Just give us the message and the name and address of the lucky recipient. Learn more. This delightful birthday card features a super fun design on the cover, a birthday present with the lid popped open with a surprise inside. The cover also features star embellishments. Open the blue card to reveal a detailed, three-dimensional birthday present with a lovely bow on top.
The corners of the card feature festive decorative laser-cut embellishments. Books are awesome but once little Kate realized that the bow was an intricately folded twenty dollar bill Grandma's gift reached new levels of awesome.
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Holiday Camp Adventure Comedy Crime. Hell Is a City Certificate: K Crime Thriller. Both Sides of the Law Certificate: K Drama. This Happy Breed Comedy Drama. Woman in a Dressing Gown Drama Romance. Hobson's Choice Comedy Drama Romance. Life in Danger The Family Way Jet Storm Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Tony Britton Simon Scott Sylvia Syms Jean Scott Jack Watling Bill Thompson Geoffrey Keen Colonel Wilson Walter Fitzgerald Type Richard Leech Hawkins Lockwood West Barraclough Cyril Luckham Magistrate John Welsh Customs Officer Ian Bannen Customs Officer Ernest Clark Barrister Thorley Walters Photographer Harry Fowler Edit Storyline A top salesman with a U.
Genres: Drama. Edit Details Country: UK. Language: English. Runtime: min. Color: Black and White.
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Edit Did You Know? Trivia The role of Bill Thompson, played by Jack Watling , should have originally been portrayed by Leslie Phillips , who was an old friend of Watling's since the late s, when they attended the same acting school in London. Crazy Credits The opening credits run over an Alpine model railway scene. Add the first question. Was this review helpful to you? But most of all, she has a gift for showing how people writhe and fight against societal constraints, while still remaining sadly straitjacketed by them.
The story is told in alternating first-person narratives by Ivor's brother-in-law Rob, and Hebe's friend Jane. One of the most interesting things about the story is the infinite number of points at which, if someone had just given a clear explanation rather than being inhibited by fear of public shaming, a whole series of tragedies could have been avoided.
Rob and Jane are both unreliable narrators in their own way, and the one fault of the book is its heavy-handedness about certain aspects of the narrators' personalities Oct 01, Sandie rated it really liked it. It shouldn't have been a big deal.
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Ivor Tesham is young, wealthy and a rising member of his party in England. Hebe is his married lover, not morally right but a commonplace sin. Hebe is willing to fulfill Ivor's fantasies, and for his birthday, they set up an elaborate game. She will be taken from the street by two armed men, bundled into their limo, and delivered bound and gagged to Ivor for the night's games.
But things go horribly wrong. There is a wreck and Hebe and one of the men are killed It shouldn't have been a big deal. There is a wreck and Hebe and one of the men are killed, the other man horribly injured.
The press gets the story, but believes that it was a real kidnapping attempt, one on the famous wife of a wealthy man. Ivor's name never comes up, and he doesn't come forward since he knows it will end his political career. The story dies down since the participants are dead as far as the press knows.
Ivor starts to feel safe, but there are still people who know. Like the man who survived and his family. The girlfriend of the other man. Hebe's friend who she used to give her alibis to deceive her husband. As the weeks and then months and years go by, Ivor learns to live with the past, never sure when and where it will rear it's ugly head, taking him and all he has down with a resounding explosion.
Barbara Vine is Ruth Rendell's alternate name, and her mysteries written as Vine tend to be more psychological than her other novels. There is always an offbeat twist, and she outlines the events in such a way that the strange happenings seem to almost be the only logical outcome. This book is recommended for mystery lovers.
Oct 27, Roos Boum rated it liked it Shelves: mijn-spanningsplank. I read the Dutch translation "De verrassing". Dacht ik eerst dat het boek door twee dames geschreven was, blijkt Ruth Rendell een pseudoniem te zijn voor Barbara Vine. Eh, waarom zet je dan beide namen op de cover? Het boek.
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Ik heb veel geskipped. Politiek interesseert me erg weinig en zeker buitenlandse politiek al helemaal niet. Alle bladzijden met hoe het in het Engelse parlement gaat sloeg ik over. Wat ik enigszins verwarrend vond was de perspectiefwisseling. Het duurde telkens I read the Dutch translation "De verrassing". Het duurde telkens een paar zinnen voordat ik doorhad wie er aan het woord was.
