as James knows it. An event sets a train in motion, which will challenge everything he's ever known and everyone he's ever loved. It will also bring his beloved daughter, Charlotte who he has not seen for fifteen years, tantalisingly close to him...
It Had to be You reaffirms Nobbs as the best writer of comedy and observer of the nuances of human nature that there is today.One man, five very different women.James Hollingshurst is a man shaped by those who surround him. And in James's case, it's some very different women. Be it his trusty wife Deborah, his hapless PA Marcia or his ex-girlfriend Jane. And there's one woman in James's life who looks set to upset the status quo...But a tragic accident is about to shake the bedrock of life as James knows it. An event sets a train in motion, which will challenge everything he's ever known and everyone he's ever loved. It will also bring his beloved daughter, Charlotte who he has not seen for fifteen years, tantalisingly close to him...
' A change of environment will bring you new business and personal interests, said Cousin Percy. Pegasus was glad to hear this.' Whether Pegasus Baines would have been so glad had he foreseen the outcome of his hasty decision to abandon the career of potential Nobel-prize winning nutrition scientist in favour of that world famous chef is less certain. The change of environment from North London with its deafening traffic to East Anglia with its menacing power stations brings new nightmares and new problems into his life. The 'ostrich country' of David Nobbs' novel lies somewhere between modern Britain and cloud cuckoo-land. Pegasus Baines is an innocent idealist, a self-deceiver. The tale of his tangles which gradually involve mistresses old and new, long-suffering family and several more-or-less innocent bystanders, modulates from honours melancholy to hilarious farce.
Why should up-and-coming, thirty-two-year-old executive Robert Bellamy get himself the sack? What made him draw a caricature of the Exports Manager on the wall of the non-executive gents? Why is he his own worst enemy? Is it because he nearly ran away from boarding school on his third day or because, when he was fourteen, his mother developed a fatal friendship for a man who looked like Hitler? Does his sense of inadequacy stem from his once being mistaken for a draft of 350 men? Or from his failure long ago to do justice to the facilities at Mme Antoinette's Maison d'Amitie (Paris branch)? Has he been too slow with Sonia, too fast with Frances? Whatever the reason, one act of brinkmanship seems to lead to another. Robert finds himself involved in a series of embarrassing farewells and confusing interviews and open and shut court case as he drifts towards the prospect of a stiflingly happy Christmas and an intolerably cheerful New Year.
One wintry afternoon a lodger named Wilson arrives at 38, Trebisall Avenue, filled with hope. As he crosses the threshold of Mrs Pollard's house, with its aura of impending stew he becomes a new man. This is a tactic he has tried before, just as he has tried many jobs before, from cook to seismographer's assistant. But alas, each time he was sacked because it was not his vocation. And so he has moved on, from town to town, from landlady to landlady: from Mrs McManus of Barnstaple, to Mrs McManus of Newport (I.O.W). Now, under the motherly eye of Mrs Pollard, he attempts a number of new vocations including those of poet and postman. Strange things befall him in the process: he is even tried and convicted for scandalous offences of which he has no recollection. But his progress continues, out through the end of this book, in search of a panacea for all mankind.
From one of the greatest comedic writers of a generation comes a story of love, faith and taxidermy. `Three mighty obstacles threaten the burgeoning love of childhood sweethearts Timothy Pickering and Naomi Walls. They are Steven Venables, a dead curlew and God.' 1978: Two lovers perch precariously on the cusp of adulthood. Timothy's father decides it's time for him to take on the family taxidermy business; while Naomi dreams of a career on the stage. Across the decades their lives continue to interweave, and occasionally cross - bound by the pull of intoxicating first love. But will their destinies ultimately unite them? Nobbs moves his exceptional comic talent to a new-found depth. Memorable and moving, a tale of love won and love lost. You will never look at the art of taxidermy in the same way again.
Alan and Ange are on a train, heading for London. Alan is a philosophy lecturer, still a virgin at fifty-five; Ange a twenty-something, horoscope reading, darts groupie. They certainly don't expect their first casual meeting to lead to anything, but it does. Seizing the day, as they pull into Euston station, Alan asks Ange out to dinner and so begins the unlikeliest of liaisons. As they get to know each other, they are initiated into each other's worlds. From the claustrophobic confines of an Oxford College to the heady excitement of a big dart's match; from Liebfraumilch to Wittgenstein and everything in between. They even travel to Rome seeing many wonderful things as Alan learns to live for the moment and Ange to appreciate the finer things in life. But can they survive their differences in age and background? Are Alan's feelings the stuff of obsession and infatuation or is this true love? And what sort of philosopher is he if he cannot define and understand love? Told through the voice of Alan, this touching and hilarious story is much more than a tale about an unlikely couple. Ultimately, it is a story about the nature of love.
