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the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

Everything and More

Geoff Nicholson

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To purchase Everything and More

Title: Everything and More
Author: Geoff Nicholson
Genre: Novel
Written: 1994
Length: 256 pages
Availability: Everything and More - US
Everything and More - UK
Everything and More - Canada
Alles und noch mehr - UK

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Our Assessment:

A- : a fine, amusing, clever entertainment

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Boston Globe . 18/6/1995 .
The LA Times B+ 12/6/1995 Elaine Kendall
The New Yorker . 21/8/1995 .
Publishers Weekly . 1/5/1995 .

  From the Reviews:
  • "If not precisely Swiftian in elegance or ferocity, Charlie Mayhew's adventures in Haden Brothers show that satire can still be an effective and entertaining way to comment on contemporary life -- perhaps the best." - Elaine Kendall, The Los Angeles Times

  • "Nicholson maintains enough verbal resourcefulness to rescue his story from its occasional predictability, delivering an exhaustively entertaining farce and one of the better satires of Thatcherite consumerism." - Publishers Weekly

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       Geoff Nicholson excels at quirky novels of small but determined lives tossed about in the greater world. Marked, almost always, by his clever approach, as well as humor that allows for both the broad, simple laugh, as well as a more wistful, considered smile, Nicholson's books are among the finest popular entertainments currently to be found. Everything and More is a representative piece, and a very fine one indeed.
       The artist manqué of this novel is Charlie Mayhew. He wants to be an artists, but has not found his metier. Coming to London he finds employment in the über-Harrods, Haden Brothers, a store that proudly proclaims that it offers "Everything and More". His position is a lowly one, but he becomes part of the intricate, complex social structure behind Haden Brothers -- itself dwarfed by the labyrinthine building itself that holds more secrets than Mayhew (or the reader) initially expects.
       The store is, predictably, a microcosm of the world. Predictable, perhaps, but it allows Nicholson to wallow very much in his element, and he pulls it off better than most any author who tries similar trickery does. Haden Brothers becomes Mayhew's entire world when he moves into the building, saving on rent at the cost of letting himself be locked in nights. He shares his temple with the reclusive storeowner Arnold Haden, whose lifestyle makes for the drama that finally unfolds in the store.
       Everything and More is satire. It is also simple. It does not mean to be the Great English Novel (or the Great Harrods Novel, or what you will). It is, however, fine entertainment, an amusing read when one wants to be amused. But it is also not mindless amusement -- Nicholson subtly accomplishes more on these pages than many a more direct author does.

       Strongly recommended.

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Everything and More: Reviews: Geoff Nicholson: Other books by Geoff Nicholson under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • B.S.Johnson's Christie Malry's Own Double-Entry, with similar subversive doings (and a character who gets everything and more, too -- though it's not meant quite the same way)
  • See Index of Contemporary British fiction

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About the Author:

       English author Geoff Nicholson, born in Sheffield in 1953, has written a flurry of novels. He lives in London and New York.

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