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The Other Side of the Dale Paperback – September 1, 2009
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About the Author
Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, school inspector, educational consultant, and visiting professor of education. For 14 years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as general advisor for language development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent 10 years as a school inspector—time that has provided so much source material for his books. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, York.
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Top Customer Reviews
It was one of those texts which you find incredibly difficult to put down. I laughed out loud at his desciptions of answers given by small children and was able to relate them to my own experiences as an infant teacher.
He has the "gift of the gab" and enthralls his readers from the very first chapter.
One can tell by his writing that he is an honest and sincere person whose very love of life is the reason why he does the work he takes great delight in.
He shares every laugh & sometimes tear in a way that is as if he is an old friend and you are together catching up on news and gossip.
His character descriptions are vivid and allow you to picture this wealth of strange colleagues very clearly.
His romance with the "lovely Christine" is a joy to behold and I could hardly contain myself to wait for his second book to find out what happened.
He writes of his experiences with a truthful and interesting style which carries the reader along with him on his journey through country lanes and among the hedgerows of the farming communities where he travelled.
I felt that I was with him as he stood at picture windows looking out on the magnificent and striking views of the Dales.
There is a childlike quality in the way he sees life - it is honest and open. He writes of things he sees with an element of awe and wonder [like a child seeing their first aeroplane, balloon, etc.] and colours the pages with his glorious grasp of language.Read more ›
Phinn observes and writes honestly, capturing with equanimity and good humor a range of personalities from child prodigy to tyrannical administrative assistant. Sure, there are dozens of portraits of cute kids who say funny things, and of dedicated teachers who have mastered the ineffable art of educating. These alone are worth the price of the book. But want a trenchant dissection of exactly what makes an annoying person annoying? Phinn lays it out, while maintaining his humor and emotional distance and never conveying any feeling that he is settling old scores.
And yes, there is the thread of his sometimes-stumbling courtship of the alluring Miss Bentley. That also keeps one turning the pages.
The prose is warm and comfortable, even comforting at times, because it represents such a change from the mad rush in which we are so often forced to live our lives these days. Phinn shows us how these stalwart people of the Dales manage to slow him down as they enjoy their more rural way of life. Since Mr. Phinn is also a poet, his descriptions of the people he meets and the physical landscapes he sees are nothing short of brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book and plan to continue reading many more in the series. If you like this type of novel which walks you down memory lane to slower paced times in the English countryside, you might also enjoy the Miss Read books such as Village School (The Fairacre Series #1) and Thrush Green (Thrush Green Series, Book 1). If you enjoyed either reading the novels or watching the television series about James Herriot, then Gervase Phinn will certainly be an author you will want to sample.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once you read one book about the Yorkshire Dales by Gervase Phinn, you'll want to read another, and another, and then another after that one. It's not smarmy sweet. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Fiber Artist
I enjoyed reading this book very much. If you have read "All Creatures Great and Small" or any of the Miss Read books, you will love this. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Gayle Maurer
I found myself reading with a Scottish accent. Its a lovely book about a very special place in the world.Published 20 months ago by Bobbi
Each of Mr. Phinn's books is delightfully charming and amusingly witty. Each is a pleasant and peaceful read. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Helena
I really wanted to like this book. I was hoping it would be something like James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small', but sadly, I found the writing not up to Herriot's... Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Great book. It had me laughing all the way through - sorry when it came to the last page. A good belly laugh book. Thanks.Published on April 19, 2013 by Sarah
As an Englishman abroad I enjot all things from home. Having spent some time camping in Yorkshire I appreaciate hearing about it. Read morePublished on September 24, 2012 by Mark P. Sadler