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The Deaths

The Deaths Four families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent houses They leave only to commute first class to London for meetings deals and theatre outings or on family holidays t

  • Title: The Deaths
  • Author: Mark Lawson
  • ISBN: 9781447235682
  • Page: 321
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Four families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent houses They leave only to commute first class to London for meetings, deals and theatre outings, or on family holidays to winter sun or half term skiing But the money is running out in Britain and keeping up appearances isn t easy As tensions and relationships develop within this group of frFour families live in a beautiful stretch of English countryside in magnificent houses They leave only to commute first class to London for meetings, deals and theatre outings, or on family holidays to winter sun or half term skiing But the money is running out in Britain and keeping up appearances isn t easy As tensions and relationships develop within this group of friends, an unthinkable act of violence destroys these lives This horrific act opens the book, but Lawson takes us through several hundred gripping, intricately plotted pages before we find out whodunnit Guardian The Deaths is a dark and brilliant social comedy about how the other half live or how they pretend to.

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      Published :2019-03-23T22:10:24+00:00

    1 thought on “The Deaths

    1. oh dear, what a load of tripe. I read the reviews for this and thought that it sounded like a good social satire, promising humour, social observation and well constructed "whodunnit".ever, after a promising start.I feltthe characters were one dimensional, the dialogue achingly twee, and lord please don't actually tell me that people really do speak to each other ALL THE TIME in this faux double entendre/pun intended manner and address their children as Posie, Jammy, Squids etc. I felt I was dro [...]

    2. 'The Eight' are four couples who have everything money can buy, perfect afluent lives in the Buckinghamshire commuter belt at least that is what everyone thinks. In fact one family will be found dead in the opening chapter of this story and as the rest of the book unfolds we discover more about the hidden details of each couple as the identities of the victims and the motives behind the deaths become clear. Lawson manages to maintain the uncertainty about which family has been killed until about [...]

    3. The crimes have been committed in the first few pages of the book but the reader does not know who is dead, why they were killed, who was responsible or how it happened. The events leading up to the crimes are gradually revealed in the rest of the book but the clues are often misleading. The story revolves round four families living what some will see as ideal lives in a village in Middle England. They have Grade II listed houses, jobs which pay exceptionally well, elaborate security systems, st [...]

    4. Mark Lawson is one of my favourite radio presenters; I love his sharp, easy, comic style. I was really looking forward to this novel.Reading the blurb, I was expecting something far more lightweight: a Tom Sharpeish romp through the lives of the well-heeled in these recessionary times, so The Deaths took me very much by surprise. The style is very dense. The language is thick, rich and chewy. It was a much slower read than anticipated, and took quite a bit of getting into as a result.The charact [...]

    5. I found this to be absolutely riveting from start to finish. I genuinely can not recall something i enjoyed reading quite to much in recent times. The novel concentrates on four middle class couples going about their daily and seemingly perfect lives. However we are witness to what goes on behind closed doors, the need to be keeping up with the Jones, the insecurities faced and the harsh reality of what failure can mean within a social circle like this.Its so easy to automatically be disinterest [...]

    6. Very disappointing.I felt from quite early on that it was pretty arduous to read but persevered nonetheless as I wanted to find out who was murdered and why.I do feel like I wasted my time in finishing it. It was disappointing throughout; the writing style was often clunky; the narrative voice jumped far too often and it wasn't made clear enough who was speaking at any one time; I found it difficult to remember who was related to who and who was in whose good or bad books and why; the ending was [...]

    7. “Nothing stirs up authorial ire so much as the question of "likable characters." In a recent interview, the novelist Claire Messud was asked if she'd want to be friends with one of her characters. Her response was something like an explosion: "For heaven's sake, what kind of question is that? Would you want to be friends with Humbert Humbert? If you're reading to find friends, you're in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities. The relevant question isn't 'is this a potenti [...]

