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UrbanCoffeeCo bookclub: Never the Bride by Paul Magrs (review and bookclub questions)

I know it’s midway through March, but the book club choice for February (Never the Bride by Paul Magrs) counts towards the British Book Challenge I’ve signed myself up to. Plus, I wanted to write a bit more than the general review I do for the coffee shop it’s hosted at.

Although some people in the book club really hated the book, I found it quite a pleasant book to read. It’s very easy to read, which meant that I managed to finish it without really feeling like it was a lot of effort. It read to me very much like a Sunday afternoon show on the BBC. It’s quaint, fun, a little dark, but in a wholesome kind of way. To the point where I was a bit shocked when one of the characters swore – it’s very middle England by the seaside, with a bit of a Doctor Who spookiness going on.

The chapters weren’t really chapters, and more a way of splitting up episodes of short stories. This works and doesn’t, as the short story nature of the book meant not everything was resolved. Being a fan of the monster-of-the-week type shows, I know they usually show the monster rising from the dead or something, but this didn’t feel wrapped up enough.

Not really sure who the book is aimed at either. But would say if you want a nice, light-hearted book to read and enjoy a bit of supernatural mystery, then this is probably for you. Suspect it would make a good holiday read.

  • Questions for a book club/group on Never the Bride by Paul Magrs:
  • What did you think of the book, would you recommend it?
  • Did you finish it?
  • Who did you think it was aimed at? There have been some suggestions it’s teenage fiction, does this fit with the characters and could you see teenagers reading it?
  • What did you think of the Christmas Hotel and its owner?
  • What did you feel about the chapters, did they feel like episodes?
  • The book is the first in a series, would you read the others?
  • Did you like the pop-culture like Manifest Yourself (we thought it was like Most Haunted) ?
  • … and the literary references and Whitby & Bram Stoker and Frankenstein?

The book for the end of this month is The Bell by Iris Murdoch. My friend Liz is doing a piece of research into how book clubs respond to Murdoch and we’re her guinea pigs. She’s got some other groups signed up to read it too – if you’re interested, check out her blogpost on it.

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