Review: George – Don’t Do That by Joyce Grenfell

Own the book: YesJoyce Grenfell
Source: Charity shop
Format: Paperback
Price: £0.49
Published: 1992 by Warner Books (originally 1977 by Macmillan London Limited)
Date Read: 12th July 2014

I suspect (and hope) that many people will recognise the well-known and much loved phrase ‘George – don’t do that’. If you don’t, why not?! It is of course from the brilliant Joyce Grenfell’s set of Nursery School sketches. Joyce – who sadly died in 1979 – was a beloved English actress, comedienne, monologist and singer-songwriter. An extremely talented woman. I knew her best as Sergeant Ruby Gates in the original St Trinian’s films where she was marvellous. I discovered Joyce’s monologues after a YouTube search and was hooked. Finding the book with the scripts of many of them in was an added bonus.

I really enjoyed reading ‘George – Don’t Do That’ although it was best read aloud. My talents were nowhere near those of Joyce however – and occasionally rather embarrassing – so I shall keep my monologue reading to myself. The book was relatively short at 88 pages but did contain six Nursery School sketches; ‘Nativity Play’, ‘Flowers’, ‘Free Activity Period’, ‘Story Time’, ‘Sing-Song Time’ and ‘Going Home Time’ along with a monologue called ‘Writer of Children’s Books’ which was new to me. The book also contained a number of illustrations by John Ward which enabled me to picture some of the scenes even better.

I think this book will end up becoming one of my go-to escape books and I couldn’t have chosen better. Give it a go (or a watch!) and tell me what you think below.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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Review: Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter by Simon Brett

Own the book: No
Source: Library
Format: Hardback / Large Print
Price: N/A
Date Read: 12th March 2014

Blotto, Twinks and the Ex-King’s Daughter is the first in the Blotto and Twinks series by the author Simon Brett and by far his oddest series. It is a crime / comedy fiction book and lives up to this eclectic genre mix well. If you want serious crime, this really isn’t the book for you. If you want rushed conclusions (just by glancing at a blood-stained jacket, Twinks can tell whose the blood is, as well as its blood-type!), phrases you will be shouting for weeks (Toad in the hole Twinks, you really are the larks larynx!), and the use of cricket bats to fend off cannon-balls (Yes, really) then by jove, this is bally-well the book for you.

I found the story to be well written and highly amusing; often sending me into fits of giggles at the worst times (the doctors waiting room for example). However, I did in the end get tired by the endless idiocy that is Blotto and the utter unending brilliance that is Twinks. Whether I shall read another of this series I don’t yet know but the author has written others (such as the Fethering series) which I shall be trying.

Rating: ♥♥♥