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Other Side Of The Dale Audio, Cassette – Audiobook, International Edition

14 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Dales Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Gervase Phinn's memoirs have made him a hero in school staff-rooms."  —Daily Telegraph
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

GERVASE PHINN is Senior General Inspector for English and Drama with North Yorkshire County Council, but will become part-time from January 1999 in order to concentrate on his writing and speaking engagements. He lives near Doncaster.

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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio UK (April 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014180016X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141800165
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,537,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Irene McGinney on June 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Having heard Gervais Phinn talk on an afternoon chat show describing his life as a schools inspector with humour and great dedication I was anxious to read his book "The Other Side of the Dale".
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scott N. Stone on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phinn clearly loves children, schools and Yorkshire. His pictures of the countryside, of its stalwart but reserved people, and of their dialect, invite favorable comparison with James Herriott. This is a special place, largely unspoiled by McDonalds and internet chat rooms, and that alone is a reason to celebrate while reading the book.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Lesley TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those of us who often want to read something which is enjoyable and yet relaxing at the same time, this novel by Gervase Phinn certainly hits the spot. Recounting his experiences during his first year as a school inspector, Phinn takes us on many trips through North Yorkshire that puts the reader in the center of that wonderful landscape and among those truly fascinating people. The book was first released in 1998 and has held up very well from the standpoint of technology within the school systems because it doesn't rely heavily on that technology. This book has its focus firmly on the relationships between Phinn and the people he comes into contact with while learning his new job.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This, the first book in a series of five, is a delightful account of the experiences of an inspector of schools in Yorkshire. Its form is anecdotal and, quite apart from the fact of it also being set in Yorkshire, similar in style to Herriot's vet books. If you enjoyed those, you will love this book (and all the subsequent ones in the series). Phinn writes eloquently and with insight and humour about the children, parents, teachers and colleagues he encounters every day in his work. Like Herriot, he is also passionate about the seasonal changes in beauty of the the Yorkshire dales. Phinn is a man in love with life and this shines through in his writing. Beautifully written and uplifting I thoroughly recommend Phinn's delightful autobiographical series, of which "The Other Side of the Dale" is the first.
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