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Loving (Vintage Classics) by [Green, Henry]
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Loving (Vintage Classics) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 224 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"Heartbreaking, funny and written with such luminous prose - he's the most brilliant, and neglected, of English writers" (Helen Cross)

From the Publisher

With an introduction by Sebastian Faulks
'His novels made more of a stylistic impact upon me than those of any writer living or dead' John Updike

One of his most admired works, Loving describes life above and below stairs in an Irish country house during the Second World War. In the absence of their employers the Tennants, the servants enact their own battles and conflict amid rumours about the war in Europe; invading one another’s provinces of authority to create an anarchic environment of self-seeking behaviour, pilfering, gossip and love.

‘Mr Green has done nothing better’ Alan Pryce-Jones, Observer

‘One of the most interesting of our contemporary novelists…Mr Green’s novels reproduce, as few English novels do, the actual sensations of living’ Elizabeth Bowen, Tatler

‘Green’s books remain solid and glittering as gems…They are not, like so many contemporary novels, mere slices of life but highly successful attempts at making art give meaning to life’ Anthony Burgess

‘Loving stands, together with Living, as the masterpiece of this disciplined, poetic and grimly realistic, witty and melancholy, amorous and austere voluptuary…comic, richly entertaining…haunting and poetic…whereas Living is the most compassionate work of one never overtly compassionate, Loving has a tenderness unusual in this tender and harsh writer’ Rosamond Lehmann, Times Literary Supplement


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital; New Ed edition (31 Aug. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005F3GKXI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #145,524 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel concerns the struggle and heartache of love, which may be erotic, filial or even unrealised, amongst the servants of a large Anglo-Irish country house during the Second World War. Because Ireland was neutral in that war there is much fear of either invasion to provide an offshore attack base on Britain, or that the servants, who are all originally from England may be forced to return to England and join the fighting. Other problems involve: a missing sapphire ring belonging to the lady of the house; an evacuee who doesn't have the requisite servility; and affairs of the heart, particularly that of the new butler, Charley Raunce and a parlour-maid, Edith.

In his introduction to the book, Sebastian Faulks makes the point that the dialogue, though extremely naturalistic, does jar at times particularly when nothing much is being said. However, he insists that it is necessary for the atmosphere and social culture of the servants to be understood. I agree with that summation but would also add that even when nothing much is being said, other things are going on that show through the dialogue. When an insurance investigator with an unfortunate lisp arrives to look at the situation with the missing ring, the family are not at home and the servants have to deal with him. That the following evening meal in the servants' dining room is punctuated by uproarious laughter as they take it in turns to imitate the investigator's lisp, is very telling. The servants are united against what they perceive as a slight on their probity, and this is how they take revenge for the injury to their feelings.

This very small and enclosed world is wonderfully exposed by Green's tremendously skilful writing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book of it's time. It's strength is its descriptive casing, with highly original language. I found it slightly offputting at first as there were no chapters, just the occasional breaks in the prose. Much of the narrative is in dialogue which gives it a sense of movement, although the plot is fairly slow with not much actually happening. It is set in the Second World War in Ireland with a political backdrop of the IRA. Socially, it is an upstairs/downstairs setting with the interaction between the servants, especially when the Mistress goes away. The new butler, Raunch, is a central character and their is a love story within it also.

It is worth reading if you are interested in that period, where greater luminaries were at play, such as Virginia Woolf. Not sure I would recommend it otherwise.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All as it should be
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.8 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey's dark side 9 July 2013
By earing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A funny dark side of Downton Abbey, or for those with long memories, UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS. Mutual distrust on the part of the owners and the servants of a British country house in Ireland during WW II. Add suspicions of the Irish and vague threats of Germ an invasion and a general air of unease prevails, accented by outbursts of horrible screechings of the peacocks.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love despite servants paranoia 25 Aug. 2015
By Vuillard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The lives of servants in an English country house in Ireland during World War II is depicted in a crisp dry style. People fall in love but it is not clear why. The servants live under layers of paranoia: fear of an impending German invasion; fear of the IRA; suspicion of the local trades people and merchants; suspicion of the insurance adjuster sent to investigate missing jewellery. Oddly, the servants seem to trust their masters and vice versa. Loving is written in a style that is convincingly realistic, describing the characters actions and conversations without a great deal of exploration of their interior lives. I would have found a longer book in this style somewhat wearing but this novel moves along pretty smartly so I quite enjoyed it.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The point? 21 Mar. 2013
By George Sulkowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A difficult read, many pages, even sections having to be reread. The language is fine but the style laboured, repetitive and, ultimately, the point of the work difficult to pin down. I'm probably totally wrong but it was one of the rare books that I was happy to finish (once started, I have to finish).
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No Plot 28 Oct. 2013
By YellowEclectic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I tried to read this book because it was on the Modern Library top 100 books written in the 20th century and I couldn't even finish it. I had no plot and even had many spelling and grammatical errors. I am not the kind of person to stop reading a book once I have started it, but I could not push through the first half.
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