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Advancement Of Learning by Reginald Hill
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Advancement Of Learning (original 1971; edition 1996)

by Reginald Hill

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4421323,705 (3.53)13
Member:gypsysmom
Title:Advancement Of Learning
Authors:Reginald Hill
Info:UK General Books (1996), Edition: New edition, Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Released
Rating:****
Tags:England, college, murder

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An Advancement of Learning by Reginald Hill (1971)

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A blast from the past.

I'm sure that, if it weren't for the TV series of Dalziel and Pascoe, I would not have been listening to this abridged version of a crime story that was originally published in 1971.
This audio version was narrated by Warren Clarke, which was great for the voice of Dalziel, but confusing when Pascoe spoke.

I've only ever read one other Daliziel and Pascoe story, which was set in a beer swilling rugby club, where Dalziel felt at home. This time Pascoe and I were both more comfortable on a university campus, where the ex-principal's remains are found under a statue that is to be removed in the wake of modernisation. Members of staff and students are all suspects when not one, but two further murders occur.

I thought I was going to rate this higher, but the denouement was disappointing and the murderer(s) seemingly selected at random from the choices available. Possibly this lost something by being abridged, no doubt some clues had been omitted, but there seemed little evidence to allow Dalziel and Pascoe to arrive at their conclusion.

I would listen to another abridgment from this series, if one came my way, but I doubt I would be inclined to read a full length book. They are now very dated in comparison to crime novels currently available. ( )
  DubaiReader | May 19, 2014 |
I was very surprised by the flatness of this book. Both A Clubbable Woman (the first of the series) and Dialogues of the Dead (the 19th) contain much more verve and atmosphere and are much more absorbing. This one feels rushed, perhaps, and perfunctory -- like a first draft, or a television script. Even Dalziel's dialogue lacks the character it usually has. This second novel is a step backwards, not an advancement.

But perhaps I was especially struck by the difference because I read this one immediately after the far superior Dialogues of the Dead. It's a perfectly decent mystery. It's just unlikely to captivate anyone. I would recommend it to fans only. ( )
  Laura400 | May 11, 2014 |
Further adventures of Dalziel and Pascoe, and highly recommended as always. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Reginald HIll died earlier this year so there are no more Dalziel and Pascoe books to come. However, since I've only read one other (Death Comes for the Fat Man) and there were 24 in all I will have quite a few to keep me going. This is the second in the series and, as luck would have it, I picked up the first, A Clubbable Woman, a few months ago.

The duo are called to a post-secondary institution after a body was unearthed when a statue was removed to make way for expansion. It is soon discovered that the body is that of Miss Girling, the head of the college five years before. It was thought that she had died in an avalanche in Austria while on her annual skiing holiday. Dalziel and Pascoe both take up residence at the college while trying to sort the crime out. That puts them in close proximity to the students and staff, many of whom also live on campus. In fact, one of the people that is now an instructor is a former classmate of Sargeant Pascoe. He and Ellie take up where they left off in college, namely in bed.

Soon they have a second murder on their hands. A student, Anita Sewell, was found dead in the sand dunes near the golf course. Anita had accused one of her instructors of having an affair with her and when he was tired of her falsifying her grades so she was suspended from school.

Now Dalziel and Pascoe have to decide if the two murders are linked and who committed them.

This book was published in 1971 which, coincidentally, was when I started University. Either Hill embellished college life quite a bit or a prairie university doesn't offer the scope that a college in nothern England does because I don't remember seeing much in the way of Ouija boards or Wiccan practices. And, although there was a lot of experimenting with drugs and sex, we wouldn't have been doing it with members of the faculty. Even then faculty mingling with students was frowned upon.

However, it makes a good story and I'm going to keep my eyes open for more Dalziel and Pascoe books. ( )
  gypsysmom | Dec 5, 2012 |
This was my first try of the much-recommended Dalziell and Pascoe series and I came away disappointed. The action takes place in the 1980s at a time when colleges of further education and the like were growing towards university status. Holm Coultram college of Liberal Arts and Education had been a small teacher training college for women which became co-educational and offered degree courses. The tensions in the common room arising from this change are central to the story.

Dalziell is a standard, curmudgeonly old-school copper with the stereotypical misogynistic and class-conscious attitudes of his ilk. His subordinate (and, in this book, dogsbody) Pascoe is better educated and more liberal-minded. Somehow I couldn't really generate much liking for the pair, nor believe in their relationship.

The plot is clever enough and the denoument reasonably unexpected. I can't fault the procedural aspects of the book. I do have an irrational prejudice against the name Franny for a central character but lack of empathy with the policemen is my main reason for abandoning this series. ( )
  abbottthomas | Oct 15, 2012 |
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Reginald Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rantanen, AulisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...to have the true testimonies of learning to be better heard, without the interruption of tacit objections, I think good to deliver it from the discredits and disgraces it hath received, all from ignorance; but ignorance severally disguised; appearing sometimes in the zeal and jealousy of divines; sometimes in the severity and arrogance of politiques; and sometimes in errors and imperfections of learned men themselves.
--Sir Francis Bacon
The Advancement of Learning
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There had been a great deal of snow that December, followed by hard frost.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586072594, Mass Market Paperback)

All is not well at Holm Coultram College. Lecturers having it away with students, witches' sabbaths on the sand dunes, a body buried under a statue in the gardens! But even with Dalziel's cynical view of what college administrators spend his taxes on, murder doesn't quite seem to fit in here. So when Dalziel and that over-educated sergeant of his, Peter Pascoe, are sent to investigate a disinterred corpse at Holm Coultram College, he hadn't reckoned on a rash of killings. While Pascoe rekindles an old flame on the staff, protesting students astutely identify Dalziel as a 'fascist pig'. The Superintendent smiles with satisfaction. If that's how they want to play it!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Dalziel and Pascoe are sent to investigate a disinterred corpse at a college, they do not expect the rash of killings that they find there. While Pascoe rekindles an old flame, Dalziel is harassed by some protesting students.

(summary from another edition)

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