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4.0 out of 5 stars The Whipping Boy
First published in 1936, Nicholas Monsarrat's third novel, three years before his quite good social commentary and Spanish Civil War piece, This Is The Schoolroom(see my Review; 1 May 2008).
Although not as strong as its successor, he is capable of some fine passages. These are a few examples:

* We are bound by the closest ties of mutual indifference...
Published on 15 Jan 2012 by Richard Cunningham

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An early effort
The plot involves family tensions which explode on a ski-ing trip to Austria in the inter-war period. This novel is a very early effort by Mr Monsarrat, with a suggestion that it was further edited for paperback publication in the 1960's. Whilst the premise of the story has promise, there is little evidence of the narrative drive that would inform later works such as The...
Published on 21 Sep 2010 by AlanH


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An early effort, 21 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Whipping Boy (Paperback)
The plot involves family tensions which explode on a ski-ing trip to Austria in the inter-war period. This novel is a very early effort by Mr Monsarrat, with a suggestion that it was further edited for paperback publication in the 1960's. Whilst the premise of the story has promise, there is little evidence of the narrative drive that would inform later works such as The Tribe That Lost Its Head, or the power of his seminal The Cruel Sea. The middle section simply drags, I'm afraid. Monsarrat is a great author - just don't start with this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Whipping Boy, 15 Jan 2012
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Richard Cunningham (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Whipping Boy (Paperback)
First published in 1936, Nicholas Monsarrat's third novel, three years before his quite good social commentary and Spanish Civil War piece, This Is The Schoolroom(see my Review; 1 May 2008).
Although not as strong as its successor, he is capable of some fine passages. These are a few examples:

* We are bound by the closest ties of mutual indifference.

* A porter knocked against her roughly, apologized and was surprised to meet a most angelic smile. Momentarily he forgot to be class-conscious, and basked in it.

* 'Hallo, you two boozers,' she began amicably. 'I knew you'd be here. Are you giving him bad habits, Ian?'

* A good hotel proprietor watches no one and sees everything;

* She was prepared to sleep with him, because they would both enjoy it and it was the obvious thing to do; but the idea of making it a triangle, of coming between him and his wife, never entered her head. For it didn't matter to that extent, it wasn't as important as that: it never was, and saving some outstanding change of heart or conversation of habit, it never would be. To have sexual intercourse was something you did because you wanted to, like switching on the radio or lighting another cigarette: it had no latent significance, it was not tied up with honour or duty or convention, it was not a sin any more than enjoying the tang of good sherry was sin; physically it was a great deal, but mentally, morally, socially it was nothing.
So she was able to enjoy herself, while celebrating a premier Christian festival.

* Helen smiled. 'One or two - the usual ones, you know. Less drink, more think.' She'd only just thought of that and it sounded quite funny.
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Whipping Boy
Whipping Boy by Nicholas Monsarrat (Paperback - 8 Sep 1972)
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