The Good Companions (Penguin modern classics) Paperback – 1 Sep 1969
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"As cheerfully escapist for today's listeners as it was for readers when it first came out in 1929." (The Times)
"Priestley was a grand writer...we should still listen to him, before time runs out...I am extremely pleased an effort is being made to re-kindle interest in this great writer." (Beryl Bainbridge) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A story of adventure, optimism and opportunities, enhanced by an interview with Priestley's son
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is clearly set after the beginning of broadcasting and during a period of economic depression so I guess Mr J B Priestley intended readers who read the book when it came out (1929) to regard it as a contemporary story. It was a huge success at the time and when I first read it many years ago I became delightfully immersed in the lives of the three main characters and their nomadic temporary hosts (The Dinkey Doos/Good Companions). We meet well drawn good hearted characters who are fully prersented with all their many qualities and foibles affectionately painted by the author for the pleasure of his readers. As they traverse the England of the Great Depression these latterday secular pilgrims witness the gamut of English society as Priestley knew it. There is no venom in Priestley's social observations on this occasion (c.f. his later work)- although cinema owners get a mild moral drubbing. Here we are focusing on the whimsical and the comical and the absurd.Read more ›
Via a series of adventures they meet up with a touring theatrical group who have fallen on hard times. Miss Trant decides to finance the group and takes over as manager. It is a sort of fairy tale according to the author but none the worse for that. It tells of the ups and downs of Concert Party life. The grimness of some of their digs, the dullness of the towns and the pathetic audiences are all brilliantly portrayed.
Priestley casts a Dickensian spell over the book with great sweeping descriptions of English towns and landscapes. The central characters are all well drawn and spring to life from the pages.
One criticism I would make is that The Good Companions is a bit too long. A modern editor would have given it a bit of a prune. But it is a charming, entertaining, old fashioned book.
The novels of Priestley seem to have gone out of fashion - a revival is long overdue!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read this superb novel, my first ever Priestley, with constant pleasure and very often with lump in my throat. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Ian Thompson
Very acceptable copy of a hard-to-find book. J B Priestly was a fine commentator of his life and times wrapped up in an enjoyable story. Read morePublished 6 months ago by IrisJ
Probably the best J B Priestly book.Nicely read by Rodney Bewes, though of course edited to fit on CD.Published 16 months ago by Oregano
Wonderful book. I read it first many years ago, and it is just as good as I remember.Published 17 months ago by Jennifer Ingram