    8. A keenly observed portrait of middle class England during the winter of 2011-2012. It revolves around four families, living in the most magnificent houses in their Buckinghamshire village, (the elite of the village it has to be said).After a life of ostentatiousness, it demonstrates how the economic downturn effects them. The dialogue is good, the characters utterly believable. It is in turns both comical and extremely sad. It begins with the deaths of one of these families, but we don't find ou [...]

    9. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. The narrative alternates between the discovery of several bodies in one of the big houses in a country village and the lives of several rich people who live in the big houses leading up to the moment of 'the deaths'. Being a working class lass, it was difficult to identify with the incredible wealthy main characters but it's easy enough to see the struggles on maintaining a facade as many of them are not what they purported to be. Good piece of literat [...]

    10. The setting is a beautiful Berkshire village, a commuter village, on the London trainline. The characters are 'The Eight'; four couples who live with their assorted children and dogs in four wonderful houses. Houses that were built originally for the old aristocracy and have now been renovated and modernised to be occupied by the new elite. Bankers, financiers, doctors, lawyers, successful business people - these are the people that are reaping the rewards of the boom years. Seats in the first-c [...]

    11. I absolutely LOVED this book! Witty, satirical and fun - like eavesdropping on gossip. I adored this story and did not want it to end.

    12. It is no spoiler to say that a murder has been committed - it is mentioned at the very start of novel - in fact it's almost a carrot-on-stick inducement to get the reader to wade through this long, wordy, slightly sordid taleFour couples who refer to themselves as The Eight, live in beautiful rural Buckinghamshire in four identical country houses, replete with pools, barns, tennis courts, blah, blah. They are wealthy and flamboyant in their spending habits - a weekend in Morocco, holidays in far [...]

    13. Let me start my review by definitively stating that British author Mark Lawson's novel, "The Deaths", is about, oh, 75 pages too long. Weighing in at 465 pages, Lawson's "tome" could have been/should have been shorter. He could have told his story in fewer pages. BUT, his story - about 4 "golden" couples (and one other couple) living north of London in the winter of 2011-2012 - is such a good one that the reader notices the length of the book only because the content becomes "overly abundant" at [...]

    14. Perfect state of the nation book, thats starts off like a train. Killer lines, superb modern day observations as to the way that certain members of society act and some terrific humour. which regular commuters do not try and position themselves by where the carriage door stops?We know instantly that murders have been committed. In alternating short (the police investigating) and long (the background on the families), more and more is revealed. Its not initially clear at first who is dead and who [...]

    15. The beau monde in Buckinghamshire, UKHigh living in Buckinghamshire. But the facade is fragile and behind the moneyed masses – for some – are stories of despair and disintegration.Jason, the delivery driver for CapuccinGo (otherwise Nespresso I would guess) is on his rounds delivering the rainbow-coded coffee capsules to his rich punters. But he discovers a murderous rampage at one of the big 4 houses central to the narrative. The house is quiet, the dogs are dead. What further gruesome murd [...]

    16. This novel begins with the discovery of a series of deaths in one of four houses in a small village, called Middlebury. The four houses are mirror images of each other - highly luxurious, each set on a hill surrounded by land, they proclaim their superiority and status by location and design. In a way, the four couples who live in these houses are also mirror images; they have a similar number of children, most of whom attend the same school, they copy each other's lifestyles even to the breeds [...]

    17. I wanted to like this book as I'd seen the reviews and I read Mark Lawson's columns in the Guardian. But I found myself struggling after the opening chapter. The characters are so shallow and the situations described are so every-day. If you've travelled first-class on a Virgin train, it is exactly as Lawson describes, but why does he think that is interesting? Or, as one other reviewer remarks, what's gripping about trips to Waitrose? Of course, the mundane can be rendered interesting, but for [...]

