Top positive review
8 people found this helpful
Not so much comedy anymore
on 17 November 2009
I can not but give these books five stars because Herbert E Bates was a real master of the English language. With typical British dry wit he can even make the description of a prawn cocktail exciting! The way he describes people, meals and nature you see them in front of you and can even smell the smells.
Otherwise, this third novel in the series about Pop Larkin and his family is darker than the two previous ones. Here and there you can still laugh about something but some not so nice characters are introduced that makes it less of a comedy. In this third book, another year has passed and Pop is full of disappointment that his daughter Mariette and son-in-law haven't made him a grandfather. They are still living under his roof as well since he has not had the time to build them the bungalow he has promised them since their engagement days. He has bought an old country house in preparation for the bungalow erection but has not yet torn the house down to get the brick for the bungalow, when suddenly a London couple descends on him and want to purchase the house. Pop sees a way of earning a lot of money so he embellishes everything about the estate to the prospective buyers and they not understanding anything about the countryside, buy the house for an absolutely ridiculous price. Happily, Pop can now build a heated swimming pool for Ma. But that is not the end of his problems with the old country house. At a party given by the new owners, Mr. and Mrs. Jerebohm, Pop gets unwanted attention from a Mrs. Perigo that is well-known for being a man hunter. During the entire winter he has to ward her off. And then when Pop kindly rows Mrs. Jerebohm over her lake to pick flowers, and perhaps puts his hands where they do not quite belong, helping her out of a rocking boat, said Mrs. Perigo sees a chance to get back at him for not wanting HER. So it all ends up as a nasty court case, Pop being accused for violating Mrs. Jerebohm. Mrs. Perigo and Mr. and Mrs. Jerebohm left a bitter taste in my mouth that made me like this book slightly less than the previous two.