Book Jacket


rank 183
word count 13117
date submitted 03.07.2009
date updated 06.12.2012
genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Come...
classification: universal



Mandrake Hall has been flattened for re-development. No-one knows what is in store. What is the last thing the theatre obsessed Valley needs?



Shakespeare's Cuthbert was the first book in the series, How Mean is My Valley? is the second. All the characters you have already met have formed unlikely alliances to combat the new threat... Who on earth is Aunt Liza?

The novel is complete and is part of several books in the Cuthbert series. The cover was designed by BRADLEY WIND.

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, comedy, cuthbert, fantasy, fiction, humour, satire, word play

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Seringapatam wrote 470 days ago

Paula and Patrick, Loved it and funny. I think this is so well written and you descriptive voice is second to none. With this and a good story coupled with a sense of humour then this is a cool recipe for a really good book. I would now get on here and push it to its limit. Good Luck and high score from me.

Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R). Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you?
Happy New Year. Sean

Nepalwriter wrote 638 days ago

Absolutely hilarious. What a great comic style. It's so visual. I can see ever misstep and expression he makes. A sure winner.

EMDelaney wrote 1236 days ago

Absolute FIRST RATE literary entertainment of the highest order. A small 1% get E M Delaney's critiqueless WOW vote and you get it. Think I'm kidding, look at my bio page where you have been added to my 1% list. It is the permanent backing endorsement.

Christian Clavadetscher wrote 1259 days ago

This is an extremely well-crafted, cleverly written work. I agree with everybody who has noted parallels with Tom Sharpe. This is so beyond anything I could possibly conjure up that I spent most of my time reading it in complete awe. You have quite a fine talent Patrick, and I well and truly wish you the best with this work and indeed the entire series. -cc

AliyaM.books wrote 36 days ago

Read two chapters and found them both to be very light-hearted and charismatic. Lots of good things here!

sensual elle wrote 191 days ago

I still keep the original (in multiple meanings of the word) on my watch list long after its days on my shelf. I love the Cuthbert books! Backed!

Heidi Whatcott wrote 223 days ago

I am so glad to hear of your publishing success. I can see why someone picked it up. You have a very funny, distinct voice. From the moment the pretend gardening trophies began jumping off the shelf two by two, I found this very engaging. This is a unique world you've created, and I hope your first book finds a wide audience so that others may follow. I hope your health gets better. You're a very talented writer. I appreciated the read and have given you high stars for your writing ability. Keep posting updates on your site. I love when a fellow author is able to find a publisher and get their book out there.
Heidi Whatcott--Crayton House

Eliza Moon wrote 251 days ago

This is a lovely story with very clear and vivid descriptions. The sheer enormity of the machinery compared to Percy's small stature, and the turning of the blades as he dodged them, created a strong and dramatic scene that is sure to hook the younger reader.

Great characters. I liked the line 'Percy, according to the rumours he had spread himself, had been the gardener at Mandrake Hall.' and I loved Cuthbert's interpretations of Percy's manic hand gestures, very good:-)

ChristineL wrote 343 days ago

Cuthbert: How Mean is My Valley?
Patrick Barrett


I read Chapter 1 - 5 and I can't tell you how much I enjoy it. The narrative and humour remind me of my beloved Terry Pratchett's books. The world building is subtle but effective.I like the imagery of Percy bouncing all over the place as he was trying to get from point A to B. Cuthbert and Percy are hilarious. I have the feeling that the plot involving Cash Go supermarket would turn into a really funny adventure.

This is awesome. High stars. Backed.


Kathy K G wrote 371 days ago

'She interrupted, as smooth as tearing satin.'

I love that line. When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure that as an American I would get the jokes, but the further I read, the more I smiled and then laughed. Funny, cute and clever. I especially like the little asides. Great job!


Hedley Pilkington-Minge wrote 386 days ago

Thank you for your encouraging response to my efforts. You have many of the hallmarks of a good writer but it all seems a bit understated to me. In other words, there is far more potential than is actually being realized. Some judicious editing would really bring your text to life eg. more dialogue and less dependence on slapstick humour. Very best of luck

Lyn4ny wrote 418 days ago

Excellently written-I didn't know if i'd get into this one but I did. I just really enjoyed it. Its funny yet creative and it flows nicely. I will read more soon. You have a great way of writing. Will keep on WL & add to bookshelf when I get the room. High Stars and good luck with it.