    18. Woeful. I tried, but I seriously still couldn't even tell the characters apart by midway through the book because they were all so mind numbingly tedious. I had no clue who was married to whom, whose offspring belonged to whom. And nor did I care.I couldn't even be bothered to get to (or even skim to) the end to find out which family it was that got offed in the preliminary chapter. I actually kind of hope it turned out to be all of them. I don't usually advocate mass murder suicide, but I'll ma [...]

    19. I stumbled across this in a used bookstore in London, and I picked it up without having heard anything about it. Lawson successfully skewers upper-middle-class society by focusing on four families living in a village in SE England (commuting distance to London). I was pleasantly surprised by Lawson's ability to create a cast of pretty awful, damaged characters and yet somehow still elicit sympathy and sadness from me. I have often found with this kind of contemporary novel that I end up hating t [...]

    20. The Deaths is essentially an acerbically witty sitcom complete with adult themes, strong language, themes of a sexual nature and scenes of violence right from the very start! Joking aside, this is satire with a capital S. Here we are presented with a microcosm of the Middle (and Midlife!) Classes represented by four couples (each in their own identical barn conversion forming the corners of their own private square with their composite 3 to 4 children + 2 dogs + horses, respectively). An easy ta [...]

    21. I finished the book this afternoon and can't stop thinking about it. At times I was frustrated by the slow pace of the book and the attention to every detail of their lives. However, as the plot develops it does become clear as to how important all these details are. I feel very sad because, in the end, I had become to like all the characters featured and inevitably (as we are told at the beginning of the book) some of them die a violent death.

    22. I'm still shell-shocked by this. Yes, it's a little slow to start, but the reader finds themselves getting sucked in deliciously gradually, and then it's addictive. The writing is clever, and sharp, so it's not a book to whiz through as every line takes time to savour. I loved loved loved the satire of the Eight and their world - sadly, I know people like them, and it's a reflection of the world we live in. A brilliant satire/whodunnitandwhy and, ultimately, chilling.

    23. Not quite sure what to think. It's obviously satirical, which does tend to stop you identifying with any of the characters. It has some moments of real horror. And it's cleverly done, with red herrings aplenty. I enjoyed it and was hooked in, but it made me quite cynical and anxious, which I suppose is the point.

    24. It's very rare I cant finish a book. I only got to page 40 or so before giving up! I really don't care about posh people in Waitrose or sitting on the train. From flicking ahead this tedium continues for most of the book (I saw one review mention that the dead family is not revealed until 3/4 through). Not worth my effort.

    25. It is a brilliant book, part social satire, part crime mystery. The format kept me reading, staying up way past my bed time and ignoring my toddler.

    26. An arduous and tedious tale with shallow, unlikeable characters that attempts (but fails) to satirize classism in England during the recent Recession.

    27. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I chose it to read because the blurb sounded interesting (portrait of middle class Britain post-recession, shocking deaths discovered at the beginning with the victims' identities not revealed until the end) and I found it to be an engrossing, thought-provoking and often amusing read.The Eight are four upper middle class couples who are friends out of proximity and shared lifestyle rather than because they genuinely like each other. The reader won't find them like [...]

    28. While it managed - with only some limited degree of frustration on the part of the reader to keep the identity of said deaths and killer secret till the denouement of the book (while still interspersing the character detail with some police procedural) - the richness of this book lies in the day to day interaction of the 'eight', four wealthy couples living in close proximity, believing and acting as if they were above others while all being flawed. Although at times stereotypical - the brash la [...]

    29. A really enjoyable book that dragged me deeper and deeper into its web. A tapestry of animated 'moments' that switch from character to character, and between current events and the recent history. We know what has happened from the start, but not to whom, or why, and the intricate plotting keeps this mystery going until the horrifying, accelerating conclusion(s). I enjoyed all the characters, who come across vividly as we accompany them over the first few months of a cold winter, getting behind [...]

    30. I struggled so much with this book. So dull that the only chapters that managed to capture me were the crime related ones. I do not understand how can such awful characters can be liked and why would all those discussions be relevant to the story

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