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Women in the Background
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Women in the Background

2.85  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 27th 2005 (first published 1995)
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Paul Doughton
Aug 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Barry is one of my favorite Australians so I was fairly open minded to recieve and persist here. One of the most entertaining features is that on almost every page Barry drops a word that is not really in everyday usage. This became a real part of the books structure and although character development and plot weren't really treated with the same finicky obsession, his intelligence and wit shines and is quite endearing - especially for a fan. Although they appear in different guises, Barry slips ...more
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book looked fairly promising but in the end I just found it disappointing. I was particularly annoyed at the constant referrals to Kiwi women (New Zealanders) having a name ending in '-wyn' and saying 'wee' all the time. This might have been funny if it was typical but it isn't so it wasn't. I didn't see the point. It was lame. Some of the book was mildly amusing but on the whole, it left me feeling a little disgruntled.
Helen Noonan
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
It was funny, of course, although I didn't laugh out loud too often. It was a tragi-comedy which managed to build tension very skillfully right up to the end. I had a lot of empathy for the likeable and flawed main character and I actually found it quite sad and poignant. It was a really well crafted novel and fun to read quickly.
Sophie Houston
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Lurid, amusing, occasionally brilliant - he really needs a proofreader, though!
Greg James
Aug 08, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting but flawed tale, owing much to Barry 's complicated personal life, I suspect! He clearly had a bit to get off his chest. His memoirs are a much better read.
May 19, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book was awful, beyond belief. It just shows what happens when a talented stage comedian tries to switch medias. Definitely one of the worst books I've ever read, and I've read my share.
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book - have read it twice - makes me laugh
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
So so - sadly
Mike Finn
Oct 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sadly slipped into predictable farce but otherwise was shaping up as an entertaining read about female impersonator's troubled financial situation and relationships.
Mar 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
Good read... not startingly funny but perhaps this was my mood at the time.
Jim Babcock
Jul 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Made me appreciate the wit of Barry Humphries, the actor and 'manager' of Dame Edna Everage. Lovely ending.
An amusing book. It was easy to relate to the characters, and while the story line was fairly predictable (especially from the blurb on the back!) it was well written.
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John Barry Humphries is an Australian comedian, satirist, dadaist, artist, author and character actor, best known for his on-stage and television alter egos Dame Edna Everage, a Melbourne housewife and "gigastar", and Sir Les Patterson, Australia's foul-mouthed cultural attaché to the Court of St. James's. He is a film producer and script writer, a star of London's West End musical theatre, an awa ...more