Saturday, June 17, 2006

Spinsterella's Rubbish Holiday Book*

These are the books I took with me to Cornwall:
  • Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope
  • The Beauty Myth - Naomi Wolf
  • The Good Soldier - Ford Maddox Ford

This is what I actually read:

  • Prudence - Jilly Cooper

(Look, Bint Magazine said it was OK, OK?)

But it's not. It's awful.

The tag-line says, "A Comedy of Eros!" (Look at that exclamation mark! Isn't it exciting!) which might lead you to expect (a) humour and (b) sex. You'd be disappointed.

I thought that Jilly Cooper had practically invented 'bonking', but there's none of that sort of carry on in Prudence. humble opinion.

The plot? Oh God...

Pru is dating (but not snogging or anything) a barrister called Pendle. Yes, Pendle. Barristers are alway dead cold and aloof. This is because in their job they have to be careful not to get emotionally involved with their clients and cases and this standoffishness always has an effect on their personalities. It's one of the set-in-stone laws of shite-chick-lit.

Pendle takes Pru to meet his family at their country mansion (delapidated, of course) where she is snogged several times by Pendle's charismatic brother Jack. Pendle used to go out with Jack's wife and is still in love with her.

Then the third brother, Ace (yes, Ace) shows up. He's tall dark and handsome, and, best of all, he has a dead wife. (Thus showcasing his emotional side. Oh yes.)

Other cliches and general nonsense:

  • Pru goes horse-riding, but doesn't tell anyone she hasn't done it before, so she nearly has an accident. This allows Ace to shout at her in a manly way that shows he really cares.
  • She goes to a party wearing orange bermuda shorts.
  • Ace's girlfriend shows up. She's American, so therefore she must be extremely uptight and talk a lot of proto-new-age bollocks.
  • Pru gets trapped in the house with a proper 18th-century-standard dose of flu (hallucinations, fever), thus allowing Ace to further reveal his caring side by not letting her wash her hair. Skanky bitch.
  • The characters often speak to one another in lines out of Shakespeare.
  • An accountant shows up. He's dead boring.
  • There are pets with 'amusing' names.
  • The mother is an extremely glamorous drunk.
  • Pru, inevitably, ends up engaged to Ace.

There's more, but I'm losing the will to live. But still, I enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommended if you are in the middle of nowhere with a hangover and no telly.

*Apologies To Wyndham.


  • There's nothing wrong with a 'jilly'. I have them all - hard and soft back (ooh madam) and I keep them on the top shelf. Exactly where they should be.

    By Blogger rockmother, at 1:14 AM  

  • You don't need to read The Good Soldier. I failed to read it about 20 years ago, but still managed to write a sage and perceptive essay about it, and snagged a 2:1.

    Or was that Virginia Woolf?

    By Blogger Tim Footman, at 9:01 PM  

  • Prudence was written about 30 years ago. Read 'Wicked', her latest, and it's almost the same, but with more sex. And David Beckham.

    I love Jilly though. She's got me through chicken pox, tonsellitis and that strange period between exams and graduation.

    By Blogger Bex, at 10:45 PM  

  • Bleg. Just read Mills And Boons, same thing, but more brainless.
    Failing that, a vampire novel.

    By Blogger No Shit Sherlock, at 7:04 AM  

  • Why bother reading about bad sex when you can go out find yourself a rangy looking surfer and have as much bad sex as you want?

    By Anonymous Scarlette O'Harlot, at 8:27 AM  

  • This is probably just me being silly, but I've been convinced for some time that Jilly C. dubbed the voice for John Merrick in the film of The Elephant Man. Think about it, have you ever seen her and John Hurt in the same room?

    I'm right, aren't I?

    There's only one way to settle it - get Hurt and Cooper in the same room and ask Jilly to down a pint of water and we'll soon see if old Hurty boy can muster up an "KKKI HKAMMMM KERNNNOOOOOOOOTH KKKKAN KAN-KKKKKKII-MAL.........KKKKKKKKI'M KAN KUBAN BKKKKKKEING..." under his own steam.

    It's Jilly I tell you....how much?

    (Or is it John McCrirrick??)

    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 12:32 PM  

  • Life's too short for ironing, Eastenders and shite books.

    The Good Soldier, btw, is my favourite book in the whole world (the misery, the deception, the suppressed anger, all of life's disappointments and frustrations).

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 4:36 PM  

  • I just want to clarify that I do actually read books other than Jilly's by the way.

    By Blogger rockmother, at 7:48 PM  

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