The Harpole Report
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The Harpole Report

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  39 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Hardcover, 164 pages
Published by Secker & Warburg (first published 1972)
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I decided to read this book having been very impressed by "A Month in the Country", also written by J.L. Carr, and which has rocketed into my list of all time favourite novels. This is a very different type of book but nonetheless skilfully written and very enjoyable. It's an amusing, touching, wise tale about the UK state school system in the early 1970s. It's written as a report on a temporary head teacher, whose story unfolds through a series of school logs, notes, letters and memos. It's a d...more
This is a very funny satirical novel, very short, that captures what is eternal about a state-funded school system and a time that seems almost innocent in the degree to which schools were left alone to do what they were doing. The Harpole Report is brilliant on back-covering at every level, on how to write effective memos to the local authority. Read the full interview here:
unutterably hilarious. required reading for anyone wishing to enter politics. AND it has a happy ending (sort of)!
Now, forty years after it was written, The Harpole Report is a delightful time capsule of England's village schools. Because it's so very British--the systems and the jargon, as well as the very dry humor, I can imagine an American publisher saying "how will this play in Peoria?" and choosing not to publish it here. As usual, it's our loss.
Very funny and with a serious moral purpose. Recreates the more generous educational world that existed at the end of the Sixties in a way that makes me quite wistful.
I loved this. It is a genuinely funny book about the experiences of Harpole the hapless headteacher, but its genius lies in somehow making it all very believeable.
Great, a report on a temporary head teacher as seen through letters, reports, journal entries etc.
Some of the children sound like horrors, and the dread of all by the arrival of the Widmerpools was well told, every school as a family like these.
Mar 16, 2012 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Idealistic young teacher, George Harpole, decides to shake things up when he becomes acting head of Tampling St Nicholas Primary School - but he encounters stiff resistance from all quarters in J.L Carr's novel.
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Carr was born in Thirsk Junction, Carlton Miniott, Yorkshire, into a Wesleyan Methodist family. His father Joseph, the eleventh son of a farmer, went to work for the railways, eventually becoming a station master for the North Eastern Railway. Carr was given the same Christian name as his father and the middle name Lloyd, after David Lloyd George, the Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer. He adopte...more
More about J.L. Carr...
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