When siblings Dan and Hayley Daley inherit their late grandmother's derelict Victorian farmhouse, it seems like a dream come true. All they have to do is fix the place up and sell it for a tidy profit!
Except - as anyone who has renovated an old house knows - things are never that easy.
The walls are rapidly crumbling around them, the architect is a certified lunatic, the budget is spiraling...and then there's the disturbingly intelligent cow to worry about.
On top of all this, the renovation is being featured on a daytime reality TV show, and as soon as Great Locations presenter Gerard O'Keefe catches sight of Hayley's first-floor balcony, he's determined to woo her out of her ban on romance, whether she wants him to or not.
Will Dan and Hayley survive and sell up? Or will the whole thing collapse on them like a ton of bricks?
From bestselling author Nick Spalding comes a hilarious tale of life, love, and dodgy plumbing.
©2015 Nick Spalding (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Just rather silly..."
Having read the reviews about how funny this book is...I gave it a listen. Although it had its cute moments, I think it got only one little smile or two from me. I think it's probably a generational thing. I'm in my sixties and found some of the behavior of the characters just plain silly and somewhat crass.
"Spalding Cracked Me Up Once Again!"
When I wasn't smiling, I was grinning; when I wasn't grinning, I was chuckling; when I wasn't chuckling, I was braying laughter in public (Seriously! There's this one scene where they're doing a live broadcast of the renovation that is to die for! People on the sidewalk couldn't get away from me fast enough).
Told from both sib's point of view, with Heather Wilds' performance just a tad hampered and less fantastic than Napoleon Ryan's, Spalding takes the listener on a journey from a heap of a house to, well, you'll find out what happens along the way. This is more than just a book with slapstick renovation trials and tribulations; this is two people finding their way in life and what happens within themselves as they struggle. The characters are wonderfully drawn, from Danny and Hayley, to the builders, to Pat the Cow, and there's even a dash of a mystery thrown in.
If your don't mind some minor moments of sexual innuendo, lewdness, as I don't--indeed, they're downright hilarious--then get ready to enjoy eight and a half hours of delightful scenes of power tool mishaps, weed clearing mayhem, schoolboy crushes featuring colorful and memorable characters.
"Bricking It" has been the most enjoyable time I've spent in a long time.
"Sometimes I Just Need a Good Laugh"
I kind of knew what to expect, as I recently enjoyed Nick Spalding's "Fat Chance" employing the same narrators. So when the big sale came along, I knew had to experience more of Spalding's magical moments.
This book has lots of laughs, indeed. In summary, brother and sister, Danny and Hayley Daley unexpectedly inherit their grandma's ramshackle Victorian farmhouse. Unexpectedly, because no one in the family even knew of the home's existence. They quickly realize they can make a killing if they renovate it. There begins the fun. Every manner of obstacle arises and the costs seem to skyrocket. All hilariously play out, as our siblings somehow to manage to stay on task.
There is a full cast of quirky characters, all of them quite memorable and guffaw-inducing, including the architect, the builders, the TV show host, and the resident cow, among others. I particularly enjoyed the alternating of narrators--they actually balanced each other out. That is, Napoleon Ryan focused on the comedic parts and Heather Wilds read her chapters more seriously. This seemed to keep the book from deteriorating into too much silliness.
This is not great, deep literature. It is a fun romp, a break from the seriousness of solving mysteries, of mass murderers, crime, holocausts, and all the other emotionally moving and tear-inducing subjects I often gravitate toward. Some times I just need to clear my head out and laugh. Nick Spalding enables me to do just this.
"Funny w/ surprises, really laughing hard in spots"
Narrators were excellent. Story kept moving and characters were vivid to imagine. I liked the English humor and expressions.
"was good book, funny enough, but..."
based on other reviews, I was expecting to have at least a few gut busting laughs, and I only had a few chuckles.... I could see where the situations are funny, but maybe it's the narration? maybe it would be funnier if I read it or if it was a movie.... I'll try another book by the author (maybe it was the subject matter?)
