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No Laughing Matter

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  38 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Over 60 years in the life of an English family are covered as the author depicts the complex reactions of a family in which love and hate, interest and boredom, admiration and contempt struggle for mastery.
Paperback, 608 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by House of Stratus (first published 1967)
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Megan Baxter
This is finished in the sense of "I give up," not in the sense of "I actually managed to finish it."

I got about a hundred and twenty pages in, came to the scene where two parents drown kittens in order to get money, stopped, thought, realized there was no part of this book I was enjoying, gently put it down, and backed away.
Arukiyomi
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
You know you’re in the presence of literary genius when there are large parts of a novel you feel out of your depth in. I felt like I fell into a torrent at one end and could only touch the bottom about once every 50 or so pages. But, somehow, I enjoyed it. Not quite sure why though.

This is the story of a set of six quite unique siblings from childhood right up to their dotage. Using this vehicle, Wilson comments on the influence of the times on society while also very successfully portraying fa
...more
Schaza Askar
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A panoramic novel that stretches from 1912 to 1967 No Laughing Matter is perhaps Angus Wilson’s most autobiographical novel.

The novel chronicles the end of the bourgeois way of life as seen through the lives of the six Matthews children and their dysfunctional middle-class family. Depicting the declination of the Matthews family. The parents - Billy Pop and the Countess who are incoherent and impulsive creatures and they don't talk to each other - are objects of mockery to their children who pr
...more
Catherine
Aug 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookcrossing
I started this while sleepy and got a bit lost in the extended interwoven dreams of the first section: I couldn't work out if the family were in Kensington or on the trail in America. I therefore determined to wait until i was awake before I got back to it but was on a rather active holiday so it got put aside for a week and re-started. Second time round it made sense, but if you like your narratives to be straightforward this isn't for you. There are continuing shifts of perspective and style a ...more
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Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson, KBE (11 August 1913 – 31 May 1991) was an English novelist and short story writer. He was awarded the 1958 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot and later received a knighthood for his services to literature.

Wilson was born in Bexhill, Sussex, England, to an English father and South African mother. He was educated at Westminster School an
...more
More about Angus Wilson...

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“ 'April, April, laugh thy girlish laughter, and the moment after, Weep thy girlish tears, April.' ” 6 likes
“Life isn't just to be found, you have to work for it.” 2 likes
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