When pretty young TV researcher Nicky Proctor visits Cafe Henry in London's Soho, Henry Pratt's life changes forever. He becomes an instant star of the TV food quiz, A Question of Salt and before long he is given his own series, Hooray, it's Henry. The book of the series reaches Number Two. He's a celebrity. Henry Ezra Pratt has come a long way from his humble beginnings. But, as usual in Henry's life, things begin to go wrong. He incurs the deep hatred of rival celebrity chef Bradley Tompkins, with his bad manners, bad wig and no Michelin stars. A war is waged against him, escalating into plots and deceptions which threaten to destroy the reputation and career of the man dubbed 'The People's Chef'. It must be Bradley behind all this - or must it? On the domestic front, too, there are storms ahead. Henry is blissfully happy in his second marriage to Hilary, but he is sorely tempted by young Nicky and his lovely co-star Sally. Can he resist? Can he become a real man at last? Or will success spoil Henry Pratt for good...? We last met Henry Pratt in The Cucumber Man. Pratt a Manger continues the hilarious story of a great British underdog.
As a small boy David Nobbs survived the Second World War unscathed, until his bedroom ceiling fell on him when the last bomb to be dropped on Britain by the Germans landed near his home. It was the nearest he came to the war, but National Service would later make him one of Britain's most reluctant soldiers. It was an unforgettable and often unpleasant experience. As a struggling writer, David was catapulted into the thrilling world of satire at the BBC when he rang THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS with a joke and got through to David Frost, who sent a taxi for the joke. He never looked back. His greatness as a modern comic writer was confirmed by the publication of THE FALL AND RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN, which he adapted into the immensely successful television series that has entered the fabric of British cultural life, through phrases, images and brilliant humour. A mesmerising, beautifully told tale of life in writing and comedy, I DIDN'T GET WHERE I AM TODAY is the hilarious, poignant and very personal story of David Nobbs' life, which also describes some of the most famous comedians of the last century and captures a golden age of British television.
Kate Thomas was beautiful, intelligent, witty, passionate and sexy. Now, at the ripe old age of ninety-nine, she is trapped in a hospital ward of sad, mad and bad old women. She escapes by playing to herself the video of her life. What a life it has been. Her six marriages have ended in suicide, a husband's adultery, another husband's deportation as a dangerous alien, a union dispute, a murder, and a natural death. But Kate's journey through the twentieth century is also a search for the truth - about life, death, and which of her three sons murdered her fifth husband. This is a novel rich in memorable characters, from Kate's narrow but loving Welsh family to the wild members of an artists' colony in Cornwall; from Midland piston manufacturers to an investigative journalist whose own life cannot bear investigation.
Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is surely one of the best loved comedy heroes of our time, in both literature and television. This omnibus brings together the first three Reginald Perrin novels containing a lifetime's outrageous and hilarious adventures. When we first meet Reggie, he is sick to death with selling exotic ices at Sunshine Desserts. Driven to desperation by the rat race and the unpunctuality of Britain's trains, Reggie's small eccentricites escalate to the extreme, until finally he leaves the unacceptable face of capitalism behind by driving off in a stolen motorised jelly. In his pursuit of the unconventional, he devotes himself to faking his own death, opening a shop devoted to selling completely useless goods, and setting up a commune strictly for the middle-class and middle-aged. Join Reggie, who didn't get where he is today without some help from some memorable supporting characters, in one man's quest to avoid an everyday existence.
THE COMPLETE PRATT compiles the first three volumes of the misadventures of Henry Pratt, beginning with a brilliantly funny evocation of a Yorkshire boyhood in SECOND FROM LAST IN THE SACK RACE; Henry's first job is as a cub reporter on the Thurmarsh Evening Argus, told in PRATT OF THE ARGUS, hailed by Sue Townsend as 'very funny'. Finally, in THE CUCUMBER MAN, Henry decides to take on a new role and a new challenge - working for the Cucumber Marketing Board in Leeds. Stumbling through the fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, Henry accumulates marriages and children along the way and THE COMPLETE PRATT is a touching and hilarious ride through a divided Britain...