Forty-Four Footprints Following Me
-Surviving Manic Depression- My Story & The Real Truth on Managing it

Lyn4ny wrote 425 days ago

Very amusing and entertaining style you have. It flows nicely and is an interesting concept. I'm sure this will go far for you and I wish you the best of luck with it.

Forty-Four Footprints Following Me
Surviving Manic Depression My Story & The Real Truth on Managing It

Gary James Roper wrote 428 days ago

Chapter 1 and 2

Great descriptive writing which flows really well. The short chapters keep a good pace. This is very humorous and I enjoyed the machine drivers reactions. Your editing is very professional and polished.

Top stars so far and I have this WL'ed.

Seringapatam wrote 470 days ago

Paula and Patrick, Loved it and funny. I think this is so well written and you descriptive voice is second to none. With this and a good story coupled with a sense of humour then this is a cool recipe for a really good book. I would now get on here and push it to its limit. Good Luck and high score from me.

Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R). Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you?
Happy New Year. Sean

authordonna wrote 471 days ago

You write wonderfully. Very descriptive and smooth. Great plot. I want to read more.

Brian G Chambers wrote 489 days ago

Paula & Patrick
May I start off by saying I hope your health gets back to normal soon Patrick. Your work is superbly funny. There's not a lot I can add to that. There was no errors that I could see at all. A highly polished piece of work.
Well done. High stars from me.

LCF Quartet wrote 601 days ago

Dear Patrick,
I enjoyed reading the first four chapters so far, and I have to say that I like your unpretentious style. You know how to breathe life into characters and your descriptions just put me in a good mood. I'll come back to read more and I wish you all the best with CUTHBERT. Hilarious!
Best wishes,
Lucette-Ten Deep Footprints

rikasworld wrote 635 days ago

This is such fun! Can't really select the funniest bits because it's all funny but I did like the feeling he was having tea with a leper as the mud fell off Percy and the worry about which bit would fall off next.

Nepalwriter wrote 638 days ago

Absolutely hilarious. What a great comic style. It's so visual. I can see ever misstep and expression he makes. A sure winner.

R. Dango wrote 661 days ago

Just been back to read two more chapters - 4 and 5. "A hamster in a wheel" like fast-paced humorous scenes continue with unique characters. This is the most enjoyable book. It is almost like watching a cartoon film.
I just have to back this one!

R. Dango wrote 670 days ago

This is a super funny story. I regret not reading it earlier. I've just read through chapter 3 and coming back for more later. Many stars!

DenniTowle wrote 677 days ago

Very entertaining! I'm very impressed with the book as a whole, very good writing and catching the moment!

Tod Schneider wrote 677 days ago

This is delightful writing! The Simpsons meet Wallace and Grommet. You paint wonderfully funny pictures, and the wit is just dry enough. This delivers chuckles. Thanks!

Mademoiselle Nobel wrote 677 days ago

Cuthbert: How Mean is my Valley? by Patrick Barrett

Patrick, this is such a brilliant read! Fast, funny and extremely written! I love the simplicity in your writing style and natural dialogue. And I absolutely love this line: ‘Finding himself rolled up like Cleopatra in a grass carpet.’

I can’t recommend this highly enough for anyone who wants a funny and entertaining read! Six stars and watchlisted so I can come back and read more! Brilliant!

Iman xxx

Miss Manners:

Here are just a few suggestions:

● “What is it?” asked a voice[.] “A Hobbit?”

● Don’t know, said another[.] “Frightened me to death.”

● “I am not a Hobbit, I am the gardener at the Hall,” [he said, glaring defiantly].

● “This Hall[!]” yelled Percy[,] waving an arm...

●....and[,] with a smile at Percy, she moved and picked it up.

Stephanie Mortimer wrote 678 days ago

Hi Paula/Patrick,

What a fantastic read this is. You really captured my imagination here with a well written story, animated characters and authentic dialogue. I love the relationship between Percy and Cuthbert and the humour that goes with it eg. at the end of chapter 4 where he sews up farmer Griffin's nose. That made me chuckle.

I will be back to read more! It's on my watch list and starred highly.

Stephanie - Feathers

Cyrus Hood wrote 678 days ago

Great fun, had me laughing from the start/ i have no idea where this is heading but I can tell immediately that it will be entertaining stuff. i formed a mental image of Percy by the middle of the first chapter and had him ;on side ; right away- nice characterisation.
On my watch list with 5 stars and I will comment again in a couple of days.

