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Loving, Living and Partygoing (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) Paperback – 25 Feb 1993


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Paperback, 25 Feb 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (25 Feb 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140186913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140186918
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Jan 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read both of the three-novel volumes published by Penguin, and while I think even the worst of these is at least good, LOVING shines out as one of the best novels that I have ever read. Set in Ireland during WW II and consisting almost entirely of dialogue (no narrative voice worth noting), it tells a poignant yet hopeful story of love in the upper and servant classes of a country castle and estate. The ending is one of the very best that I have encountered, rivaling my other favorite endings (BROTHERS KARAMOZOV, THE WHITE HOTEL, and POSSESSION).
I had serious reservations about the Modern Library list of the 100 Greatest English Novels of the 20th century, but I was delighted to see that they included LOVING.
LIVING is not as strong as the other two books, but PARTY GOING, while not the masterpiece that LOVING is, is nonetheless a very, very fine book indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Jun 1999
Format: Paperback
All three of these novels are terrific, but I think PARTY GOING is really Green's masterpiece. It's one of the funniest accounts of the Bright Young Things ever written, but it veers beyond Waugh to say much more serious things about class, modernity, social maneuvering, and abovve all compassion--Miss Fellowes' determination to take care of the dead pigeon, while initially absurd, comes to reach almost Shakespearean proportions in its utter pathos and dignity.
Green is always overlooked by fans of British social comedy simply because his prose is initially so surprising. But there's a real cult around his writings, and if you start with LOVING (the most accessible of his novels, and one of the best), you'll quickly see why.
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Format: Paperback
"Loving" and "Nothing" are exceptional books and fuse literary experimentation with social satire. "Loving" is possibly the most accessible of his novels; if you dislike it, the chances are good that you will hate everything else he wrote (but you will probably avoid him anyway). But if you enjoy the moments of stunning imagery and artistic innovation -- despite Green's idiosyncratic use of grammar -- you should want to read all of the remaining novels. "Nothing," therefore, is my next recommendation: consisting almost entirely of dialogue, it is a model of parallelism in which four characters move apart, come together again, then shift once more in their emotional attachments (all set within similar repeating scenes) -- a clever overlapping of different generations at a time when old and new worlds were both threatening to fall apart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Dec 1998
Format: Paperback
"Loving" is one of the better books of the century. In prose that is singularly musical, Green limns the lives of the English servant class. Somehow, also, the book is about war, honor, and human love. Please read it-- Green is to good a writer to be ignored.
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By A Customer on 24 Aug 1998
Format: Paperback
While unmistakably Green is a skilled if idiosyncratic novelist, and the focus of its attention is on a quite charming story of love between two servants in an English/Irish household, that central story is muffled into unexcitement. Green does contrast the virtue and integrity of the servants' love relationship with that of the aristocrats' adulterous hypocrisy. And there is a sense of verrisimilitude about both the worlds of "upstairs" and "downstairs". But, finally, the central story tells us more than it shows about the loving relationship, without display, without actions sufficient to be compelling. Maybe that's a comment in itself on English society of this World War II period. But it makes for a dry read.
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By extrafin on 7 Oct 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was, as a novel, very boring. A one-off picture of what in a previous generation would have been called bright young things. They were stranded in the station hotel at Victoria Station because of fog, in the late forties/early fifties; very lttle happened and what did happen was uninteresting in the extreme. It was a good picture of their bland lives but why bother to write it all? We read it for our book group, and towards the end of our discussion I realised that it would have made a much better stage play than a novel - it was very mannered and stagey.

Give yourself a good time - go and watch some paint dry or some snails mating instead.
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