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The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin by…

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1975)

by David Nobbs

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Reginald Perrin (1)

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199488,240 (4.05)17

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
One of those books that is very funny on the surface, but quite serious underneath. Reggie Perrin is a fairly absurd character, and there is comedy in the repetition of his everyday life, and that of the people around him. It's very funny. But it's also a midlife crisis and a breakdown and so quite tragic at the same time. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jun 10, 2018 |
A somewhat surreal and bizarre book, revolving around the more serious issue of a man having a rather caricatured mid-life crisis. I loved the first sentence, though it went a little downhill thereafter. Perhaps worth reading once; the occasional humorous moment but not the laugh-aloud hilarity I was promised on the blurb. ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin - David Nobbs ****

What is it about?

I remember watching the tv programme as a child with my father, but never realised it was based on a book. So when I came across a copy I decided to give it try. The novel follows Reggie Perrin, a senior executive in Sunshine Deserts, a man who’s daily routine becomes so monotonous that it edges him further and further into a mid life crisis. Reggie’s behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre and we follow his descent into a near complete nervous breakdown. Struggling to hold onto his youth and unhappy with a seemingly bleak future he decides to dramatically change things.....

What did I like?

The tv series mirrors the book almost exact, but there were more than a few surprises with a number of the ‘riskier’ elements being left out (these will be more than apparent). Unusually for me I actually found myself laughing out loud on a number of occasions. The book is extremely well written with individuals that we can relate to in our own lives and work places. We get to know Reggie so well that whether we like it or not there are certain aspects of his character that we begin to recognise in ourselves, and that just adds to the humour.

What didn’t I like?

My only criticism, and the reason for not getting 5 stars, was that at times the plot just became slightly repetitive and the situations a little unrealistic. I won’t go into that any further as it would spoil various plot lines, but now and again I found myself thinking ‘Would he really get away with that?’

Would I recommend?

I very rarely venture in to the comedy aisle in a bookshop, and to be honest usually steer clear of the genre, but this is one of those occasions when I am glad I tried something different. So would I recommend it? Definitely. So much so that I have just ordered the next book in the series, ‘The Return of Reginald Perrin’. ( )
  Bridgey | Jul 20, 2015 |
Reginald Perrin is going through something of a mid-life crisis. Sick of the minutiae of his job at Sunshine Desserts, he is driven to desperate measures, and decides to steal a giant lorry shaped like a jelly, fake his own death, and start a new life. This book – the first in a series of three – tells of Reggie’s adventures as he tries to find a meaning to this life.

The very first line – “When Reginald Iolanthe Perrin set out for work on the Thursday morning, he had no intention of calling his mother-in-law a hippopotamus” – gave me a clue that this book was going to be funny, and somewhat surreal. What I didn’t expect was that it would actually be tinged with melancholy too. It’s easy to sympathise with Reggie’s frustration at his colleagues and his job, although the measures he took to find something more to live for were admittedly drastic and ridiculous.

Nobbs balances the melancholy out with lots of laughter though. During the first part of the book, I was amused on several occasions, but not enough to make me really laugh. However, then came the scene describing the funniest dinner party I have ever read about, which actually gave me a stomach ache from laughing so hard.

The book takes a bizarre turn towards the end, and and while it was supposed to be satirical, it didn’t strike quite the right note with me, because it was just TOO unbelievable. However, I did enjoy it overall, and certainly intend to read the next two books in the series. ( )
  Ruth72 | Mar 31, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Nobbsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palmer, GeoffreyReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When Reginald Iolanthe Perrin set out for work on the Thursday morning, he had no intention of calling his mother-in-law a hippopotamus.
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Reginald Iolanthe Perrin is sick to death with selling exotic ices at Sunshine Desserts. He is fed up with the whole situation, so he begins a battle against consumerism. Driven to desperation by the rat race he leaves behind the unacceptable face of capitalism and sets off for new adventures.… (more)

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