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As Berry & I Were Saying (B-Berry Pleydell) [Kindle Edition]

Dornford Yates
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Reprinted four times in three months, this semi-autobiographical novel is a humorous account of the author’s hazardous experiences in France, at the end of the World War II. Darker and less frivolous than some of Yates’ earlier books, he describes it as ‘really my own memoir put into the mouths of Berry and Boy’, and at the time of publication it already had a nostalgic feel. A great hit with the public and a ‘scrapbook of the Edwardian age as it was seen by the upper-middle classes’.

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Product Description

About the Author

Born Cecil William Mercer into a middle class Victorian family with many Victorian skeletons in the closet, including the conviction for embezzlement from a law firm and subsequent suicide of his great-uncle, Yates' parents somehow scraped together enough money to send him to Harrow. The son of a solicitor, he qualified as a barrister whilst still finding timeto contribute stories to the Windsor Magazine. After the first world war hegave up legal work in favour of writing, which had become his great passion, and completed somethirty books. These rangedfrom light- hearted farce to adventure thrillers. For the former, he created the 'Berry' books which established Yates' reputation as a writer of witty, upper-crust romances. For the latter, he created ther character Richard Chandos, who recounts the adventures of Jonah Mansel, a classic gentleman sleuth. As a consequence of his education and experience, Yates' books feature the genteel life, a nostalgic glimpse at Edwardian decadence and a number of swindling solicitors. In his hey day, and as testament to hisfine writing, Dornford Yates' work was placed in the bestseller list. Indeed, 'Berry' is one of the great comic creations of twentieth century fiction; the 'Chandos' titles also beingsuccessfully adapted for television. Along with Sapper and John Buchan, Yates dominated the adventure book market of the inter war years. Finding the English climate utterly unbearable, Yates chose to live in the French Pyrenees for eighteen years, before moving on to Rhodesia where he died in 1960. 'Mr Yates can be recommended to anyone who thinks the British take themselves too seriously.' - Punch 'We appreciate fine writing when we come across it, and a wit that is ageless united to a courtesy that is extinct'-Cyril Connolly

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 579 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus (21 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DZFD9A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of a time that never was 21 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This is the first of Dornford Yates's "memoirs," written when the Second World War was over and the privileged society he described in the "Berry" books had disappeared for good.
Part of the problem with "As Berry and I Were Saying" is precisely that it is cast in the fictitious world of Berry rather than that of the real-life author. This is not unexpected, as the life of C.W. Mercer ("Dornford Yates") resembled not at all that of the Pleydell family as depicted in the "Berry" books, and indeed there is something sinister about Mercer's cloaking of his strictly middle-class identity in the persona of Boy Pleydell.
In the book, Yates turns out to have been a bystander in some of the more well known incidents of the early twentieth century (the Crippen case, the suffragette demonstrations). Berry himself contributes "monographs" on subjects such as Napoleon brandy or the awfulness of the Germans. But the book as a whole is a lament for the good old days when a British gentleman could travel overseas without a passport and the peasantry touched their forelocks to their betters. If you yearn for those days too, you might enjoy the book. If you are more interested in Dornford Yates's peculiar psyche, see if you can track down the rare biography; it is definitely out of print and currently unavailable used on Amazon, but it will tell you more about Mercer/Yates than this memoir or its sequel, "B-Berry and I Look Back."
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good old fashioned writing. 22 Nov. 2013
By Gareth
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not politically correct, by a long chalk, but thats maybe why I liked it. Harks back to an era when we were allowed to say what we liked, before the P.C. idiots took over the country. To use the parlance of the time, a ripping good read.Dated but still funny and clever.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars 14 Aug. 2015
By alan
Format:Kindle Edition
Good but less than the earlier books
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3.0 out of 5 stars Humour and style change 27 Sept. 2012
By Shasta - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I,first read this book about 40 years ago, it was fresh and entertaining. It is still informative, but the style of this memoir is clunky. It would have been better as a straight memoir. The bits about the law are still good, but the tone is very patronising especially where foreigners are concerned. Long live the English!
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