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Jilly Cooper Book Club - Polo

(17 Posts)
ChessieFL Wed 25-May-16 18:42:15

So we are now onto Polo which as you can see from my user name is a particular favourite of mine!

Polo brings back lots of characters from earlier books, as it runs over the same time period as Rivals (starting just after Riders). It also introduces lots of entertaining new characters - Ricky and Chessie France-Lynch, the Macleods, the Aldertons.

I like getting to see events from Rivals from a different point of view. You also get Rupert and Taggie's wedding in this book (which appears to take place about 5 minutes after he proposed at the end of Rivals - how do they organise weddings so quickly in Cooper world?).

However, what's annoying is that Jilly has got her dates wrong in this book, and things happen about 2 years before they happened in Rivals - for example if you work through the timeline in Rivals, Rupert and Taggie's wedding is Xmas 1987. However, if you work through the dates in Polo, the wedding is Xmas 1985. Because of this disparity with dates, Rupert's age doesn't tie up - at a specific event in the past which I won't mention because it is a spoiler, he was apparently 18 which would make him born 1947 - but this doesn't tie up with ages quoted in Riders which work out to him being born in 1947.

Anyway, putting all that aside (which won't annoy people less geeky than me anyway) this is a great book, good characters and the usual sex and horses that make up a typical Cooper!

MrsHathaway Wed 25-May-16 19:41:53

ARGH I can't believe I don't have a copy to hand.

Lovely start!

Trills Wed 25-May-16 19:46:42

Is it Riders or Polo in which white breeches split and no pants are worn?

Fenelle and Perdita both seem likely to do this sort of thing...

MrsHathaway Wed 25-May-16 21:16:28

Lol it's Fen at the World Cup iirc. Thanks for the reminder!

TaggieCampbellBlack Wed 25-May-16 21:18:30

One of my very favourites.

ChessieFL Thu 26-May-16 04:54:13

Yes, it's Fen in Riders with the split breeches. Perdita turns up naked at a fancy dress party as Lady Godiva.

Fraggleface Thu 26-May-16 11:25:15

I've just finished re-reading Polo. I think both Polo and Rivals are better written than Riders. Jilly's habit of mixing up dates and ages does annoy me though! And Perdita has got to be the most unlikeable heroine. How she manages to hang on to the love of such a wonderful bloke (trying not to spoil!) is incredible.
For me, it's her portrayal of secondary characters - human, equine and canine - that really make her writing.

Thurlow Mon 06-Jun-16 14:50:40

Oh god, I didn't realise we were up to Polo!

This was my first Jilly Cooper, and I fell absolutely head over heels not just with Jilly's books, but with Ricky France-Lynch. I think the fact he killed his son while drink driving passed me by the first time hmm.

It's a great one for rereading because the characters and your opinions change so much every time you read it. I wanted to be Perdita when I was younger; then I thought she was an absolute bitch and didn't deserve anyone, let alone the Lovely Luke; now I'm older, it's so obvious how much her childhood affected her and she just wants someone to respect her and care for her. I like to think that she is a character who becomes good in the end, with a decent family behind her and the love of a good man.

The liking for underage girls doesn't improve much in this book either, does it?!

Still - Ricky, Ricky, be still my beating heart. I even forgive the high-handed way he announces his love at the end of the book, without really asking her if she likes him too.

What else is great? How wonderfully and thoroughly selfish Chessie is, the Carlisle twins and their terrible puns and jokes, Red's make-up and blazers (I mean, that doesn't date well at all, does it?), and, most of all, the fact that suddenly polo is the kind of sport that gets front page headlines grin

ChessieFL Mon 06-Jun-16 16:43:03

I always find that odd in Jilly books - the way polo players and showjumpers are hugely famous and front page news!

Trills Mon 06-Jun-16 18:40:05

I like to think of it as a parallel universe, where horsey sportpeople are as much celebs as footballers and Andy Murray are now.

Trills Mon 06-Jun-16 19:49:55

How very civilised of the twins...

TwentyOneGuns Mon 06-Jun-16 22:26:58

Red is supposed to be devastating but he sounds most unappealing to me, far too in love with himself to have any room for anyone else. Luke on the other hand is lovely.

Thurlow Tue 07-Jun-16 10:28:15

I didn't get the appeal of Luke the first time I read it, but second time around he was just delicious (if a wee bit of a martyr).

Though they are all quite civilised and gentlemanly compared to the men in her early books - I'm currently in the middle of Bella, Octavia, Prudence etc, and they're, umm, quite of their time, aren't they?

Trills Mon 13-Jun-16 08:46:48

Does Perdita seem to be riding horses with no bra on quite a lot? Wouldn't that be uncomfortable?

We get to see Rupert and Taggie's wedding!

KathyBeale Sat 25-Jun-16 08:29:45

The time line in Riders doesn't work either. It only works if you 'pretend' the LA Olympics were in 1980 and not 1984.

I love Daisy and I love that she turns up in lots of later books.

Trills Sat 25-Jun-16 08:41:24

I am more willing to relocate an Olympics than I am to deal with things not dding up.

One big lie is better than lots of little inconsistencies.

Trills Sat 25-Jun-16 08:49:00

Chessie is a manipulative bitch with no redeeming qualities.

And at one point:

"She appeared to be wearing no make-up at all, but in fact has spent twenty minutes smudging blue-black shadow and a subtle blending of green and beige base to make herself look tired, frail, and wildly desirable"

What? Why would looking green be desirable?

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