Hadn't read this for over ten years, which surprised me. I remembered lots of it, and it was a lovely read. Following this (and before writing this summary), I straight away read Fair Do's, and then the four Pratt books. So it's not entirely easy to disentangle this book from the others.
When reading the book, I just couldn't help visualising the characters as they appeared in the TV series (I first read the book before the TV series was made, but now it's impossible not to imagine the adaptation). I think that was fantastically well cast. Then I bought the DVD set and have been watching it since completing the books. It's good, but nowhere near as good as the books, because there's just too much stuff that had to be left out.
Some quotes I highlighted - some of these I'd remembered but not all.
'You know Rita, you and I have a lot in common,' he said.
'How do you make that out?'
'Well ... I may seem to you to be the happy professional man ... successful society dentist, lovely house, beautiful wife, two highly satisfactory children, suave, good-looking, confident. Actually I'm a seething mass of doubts and inadequacies.'
'Are you suggesting that I'm a seething mass of doubts and inadequacies?'
'It's the only good thing in this bloody awful business of growing old. You don't have to give a bugger.'
It was time to play his joker. Ted knew that it would decide the issue one way or another, but he didn't know enough about women to be absolutely sure of the outcome.
Ted only took the lift because he couldn't find any stairs. There wasn't the slightest noise when the doors closed, no sickening lurch of his nervcous stomach as they set off, not a groan, not a hiss, not a shudder, to indicate that they were moving. Ted was reluctantly impressed.
The doors slid open silently, and he stepped back into the foyer.
'What do I have to do, Rita?'
'The one thing that's impossible, I'm afraid.' She spoke sadly, gently, regretfully. 'Have behaved up till now differently from what you have.'
People sat exactly where they liked, or, if they were among the last to arrive at the table, exactly where they didn't like.
Completed : 20-May-2016