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Delight [Hardcover]

J. B. Priestley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Great Northern Books Ltd; 60th Anniversary ed edition (10 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905080670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905080670
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 18.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

A series of essays which depict smallest things in life that the author enjoyed including fountains; a walk in a pine wood; a new box of matches; Sunday papers in the country; reading in bed about foul weather; and, suddenly doing nothing and waking to smell bacon.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delight from 'Delight' 14 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This anthology of chips from the writing block of a great author lives up to its name. There are one hundred and fourteen short essays on all manner of things that have given Priestley delight. Not all of them are simple or innocent : there's more than a little malice to be found, for example, in Frightening Civil Servants and Quietly Malicious Chairmanship; and a touch of mischief in Being Solemn About One's Tastes and Not Going. But mostly this is Priestley finding simple pleasure in music, family affairs, smoking, remembrances of childhood, and so on. One of the most amusing, tongue-in-cheek pieces is No School Report, in which Priestley writes just such a report on himself and a frankly bad one. The anthology is beautifully re-produced by Great Northern Books and makes a suitable companion piece to the newly-compiled Modern Delight, published for charity by Waterstones.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wake up and smell the pipe smoke 11 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
J B Priestley (a fellow Yorkshireman) strikes me as the Keith Waterhouse of his day. This collection of more than 100 mini-essays, from 1949, is delightfully old-fashioned, a book for dipping into (though it could have been pruned, some are much better than others and he does get a bit repetitive.) Priestley is a benign sort of chap who takes pleasure in mild grumbling. Some of his pleasures, sadly, have all but disappeared ... sea travel (I doubt he would include cruises), tobacco from real tobacconists, buying sheet music, stereoscopes. Others bring a flash of delighted recognition ... the feel of a new box of matches, theatre curtains, the sound of an orchestra warming-up, mineral water in hotel rooms. Still others are delights in something not happening ... not going out socially, not being the subject of school reports. Written during the Austerity era, this clearly wasn't a golden age - everything has changed since Priestley's childhood and taxes are sky high. But reading this I could smell the world we have lost (if books were smells, this is a tweed jacket with leather patches, rarely dry-cleaned and owned by a pipe-smoker). My personal delight was finding an old-fashioned library copy from the days before my local library became an internet cafe.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The novelist and playwright J.B. Priestley had a reputation--among his colleagues and his own family--as a chronic complainer. Yet Priestley saw himself as a man who was wide awake to life's joys and took a keen pleasure in them, and in this book he set out to prove that. It contains 114 brief essays, some less than a page in length, none longer than a few pages, each of them describing a person, place or thing that pleased him.

Whether celebrating ordinary pleasures, such as reading detective stories in bed, or more exotic ones, like the smell of Tahiti on the horizon, Priestley's writing is pungent, humorous, touching and memorable. I first read this book about 20 years ago and have hunted down many second-hand copies and given them to friends and family. Some must have wondered why I had bought and carefully wrapped a somewhat faded book from half a century ago.

So it's a real delight to have this handsome new edition that fits nicely into the hands and does justice to a book that's bound to bring pleasure to a whole new generation of readers. You'll find that many of Priestley's delights are yours, too, although you may never have stopped to fully notice them before.

If I were a teacher, I'd ask each of my students to dip into this book as they wished, and then to try writing five or six hundred words to describe something that gives them special pleasure. They may not find it easy to do, but if they succeed, despite the buzz of jargon and circumlocution that surrounds us each day, they'll discover that one of the delights Priestley has to share with us is engaging language that goes straight to the heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a constant source of wonder 4 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Delight has become a constant source of wonder in my life. you can venture in at any time a be swept away in its short tales of breath taking wonder. Be amazed. Be very amazed.
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