11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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This review is from: The Polyglots (Paperback)
I bought this book because I saw it recommended on one of those 'neglected classics' lists. Sorry to say, I think it's justly neglected; I couldn't get past page 30. The style is a mixture of PG Wodehouse and Graham Greene (the latter, not surprisingly, is quoted as saying how much he liked it). The prose is wooden, the 'humour' laboured, and the overall effect is of not much talent masquerading as a wit of genius. Words such as 'pretentious' and 'self-satisfied' come to mind. On the other hand, if you like Woosterish books that take themselves terribly seriously, you might think it's the greatest hoot you've read in decades. But I don't think so, somehow.
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Initial post: 11 Feb 2010 13:14:26 GMT
I totally agree. I bought this book, also after hearing about it on Radio 4. I couldn't finish it either, although I did struggle on for a little more than 30 pages. The choice of pretentious and self-satisfies are absolutely perfect descriptors of a laborious and leadenly slow book, with characters that bear no relationship to the real world either past or present.
Posted on 31 Jul 2011 16:32:55 BDT
Thanks for the warning. Wooden prose & laboured humour are awful enough, but a Woosterish book that takes itself seriously belongs on the shelves in Hell's public reading rooms . . .
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