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Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson
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Miss Buncle's Book (original 1934; edition 2010)

by D. E. Stevenson (Author), Aline Templeton (Preface)

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557None17,814 (4.21)227
Member:MsCellophane
Title:Miss Buncle's Book
Authors:D. E. Stevenson (Author)
Other authors:Aline Templeton (Preface)
Info:Persephone Books (2010), Paperback, 332 pages
Collections:Your library, Illinois library
Rating:
Tags:fiction, Persephone Books

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Miss Buncle's Book by D. E. Stevenson (1934)

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» See also 227 mentions

English (38)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
When Barbara Buncle published her first novel under the assumed name of John Smith, it set off quite a storm in her village. Claiming she could only write about what she knew, Barbara used her keen powers of observation to develop characters based on village inhabitants, and then put them in situations ranging from probable to well-deserved. The book went viral, in an early 20th century sort of way, becoming the principal topic of conversation and, in some cases, consternation or outrage as people see themselves in the story.

Barbara is surprised by her novel's success and the resulting financial dividends, and also by the outrage. But she remains anonymous, continuing to collect anecdotes for a sequel. No one suspects she's the author; in fact, Barbara is such a peripheral figure in village life that she is practically invisible. Then, little by little, Barbara's book infiltrates real life, as villagers are inspired to act in ways either supporting or preventing outcomes described in the novel.

This "book-within-a-book" approach makes for delightful reading, and perhaps most delightful is the way the experience transforms Miss Buncle herself. Because the story is told from her perspective, it takes a little longer to realize what is happening, but when this piece of the puzzle is fully developed, everything snaps into place in a most satisfying way. By the time I turned the last page of this book, I was grinning from ear to ear. ( )
1 vote lauralkeet | Mar 10, 2014 |
Well, to be fair to Buncle, I had just come off of Wild and Night Film, so Buncle had some telling to live up to! Miss Buncle's Book is cute and fun and ok. It wasn't terrific, it certainly wasn't terrible.

Miss Buncle lives in a small countryside-ish type town in England. She has money troubles so she writes a book in an attempt to solve them. However, Miss Buncle cannot (as she says) write about something about which she has no knowledge. So she writes about her town and the people within it. The publisher loves the novel, thinks it's either the work of a simpleton or a genius, and seeks to publish it in short order, under a pen name for Buncle, to protect the not-so-innocent. The name of the town and the name of the characters have, of course, all been changed, but it is clear to the townsfolk that they are the subject of the book. As might be anticipated, chaos ensues. The townspeople are in an uproar about the book and react in humorous, over-the-top, caricature-like fashion.

The book is a sweet little thing, a quick read, a pleasant romp through this 1940s (I think -- around that time) small town in England. The personalities are strong, the story is fun, and it was an entertaining way to pass the afternoon.

Not spectacular, but recommended for readers to whom the above-paragraph appeals. ( )
  avanders | Mar 6, 2014 |
A delightful little book guaranteed to lift the spirits of the most determined reader of depressing books with its gentle humor.

Miss Buncle is in financial straits. Her investments are no longer bringing in what they once did, and, although frugal to the point of frumpishness, something must be done. Although her maid, Dorcas, wants to begin raising chickens as a source of income, Miss Buncle decides to write a book. Such is the genesis of Disturber of the Peace, a bestseller about the inhabitants of a small English town, whose peaceful existence is shaken by the arrival of a piped piper.

Miss Buncle is unprepared for the book's success or the turmoil it causes when some of the inhabitants of her village see themselves in the book's characters. Determined to track down the author who characterized them so well, too well, if truth be told, the villagers are swept up in a manhunt with unintended consequences.

A humorous look at art mirroring life, and life mimicking art, as well as a satire of life in a small town.

Sarah laughed softly, and Nell (the setter) stirred in her sleep and raised her beautiful head.

"You know, Nell, you miss a lot by not being able to read," Sarah told her. "These people are real live people—they are quite delicious."
( )
  labfs39 | Feb 23, 2014 |
What a clever, darling, lovely, little novel. I enjoyed this immensely. The characters have a lively depth and wit, and I laughed many times at their antics. The romance is sweet but not cheesy and I enjoyed seeing the good people find their way. There is no wild action or danger - just people, doing what people do. But Stevenson infused something normal with a magic that delights. I highly recommend this work and I'm eager to read the sequel! ( )
  empress8411 | Feb 15, 2014 |
Hurrah! DE Stevenson is back in print! This is a fabulous read. Charming and funny it is a wonderful escape to a cozy world. You will love to spend time here. I hope this means that more of Ms Stevenson's books will be available again. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
D. E. Stevensonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carey, EileenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Templeton, AlineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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One fine summer's morning the sun peeped over the hills and looked down on the valley of Silverstream.
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Book description
Who Knew One Book Could Cause So Much Chaos?

Barbara Bunde is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara's bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel ... if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out. 

To her surprise, the novel is a smash. It's a good thing she wrote under a pseudonym, because the folks of Silverstream are in an uproar. But what really turns Miss Bunde's world around is this: what happens to the characters in her book starts happening to their real-life counterparts. Does life really imitate art? 
[retrieved 1/22/2014 from Amazon.com]
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Who Knew One Book Could Cause So Much Chaos? Barbara Bunde is in a bind. Times are harsh, and Barbara's bank account has seen better days. Maybe she could sell a novel ... if she knew any stories. Stumped for ideas, Barbara draws inspiration from her fellow residents of Silverstream, the little English village she knows inside and out. To her surprise, the novel is a smash. It's a good thing she wrote under a pseudonym, because the folks of Silverstream are in an uproar. But what really turns Miss Bunde's world around is this: what happens to the characters in her book starts happening to their real-life counterparts. Does life really imitate art? A beloved author who has sold more than seven million books, D. E. Stevenson is at her best with Miss Buncle's Book, crafting a highly original and charming tale about what happens when people see themselves through someone else's eyes. Love it, love it, love it There are no vampires, no faeries, no weird creatures, just a sweet story about real people living in a world I've always dreamed of.?Reader Review… (more)

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