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Travels With My Aunt [Hardcover]

Greene. Graham.
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: The Companion Book Club; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (1970)
  • ISBN-10: 0600771288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0600771289
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 12.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 948,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Very Good, Very clean, bright pictorial jacket in colour.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surely a masterpiece. 9 April 2008
Format:Paperback
Henry Pulling is a recently retired bank manager. He was offered an arrangement after many years of devoted service when his bank was taken over by another. He is looking forward to spending more time with the dahlias that are his pride and joy, and also rubbing shoulders with his former customers in Southwood, an unremarkable London suburb that seems to be populated entirely by retired officers from the armed forces. He mentions Omo quite a lot and is vaguely embarrassed by the fact that he shares initials with a well known brand of sauce. And then he meets his long lost aunt, Augusta Bertram.

Henry's mother has just died. His father died forty years before. He never really knew the father and his relationship with his mother was perennially tense. After the funeral, Agatha takes him on one side and calmly informs him that his father was something of a rogue and that his "mother" was really his step-mother, his true biological mother being one of his father's bits on the side. Henry Pulling finds himself attracted to his aunt, not because she is something of an eccentric, unpredictable old bird, but also because she retains, somewhere, the secret of his own origins. When she suggests they travel together, he eagerly accompanies, despite the fact that he has never been one for straying far from the nest.

Graham Greene has Henry and Aunt Augusta travel as far afield as Brighton, Istanbul and South America. Together, via stories from Aunt Agatha's past, they relive the first half of the twentieth century, from late Victorian roots to 1960s drug culture, from fascism to dictators, from war to peace. Throughout, Henry Pulling comes across as a genial, predictable gent in his late fifties, whilst Aunt Agatha seems to be a confirmed member of Hell's Grannies.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greene Great 15 May 2004
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow. It's sat on the bookshelf for an age, along with half a dozen other Greene novels, without ever rising to the top of the pile. And then, I pick up the wonderful Our Man in Havana for a long journey and I'm hooked. I wasn't sure what to expect of Travels With My Aunt - it's a familiar title, but I'm not aware of a film or TV adaptation (either of which would be a real treat) and expected if anything a semi-autobiographical tale. Not sure of the background, but I know a top book when I read one, and I'd recommend this to anyone. Everyone. It's a great read. Travel writing in the sixties still had a mysterious romance about it (as anyone who's read Ian Fleming's Bond books will testify) but this is more than travel writing, a great plot, wonderful characters and superb storytelling all wrapped up in 264 enchanting pages. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's never too late... 15 Mar 2009
By Gregory S. Buzwell TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Humour is always present in Greene's novels, it's just that usually the comedy is buried beneath a bleak pile of despair, guilt and angst. With Greene there is laughter but it's very much laughter in the dark: the gallows humour of the man who trips on his way to the scaffold. In Travels with My Aunt however the humour steps out of the shadows and takes centre stage with the result that this is, perhaps, the most likeable and purely enjoyable all the novels Greene wrote.

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager who lives - if that's the word - an eye-wateringly dull life, meets his Aunt Augusta for the first time in fifty years at his mother's funeral. Henry is initially wary of his charismatic aunt but gradually he falls into step beside her and the pair travel to Brighton, Paris, Istanbul and, finally, South America. From his dry little life of dahlias and retired army majors Henry finds himself propelled into a world of CIA agents, hippies, dubious businessmen, elderly Casanovas, suspect priests and quaint old dears who read uncannily accurate forecasts about future events from tealeaves. After a dull suburban existence Henry finds himself finally engaging with the very stuff of life rather than merely watching from the sidelines as it passes him by. Henry is a brilliant comic character - wide-eyed and naive, continually surprised by his aunt's questionable friends and rather racy behaviour, but it is his aunt who steals the show: fabulously entertaining in a no-nonsense hands-on fashion, ready to engage with whatever life cares to push in her path Aunt Augusta is a fesity force of nature. As a lesson on the need to make the most of one's opportunities the book can hardly be bettered. The world is out there - go and find it....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels with my Aunt. 13 Mar 2011
By Delores
Format:Kindle Edition
After searching in the local library for a decent read beyond the pap and pretentious present day so called celeb autobiographies, I came across this gem. I have read Graham Greene on and off for many years, (the last one was Gun For Sale) but I had never heard of this one. It tells the story of Henry Pulling, recently retired as a bank manager who is looking forward to spending the remainder of his days in suburbia tending to his Dahlias that have exotic names right out of sync with his dull, grey and predictable life. Enter his aunt Augustus who has arrived at the funeral for Henry's mother. His father died 40 years before. She has not seen Henry for 25 years and within a short while is informing Henry that it was his stepmother he had just buried. Wanting more information, he listens spellbound to her improbable stories of far flung places, the lovers she has had and the one man she truly loves, wanted by Interpol, not to mention her present paramour, Wordsworth, younger than her, from Freetown, Sierra Leone and completely besotted by the 75 year old lady who lives life to the full. Needless to say Henry is knocked off balance by the tales told and the life lived and wonders about his own humdrum, safe and uneventful life.
He finds out the inevitable and makes the right choice at the end. It was a joy reaching the conclusion with him and a book I will definitely be reading again - soon.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing
Quite amusing and unusual. Worth a read.
Published 2 days ago by Blyth
5.0 out of 5 stars Every now & then I feel I need to read ...
Every now & then I feel I need to read some of the classics. This was dated but highly entertaining and we'll worth the read
Published 7 days ago by DP Surrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Graham Greene
I'd forgotten how funny this is.
Intriguing and gripping.
Published 24 days ago by Mrs. J. Slater
3.0 out of 5 stars An easy going tale of many tales
I enjoyed Travels with my Aunt but it didn't grip me, it had quite a laid back and old fashioned style which made it easy to read but something about both the main character and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Manda Moo
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book
This is a refreshingly optimistic book which gave me relaxation and pleasure.
I would recommend it to anyone who likes a quiet amusing read
Published 7 months ago by Mrs Jean Nicholls
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth writing to beat Hemingway or Steinbeck
I have never read a Graham Greene book, but am hooked.

His tight style makes every word count, taking the story forward at a pace, but with dignity.
Published 7 months ago by Geoffrey Rex Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels With My Aunt (Vintage Classics)
I spent most of the time laughing. The two main characters were chalk and cheese but melded so well together. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Nightowl
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyable Read
Slightly quirky and a little quaint. Because it was written in the 1960's more manners between the characters than in newer books (it made it all the more enjoyable to me! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. C. H. O'reilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Travels with my Aunt
I have read this many times. I could be the aunt. I love naughty doings by people who should know better. I realised this time that a Dakota figures in the story. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Linda Bahnan
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisit
The simplicity of the story mixed with the vivid way Greene describes scenes and people and places make this book a true joy to read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by sheila
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