9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Charming, entertaining and old-fashioned......,
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This review is from: The Good Companions (Kindle Edition)
The Good Companions has an excellent beginning. Three quite different characters all set out on a journey that culminates in their meeting up in Chapter 4. There is Jess Oakroyd from Bruddersfield (a northern industrial town) who decides to break free from his loveless marriage and heads south. Elizabeth Trant is meek spinster who is suddenly made free by the death of her father. She sets out by car to see parts of England she has never before visited. Young Inigo Jolliphant tosses aside his teaching job at an appalling minor public school and has no clear idea of where to go or what to do.
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!