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Advancement Of Learning by Reginald Hill

Advancement Of Learning (original 1971; edition 1996)

by Reginald Hill

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4881621,022 (3.56)15
Title:Advancement Of Learning
Authors:Reginald Hill
Info:UK General Books (1996), Edition: New edition, Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Tags:England, college, murder

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An Advancement of Learning by Reginald Hill (1971)



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Written in the early 1970s and it shows cos it's dreadfully sexist. But it was still very readable. It's interesting that I didn't write this review until I'd finished another crime book written recently and this one is far better written despite the sexism. ( )
  infjsarah | Mar 18, 2016 |
This is the fourth of the Dalziel & Pascoe books that I've read & I've been dotting backwards & forwards in time, so the relationship between them & between Pascoe & Ellie has been a little disjointed. Revisiting my thoughts when I read the last one...

I read the first in the series 'A Clubbable Woman' and really disliked both leads. I then read 'Ruling Passion' and it totally turned me around in that both Dalziel and Pascoe were more rounded characters and more sympathetic. 'A Pinch of Snuff' had me back at square one in that I didn't like either of them (and the subject matter even less!!) but I had more on my TBR pile (they were all given to me by a friend) and so turned to the next, cronologically, in my possession which was Underworld - I really enjoyed that one.

This time I'm back near the beginning as this is the 2nd in the series. In spite of that, I found this one very enjoyable. I'm starting to suspect that it's not the maturity of the writing or of the characters and their relationships, but the subject matter and adjusting to the era. This book, like all the others I've read so far, is a period piece, written and set in the 1970's and the language and attitudes are all perfectly pitched for that time: sexism is rife, feminism is in it's early stages & ridiculed by 'working men' but supported by academics, smoking in the workplace, drinking and driving, drinking at lunchtime are all socially acceptable.

The setting is a college campus. When a memorial statue is moved to make way for expansion, a body is found and our two leads arrive to investigate. They find a mixed bunch of academics: old stagers set in their ways and old fashioned, mixed in with a younger more progressive generation including Pascoe's old girlfriend Ellie. The students are stereotypically long haired hippie types with the odd left wing radical, mixed up in a cult of personality led by Franny Roote the head of the Students Union and Stuart Cockshut the chief rabble rouser.

Relationships between staff and students are reasonable, but the presence of the Police, and in particular Dalziel, is like the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons. We move through the investigation, the inevitable second corpse, and the equally inevitable denouement and apprehension of the killer.

Yet another nice easy read, a few evenings saw me through it without effort (and once again was an antidote to yet another difficult chapter of The Almost Moon - will I ever finish it!?). Coincidently, as I logged my completion online, I noticed that the author had passed away the day before. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
In An Advancement of Learning, by Reginald Hill, Superintendent Dalziel and Sergeant Pascoe are summoned to Holm Coultram College when a corpse is found buried underneath a statue of the former Principal of the College. When it turns out to be the corpse of that same Principal, who it had been believed had died in an avalanche in Austria some years earlier, Dalziel and Pascoe realize that they have a murder on their hands, and precious little information available to solve it.... This is the second Dalziel and Pascoe novel and, like the first, there's quite a bit of casual sexism found throughout, a fact attributable to its 1971 publication date. If one can overlook that social ill, this is a fun read with a lot of interesting and entertaining characters. We also see the relationship between the two main characters beginning to evolve, which I prefer to those series in which the characters remain unchanged from book to book. It will take some doing, but hopefully we'll be able to unearth the entire series eventually, as Hill's writing is quite enjoyable. Recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Jun 21, 2015 |
When a statue is moved and the body of a woman who was supposed to have died in Austria five years before appears Dalziel and Pascoe are called to the scene. I’ve always liked books set in college or similarly cloistered settings and this one has the usual array of oddball academics. Quite excellent if you enjoy that sort of thing (which I do). ( )
  vlcraven | Jan 4, 2015 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Reginald Hillprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rantanen, AulisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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...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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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:19 -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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