When you have a moment please have a look at my Hellion 2= second book of a four part series but it may be read as a stand alone work.

thank you


Lenny Banks wrote 688 days ago

Hi Patrick and Paula, I read Chapters 6 & 7, I found the story easy to pick up and read, congratulations on the first book I am sure this is going to do as well. A good read, well done.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes

Lenny Banks
Tide and time: At the Rock

Wanttobeawriter wrote 703 days ago

What a fun read (altho I don’t know how you could possibly get your foot into a boot backward). Percy is a good character to introduce first; he’s unique both because he lives in a shed and because he made up his past about being a gardener. Cuthbert is a good contrast to him. The best part of this, tho, is your writing style: no extra details to bog down your story. Just crisp and fast paced. A book to read when you need a lift from life’s problems. Highly starred and added to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter: Who Killed the President?

Olga13 wrote 714 days ago

Funny, great tone of humour. well written and good formatting. I think Percy play his characters very well. Great of imagination. I am only at 7 chapter..I have scored you 6...
Will get back to you of what i think of the story...but so far i am very fascinated ...

Olga13 wrote 744 days ago

your book is on my WL...sooner i am done reading it will get back to u for feedback and back up.. all the best. x

Melissa Writes wrote 747 days ago

This is really humourous and entertaining, and very well written. The similies and metaphors were very original and the dialogue is polished, I particually enjoyed the Hobbit conversation.
Well done!
Lessons in the Dark

Adeel wrote 792 days ago

A very nice reading which could be termed as highly remarkable and deserves 6 stars. Will put it on my book shelf soon.

sensual elle wrote 799 days ago

This is the mad sequel to the mad original Cuthbert I backed eons ago– well, almost 3 years ago. I'm happy to back this one and I hope you're doing well, Patrick.

AuroraNemesis wrote 833 days ago

Great use of images and symbols, these interest the reader and make them want to read more. A bit like a puzzle when you want to solve it.
An enchanting story that shows you are a great storyteller.
Has a humorous tone, which is easy and fluent.
Imaginative and fresh.
Kids will love it.
I am a big kid and I did.
Well done.

Missile Girl wrote 895 days ago

"Women wear square watches so that time can hide in the corners and then they can pretend they don't know where it's gone."

What a wonderful imagination you have, Patrick! I didn't know whether to laugh at that one or feel insulted!

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you (my parents are very infirm and require full-time care), but I am enjoying your book so much. Cuthbert carefully sewing bits of Farmer Griffin back together after his combine harvester accident was priceless!

I was so sorry to hear from Joe about your stroke. I do hope that you get better soon. My prayers go to both you and Paula.

Andi xxx

Jonie M. Julan wrote 905 days ago

Hello, Patrick. Just read your first two chapters. You wasted no time in bringing in the action, but have also not explained every single detail about why the hall and Percy's home is being threatened. This may serve to peak your reader's interest, and propel them forward to learn more. I was a bit confused with the first sentence, maybe due to some pronoun use. I also wonder if the sentence about the woman's blonde hair might be worded a bit different, to allow it to flow more smoothly. Thank you for posting your work and thank you again for your support. It is greatly appreciated.

HannahWar wrote 989 days ago

Pat/Paula, crisp, fresh writing, not a word out of place. Very confident style. Love it. Starred and backed and good luck on the publishing route!!! Hannah

eddie mccann wrote 1008 days ago

Dear Patrick / Paula,

Apart from the title echoing that of Richard Llewellyn's 'How green Was My Valley' I found you book extreemly entertaining and very well written. Wishing you the best of luck in the future.

Regards Eddie

apelle wrote 1019 days ago

You are obviously a seasoned and passionate writer with good human insite and the ability to use fact / fiction crossover storylines.

It's good to see this new system works and the cream rises to the top. This is a very polished work. Deserves it's top spot! It's got it all.


monicque wrote 1052 days ago

Hi Patrick! (Or Paula - I hope Patrick is better...) I am here to read Cuthbert... am wondering what a mean valley is!! Reading on....haha, this is fantastic entertainment. Great story. I love how they decided it was a hobbit (by the feet). Thank you very much for sharing - highly rated! :)

Helen Rose wrote 1107 days ago

Wow, your book is really great. It's well written and extremely interesting. I'm so glad my friend David asked me to take a look at it.

Frank Sabetan wrote 1111 days ago

Dear Patrick:
It is my pleasure to read your book. I really appreciate my friend--David recommend your book to me. I just start to read and I believe I will fall in love with your work. Good luck.

