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Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
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Miss Buncle's Book (original 1934; edition 2008)

by D.E. Stevenson

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6725414,252 (4.13)293
Member:exlibrisgrace
Title:Miss Buncle's Book
Authors:D.E. Stevenson
Info:Persephone Books Ltd (2008), Paperback, 344 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction 20th Century, D.E. Stevenson, Persephone, Humor

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

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» See also 293 mentions

English (51)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (53)
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Miss Buncle is Stevenson's most famous creation, an archetypally quiet spinster living in the archetypal English village of the 1930s, who has quite unintentionally scandalised the village by publishing a novel artlessly chronicling the quirks and weaknesses of her neighbours. Miss Buncle's Book describes the comical repercussions as the offended villagers try to determine the identity of the person behind the nom-de-plume "John Smith", and inadvertently set in motion events mirroring those described in the book. Things get even more complicated when Miss B writes a second novel, which is about a village plunged into chaos by the effects of a novel...

Very entertaining, but the satire is maybe just a little bit too self-deprecating and inoffensive to keep you engaged for the length of a novel. I'm not sure if I'll bother with the sequels. ( )
  thorold | Aug 11, 2015 |
Written in 1934, the story takes place after WWI. Miss Barbara Buncle is a spinster who decides she needs to do something to supplement her income in order to make ends meet. The only thing she can think of is to write a book. However, claiming to have no imagination, she writes about life as she knows it. The people in her little town of Silverstream (Copperfeld in her book) are the subjects, and their names have been changed (as creatively as Silverstream to Copperfield, I might add), but their personas and deeds have not been changed a bit. She sends it to the first publisher she sees in the alphabetical listing. It becomes a hit, and of course, the townsfolk all recognize themselves. They are all determined to find out who is the author "John Smith" who has written such terrible lies. Some people change for the better after reading about themselves, and much of the plot is very predictable, but the antics are really quite enjoyable. I love the tongue-in-cheek humor.

I think I will look for other books by this Scottish author. Despite the fact that her father didn't believe in educated women, she managed to write over 40 books.

Read Nov 2013 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
I was surprised how much I liked this book. Set in a quaint English village, this gem from the 1930s has stood the test of time. Miss Buncle needs money and decides the only solution is to write a book, under a pseudonym, of course, about her life and her neighbors. Funny and charming with interesting characters; this is a quick, enjoyable read. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
I was surprised how much I liked this book. Set in a quaint English village, this gem from the 1930s has stood the test of time. Miss Buncle needs money and decides the only solution is to write a book, under a pseudonym, of course, about her life and her neighbors. Funny and charming with interesting characters; this is a quick, enjoyable read. ( )
  GovMarley | Oct 7, 2014 |
Miss Barbara Buncle, a "maiden lady" writes a book in the hopes of increasing her dwindling income. Her story is inspired by her neighbours; in fact, most of them appear in it, under pseudonyms, and Miss Buncle publishes it under the name "John Smith". But Disturber of the Peace becomes a bestseller and pseudonyms are not enough to prevent some of her neighbours from recognising themselves, it does leave them puzzling over who on earth is the author (and what can they do to him for writing such a horrible book).

It becomes rather meta - Miss Buncle's book inspires her neighbours to take certain courses of action, which in turn inspires Miss Buncle to write a sequel, which is about a woman (the fictionalised Miss Buncle) who has written a book inspired by her neighbours and is now writing a sequel about their responses to it.

Mr Abbot had never before read a novel about a woman who wrote a novel about a woman who wrote a novel - it was a like a recurring decimal, he thought, or perhaps even more like a perspective of mirrors such as tailors use, in which the woman and her novel were reflected back and forth to infinity.

I thought this was delightful, capturing life in a 1930s English village with perspicacity and humour. ( )
  Herenya | Oct 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stevenson, D.E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, D. E.main 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]

HERBERT JENKINS EDITION:
The scene of this entertaining story is laid in a charming English village. The plot centres around Miss Buncle, a maiden lady who was obliged to write a book because - as she naively explained - her dividends were so poor.
Unfortunately, Miss Buncle had no imagination, so she wrote about her friends - quite kindly and truthfully, of course, for she was a benevolent and veracious soul.
The reactions of her friends to Miss Buncle's book, however, were a little surprising, and the far-reaching and unexpected results of its publication caused quite a stir.
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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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