New Cardiff
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New Cardiff

3.02 of 5 stars 3.02  ·  rating details  ·  101 ratings  ·  19 reviews
As a discerning reader of nineteenth-century American fiction, Englishman Colin Ware is familiar with the tradition of transcending disastrous love affairs by booking the next ocean liner to Europe. Now that he has experienced the pain and humiliation of heartache firsthand, he decides to try this cure in reverse.
New Cardiff, Vermont, may be an infinitesimal blot on the...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Washington Square Press
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This review was written for The Review Diaries:

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
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
Dec 11, 2007 Tricia rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
This very humor­ous book will take you away from your own life. Two main rea­sons for that: first, the story is great with lots of explicit and implicit humor, but sec­ond and for me more impor­tant, this book con­tains mostly direct dia­log. You get very lit­tle to go on when it comes to tone of speech, sur­round­ings, man­ners, etc. You have to pic­ture them all your­self by read­ing the dia­log. So although this book is very easy to read, it will keep you very busy. No sit­ting back and relax...more
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
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
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.

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.
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.
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.
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.
Enjoyed the movie, wanted to read the book though as was interested in the characters. Enjoyed the book even more. Lovely.
Silly contempory love story between an educated Englishman and an uneducated New Englander.
Dezi Allen
Weird story. Even stranger ending.
Much better than his other book.
Just couldn't get into it.
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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 The Wilderness Effect

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