Als dat moet bijdragen tot spanning, dan had dat bij mij een averechts effect en vond ik het irritant. Ik bedoel, zet dan gewoon even boven het hoofdstuk wie aan het woord is. Het was ook niet om en om aan het woord, zodat ik echt soms een alinea moest herlezen om door te hebben wie er sprak. Wat ik jammer vond was de enorme stereotype hoofdpersonen, waarbij ik totaal niet begreep wat de twee dames elkaar te bieden hadden als vriendinnen.
De mannelijke hoofdpersoon is dermate Engels stereotiep, tot op het zeer gereserveede af, dat ik niet bij hem kon komen. Waarom dan toch drie sterren. Ik vond het gegeven van een ontvoering als cadeautje erg grappig en hoe het misloopt ook. En toch wilde ik verder lezen hoe het afliep, maar niet meer dan 3 sterren. A good, tense read, most of the fun of which comes from the distance between the theoretically salacious catalyst and the very ordinary narrators.
This is very well handled if a tad reminiscent of some of Fay Weldon's heroines ; the more one gets into her head, the more one wishes she'd get out of one's own. Generally satisfying because it is, in a way, so unsatisfying - the entry and exit to the story is handled in a very Dardenne sort of way, and the very unremarkability of Jane's demise and Ivor's punishment and everyone else just sort of poddling on regardless in itself lends the story a remarkableness it may not otherwise have had.
Mar 02, Richard Beasley rated it liked it. I am never sure abut Barbara Vine Clearly aimed at being more literary than the Ruth Rendell brand especially Wexford , but never quite satisfying. The premise of this with how a secret is kept, and the difference in people's attitudes. I didn't like jump to two narrative points of view, and a didn't really warm to either.
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I think it was god set up, but ending had been foretold and was a bit " let's stop now" Many main complaint was with the cover. A bit too lurid and inaccurate to subject matter. The amps fetish is the launch for one relationship but no part of the next! A problem when reading in public. The second issues is factual re the book. There is a lot of discussion re the fact that at the Birthday Present she is wearing high heeled black boots when feet bound and there is no mention of red shoes.
So the paperback cover has nothing to do with the content of the book, which was really really annoying Jun 01, Bookmarks Magazine rated it liked it Shelves: july-aug May 27, Elise Hamilton rated it really liked it. Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine, has produced another well-crafted story. It's told very conversationallylike a friend telling you a long, drawn out story about someone you both know.
In this case, the story is told by Roy, the brother-in-law of Ivor, of whom the story is about, and Jane, the "alibi-friend" of Ivor's lover, Hebe. Jane's part of the tale is via the diary she begins to keep when Hehe is accidentally killed in a car crash. If I say more I'll have to do a spoiler alert. I ga Ruth Rendell, writing as Barbara Vine, has produced another well-crafted story. I gave it four stars, but just barely. It was a tad too long, and I found myself speed-reading through a couple of the last chapters, particularly where the story is told by Jane.
But I grew tried of that irritation by the end of the book. The Birthday Present is a very goodread, however. Other readers shouldn't be put off by my comments about Jane. I love to see a new book released by Barbara Vine aka Ruth Rendell because, 1 I know without doubt that it is going to be a good read, and 2 I've read every one of her previous books and happily await the arrival of a new one as soon as I've finished the last.
This one has the same satisfying aspect as her others Yet Vine allows us to d I love to see a new book released by Barbara Vine aka Ruth Rendell because, 1 I know without doubt that it is going to be a good read, and 2 I've read every one of her previous books and happily await the arrival of a new one as soon as I've finished the last. Yet Vine allows us to delve into the psyche of the unintentional killer who keeps his secret in order to desperately hang on to life as normal, and avoid normal life collapsed by the conviction of a crime. As always, this story is completely different from any of her previous plots, which I consider the mark of a talented writer - the ability to avoid the formula novel.
Jan 15, Sharon Enright rated it liked it Shelves: mystery. I bought this book because when Ruth Rendell died this past summer, one of the reviews noted that she also wrote under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine. I always liked Rendell's writing; this one bit of Barbara Vine was a lot less interesting. It centers around an MP's erotic affair with Hebe Furnal, a married woman.
When Hebe dies in a car crash that Ivor has arranged as a pretend abduction, Ivor becomes obsessed with whether or not he will be exposed. It is written from two different perspectives I bought this book because when Ruth Rendell died this past summer, one of the reviews noted that she also wrote under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine. It is written from two different perspectives--the diary of Jane Atherton, a plain Jane friend of Hebe's who serves as the alibi when Hebe meets with Ivor--and Ivor's brother in law.
