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New Cardiff

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Colin escapes to the New World to heal himself when Vera, to whom he'd been getting married, sends him an invitation to her wedding to someone else. In New Cardiff he finds a simplicity that seduces and transforms him. When Vera arrives to explain it was all a joke, he's a very different Colin.
Paperback, 354 pages
Published 2003 by Abacus (first published January 1st 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 205)
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Benjamin Kahn
Not a great book. It consists almost solely of dialogue, and very awkward dialogue, where one character makes some kind of incomplete statement and the other character keeps asking questions to draw out more information while the original speaker is somewhat evasive. Or you have two characters talking but having different conversations - Character A talks about their relationship while Character B talks about the museum. Each character alternates speaking lines about their different conversation ...more
Rosy
This review was written for The Review Diaries: http://reviewdiaries.blogspot.com/201...

This was made into a film a few years ago entitled ‘Hope Springs’ staring Colin Firth, Heather Graham and Minnie Driver, and I don’t know how much seeing the film before reading the book will have affected my view on it.

I loved the film, it was a quiet yet witty affair, perfectly cast that trundled along nicely, and the same can be said of the book. I always find it interesting to see how they translate a boo
...more
Sun
British artist Colin Ware travels across the Atlantic, checks into a hotel and spills his guts to sympathetic New Cardiff locals about his girlfriend running off with another man.

I wanted to like this, I really did. Unfortunately, what happened was that I saw the terrible movie adaptation "Hope Springs" beforehand and I couldn't get the image of an incredibly perky and shallow Heather Graham out of my head.

Then again, it's not entirely the fault of the movie. The book is written almost entirel
...more
Tricia
Dec 11, 2007 Tricia rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
I was looking for a light read for the bus commute, and randomly picked this up. The cover shows Minnie Driver so I thought it was encouraging. The writing is very stilted and surface-y - it read more like an outline, so I can see that it might make a good movie. Of course, I've got that on my to-see movie list because I am a glutton for punishment - and I was shocked that Minnie Driver is the 'other' female character and not the main romantic lead... which doesn't work in my head since I had to ...more
Martinet
Nothing spectacular--simple story mostly told through dialogue, with restrained British humor. (Any scenes with the vindictive fiancee in them, however, are excellent--she adds a spark that none of the other characters have, except maybe the vindictive Chamber of Commerce Director.)

Just learned upon peeking at Amazon that this book has been made into a movie (renamed "Hope Springs"), with a very good cast (Colin Firth, Heather Graham, Minnie Driver). I may actually be interested in checking thi
...more
Kris
2 STARS

"Colin escapes to the New World to heal himself when Vera, to whom he'd been getting married, sends him an invitation to her wedding to someone else. In New Cardiff he finds a simplicity that seduces and transforms him. When Vera arrives to explain it was all a joke, he's a very different Colin." (From Amazon)

I was interested in reading this novel because it was written by the author of The Graduate and stars Colin Firth and Minnie Driver! Unfortunately, I did not care for the book as it
...more
Leanne Lewis
Bought this super cheap at a second hand store. It looks interesting and a love story so it was up my alley. The book has a lot of dialogue so it is somewhat of an easy read. I didn't feel it had a very in depth story and the love stories that were taking place didn't get the reader wound up in what was to happen next. I took the book while on vacation and if I fell asleep in the sun, I wasn't too bothered. I did also leave the book there for the next guests. It was a likeable book but not a fav ...more
Devin
Great dialogue from Webb (as always); Witty exchanges abound.

Somewhere toward the end the humor went from feeling charming to overly cute whimsy. This is still well worth the read if you are in the mood for something light. I am certain there is a rich subtext of homages to 19th century American Fiction, as cued by Colin's opening encounter in the art supply store. Alas this feature of the narrative regrettably remained all but lost on this reader.

Mark
I read this mostly on the strength of seeing that it was by the author of "The Graduate." As it turns out, this is no worthy heir. A British man fleeing a shattered love affair lands in New Cardiff, a fictional town in New England, and tries to restart his life. There are some good character sketches and the people are generally likeable, but this does not have the weight and archetypal splash of his debut novel so many years ago.
Allison Long
A coworker lent me this book and five pages in, I thought "This was a movie with Colin Firth." I was right. I remembered the movie being very underwhelming but not unpleasant. I was right about that too. The book is much the same. It is funny, in a quirky way, but it also isn't a book that has you dying to turn the next page. "New Cardiff" isn't unpleasant, but it isn't overwhelmingly pleasant either.
Hannah
Hmm, a very strange book that read more like a script. I love the film and didnt realise it was based off of a book until I picked it up. I think it would have been confusing and harder to get through, had I not seen the film first. I dont think its good enough to make sense on its own unfortunately.
Cody Clarke
Feb 25, 2008 Cody Clarke rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People in the mood for funny and sweet
Recommended to Cody by: Nobody
This book is very sweet and funny. The film version is retarded and terrible, however the casting of Colin Firth, Minnie Driver, and Heather Graham is perfect. Read the book and imagine these actors in their respective roles.
Summer
Mostly double-spaced dialogue with zero character or relationship depth. Nothing to draw you into the story or feel for the characters. Ending was boringly depressing.
Carol
Takes place in small town in Vermont. Book is mostly dialogue between a British visitor to New Cardiff and a young woman he meets there.
Heidi
Enjoyed the movie, wanted to read the book though as was interested in the characters. Enjoyed the book even more. Lovely.
Nancy
Silly contempory love story between an educated Englishman and an uneducated New Englander.
Dezi Allen
Weird story. Even stranger ending.
Annalee
Much better than his other book.
Nancy
Just couldn't get into it.
Ingrid
Ingrid marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2015
Chabely
Chabely marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2015
Inetele
Inetele marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2015
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Charles Webb (born in San Francisco, California) is the author of several novels, mainly known for his most famous work, The Graduate. The novel was eventually made into an enormously successful film.
More about Charles Webb...
The Graduate Home School Love, Roger marriage of a young stockbroker METHOD AGING and Improvisational Longevity

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