Scott S. wrote 1114 days ago

My friend David keeps recommending me to read your book. Once I started to read your book, I got the reason why he did that. Thanks for your nice work.

Patrick Brockers wrote 1117 days ago

Hi, Patrick:
Nice to read your book. I read David's Mankind's end last week and he recommended me your book. I think I will enjoy reading your book as well.

CMTStibbe wrote 1118 days ago

How Mean Is My Valley? Percy, the gardener at the hall, has me hooked. His wellies, on the other hand, have him hooked. As goes base over apex down the hill, I have a visual in my mind that goes far beyond any other book I have read on this site. And I read loads! The dialogue is hysterical as poor Percy is classed as a Hobbit. Well, what could that be rolling so fast in a downward direction? Skillful descriptive prose such as ‘the crow somehow managed to shrug under its feathers..’ and ‘flailing like a semaphore tower in a gale..’ You can so easily ‘see’ each scene. But Percy doesn’t hang around. Even with change he is practical. What about a gardening position with Cash-Go? This book has so many hooks with each chapter; it’s hard to stop reading. But I must. Highly starred and highly recommended. Claire ~ Chasing Pharaohs.

Hero Xie wrote 1119 days ago

I like you book very much! Thanks to my friends Gary Xie and David Welch' recommendation I got the chance to know you and your book! Keep going~ I will back up you~!

Gary Xie wrote 1119 days ago

I've read the first three chapters of your book and found it quite interesting. I will read more later but have decided to back it and give it a good star rating. I'm glad my friend David Welch asked me to take a look.

the hermit wrote 1129 days ago

Hi, it’s me again. I’ve got up to chapter 11 where I find a few things you should look at.
‘A chair scraped on the other side of the table….’ The rest of the sentence seemed a bit awkward. Try re-arranging the two sentences into one.
‘She was one of them sort of girls that was always whispering things to her mom’ needs a clearer explanation, and ‘Percy tipped his hat back and contributed,’ I would change the word contributed, it seems wrong.
Query: why was Percy in deep in a pool of self pity?
Percy’s relative must have been competing in an international bowls match and got a lift back to England on the Armada. You could say he missed the boat when the others came back. (I think it would work better)
Instead of having Percy’s relative shipwrecked it would be funnier if they found out what he had done and threw him overboard where he could be rescued by a famous Irish pirate (there was a woman who was the head of some Irish pirates around that time.) and just as he is about to start telling that story, Cuthbert goes for a new pint and leaves him to it.
all the best Geoff

the hermit wrote 1132 days ago

A nice easy read which is good. It needs a few lines explaining that Cuthbert needed an assistant and that Percy has lost his hut so needs a job.
At the end of ch 4, I didn't know whether Cuthbert was laughing or annoyed.
In ch 5, I felt you could make show that she was getting the women on her side more elequently by belittling the men rather than attacking them and praising the women for their hard work.
In ch 6, you could explain that the villagers didn't know that Cuthbert was their landlord and are upset and now think he is responcible for the termoil. or that he didn't know that he owned so much and is upset that no one in the village likes him any more.
ch 7 after teklon wellies... put somthing in to show cuthberts disgust at Percy's provarication eg. "What happened to all your leagal arguments? Teflon wellies, really!
I'v only got to ch 8 for now and am loving it. if you dont want any more comments, let me know. I hope you don't mind the suggestions but I only do it for books I really like in the hope of improving them
best wishes Geoff.
you can rip my book apart if you like but do it honestly. ta.

Philip Churchman wrote 1166 days ago

The unique title drew me in - I've just read the first 3 chapters and love it! The tone of the writing and in particular the kind-hearted and uncynical comedy sets this apart. On my WL and 6 starred - hope to come back for more soon. Best of Luck, Philip

cheimpo17 wrote 1168 days ago

Sorry I took so long to reply back. Real life caught up to me. Anyway, since I took so long, I actually read all of what is posted and enjoyed what you've written. Best of luck to this.

cheimpo17 wrote 1168 days ago

Sorry I took so long to reply back. Real life caught up to me. Anyway, since I took so long, I actually read all of what is posted and enjoyed what you've written. Best of luck to this.

Nigel Fields wrote 1180 days ago

Such agreement all round says it. I regret not coming upon your work sooner. Good entertainment value along with enrichment. Starred and WL'd.
John B Campbell (Walk to Paradise Garden)