Saturday, May 1, 2010

Laura's Review - The Old Devils

Oh my god, what a horrible book. The Old Devils revolves around several 60-something Welsh couples who have known each other for years. Alun and Rhiannon Weaver cause a stir when they return to Wales after several years in England. Alun has become somewhat famous for his writing. But Alan has a bit of a past with the ladies in this social group, causing a certain anxiety for both the women and their husbands. And Alun's wife Rhiannon has slept with a couple of these men herself. In fact, it seems as if everyone has slept with everyone else at some point. That is, when they're not drinking themselves into a stupor before noon.

The book presents a series of interactions between the characters, usually musing over their gin, or wine, or scotch, or whatever else they can find. I lost track of all the cocktail parties and pub crawls, and the endless chattiness about each other, their health problems, and various social issues of the day.

How or why this won the Booker Prize, I'll never know.

My original review can be found here.


  1. What a hilarious review.....I suspected that this is what Kingsley Amis was like...don't think I've read any of his stuff....and now perhaps won't bother. Isn't fashion a funny thing? Do you think the Booker is affected by fashion? Was it fashionable in the 60s to play fast and loose? I'm assuming this was published in the 60s...

  2. Actually, the characters are all in their 60s, but the book was published in the 1980s. I don't think of the 80s as a "fast and loose" time like the 60s!

  3. I so agree! This one made me want to drink myself into a stupor. And not in a good way.