"Lots of fun"
When I started this book, I thought it was going to be a narrative similar to the prolific and formulaic home renovation shows on TV. Although this does play a small role in the plot line, we are spared the details of granite island tops and clear glass showers. This plot, instead, is driven by its zany characters, many of whom are stereotypes with a twist. I was willing to overlook elements of racism and classism since the characters were so endearing. While the reno of the house, willed to siblings Dan and Hayley Daley by their grandmother, reveals all the defects one would expect in a century old home, even more of their family history leaks through the dilapidated structure of the house, as well as those of its new owners and the reno team. As the builders, architect and TV crew gather just before the house is close to being prepared for the much anticipated flip, wherein Dan and Hayley will collect their fortune and return to city life, all kinds of unmentionable, or at least uncommon, quirks of the house and all who are brought together for the transformation, are revealed. Both Hilary and Dan themselves are transformed as they learn that they are capable of working with their hands, although not without injuries. In a fast paced and hilarious comedy of errors and family foibles nothing is too bizarre or inappropriate to remain hidden. It is worth the price of the book just to be carried along by all that could (or could not) be expected to be exposed. There's a happily ever after ending which is predictable, with the exception, perhaps, of Dan's somewhat amorous attachment to Pat the Cow. The old, but good, bones of the house seem to drag everyone out of their old beliefs about themselves and others into a new, more open concept of what was once hidden behind all the now useless walls and a foundation of family values which must be remade.
I was surprised to see how many favorable reviews this book has. so much of the humor was scatological 3rd-grade level jokes about bodily functions or goofy gags. also, part of the plot revolved around the fact that the architect and builder were supposed to be cheap, bottom of the barrel sorts, but in fact all of the workers work hard and do a flawless job, something anyone who has ever gone through home renovations will know is unbelievable in and of itself
"Delightful and laugh-out-loud funny."
More often than not, when I encounter something funny in a book, I say to myself "Self, that's funny" and move on. So, it caught me completely off guard when I started listening to this book and found myself guffawing. Not just a chuckle, either. I mean tears-streaming-from-the-eyes kind of laughing. I'm sure my dog thought I'd gone off the deep end.
Here's all you need to know: a brother and sister inherit a Victorian farmhouse in rural England from their grandmother and they decide to renovate it. Everything about that process is colorful: the workers, the history, the everyday adventures and sometimes the language.
This isn't the kind of book that will make you smarter -- though it may make you think twice about renovating an old house. It is pure, uncomplicated entertainment. Yes, it has some ribald humor. And it's hilarious. I can't wait to discover Nick Spalding's other books.
"Great beach read!"
I listened to Fat Chance by Spalding and enjoyed it. It has the same narrators, I think Ryan and Wilds do a great job.
It sort of reminds me of the Stephanie Plum books; everything that can go wrong will go wrong and there are some quirky and funny supporting characters.
This book is really funny and enjoyable.
"Love this story!"
This is completely engaging, light and fun to listen to. I feel like I know the many characters and can see this house. I love it when that happens.
Same style as Fat Chance by the same author. I loved that too!
Excellent narration. Heather Wilds sounds a bit robotic at first, but after a little while it becomes apparent that her tone is one of distain. This works beautifully with the very funny lines written by Spalding.
This is a lough out loud funny book, just as Spalding's earlier Fat Chance is.
"Great fun book"
A nice flow
I'd read Fat Chance which had the same couple reading so that's why I picked this book too.
Yes. It got me through 2 marathons.
"Not for me"
Really struggled with this book, I normally really enjoy Nick Spalding books but not this time. I found it dull, unamusing and predictable
laugh out loud, really good narration. fantastic story. you can follow all there trials and feel a part of the renovation.
"that woman's voice and acting is terrible!"
sorry but she spoilt a fabulous story. loved it thank you to a great author.
Absolutely hilarious. Highly recommended. I will be looking out for more books by Nick Spalding and hope they are as funny as this one.
The actors voices were too posh for the characters! I found this spoilt the whole experience. I have read many of Nick Spalding's books so I thought I would try this with the audible app as I have been laying on a beach and thought it would be a more relaxing experience. Very funny book though I just love his humour. Please write some more!
"Another fine romp!"
Excellent tale from Nick, I've read them all and this has become a new favourite! Very funny in the way you expect from Nick and a good tale that's more interesting than the TV renovation shows. Only got the audio version by mistake but enjoyed it though the narration's not the best.
"A fun story spoiled"
The language was unnecessary and I struggled with the strange sexual "exploits". Came close to dumping the book altogether.
"Another very funny read/listen from Nick Spalding!"
This was the first time that I had 'listened' to a Nick Spalding book but I have read all the others and loved them! I wasn't disappointed as this was just as funny as Nicks 'love from both sides' and the rest of the love series. In ' Bricking it' I loved the antics of Pat the Cow and also the 'loft poo man' had me in stitches! For fans of Nicks books, the reference to "the pedal bin incident" you will understand right away.
I did find the narrative of Hayley a bit robotic sounding at times but that didn't spoil the over all story for me.
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