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The Mighty And Their Fall

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  24 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 20th 1990 by Virago (first published 1961)
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Bob
Nov 22, 2016 Bob rated it it was amazing
Ivy Compton-Burnett's core works (all titled something like "The Thing And Its Things") are like slightly variant slices from the same cake, where involuted aristocratic families savage each other with rapier dialog for 200 pages while just barely keeping a stiff upper lip.
Though there are plenty of actual events (engagements made and broken, deaths and, as in seemingly all stories of the independently wealthy, inheritance skulduggery), the non-stop swirl of caustically funny dialog is at the ce
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Cynthia
May 19, 2010 Cynthia rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, virago
Astringent storytelling meets disturbingly elliptical prose. From Anthony Burgess' 99 recommended books.
Eileen
Feb 06, 2011 Eileen rated it liked it
A very odd book, with very odd dialogue. This is obviously a stylistic choice, and done for a reason. It would take far more examination to make a really fair reading here. It's good, but difficult to appreciate.

I can't say I'm surprised at either the oddness or the difficulty, as I've read Compton-Burnett before. Her whole body of work depicts different pieces of the same stark, horrifying Victorian power dynamic, using curt, direct, honest, upstanding, Victorian-moral-code-driven dialogue and
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Karen
Mar 13, 2009 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book wasn't COMPLETE rubbish, but the way Compton-Burnett wrote drove me nuts. It's almost totally dialogue, but not natural dialogue. It's just one quotable quote after another: "People generally pity themselves, when they look back." "Things we are proud of are seldom an advantage to us." And on and on! Because it's so dialogue-driven the book reads like a play, and it often reminded me of Wilde. Kind of a bad version of Oscar Wilde.
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"Even a day has no end."
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Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett, DBE was an English novelist, published (in the original hardback editions) as I. Compton-Burnett. She was awarded the 1955 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for her novel Mother and Son.
More about Ivy Compton-Burnett...

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