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The Happy Numbers of Julius Miles by Jim Keeble – review | Books | The Guardian

A good read - but missed opportunity. Aug 29, Guadalupe Cordero added it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is full of trivia: Great references to East London: The end was disappointing, a bit confusing, but I supposed that is the way the narrator was! Sep 24, Tracy rated it liked it.

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I enjoyed the story of Julius and his unusual life. It takes place at an important time of great change for him. And he is knowingly and unknowingly entwined with some interesting characters, not least of whom is the narrator. I don't think there is too much more to say without giving away the story, but definitely worth a read! Nov 12, Dave Di Vito rated it liked it. It didn't, but again, give me something inventive and quirky with some originality like this one and I'm happy. Steve Saindon rated it it was ok Oct 13, Tina rated it liked it May 31, Trixypixy Ladores-pastoral rated it it was amazing Sep 26, Rowan P rated it liked it Jul 03, George rated it really liked it Feb 15, Keila rated it liked it Oct 13, Lynne Daly rated it really liked it May 10, Carly rated it liked it Apr 04, Bob rated it liked it Oct 01, Anker rated it really liked it Sep 30, Helen rated it liked it Aug 11, Aparna D rated it liked it Feb 21, Emma rated it liked it Sep 03, Bluemeanie42 Sonek-Wienert rated it liked it Dec 15, Katie rated it liked it May 06, Meredith rated it liked it Mar 17, Over time we craft our memories into armour, plate by plate, until they form an impenetrable, ever so comfortable coat.

Hard as flint, clear as ice, but these recollections are not based on any objective truth. Thought-provoking stuff, so much so that the significance of what Felicity was saying here in relation to the story I was reading was lost on me and it was only later looking back that I noticed the foreshadowing. And there is a fair bit of it that.

For some of you it will be like walking from a darkened room into sunlight, a slap between the eyes. Even Julius will tell you, statistically speaking we all fall in love more than once in our lives. In more than one fashion. Is Felicity talking here about her marks or herself? Needless to say there is a lot I have not told you about and I have no intention to revealing more than I have which may seem like a lot but, trust me, there is much more to discover.

The ending is handled well—not sure how Hollywood would feel about it—and the reveal was a genuine surprise. I thought this was a wonderful book. It makes me very keen to check out his other books especially The A-Z of Us because, as regular readers will know, I once planned to write a Dictionary of Me but never quite got round to it.

You can read a lengthy excerpt from his book here. Jim started writing following a French degree at Oxford, when he opted out and began working as a gardener in the south of France.

He spent two years cutting down everything that grew whilst writing travel articles, which got him commissions from the travel pages of The Daily Telegraph , The Times and The Evening Standard. Schulz , the creator of Charlie Brown. Nick Hornby was actually my English teacher for two years at Parkside Community College in Cambridge, where he was an excellent teacher but a terrible football coach. I did ask him whether or not he might return to Felicity again. I have been mulling that since I stopped typing on Happy Numbers.

I certainly enjoy and cherish Felicity sufficiently to want to spend time with her again. In particular I really enjoyed her detective work, the dickless private dick, I might be tempted to push her a little more in a subsequent book as a contemporary Philip Marlowe prowling the streets.

The Happy Numbers of Julius Miles

If nobody likes her in this book, maybe embarking on a second would be too masochistic? They currently live in east London with their three kids and three goldfish; no one can have three kids and less than three pets. I sometimes judge a writer by his influences and his are sound. But the whole story rests on the fact that things have gone wrong and need to get put right. Humour often fills in conflict because so much humour is all about things going wrong or being misunderstood.

I think this is one you would like, Ken.


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This does sound like the book for me. Not sure about minor gods and that sort of thing , but the fibonacci sequences and complex and imaginary numbers did it for me. Sounds too good to be missed. All I can imagine, Dave , is that the paragraphs I skimmed are the ones that will excite you. What the course did teach me was now misleading statistics can be. I probably say more in my article than he says in the whole novel. Felicity is a great creation. I would have been tickled pink to have thought her up.

Great review, comme d'habitude. You had me at Felicity's musings-on-memory quote. To him it seems like a ghastly accident, but to his guardian angel Felicity, a mysterious transsexual who blends into street corners and drinks fortified cider, there's something fishy afoot. Keeble's sharp eye brings London's multicultural streets to life, and while the action — in which themes are flung together with great enthusiasm and moderate dexterity — isn't always as credible, this is a big-hearted, readable little book that whips you along merrily.

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