Ivor's involvement in the tragedy does not come out for a long time; the book focuses on how long a secret can remain secret. A very slow, plodding read. Aug 09, Candy Wood added it Shelves: mysteries. Jun 03, Jamaie rated it really liked it Shelves: library-book. This was my 1st Barbara Vine book Anyway, back to ' The Birthday Present: A Novel , a very good book about a fantasy played-out but it went way wrong.
Had many elements that I like in a book Would recommend This was my 1st Barbara Vine book Would recommend this book to mystery lovers. Jun 13, Jo Ann Hall rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The fact that the ending was not totally unpredictable is not a drawback. In fact, the slightly predictable way in which MP Ivor redeems himself exists because he is "the English gentleman"; to have resolved the story otherwise would not have been in character for him.
Oct 04, Laren rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction , mysteries. A man arranges for his married lover to be kidnapped as part of a birthday present for her, but something goes terribly wrong. The reader learns what went wrong early on, but the tale is being told after additional consequences which are only revealed gradually during the telling of the tale. This isn't a traditional mystery book in that no one in it is trying to solve anything.
Instead, it is the reader who will be trying to puzzle out what might have happened before the ending is reached. There A man arranges for his married lover to be kidnapped as part of a birthday present for her, but something goes terribly wrong. There are two narrators in the story, and both are well written so that you can really get a sense of their respective states of mind as the story unfolds. You may think you know what's going to happen, but for me, it went quite unexpectedly, thus earning an extra star.
Aug 29, Lisa rated it really liked it. This is the story of an MP who has an affair with a married woman and arranges a birthday surprise for her that ends in tragedy. The bulk of the story is told by the brother-in-law of the MP and from the diary of the friend of the married woman, Jane, after the event.
I enjoyed the believability of the story and the contradictions of what people want to believe and what actually happened. A great commentary on press coverage and the realities of media interest. Jane was awful and yet a fascinatin This is the story of an MP who has an affair with a married woman and arranges a birthday surprise for her that ends in tragedy. Jane was awful and yet a fascinating character - her life was so bleak but through her own making - the ending was quite shocking and showed just how difficult she found it to read people.
Interesting characters brought alive through a great audio commentary - lots of questions but in a good way - great book. Sep 28, Robert Corbett rated it liked it. Fine Barbara Vine, although if you pay attention, you can tell what the outcome will be in the first 50 pages. Rather, it's a study of a character type, the English gentleman of the old school as the novel has it, and what happens to that character when under the microscope of tabloid journalism as it plays its part in the feedback loop that is modern politics.
The novel is actually set before the latest iteration of English journalism, and concerns an MP whose mistress dies in accident after be Fine Barbara Vine, although if you pay attention, you can tell what the outcome will be in the first 50 pages. The novel is actually set before the latest iteration of English journalism, and concerns an MP whose mistress dies in accident after being "kidnapped" as part of a sex game.
No one truly is at fault, but there is plenty of guilt to go around, and the novel consists of the working out of that guilt. There is a flaw in the story's telling, as there are two narrators, of whom one is the neurotic friend who provided an alibi for the deceased and the other the more worldly brother-in-law of the MP.
In terms of sympathy, it is rather too easy to write off the friend as a stunted obsessive--given some delusions towards the end, a brain tumor is not impossible--while the retrospective mode is not the best for suspense. If you can appreciate some of the novel's quieter ironies, and its deft way of handling expectations, though, The Birthday Present is rewarding. Ivor Tesham MP has affair with Heby and asks two men to kidnap her and take her to his house for her bday present. Story is told by Ivor's brother in law and Jane Atherton who is Heby's best friend. Car crash during the kidnap kills Heby and one of the men and leaves Dermot Murphy in a coma.
Jane moves in with Heby's husband and son as his nanny. Ivor then gets involved with Julia - the dead driver's ex girlfriend. Gerry the husband remarries Pandora, Jane's lodger. Ivor pays an annual pension t Ivor Tesham MP has affair with Heby and asks two men to kidnap her and take her to his house for her bday present. Jane gets raped and murdered - we assume by Murphy's brother, but find out it was the window cleaner Stuart.
