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The Book Group 

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 »




2   1  
2003   2002  
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Anne Dudek ...  Clare Pettengill 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Bonnie Engstrom Bonnie Engstrom ...  Dirka 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Michelle Gomez ...  Janice McCann 12 episodes, 2002-2003
James Lance ...  Lachlan Glendenning / ... 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Rory McCann ...  Kenny McLeod 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Saskia Mulder ...  Fist de Grooke 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Derek Riddell ...  Rab 12 episodes, 2002-2003
Des Hamilton ...  Jackie McCann 8 episodes, 2002-2003
Gotti Sigurdarson ...  Lars 7 episodes, 2002-2003
Henry Ian Cusick ...  Miles Longmuir 6 episodes, 2003
Jack McElhone ...  Wee Jackie 6 episodes, 2002-2003
Karen Kilgariff ...  Jean Pettengill 5 episodes, 2003
Lars Oostveen 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 (Laitue_Gonflable@hotmail.com)

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Plot Keywords:

book | tea | scotland | love | loneliness | See All (12) »


Comedy | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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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 propositions Barney on their first meeting, then seems surprised when he turns up at her door on another occasion stoned and propositioning her. See more »


Kenny McLeod: [unwanted kiss] You're a bold lassy aren't ye?
Pool Girl: I'm a Nurse. I know how to lift people. I could look after you.
Kenny McLeod: Get to fuck.
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 »


Referenced in Team America: World Police (2004) See more »

User Reviews

Slowly downhill
5 May 2002 | by azaro666See 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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Official Sites:

Channel 4 [UK]





Release Date:

12 April 2002 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pirate Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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