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The Underground Man Paperback – Nov 7 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Picador; 1st Edition edition (Nov. 7 1997)
  • ISBN-10: 0330352350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330352352
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 11.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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By John Bilton on June 9 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is tripe.
I bought this book when first published because of an interest in Welbeck Abbey. I normally wait for paperback editions to be issued before buying. This time I put my trust in the fact that the book had been nominated for a major book prize. Anyone thinking this is anything like good writing must be very easily pleased. For this codswallop to be nominated for a literary prize is astounding!
The book is drivel.
It is the worst written book I have read for 40 years (when I stopped reading "Janet and John"). I only bothered to finish it just to see if it was as badly written all the way through. The only redeeming feature is the low page count.
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Format: Paperback
The book is based on the life of William John Cavendish Bentinck-Scott, the Duke of Portland and a resident of Nottinghamshire, England. The Duke of Portland was one of Victorian England's most famous eccentrics, who built a series of underground tunnels large enough for carriages and horses, that enabled him to move around his vast property. Although some of the book is based on facts, Mick Jackson admitted to have taken downright liberties in writing it.

The novel enfolds in the form of journal entries by the duke himself, and is supplement of various neighbours, servants and service men's accounts of Your Grace. The plot develops around the Duke's observations of the world around him, his somewhat hypochondriac obsession with his body, the steadily degeneration of his mind and his search for something missing in his life. It is drawn to a shocking and somewhat bizarre climax in the end of the novel.

It is beautifully written tragic and comic novel, with a character and plot that won't easily be forgetten.
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By Lisa on Dec 25 2002
Format: Paperback
one of the most compelling and interesting books i have read in a very long time. the ending was so bizarre and satisfying - never would have even guessed anywhere near to what actually happened. I felt as if I was in the tunnels with the main characters, in the bed when he was being served his unusual meals and felt the loneliness the underground man endured. fabulous book.
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By A Customer on July 15 2002
Format: Paperback
Mick Jackson expertly crafts an intriguing, captivating, and altogether beautifully-represented world within the Duke's mind, resulting in a novel that's extremely enjoyable.
However, my only complaint would be the fact that the apparent 'mystery' is not strong until the conclusion, and hardly seems like a mystery at all until it is finally uncovered.
Regardless, 'The Underground Man' will have you laughing, feeling sympathetic, even squirming; and I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Just finished reading Mick Jackman's THE UNDERGROUND MAN. He creates a tremendous and quick story to describe the life of the quirky, eccentric Duke of Portland in England in the mid-1800's. It's great language, and many interesting ideas explored - eccentricities, anatomy, trepanning, phrenology, bits of everything seem to work their way into the Duke's journal.
Nicely done with some WAITING FOR GUFFMAN-like asides delivered by his staff, neighbors, etc. on how they perceive the Duke as he slowly drifts away from their reality.
Good read.
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By "taliesun" on July 20 2001
Format: Paperback
Jackson's novel about the eccentric Duke of Portland is one of the finest pieces of fiction I have read. Told through the voice of the Duke, Jackson indulges in the Dukes eccentric viewpoint and gives The Underground Man a sense of humor and humanity - and later terror - which few works of prose can claim. Despite the books brevity, the character of the Duke is strongly developed, and his deteriorating sanity self-evident through the diary entries.
In brief, The Underground Man was a thoroughly entertaining book, and should be read by all.
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Format: Paperback
This is an interesting book, about the type of truly eccentric and driven man that can only have been produced by the Victorian aristocracy. It is an interesting mixture of the main character's journal (which is by far the majority of the text) and the observations of the local people and staff on his estate.
It is certainly a fascinating and richly detailed account of what would be considered at any time chronic eccentricity bordering on madness - the endless underground tunnels and odd eating habits alone are enough to convince you of this, but what I feel is a small weakness of the novel is that there is simply not enough external observations of the Duke. Those observations by the house-keeper and the footman etc are little gems of insight, but they are too few.
The prose itself is beautiful, and once again invokes the feeling of the time wonderfully. It is a fine novel, well worth a read.
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By A Customer on Oct. 4 2000
Format: Paperback
Mr Jackson has given his main character a startling and original voice--follow along as the Duke ruminates about everything--the stars, his bowels, his parents's tombs, and the strange floating boy who dogs his footsteps. Interwoven with the Duke's narration are first person accounts from people who interact with him; most of these succeed, but not all of them are completely believable. Still, they give an important counterweight so that the reader isn't completely enclosed in the Duke's strange world. I do feel that the Duke's realization of the identity of the floating boy to be a little obvious and down to earth for a book that is none of these things, but that's a minor point. Can a book be both pathetic and hilarious? Sure it can, in Mr. Jackson's capable hands.
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