Reviews - What do customers think about The Cuckoos Of Batch Magna?
The Wind in the Willows revisited. Jun 16, 2004
The Cuckoos of Batch Magna is the Wind in the Willows for grown-ups - or for grown-ups who are still children at heart. It's described on its cover as the best novel of rustic roguery since The Darling Buds of May, which is also a book I love. It shares the same lovely descriptive writing and eccentric characters (including the American squire who also turns out to be a child at heart) and the same love of the English countryside. Mr Maughan has the gift of taking you into that world, the wonderful world of Batch Magna, its people and its river. It's a book that takes you out of yourself, takes you on a holiday to a place I intend to re-visit, to re-read, again and again. And I do hope it's a world he will make again for his readers, that there will be a sequel.
An Ealing Comedy Jun 4, 2004
I loved this book. It's lyrical and very amusing, with all the charm of an old Ealing comdey. The American who inherits the estate and title, a short-order cook and now Sir Humphrey (Humph) of Batch Hall, represents (although he's not a very good example) the go-getting materialistic ''real world, which had always been over there somewhere beyond the blue hills.'' But then Sir Humphrey - ah, but that would be giving it away. The novel is set in my part of the world, the Welsh Marches, and was made so real for me by the writing I feel I could drive over there today, and enter that world of the river where they wake ''in summer to a mist on the water, the valley a pool of still green silence made deeper by birdsong, and there's a river to cool off in. And winters snug around the stove, with the sound of owls outside in the frosty dark or when a wind blows and there's rain on the roof.'' More please Mr Maughan!
Book of Summer 2004! May 22, 2004
I read it on the bus, in the bath, at work; this is one book you will find hard to put down. The village of Batch Magna on the beautiful English-Welsh border is the setting for the battle of the century as the colourful residents of the village and houseboats (the lovable rogue Phineas-or should I say Warren Chase-being my particular favourite) take on the millionaire inheritor of the Batch Magna estate. Plans to turn the village into a theme park are not popular and as you can imagine, they are prepared to put up a fight; but on meeting the hapless "Humph" from New York, things are not quite how you would expect. Not only is the story-line refreshing and the conclusion satisfying, but there are bits of dialogue that are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. I would strongly recommend "The Cuckoos Of Batch Magna", even if you haven't read anything for a while as this is very easy to get into and brilliant fun. A real gem of a book.