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Rebuilding Coventry

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  446 ratings  ·  32 reviews
From its title on, Sue Townsend's short, utterly entertaining novel is full of jokes both sly and slapstick. The Coventry of the title is one Coventry Dakin, the novel's narrator, and a devoted, intelligent, but intensely bored wife and mother maintaining her dull husband and two nearly-grown children in suburban Midlands. Coventry also just killed her neighbor, a jerk nam ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Soho Press (first published 1988)
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More action happens in this 134-page novella than I have read in novels four times its size. The heroine, Coventry Dakin, begins the novel by stating, "I am beautiful and yesterday I killed a man." From here, we go on a whirlwind journey, as Coventry eludes the authorities, abandoning her controlling husband and the two children she loves. She runs to London, lives as a homeless person, then as a domestic, and even stoops to one incident of prostitution.
Meanwhile, the brother she loves, Sidney,
I am a huge fan of Sue Townsend, and really enjoyed this novella about a woman finding her freedom. Witty and emotional, this is a fast-paced story of a woman who kills her neighbour with an Action Man, then goes on the run. Coventry had been dissatisfied with her life for some time, but this is the event that helps her to change things. Townsend explores feminism and politics, but in such a light-hearted way that it is accessible for every reader.
Just the sort of book I love; flawed, strong, likeable heroine, full of eccentric, random, unlikely, funny madness, with supporting cast of goodies and baddies. Full of twists and turns, very fresh, fast paced, thoroughly enjoyed. Would have 5 star'd it but the end was just too rushed and the novel seemed to end too abruptly, which came as a huge disappointment as the rest of the novel's pace and pathos was perfect.

If Sue Townsend was my friend (in my perfect fantasy world) and she had brought o
Had a few moments of comedy, but if you like the Adrian Mole diaries DO NOT read this. You'll just be depressed that this is what the author has gotten up to since.
This strange little book is a comedy and it was easy to read, but it certainly wasn't laugh-out-loud - more like a wry smile from time to time. Perhaps not having lived in the UK for so long, some of the references went over my head?

The plot was implausible, but it wasn't meant to be realistic and I was fine with that. Overall it was an enjoyable read, but I was very disappointed indeed in the ending. I wanted a happy ending for our heroine and I didn't get it.

Picked thisup because I've had good experience with this author.

At one point Coventry muses:
"I'm forty and I've never flown in an aeroplane; never driven a car, never, as an adult, been to the theatre or been ice-skating; never played tennis or been to a night-club; never eaten Chinese food in a Chinese restaurant, worn pretty underwear or had a bank account or talked about sex, money and politics in mixed company."

