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Bachelor Brothers' Bed & Breakfast Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Wyatt Book
  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st A Wyatt Book for St. Martin's Press Pbk. Ed edition (August 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312171838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312171834
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"One day, I put myself in the car and simply drove. I had no idea where I was going or why. I had no idea ... I would wind up, at dusk, in a lost little valley, turning up the driveway of the Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast."

The best books, as you read them, take you from wherever you are to a place where you want to be. If you're a reader of a certain type--a lover of books, cats, and absurdity of a quiet kind--then the Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast should be on your itinerary. It introduces two fraternal twins, Hector and Virgil, unmarried men who run a cozy establishment on a Canadian island. The book alternates between notes from Hector or Virgil, and "Brief Lives," culled from the B & B's guest book. This variety of perspectives gives Bill Richardson tremendous flexibility, and he weaves all the disparate characters together with an unobtrusive dexterity. The Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast is a pleasant, soothing, quietly absurd place to be.

From Publishers Weekly

Fifty-something fraternal twins Hector and Virgil operate a Shangri-la for bibliophiles, located somewhere between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada. In this deliciously witty tale of their B&B, which has won Canada's Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, the collected autobiographical jottings?"Brief Lives"?of the brothers' guests are interspersed with chapters alternately penned by each brother as dispatches for CBC Radio (Richardson first introduced Hector and Virgil on CBC Radio's Gabereau show). Virgil is the wry, bassoon-playing, contemplative one, sending missives from thought-inspiring locales like the cemetery-cum-golf course. (On their dead mother: "In compliance with her wishes, we kept her ashes in a ziplock bag in the freezer, attending the day we could incorporate them into a household project.") The more energetic Hector enjoys the affections of cosmetics saleswoman and would-be writer Altona Winkler and harbors a penchant for trouncing librarians at Scrabble. There's also Waffle the cat and the resident parrot, Mrs. Rochester, who spouts maternal advice along with the occasional vulgar epithet. Guests are greeted by musical eggcups at breakfast, and the brothers supply suggested book lists (e.g., "Hector's List of Favorite Authors for the Bath"). Richardson's voice is impressively versatile, equally assured with such diverse characters as Helen, a Winnipeg grandmother, and Gordon, a staid attorney on a forced wilderness encounter. This quiet charmer is a bibliophile's delight.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Just a wonderfully delightful read.
D. Korte
I prefer to keep the review simple with a few facts (so as to keep the book a surprise) and my opinion if it's worth the read.
Leslie C
It's a light, fast read and at times laugh out loud funny.
Gobi55

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Beth Cholette #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a charming little book that centers around twin brothers, Hector and Virgil, 50-something bachelors who run a Bed & Breakfast in a remote island location. Though word-of-mouth, they have attracted a customer base consisting entirely of fellow bibliophiles, and thus reading is a central theme throughout the novel.

The book is written as a series of reflections: each chapter is narrated by either Hector, Virgil, or one of their guests, whose musings make up the B&B's unique guest book. The brothers relate stories of their unconventional childhood with their single mother and MIA father as well as offer present day anecdotes about their entertaining guests, neighbors, and pets. Also interspersed throughout the book are recommended reading lists such as "Hector's List of Favorite Authors for the Bath."

This quirky, whimsical novel is ideally suited to be a reading group selection and likely to be enjoyed by any book lover.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The Bachelor Brothers Bed & Breakfast remains one of my top five books. The sequel falls right behind it, and in fact, is even funnier than the first. U.S. readers may not be familiar with Mr. Richardson who is well known across Canada as one of the funniest and most interesting of the talk show hosts on C.B.C. radio. The novel has, I think, a Canadian quality to it, but in all respects, any lover of books, good humour, and exellent writing will enjoy this book. It is not a "deep" read but still witty, thoughtful, and by no means "fluffy". Bill Richardson has been referred to as a Canadian Garrison Keillor. The comparison is likely not incorrect, but from my perspective, Richardson is much funnier. Buy BOTH this book and the sequel (don't wait because you will indeed want to read the next one) for a fun, enjoyable read!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is such a wonderful book! It was one of the few books that I've read that I actually laughed out loud. The best part is when I tried to describe it to others, the characters seemed even more eccentric and loveable, even though the people I was telling it to thought it sounded insane. Richardson writes in a gentle way, never knocking you over the head with his attempts to be witty or clever. Who can't read the chapter about the disastrous Halloween party without doubling over? All in all, a wonderful, fun book for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Caz on August 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was browsing the local (independant) bookstore shelves the other day and this little gem veritably leapt off the shelves into my hand. I read over the back cover and was sufficiently intrigued to carry it to the till and purchase it. I must say it's one of the best buys I've made in a long time. This book has been described as whimsical - I find this little paperback a work of comic genius. It is no surprise to me that it was awarded the Stephen Leacock Award... it's a well deserved win.
The ever-endearing Canadian charm that holds us in high esteem about the world shines through this brilliant penning. It is laugh-out-loud funny... particularly the eccentric Mrs. Rochester. One of my fave sections of the book is the birthday serenade by bagpipes. Thankfully I hadn't finished my coffee and needed a toilet break whilst reading that segment. Brilliant writing and my kudos to Mr. Richardson. I look forward to reading more of his work. 'Bachelor Brothers' has instantly become one of my all-time favorite novels. Can't recommend this title highly enough!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
For those of us who do not prefer to read grizzly horror novels, but instead clever, amusing stories that de-stress us on work breaks or ease us gently into sleep....this is a great book! I've read it four times - and it has become a bedside favorite. Ignore the cynical Kirkus review above...everyone I know has loved this book and has passed it along to a friend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By HD on December 31, 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up off the shelf of the library partly because I could not find anything better to read. What I found was a treasure. I don't know why this book isn't better known. I laughed out loud in quite a few parts. It was refreshing to find a book that was funny and smart without being vulgar and too cynical. (Not that cynical is such a bad thing.) Anyway, I can't wait to read the sequal. Being a bibliomaniac myself, I was delighted with the snippets of poetry and book lists in between. You've got to read this. If you like this, you might try P.G. Wodehouse or James Herriott.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love Bill Richardson! I just caught up with the Bachelor Brothers; it is rare for me to laugh out loud while reading, but this book and one of its sequels had me roaring. All I could think was, "How can I start a similar bed and breakfast?" It is touching, funny, literate -- a real bibliophile's delight. Nuts to Kirkus Reviews for not liking the lists (bathroom reading, bathtub reading, etc.); I was very grateful for them. Hector and Virgil rock!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Gondek VINE VOICE on May 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm a great fan of Barbara Pym, Emily Eden, Margaret Oliphant, Anthony Trollope, PG Wodehouse, and similar writers of gentle (and not-so-gentle) social humor. When I found this book, then, I was pleased to find another promising author that seemed to fit this type.
The first chapter was amusing enough, written from one of the Bachelor Brother's points of view. Richardson has some very nice turns of phrase and is very good with his imagery. He's also skilled at changing the "voice" of the narrator for each chapter. The book very quickly palled for me after that first chapter, though, and it quickly became just a tedious read. I found the characters uninteresting, the setting only mildly engaging, and the overall lack of plot dull.
Fortunately, it was also a very short book, which is good for anyone who has to finish whatever book they start. As light summer reading, one could do worse that this light-weight volume, but one could undoubtedly also do better.
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