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2.84 of 5 stars 2.84  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  6 reviews
In a Victorian mansion hotel on a Scottish island, a group of English Literature lecturers and students from Glasgow gather for a study weekend, though studying is not exactly what some of them have in mind. And the weekend does prove to be a major turning point in the emotional lives of several people - just not quite in the way any of them expected. As entertaining as it ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2007 by Sceptre (first published 2006)
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Roderick Hart
There are many characters in this book, which wouldn’t matter if they were sufficiently well differentiated to remember – but they’re not, and this is particularly true of the women. The book’s title derives from one of those academic weekends we used to hear about where the main purpose seemed to be casual sex rather than the pursuit of learning. And all the lecturers are men - why is that, William?

The book has a thesis to the effect that although we are human we can’t escape from our animal na
Feb 14, 2008 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who like a thoughtful read
I wanted to like this book. I really did. The book has been hailed since its release by the critics and public alike. So, what went wrong?

The main action in the novel takes place in an old Victorian hotel on a Scottish island. A group of English Literature lecturers and students from Glasgow gather ostensibly for a study weekend but predictably that's not all that's on the agenda.

The novel has a relatively low-key beginning as some female students discuss the possibilities of the forthcoming we
Ah. This is a difficult one to assess. So very, very good in parts - the writing, the insightful level of philosophising to be found in Laidlaw - and utterly - not incomprehensible - but of little interest to me in others. Which I accept is because I can be a lazy reader; I had a similar problem with A S Byatt's 'Possession. Confusing too at times to know who is who and eventually at times I regret I ceased to care.
It says on the cover 'The finest Scottish writer of our time'if that were true Scottish writing would be in serious trouble. The story flicks from character to character and with no strong characters its very hard to tell who he's on about.If he wasnt a guest at the Harrogate crime writing festival i would not have bothered finishing it.
Fraser Bridgeford
...the blurbs on the back indicated that it was supposed to be 'delightfully funny', 'hilarious' and 'witty', but could only make me smile...
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