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3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  103 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Written almost completely in dialogue, Henry Green's final novel is a biting comedy of manners that exposes the deceptive difference between those who love and those who "dote." Arthur Middleton is a middle-aged member of the upper-middle class living in post-World War II London with his wife. Stuck in a passionless marriage, Arthur becomes infatuated with Annabel, a much ...more
Paperback, 226 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Dalkey Archive Press (first published 1952)
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Lane Pybas
Jul 18, 2013 Lane Pybas rated it liked it
Five friends become intertwined in a twisted circle of affairs in this short novel written almost completely in dialogue. Green is great at that thing called verisimilitude, and all of the benefits of using dialogue to enhance story telling can be seen in his writing. The novel is broken into short scenes where usually no more than two of the main characters are present. It is interesting to see all of the different character pairings, and how each character speaks and perceives things depending ...more
May 30, 2010 Fiona rated it liked it
In a peculiar way it's always comforting to think that we live in particularly amoral, self-interested times. It gives you hope that life can be different. So reading an early-mid 20th century novel that communicates primarily through excellently written dialogue how people always engineer relationships to their own social advantage and for their own entertainment, with little regard even for those closest to them and even when doing so is emotionally empty, is quite depressing.

Nov 24, 2010 Chris rated it really liked it
A unique stylist.i was fascinated by how he could capture that forties world just through dialogue. He make his characters so transparent in their folly yet he doesn't judge them. It's partly because he avoids describing them at all: he just lets them speak.
Nov 01, 2011 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: fully-reviewed
Oh the games people play, with themselves and with others, and how well Henry Green portrays this through practically the sole use of dialogue, following the schemings and evasions of five upper-middle class characters searching for a - on the (often not very) sly - little extra spice in their lives.

Being written mainly in dialogue, the story rattles along at a fair pace, and the characters feel very alive and the story dynamic. With a spare half-a-day, you can soon polish this off, drawn in in
Sep 20, 2014 Abby rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, british-lit
Eh. A group of British people all want to sleep with each other, but it gets COMPLICATED because some of them are MARRIED and some of them are the CHILDREN of their FRIENDS. The novel is done almost entirely in dialogue, which was interesting for the first 20 pages, and then rapidly became dull and two-dimensional. Henry Green might still be a great writer, but I wish this book hadn't been my introduction to him.
Aug 20, 2009 eb rated it liked it
Like a warm but itchy wool sweater, Henry Green's novels make me squirm. His characters go around and around in circles, misunderstanding each other, baiting each other, scheming to control each other's behavior, and feeling affectionate towards each other. Doting is just like life, in other words, and it's pleasurable, but in a sickening kind of way.
Dan Honeywell
Jan 11, 2014 Dan Honeywell rated it it was amazing
This book is a lot of fun, a depiction of people trying to have their cake and eat it too. I enjoyed it immensely.
Guy Brookshire
Sep 30, 2008 Guy Brookshire rated it liked it
As bleak and pale an assessment of monogamy I have ever read. The whole book is written in excellent dialogue. Witty. Depressing. Worthwhile.
Jan 29, 2008 D rated it it was amazing
Light as air, people and the people they want to love them, in the style of Green.
Jul 28, 2011 Helena rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
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Henry Green was the nom de plume of Henry Vincent Yorke.
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