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Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter
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Last Bus to Woodstock (original 1975; edition 1996)

by Colin Dexter

Series: Morse (1)

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8502410,560 (3.59)53
Member:kristinevandusen
Title:Last Bus to Woodstock
Authors:Colin Dexter
Info:Ivy Books (1996), Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
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Last Bus to Woodstock by Colin Dexter (1975)

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» See also 53 mentions

English (23)  Danish (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Good enough for this kind of genre thing. People were reading it because they saw a TV version but I just read it because other people were reading it. Though perfectly fine of its type, I don't know why people have to make a big deal over it. Maybe if I read more Inspector Morse I'd get into it more. ( )
  Gimley_Farb | Jul 6, 2015 |
As mentioned elsewhere, the first of Dexter's books, which introduces Thames Valley's Chief Inspector Morse and his long-suffering Sergeant, Lewis. Careful readers will find much to enjoy here, but Last Bus to Woodstock is clearly a first novel, rather than a third or a fifth or tenth.

Certainly, there are many dated elements to the book. Remember 1975? I do, but only just. But here is where knowledge of the television production won't really help you, as it changed some fundamentals of the books (arguably for the better), and was first made a full decade later (though it could be said that the 1980s themselves are now another country). Culture has moved on, attitudes have - in some cases - matured and improved, the world has moved on, the Royal Mail, the NHS, and even policing have changed. Some readers may not be able to see beyond this, but knowing what is to come in the series, that will very much be their loss. That being said, this is a novel from the mid-1970s. Don't expect the world to look like forty years later, but rather be pleased that it has moved on at all, and you will still find Morse enigmatic, irritating, and sometimes even off-putting. But the core of the story, the mercurial relationship between Morse and Lewis, Morse's tendency to leap to the wrong conclusions and simultaneously make questionable decisions with regards to female suspects... that's all here. Personally, I suspect that the character's flawed "human, all too human" weaknesses, especially as portrayed by John Thaw, are much of the stories' attractiveness.

This story is more meticulously plotted than many of the later Morse novels, with a number of red herrings. It varies significantly from the eventual television adaptation, so again, readers who know the ITV series will be kept guessing - especially by the character who wasn't even shown on telly, but proves central to the novel. There are many other minor details, including the fact that Morse drives a Lancia, rather than the eventual televisual Jag (which would even make the cover of several early 90s novels), which will keep the interested reader wondering at what in blazes is going on.

It's not a perfect book, but well worth a read for fans of the series. ( )
  Bill_Bibliomane | Apr 18, 2015 |
Yes, but Kindle.
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |
This is the first in the Inspector Morse series. I enjoyed these books for not only the mystery, but for Morse himself and his relationship with his colleague, Lewis. Morse is a snob who drinks too much, loves opera, and is very protective of his Jaguar. Poor Lewis, his long-suffering sergeant, admires Morse's talents for solving the cases, but recognizes that Morse has serious flaws. There's often an undertone of classism as suspects stereotype Morse as working class and Morse returns their disdain. Meanwhile Lewis is a reminder that "regular folk" are more than regular. ( )
  Hanneri | Feb 17, 2014 |
It's very much of his time - there are some appalling views on rape expressed throughout the book, including three solid pages at the end of Part One that almost made me stop reading - but I've been bitten by the Inspector Morse bug and laughing at Morse is more than enough of a pleasure to keep me reading. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Feb 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Colin Dexterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borgen, KarinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammer, Marie S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Have, GerdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Let's wait just a bit longer, please," said the girl in dark-blue trousers and the light summer coat.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0804114900, Mass Market Paperback)

"[Morse is] the most prickly, conceited, and genuinely brilliant detective since Hercule Poirot."
--The New York Times Book Review
"YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW MORSE UNTIL YOU'VE READ
HIM. . . . Viewers who have enjoyed British actor John Thaw as Morse in the PBS Mystery! anthology series should welcome the deeper character development in Dexter's novels."
--Chicago Sun-Times

Beautiful Sylvia Kaye and another young woman had been seen hitching a ride not long before Sylvia's bludgeoned body is found outside a pub in Woodstock, near Oxford. Morse is sure the other hitchhiker can tell him much of what he needs to know. But his confidence is shaken by the cool inscrutability of the girl he's certain was Sylvia's companion on that ill-fated September evening. Shrewd as Morse is, he's also distracted by the complex scenarios that the murder set in motion among Sylvia's girlfriends and their Oxford playmates. To grasp the painful truth, and act upon it, requires from Morse the last atom of his professional discipline.
"Few novelists write books as intelligent and deliciously frightening as those by Colin Dexter. . . . What Mr. Dexter does so well, so brilliantly, is weave a thick, cerebral story chock-full of literary references and clever red herrings."
--The Washington Times
"A MASTERFUL CRIME WRITER WHOM FEW OTHERS MATCH."
--Publishers Weekly

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Beautiful Sylvia Kaye and another young woman had been seen hitching a ride not long before Sylvia's bludgeoned body is found outside a pub in Woodstock near Oxford. Morse is sure the other hitchhiker can tell him much of what he needs to know. But his confidence is shaken by the cool inscrutability of the girl he's certain was Sylvia's companion on that ill-fated September evening. Shrewd as Morse is he's also distracted by the complex scenarios that the murder set in motion among Sylvia's girlfriends and their Oxford playmates.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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