And here is where I should say what a wonderful find it was and how I should foster my adventurous spirit. The book seems to have all the right qualifications - it received glowing reviews and became a substantial publishing hit even before it saw the light of day (This may sound like a curious contradiction but it is not in the context of the current publishing industry where a handful of publishers and supermarket buyers decide which books will be mega-hits even before the printers ink is dry).
My observations on The Observations are that it was shallow, formulaic, trite and astonishingly boring. I suppose you could say it is the dramatisation which has spoilt it, but so many of the problems are with the basic story. It's of the "add a dash of childhood prostitution, a sliver of ghosts, a taste of class consciousness and mix together with a couple of pounds of historical colour" variety. Luckily I only recorded the first five episodes, It is back to Channel 4 news tomorrow.