mstan's Reviews > 84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
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's review
Sep 13, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: american, british, about-reading-and-writing, memoir, non-fiction, src-fall-2011

This started out as a five-star read. Helene Hanff is so blusteringly confident she draws the reader in with her generosity and warmth towards the employees of 84 Charing Cross. The letters they exchange are beyond charming!

However, my copy of the book includes 'The Duchess of Bloomsbury', in which Hanff details how she finally visits London after 84 Charing Cross is no more, and becomes thoroughly besotted with the city. Her rather prickly side is sometimes revealed (partly because she is, quite clearly, an extroverted introvert - which I can identify with on an intellectual level, but which I find unsympathetic in writing!), and I do find her meanderings somewhat self-indulgent. The bossiness she reveals in her letters is even more evident here, and while on the whole, she is still immensely readable, three stars sounds about right.

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