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The Scent of Dried Roses

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  144 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Scent of Dried Roses
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 275 pages
Published July 30th 2009 by Penguin (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Colin
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book by pure serendipity, while waiting for the work lift. The title leapt out at me from a shelf of otherwise prosaic biographies and, intrigued, I took a closer look. I'm very glad that I did. The subject matter is hardly a light read - the story of the author's struggle with depression and his mother's ensuing problems with the same condition and subsequent suicide. But it is so beautifully written and such a perceptive analysis of the changing condition and lost worlds of ...more
Michael ODonnabhain
I read this book because I live in Southall and Tim is one of the few writers who's written about where I live (okay, it's the other side of the Uxbridge road, but still!). Actually it's a really interesting book about England and subtopia in general. It also deals with depression, suicide and so-called 'mental illness'
Claire Titchmarsh
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serendipitous find in 2nd-hand bookshop and valued addition to my PMClassics collection. Spine creases all the way through promised that it would be worth the read, and it was.

It felt like the author put a lot of effort and thought into this book and I thank him for writing it as it put into words some hard to express issues I have also faced. It must have been a very difficult process for him yet he bravely addresses issues that are, still, misunderstood or not talked about, out of embarrassme
...more
Anna
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is as much a book about depression as it is a biography, an autobiography, a history of English upper working class/lower middle class, of suburbia.
Tim Lott traces back family history to his grandparents' generation in an attempt to make sense of the sudden surprising suicide of his mother Jean and with it paints the picture of his class evolving through history.

Although I bought this book because it deals with depression in a familial environment, I thoroughly enjoyed it throughout. The d
...more
Jakey Gee
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Pretty flawless. Very touching as a memoir in itself of prosperous working class 'subtopian' life and social history (you could almost call it an unlikely love letter to the dear, forgotten post-war consensus). Very good on mannerisms and speech too - and that indelible lack of self-confidence that comes with the class inheritance.

More importantly, it's very insightful on depression and survival - and what foolishness still circles all that.

I almost found myself feeling affectionate about West
...more
Melanie
Apr 11, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, 2011
This was a potentially affecting story of Tim Lott's depression and his mother's suicide, set against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Southall. I was very distracted by the fact that Tim can't seem to forgive his parents for being working class, and for that reason comes across as pretentious and unlikeable. The more I read the more I discover how little anyone knew his mother Jean, and even here Tim's story has to eclipse hers.
Sue
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Susan James
Read this very quickly as someone else in book club needed to read it before our next meeting: in all honesty I wished Imhad been able to,take more time with it as it turned out to be far more interesting than I had anticipated. Informative both as a social history and, to some extent, a history of mental,illness treatment. Very interesting.
Karen
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a great memoir of the late twentieth century with magnificent recall of lost brands and rituals evoking a recent past. For me its most magnificent pages are from p.195 on when the laying bare of mental illness takes over. Very carefully and gently observed
Ryan Williams
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Were Styron's Darkness Visible the book we're commonly assured it is, it might almost match up to The Scent of Dried Roses. It's also a serious slice of cultural history, and knows that the 'little' things in life are anything but.
Yvonne
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although a sad book about the suicide of his mother, it is also a book about the history working class Londoners after 1945 and growing up in England during the 60s and 70s. Very touching.
Martin Cusworth
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May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant,insightful and moving book.
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“Depression is about anger, it is about anxiety, it is about character and heredity. But it is also about something that is in its way quite unique. It is the illness of identity, it is the illness of those who do not know where they fit, who lose faith in the myths they have so painstakenly created for themselves. [...] It is a plague - especially if you add in its various forms of expression, like alcoholism, anorexia, bulimia, drug addiction, compulsive behaviour of one kind or another. They're all the same things: attempts to avoid disappearance, or nothingness, or chaos.” 44 likes
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