Bookczuk is older than 40 and done all but one of the things mentioned, but I'm
An amusing little story told in the author's style familiar from the Adrian Mole books. Coventry Dakin, married to a boring man and with two teenage children, finds herself having to flee her domestic drudgery when she rescues a neighbour by inadvertently killing the neighbour's husband who is strangling her. Fearful of the consequences of her actions, Coventry flees to London without even her handbag or any money and tries to make her way. Here she meets some great characters who help her cope. ...more
абсурдна історія, про яку читачеві розповідають у першому реченні, балаганний гумор, бурлеск і травестія (один із рідкісних випадків, крім "енеїди" котляревського, коли ці два слова справді доречні). і в самому серці її – підступне запитання: ви вже живете чи досі чекаєте, поки з вами щось станеться, аби почати?
I love Adrian Mole and this was not him. The story is a bit bizarre , dealing with Coventry who kills her wife beating neighbour and goes on the run. She flees to london and we follow her exploits as she has sex with a stranger for a few Quid , works for a very weird couple one of who wears no clothes at home and then teams up with a female tramp who turns out to have connections in high places. Funny in places , it's really about Coventry finding her freedom from her boring husband and children ...more
I have this book in hard copy with a different cover than Goodreads has in its editions. It's a funny book, wonderful British humor by a British author. The book is not long and has concise writing so the story flows along briskly. Coventry is a married mother of two who gets tired of seeing one of her neighbors, also married with children, abused by her husband. She marches over one day in the midst of such a scene and bops the hubby on the head with a toy doll. He dies. Sure she has killed him ...more
Enjoyed this eccentric, nearly-impossible saga immensely. I was so taken up with Coventry that I was rooting for her every moment. I was glad when things ended satisfactorily. (Is this a spoiler? hope not :P). I relished all the eccentric characters. Why can;t Townsend make at least a couple of them ordinary? Coventry is an unusual lady who is forced to flee from her house after inadvertently murdering her lecherous, wife beating neighbbour Gerald Fox. She has a series of (mis)adventures in Lond ...more
Chas Bayfield
I made a note of this when I read it 25 years ago: Good light reading. Not fantastic as say, Fay Weldon is fantastic but quirky and fun.
I loved it! Sue Townsend has a great way of pulling her reader into a story. Beautiful Coventry kills a man and embarks on an adventure that will change her forever.
Yvette Smart
Nope, sorry I just didn't like it. Put it down 1/4 of the way through, it just wasn't for me.
Having never read any of Sue Townsend's other books, I have nothing to compare 'Rebuilding Coventry' to. It is by no means 'high literature', but it was a quick, enjoyable and funny read. Apart from the ending, which seemed rushed, I enjoyed the dark humour and the portrayal of British quirks both in London and Midlands. There are some great personalities in the book (or lack of), which are well developed.

Caroline: "By the way, Jaffa, don't be offended, but never, never say "pardon". "Pardon" i
Este livro começa de forma hilariante e relembro-o como um dos mais idiotas que li. Estava uma doméstica mãe de familia empoleirada no telhado a limpar a chaminé, quando ao olhar para a casa ao lado, vê o vizinho a discutir com agressividade com a esposa. Correndo em auxílio da vizinha, irrompe casa dos vizinhos adentro, agarra no primeiro objecto que as suas mãos apanham e dá com o mesmo na cabeça do vizinho, deixando-o inanimado, mas julgando-o morto. O objecto era um "action man". O que se se ...more
Pauline Watson
In a word, disappointing.
I listened to some of this on audio book - was slightly baffled (and irritated) by the fact that despite the main characters being from the East Midlands, they were all given a West Mids/brummy accent - odd.

The book itself is pretty dated, but well written and gives a great perspective on 1980's society. A humerous quick read
Lynne Elsisy
I love Sue Townsend. End of.
Feel I potentially missed the point of this book. I mean i enjoyed reading it and everything, but having read some of the Adrian Mole books by Sue Townsend, I felt that I must have missed something because an author who has proven to me how good she is couldn't possibly have written such a book.
I expected much more from the author of the brilliant Adrian Mole books. This was a fast read, and some of the characters are amusing, but as a whole I found it depressing rather than funny, with an unsatisfying ending.
I do like sue Townsend novels and have read a fair few. This is a strange one, it feels like it is building up to a big finish but in reality the ending is a bit flat. An easy read tho, and enjoyable.
Loved this little gem about the feminist awakeining of a timid suburban housewife. Just delightful, as usual with Sue Townsend.
lézengő reader
It was a huge dissapointment after reading Adrian Mole's diaries, and not only because I had too great expectations.

Quick, funny, poignant, but the strangest most rushed to an ending I've ever experienced.
I have enjoyed Sue Townsend's books in the past but this one barely raised a smile.
Katharine Eves
LOved this quick easy read which made me laugh out loud at times, perfect holiday read
Some funny bits but not as humourous as many of her other books.
Sue Townsend is a genius. Funny, dark, quirky - loved it!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend was a British novelist, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole series of books. Her writing tends to combine comedy with social commentary, though she has written purely dramatic works as well. She has suffered from diabetes for many years,
More about Sue Townsend...
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4  (Adrian Mole, #1) The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (Adrian Mole, #2) Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (Adrian Mole, #5) The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Adrian Mole, #6)

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