Random Harvest (Hardback)
Published in 1941, Random Harvest was contemporary to its first audience, and is painted against the backdrop of the gathering storm in Europe. Howe ...more
It's an engrossing tale of a man who loses his memory due to being shelled in the Great War, eventually finds happiness with a young actress, and then is knocked down on a Liverpool street. He regains consciousness and knows he's a member of a prominent and wealthy family. He begins to reconstruct his life again, knowing all the while that something - and someone - is missing. ...more
I should confess I've always had a soft spot for the B&W movie, even though it is ridiculously melodramatic, or maybe because of that, but defintely because it starred the gloriously beautiful Greer Garson who could make a young boy roll up a sock and stuff it in his own mouth to prevent himself from crying with joy every time she appears on screen.
The book is a beautiful ...more
James Hilton was a mid-twentieth-century English writer of bestselling middlebrow tearjerkers, a bit like Nevil Shute. He is best known today for two books that became blockbuster movies: Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and Lost Horizon, which gave the world Shangri-La.
Random Harvest is a typical example of his work. The hero, a reluctant but successful between-the-wars business magnate and politician, is haunted by missing memories: he has lost three whole years. The lacuna commences with his being wounde ...more
'For London...was of all cities in the world the most autumnal--its mellow brickwork harmonzing with fallen leaves and October sunsets, just as the etched grays of November composed themselves with the light and shade of Portland stone. There was a charm, a deathless charm, about a city whose inhabitants went about muttering, "The nights are drawing in," as if it were a spell to invoke the vast, spawli ...more
Here's what I can tell you: this takes place in England between the Wo ...more
Random Harvest appears at first glance to be a mystery and a love story. Through the narration of Charles’ Rainier’s secretary and confidant, it tells Rainier ...more
a selection from PART ONE: On the morning of the eleventh of November, 1937, precisely at eleven o'clock, some well-meaning busybody consulted his watch and loudly announced the hour, with the result that all of us in the dining-car felt constrained to put aside drinks and newspapers and spend the two minutes' silence in rather embarrassed stares at one another or out of the window. Not that anyone had intended disrespect--merely that in a fast-moving train we knew no rules for correct behaviour...more
Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another look book
This book delighted me so much, it will probably be one of my favorite reads of 2014. I loved how it was all jumbled out of order, with the mystery of the story--what happened during those forgotten three years?--established from the very beginning. The 1942 movie adaptation puts rather more emphasis on th ...more
I expected it to be rather dry (like the physical copy of the book itself), and melodramatic, considering the subject matter. I ended up being absolutely charmed, though I can't say quite why. The characters definitely had something to do with, being not just likable but sensible. I am not an expert on Britain or in that era between the two world wars, but I felt it did a good job conveying the different feels of the times. I also liked how the author handled the different parts, not just arbitr ...more
I would add that Ronald Colman played the protagonist in both "Random Harvest" and "Lost Horizons". Although older than the characters portrayed in the novels, Colman was an actor with wonderfully expressive eyes, and is able to convey great feeling of these character. Whether you agree with the film adaptation or not, Colman does great credit to the characters. The films are worth watching, although I recom ...more
Similar to LOST HORIZON which is rcounted by an interested outsider, this novel includes some chapters told in the 3rd person. Shellshocked in 1917 during the Great War Charles Rainier found the doors of his youth slammed shut by his war experiences. Now as a mature and successful married man he seeks clues to his obliterated Past.
Hilton's tortured protagonist defies the world and risks his politcal reputation as an MP--not to mention his very marriage--to rec ...more
While I found the film very moving, I didn't get the same emotional impact from the book - again, probably be ...more
Beneath the love story and the gripping tale of a man trying to remember a lost part of his life, Random Harvest is an immense commentary and critique of England between the two World Wars. It is no coincidence that this story starts with the characters half-heartedly observing Armistice Day. This of course leads to the discussion of Rainier’s memories of WWI and how disappointing life was after the war, as all participants felt there should have been some sort of “well-deserved ...more
As I started to read the book I found it rather strange, as of course it it structured in a totally different way from the movie, but as I got into it I loved it and and felt drawn through it even though of course I knew the denouement.
I particularly liked the historical perspective taken on the period between the two world wars and I loved the sense of quite how English the book is i ...more
|What is up with the bizarre cover to this book?||3||12||Jul 30, 2014 08:20PM|
|Books with Favorite surprise endings - no spoilers please!||2||8||May 19, 2013 02:41PM|