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Doting [Hardcover]

Henry Green
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jun 1970
Satirizing the tedium of upper-middle-class life in post-war London, this novel depicts a world in which substance is far less important to anyone than appearance. The question asked throughout the text concerns the differences between doting and loving.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Augustus M Kelley Pubs; Reprint edition (Jun 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0678031592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0678031599
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,315,832 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


" Doting has some of the best moments of comedy Mr. Green has yet written." -- Times Literary Supplement "There is possibly no novelist in business who punctures human pretensions quite so subtly as Henry Green... " -- Atlantic Monthly "Witty, stylish, poignant, mordantly funny and horribly sad." -- J.D. Scott, New Statesman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

While in Loving, Henry Green explored the baffling exhilarations of romance, and particularly romance below stairs, with a kind of bemused detachment, in his final novel Doting, he reflects a more resigned view, that of a long-married man observing love less as passion than as a set of habits. Arthur and Diana Middleton are middle-aged, upper-middle-class couple in post-Second-World-War London who become both painfully and farcically aware of the limitations of their lives together. The main object of their doting maybe their only son Peter, but Arthur's weakness for Annabel, a young lady of Peter's generation, brings the family to a crisis.

Doting, a novel told almost entirely through dialogue, is among the most elegiac, most bitter-sweet of Henry Green's novels, and like his other wholly distinctive books, a small classic.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY ENTERTAINING 15 Aug 2009
Oh the games people play, with themselves and with others, and how well Henry Green portrays this through practically the sole use of dialogue, following the schemings and evasions of five upper-middle class characters searching for a - on the (often not very) sly - little extra spice in their lives.

Being written mainly in dialogue, the story rattles along at a fair pace, and the characters feel very alive and the story dynamic. With a spare half-a-day, you can soon polish this off, drawn in instantly and entertainingly (although the first page and a half contains the worst of the dialogue, so don't let this deter you), and you'll come out the other end with a satisfied smile and a need to recommend it to others ...

... as I am doing here. Enjoy!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book that will leave you smiling and scratching your head 3 Jun 2001
By Lance Mannion - Published on
A strange, amusing, and perplexing little book, told mostly through dialogue, about a weirdly cheerful menage a quatre between a handsome middle-aged couple, their dashing widower friend, and a beautiful 18 year old girl, with only the husband and wife ever winding up in bed with one another.
Mr. Middleton dotes on Ann. Mrs. Middleton dotes on Charles. Charles dotes on Ann and Mrs. Middleton. And Ann dotes on being doted on. Author Henry Green presents these people as a gang of befuddled masochists, unwittingly causing themselves great anguish and just as unconsciously enjoying it. The "doting" that they mistake for love is a form of self-torture. Green doesn't treat this doting as perverse. He portrays it as very human and therefore lovable mistake. Needing to feel loved, to feel young and desirable, the Middletons and their friends/would-be lovers try to force love out of others by showering love (or at least professions of it along with clumsy physical demonstrations) on them. None of the characters behaves very well. The best of them, Mrs. Middleton, the good wife and mother, is actually the most adulterously minded, but neither of the men or Ann act with much virtue or good will. And yet Green makes them all likable and all forgivable. He doesn't make us laugh at the characters' foibles but at their predicament. Green isn't as mean as Evelyn Waugh or as angry as Kingsley Amis, fellow Brits who also specialized in comedies of manners. He's not as funny as they are either, but he is a whole lot more humane and more forgiving of his characters' weaknesses.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doting is not as good as Loving 23 Jun 2011
By S. Smith-Peter - Published on
The title for this review is both the message of this book and a comparison with Henry Green's great novel, Loving. Doting is a book with a minuet-like interaction of older men and younger women (with a few young male nonentities thrown in). The partners change, but their need to dote or be doted upon does not. It is an enjoyable novel, but is more in the way of an entertainment than something more.

Green usually showed parallel groups of upper and working class Englishmen and women, and it is this fuller class dimension, as well as brilliant writing, that gives Loving and Party Going such power. Doting is just the upper class, and it suffers for it. This is good Green, but not great.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't read the customer description below.... 29 Oct 2007
By Blue22 - Published on
Because the moron who wrote it gave away the key plot twist and, thus, the conclusion.
I have yet to read this book, but a teacher highly recommended it to me.
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