The Book Group (2002–2003)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 627 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 1 critic

American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious ... See full summary »

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Title: The Book Group (2002–2003)

The Book Group (2002–2003) on IMDb 7.5/10

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2 | 1


2003 | 2002
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Series cast summary:
 Clare Pettengill (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
Bonnie Engstrom ...
 Dirka (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Janice McCann (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Lachlan Glendenning / ... (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Kenny McLeod (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Fist de Grooke (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Rab (12 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Jackie McCann (8 episodes, 2002-2003)
Gotti Sigurdarson ...
 Lars (7 episodes, 2002-2003)
 Miles Longmuir (6 episodes, 2003)
 Wee Jackie (6 episodes, 2002-2003)
Karen Kilgariff ...
 Jean Pettengill (5 episodes, 2003)
Lars Oostveen ...
 Bart van Dongen (5 episodes, 2002-2003)


American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious drug-addict student, a closet-homosexual football enthusiast, and a kind and gentle struggling author in a wheelchair. Each week they meet to read and discuss a new book, which always affects or influences each of the group's lives in some way. Written by Vladimir (

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

12 April 2002 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

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Did You Know?


Though the book group met at her house, Fist didn't pick the scandalous book 'The Sexual Life of Catherine M'. Instead it was Jean, who was rooming with Fist at the time. This means Fist never picked a book during the series' run. See more »


Clare Pettengill: No, it's not a dirty book. It's just French.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The first season's opening credits show the characters' houses in the order they appear during the book group sessions: Clare, Dirka, Barney, Rab, and Janice; though he had picked the book, Kenny decided to have the group meet at Clare's instead and Fist hadn't picked one during the first season. See more »

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User Reviews

Slowly downhill
5 May 2002 | by (Northampton) – See all my reviews

The premise is so simple that it would seem likely to be a snowballing success.

The fact that the first episode was such a well structured, delicately written and well acted piece, meant that it appeared there was every possibility it could be a well thought through character study over a six week, or however long, period.

Perhaps I am missing something as I have not read all the books that have so far been discussed by the group, but in any case the first episode was the only one that even touched upon the book at any level.

Since then the programme has descended into the characters outside of the group. More about how they react in other environments and the experience that the book group may have had on them. The episodes appear to have been cut very harshly. There are great wapping gaps, with no explanation.

The stuff about Kenny and Claire and the kiss has been forgotten. Barney and Claire and their immediate chemistry. The female obsession of Kenny's hands.

It has to be said that the acting is very accomplished and it is a pleasure to see new actors proving their worth. Perhaps at the end of the run all of the loose ends will be tied up and it will make sense as a whole?

Even so though it needs to be judged on each episodes merits, and doing that is so hard as each episode is so vastly different in genre and style.

It feels like it should have been a two part series, just like Men Only which is one of the best things Channel 4 has ever shown.

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