Ivortries to commit suicide by shooting himself but fails. View 1 comment. May 25, Zac rated it liked it. A psychological thriller revolving around an up and coming Tory MP and the potential sexual scandal he avoids but for the inevitability of fate and perhaps a natural justice which means the truth will always out in the end. I've read many Vine novels pen name for Ruth Rendell and they usually contain well constructed plots and well drawn characters that you can clearly pictire and believe in.
The contemporary settings often give a sensistive reaction to modern cultural references and I always A psychological thriller revolving around an up and coming Tory MP and the potential sexual scandal he avoids but for the inevitability of fate and perhaps a natural justice which means the truth will always out in the end. The contemporary settings often give a sensistive reaction to modern cultural references and I always enjoy the sense of unease and alienation her characters feel.
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She has a great skill for creating slightly twisted women on the edge of madness and sometimes those womenfall over the edge. A very worthy distraction. This tale of kinky Tory MPs they're always Tories aren't they? The two narrators - one a stuffed shirt, the other a self-pitying self-obsessed woman, are written with the sort of attention to detail that it's hard to believe she didn't know them personally.
My only gripe is that I was expecting the plot to live up to the standard of the writing. OK so there were some moments of drama along the way, but I was expecting some hidden fact to emerge, someone to be other than what they seemed, or in some way to be surprised close to the end, whereas in reality it was a case of starting on a high and coasting gently downhill to a tame conclusion. Jul 22, Joy rated it really liked it. Another good story from Barbara Vine who's books I have come to love this past year. This one is rather less 'ambiguous' than some of the others - by the end pretty much all the ends are tied up, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit of a departure from most of the other Vine titles I have read.
Told from the point of view of 2 narrators, neither of whom are central characters to the main narrative, so much of it is related as second or even third hand info - meaning we cannot be Another good story from Barbara Vine who's books I have come to love this past year.
Told from the point of view of 2 narrators, neither of whom are central characters to the main narrative, so much of it is related as second or even third hand info - meaning we cannot be sure exactly what was said or done, and motives are often unknown. But by the end it all falls into place. Not the most 'believable' of tales, but it is elegantly done.
And certainly kept my interest throughout. Feb 01, Sue rated it really liked it. An unusual and enjoyable read. This is the story of a politician whose activities are questionable, and the outcome of those activities. It is told mostly through the brother in law of the politician and occasionally through a woman who is involved on the sidelines of the events.
This allows us to see what happens at a distance and coloured by the judgement of the narrators, who themselves are interesting characters. Although this is not the most suspenseful of Barbara Vine's books, there is a s An unusual and enjoyable read. Although this is not the most suspenseful of Barbara Vine's books, there is a suspense that builds up as the story progresses and I was left wanting to know the outcome as I read the book.
Barbara Vine Ruth Rendell, writing her non-series suspense novels seems to have recurring character types, which is why I never quite remember the names of the protagonists of her novels. But she arranges them around plots of Byzantine complexity and fabulous creepiness, and so I always enjoy her novels. The Birthday Present is no exception to the rule: in this, a tryst between Ivor Tesham, an up-and-coming Tory MP, and Hebe Furnal, his married mistress, goes horribly wrong, and the lives of m Barbara Vine Ruth Rendell, writing her non-series suspense novels seems to have recurring character types, which is why I never quite remember the names of the protagonists of her novels.
The Birthday Present is no exception to the rule: in this, a tryst between Ivor Tesham, an up-and-coming Tory MP, and Hebe Furnal, his married mistress, goes horribly wrong, and the lives of many, some of whom never knew either Ivor or Hebe, are disastrously affected. Less a who-dunnit than a "what-happens-afterwards", it's a fine quick read that kept me guessing even to the very last page and I must shamefacedly confess to coveting the shoes that adorn the cover of my paperback copy! Jun 06, Sharon Mensing rated it liked it. I usually love Barbara Vine, but this one was a disappointment.
I never really got into it, since the suspense part of psychological suspense seemed to be missing. This story about a British politician who was complicit in his mistress' death and then tried to hide the fact was very reserved. Although it was ostensibly about the motivations of the characters, the only character who the reader really got to know was the sad-sack "friend" of the dead woman who knew the back story.
Vine Rendell d I usually love Barbara Vine, but this one was a disappointment. Vine Rendell did a good job, however, of portraying the six degrees of separation that connect us all. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Barbara Vine. Barbara Vine. Pseudonym of Ruth Rendell. Rendell created a third strand of writing with the publication of A Dark Adapted Eye under her pseudonym Barbara Vine in