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High Rising Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Feb 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books; Unabridged edition (Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753116669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753116661
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 16.8 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,308,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Charming, very funny indeed. Angela Thirkell is perhaps the most Pym-like of any twentieth-century author, after Pym herself (Alexander McCall Smith)

Appealing (Glasgow Sunday Herald)

A smart new edition . . . A terrific holiday story (The Lady)

A delightfully entertaining comedy of manners. Full of period charm and witty authorial comment (Good Book Guide)

To be so witty and charming yet also so brilliantly brusque and practical as Laura Morland is my new year's resolution (Pippa Wright, author of The Foster Husband)

Charming, very funny indeed. Angela Thirkell is perhaps the most Pym-like of any twentieth-century author, after Pym herself. (Alexander McCall Smith)

Appealing. (Glasgow Sunday Herald)

A smart new edition . . . A terrific holiday story. (The Lady)

A delightfully entertaining comedy of manners. Full of period charm and witty authorial comment. (Good Book Guide) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The first of Angela Thirkell's brilliantly satirical English comedies set in the fictional county of Barsetshire, High Rising is now available as a Virago Modern Classic. Perfect for fans of Stella Gibbons, PG Wodehouse or EF Benson.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Bently VINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover mentions Barbara Pym, a comparison which surprised me as High Rising was published in 1933 and I associate Pym with a post-war England of bombed-out churches, rationing and eating half a tin of baked beans for tea. There aren't any vicars in High Rising and not many children or servants in Barbara Pym. They do, I suppose, both portray excellent women.
Laura Morland is a joy. She struggles to keep her family afloat; just her and her youngest son now that her elder boys have left home and her good-looking but useless husband has died. I knew from the first sentence, 'The headmaster's wife twisted herself round in her chair to talk to Mrs Morland, who was sitting in the row just behind her' that this was going to be good. She reminds me of Stella Gibbons or Elizabeth von Arnim and, with her many novels, she has certainly earned her place in the canon of English comedy.
In High Rising, the heroine struggles to free her neighbour George Knox from the clutches of his demented secretary. Her village friends, train-obsessed son and char woman (Stoker, surely a relation of Mrs Pringle in Miss Read's Fairacre chronicles) all make welcome appearances. As another review says, Thirkell's way with words is magnificent. I particularly enjoyed the young couple Sibyl and Adrian 'oozing' out of the French windows into the garden.
High Rising isn't perfect. At times, it seems too much like a comic version of Thirkell's own life. We are told virtually nothing about Mr Morland - why everyone has such a low opinion of him or why Laura married him in the first place. However, the prose is light and as clear as crystal and I look forward to reading more (or all!) of these Barsetshire masterpieces in their new, handsome Virago editions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just read this over the Christmas holidays and it was perfect (though it ends in late spring), a real fluffy-robe-and-slippers of a book and I'll happily read more Angela Thirkell when in the mood for light comedy.

Laura Morland, widow and writer, divides her life between a flat in London and a house in High Rising. Returning to the country with her train-mad youngest son one Christmas, she hears of a newcomer to the locale, a Miss Grey, who may just have upset everyone's plans....

It isn't profound or experimental fiction, but it's fun and witty. It's also of its time, so there are some things that even kind Laura says which strike the modern reader as snobbery and racism a la Agatha Christie. Alexander McCall Smith, who writes the introduction to this edition, puts some of Miss Grey's plight into context, but while her situation may be pitiable, her conduct is not, and would be condemned regardless of her position.

Finally, I've read lots of complaints about the amount of mistakes and lack of proof-reading, but my edition of the paperback with the pretty cover was fine.
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By Debra F TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful 1930s book set mainly in a small village which is full of larger than life characters. This is very much a book of its time with public schools, houses in town and the country, servants and so on.
Laura Morland is a widowed author with four boys, the youngest of which features most volubly in this story. She is the lynch pin of the book with all of the action taking place to the characters around her. We have her part time secretary Miss Todd who cares for her ailing mother and is loved by the local GP Dr Ford. There is George Knox the local historical author with a strange secretary, Miss Grey, and a rather dim but very loveable daughter Sybil. Throw into the mix Stoker, Laura's housekeeper who loves nothing more than a good gossip, her publisher and her old friend Amy Birkett. We could not forget Laura's son, Tony, who expounds on railways continuously regardless of who is listening.
This odd assortment of characters makes for a wonderful series of most unlikely and highly amusing events. The book just carries you along on a tide which I couldn't bear to put down. The vision of Stoker doing folk dancing in her coat and hat (just in case anyone thought she might be staying) was wonderful.
This is a book with wonderful descriptions of the people and events. Yes, I know it is all most unlikely and set in an artificial bubble but it is fun and I enjoyed it very much.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A joy to read - easy going period piece but surprising captivating! An undemanding yet interesting read - like a nice hug!
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Format: Paperback
It is good to see Angela Thirkell's light novels once more receiving attention. "High Rising" is one of her first novels, dating from 1933. There were many English novelists in the 1930s who mined the traditionally English vein of gentle parody, graceful writing, mild absurdity, and class distinction. Much handsomer than most of them, and exhibiting the influence of Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope, Angela Thirkell peopled her novels with descendants of characters found in the latter's Barsetshire novels.
If that gives an idea of the flavour and style that might be enjoyed in her books, I can add that this one chronicles the dizzy doings of Laura Morland, a novelists, who juggles the demands of four sons, her publisher, her secretary, her formidable maid Stoker, and a friend George Knox whom most think should be more than a friend to her. The custom of "coming to tea" sets them all interacting. Watch for the number of verbs Angela Thirkell can employ - from plunge, to insinuate - to describe how characters can enter a room.
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