Thursday, 31 March 2011

I have a confession to make ... Miss Buncle Bored Me.
It didn't help that when I pounced on it in the library last week, it wasn't the elegant grey Persephone edition, it was an Old Lady's Library Book. Large print. From the family saga shelf.
Look at that cover. It even had a geriatric effect on Miss Buncle herself. Her age isn't specified in the book, but - as her old nanny is still her housemaid - my guess is that she's one of those literary spinsters still in their mid to late-30s. And here she is looking 65 if she's a day, in her mauve knitted-jersey suit and her pussy-cat bow.
I know, I know, it's still the same book. But I picked this up feeling like I should be resting my varicose veins on the pouffe and enjoying a cup of Complan on the side.
And I'm not ready for that. Not yet.
I'd been hoping that Miss Buncle - who writes a novel about her neighbours to supplement her dwindling income - would be a spinster with the pzazz of Miss Pettigrew.
But this is one of those 'gently-humorous' tales of sleepy English village life that lead me into temptation to stand up at the WI and tell raucously dirty jokes. (I wouldn't. Of course, I wouldn't. I can never remember the punchline of a joke.)
Or rev my motorbike outside the Vicarage.
Or put out my binbags on the wrong day.
Miss Buncle's Book is a Nice Library Book.
For nicer ladies than me.


Lucille said...

I find you can often judge a book by its cover which is why I'm not keen on Kindles!

Sue said...

I'm a terrible one for judging a book by its cover. There's no way I'd read your particular copy of Miss Buncle, but in a dove grey cover, now that's a different matter. I'm very superficial.

mary said...

But at least a Kindle would be neutral, Lucille!
That cover was too depressing for words, Sue ... I felt like I was in an old people's home wearing a pink acrylic bed-jacket! But the book was too insipid for me, even if I'd bought it in a classier grey wrapping.

kristina said...

I quite enjoyed Miss Buncle. But I do like a light read...and a grey cover!

K x

Anonymous said...

Mary you make me laugh so much!!!

Anonymous said...

I read the book in an original orange hardback edition and was still underwhelmed. But I didn't like Miss Pettigrew much, either.

mary said...

Reading it put 20 years on me, RacheL
But I thought everybody liked Miss Pettigrew! (Maybe that's what put you off!)

Darlene said...

Oh Mary, you are my kind of woman!

galant said...

I feel I want to read to the end of Miss Buncle, but it's boring me ... the joke is wearing a trifle thin, but I'd like to know what happens (or "wappens" as we say in the family) in the end ... and the only way, is to read on. But have given up for now, might return to her, the new Maisie Dobbs is currently replacing Miss Buncle!
Margaret P

mary said...

Margaret, I plodded on to the end (why, I wonder) but there's no surprises in the ending. (Especially if you know the title of the next book!) Now if I'd been writing it, I'd have had Miss Buncle exiled in disgrace to wind up living next door to Miss Marple in St Mary Mead. And then, depending how bored I was with her, maybe they'd pal up ... or she could be done away with by one of her wrathful ex-neighbours. Poisoned with last year's sloe gin? Smothered with a WI Victoria sponge?
Stabbed with a poisoned crochet hook?