Loving / Living / Party Going
Henry Green explored class distinctions through the medium of love. This volume brings together three of his novels contrasting the lives of servants and masters (Loving); workers and owners, set in a Birmingham iron foundry (Living); and the different lives of the wealthy and the ordinary, (Party Going).
(The saddleroom)was a place from which light was almost excluded now by cobwebs across its two windows and into which, with the door ajar, the shafted sun lay in a lengthened arch of blazing sovereigns. Over a corn bin on which he had packed last autumn's ferns lay Paddy snoring between these windows...more
"Loving", from 1945, has a kind of "upstairs/downstairs" structure in which the doings and conversation of the servants and the gentry on an Anglo-Irish estate are contrasted. The former are baudier but ultimately probably more conventionally moral than their masters - not sure if Gre...more
Living: Three Stars
Party Going: Three and a Half Stars
Each of these three novels follows multiple characters representing different social strata: the servants and the served in an Irish country house during WWII (Loving), generations of steel foundry workers and owners in Birmingham (Living), and wealthy travelers stuck in a train station hotel (Party Going). The stories can be a little difficult to follow at first: in each, characters are referred to by several names, the nar...more
Party Going has been my handbag book since August. Like Loving it focused on class and status through the lens of lo...more
A very boring and hard read for me. Why on earth this house has so many servants? what do they do all day long? why does the author let them talk incessantly in their annoying jargon? Dear author, please interrupt them, please do something to convince me I should care. Because I really don't care about all those names: yes names, just names, as they don't come alive as real characters to me.
We are promised that the arrival of the kids will bring some change, but seriously, I d...more
I finished Loving by Henry Green yesterday and my opinion on it seems to change each time I think about it. I enjoyed the novel but at the same time I got the feeling I was being had or duped. The abrupt, fairy-tale ending only added to that feeling. At the same time, though, I couldn’t help laughing at the absurdity in the story, which would make the ending a perfect fit.
I’ll mention the links post on Henry Green and Loving since it contains several good descriptions of Green’s style...more
It requires a lot of attention. It's told mostly in dialogue, and has dialogue tags, but if you don't pay attention to who said what how and to whom, all the time, you miss the tension and undercurrents. I went back and reread and rechecked a few times. Also, the s...more
Party-Going is a tremendous short novel, written in "real-time," it seems, the events of the novel unfolding during the two or three hours of a massive train delay caused by London fog. (The time is the 1930s.) I say "real time" because it seems that you could read the book in exactly as much time as elapses in the c...more
Yes - they are hard work on one level, but that's only because they break modern conve...more
English servants in an English castle in Ireland during the early days of WWII. Though
Ireland is a neutral country the servants are as terrified over the IRA as a possible
I suspect it's supposed to be primarily humorous in that dry English way. There's
so much conversation that it slows down the reading.
There's all kinds of goings on, new butler takes over for dead butler testing the
loyalties of the old servants; a missing expensive broach sets in motion
machinations of the staff...more
RE Living: Had trouble getting into this one, was too confused by the bunch of characters/dialect/lack of parts of sentenses. Had to start twice, but then it clicked, became headier as went on, latter-half especially rewarding.
RE Party Going: rather delightful and full of gems. (8/1/2013)
That said, rereading it a year or two later, I found out he was right, it's hilarious, and spot-on with class issues, and just a great, fun read. Nabokovian, in that it should be read twice.
|Bright Young Things: August 2012 - Loving / Living / Party Going by Henry Green||25||31||Feb 24, 2014 12:00AM|
|Bright Young Things: August 2012 - Loving / Living / Party Going (No Spoilers)||1||2||Aug 01, 2012 11:28AM|