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Voyages Avec Ma Tante
 
by
Graham Greene
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Voyages Avec Ma Tante

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  5,611 ratings  ·  430 reviews
Described by Graham Greene as "the only book I have written for the fun of it," Travels with My Aunt is the story of Henry Pulling, a retired and complacent bank manager, who meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time at what he supposes to be his mother's funeral. She soon persuades Henry to abandon his dull suburban existence to travel her way--to Brighton, ...more
319 pages
Published 1969 by Laffont
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Sep 13, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of British Lit.
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Petra X
Clever and witty, a character driven novel written in a crisp clean style. Fun comes from the interplay between stodgy Henry and his outrageous Aunt. Told through Henry’s eyes, a cautious man recently retired from banking who never married, whose passion has never extended beyond the growing of dahlias. “I like to change my clothes as little as possible. I suppose some people would say the same of my ideas, the bank had taught me to be wary of whims.”
Contrasted with Aunt Augusta who first appea
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Rowena
"One's life is more formed, I sometimes think, by books than by human beings: it is out of books one learns about love and pain at second hand. Even if we have the happy chance to fall in love, it is because we have been conditioned by what we have read..." - Graham Greene, Travels With my Aunt

Having only read one other Graham Greene book previously (Brighton Rock) I wasn't quite sure what to expect from this book. It turned out to be a fun and entertaining story about Henry Puling, a very unim
...more
Mariel
Sep 17, 2011 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Golden Girls
Recommended to Mariel by: eenie meenie miney mo
Travels with My Aunt was my first Graham Greene (films don't count! Or do they?) . I didn't know which to choose because I didn't have internet access at the time of the big moment. The jacket said it was the only book that Greene ever wrote for the fun of it.

Maybe he had fun. I sure as heck didn't. Maybe it was the times (publication date is 1969) ... An old woman who proclaims way too loudly that she's having a great time to make her cliche of a stiff upper lip Englishman nephew feel more bef
...more
Evan
"I found myself to be a ghost returning home, transparent as water. Curran was more alive than I was. I was almost surprised to see that my image was visible in the glass."

So says Henry Pulling, a retired English bank manager who has lived life so prudently, safely, carefully and boringly that he comes to realize that he has left no consequential living memory in anyone he's ever met. His favorite thing in all the world is tending to his dahlia flower garden and reading dusty volumes of Wordswor
...more
Teresa
I wasn't sure what to make of this novel at first. I was all set to give it 2 stars, but after the tedium of Aunt Augusta's stories (she's highly offended later when Henry, pleading tiredness, doesn't want to listen to one of her stories at the moment, but I understood why completely!) has passed into the background, the story picked up considerably and I was able to go with its flow.

This is a 'comic' (in both senses of the word) novel and it works as such -- it's just not a favorite genre of mi
...more
Christine
I have mixed feelings about this book--it was recommended to me highly by a friend, and I could totally see why: Greene is a master of his prose (check out the opening lines) and there were brilliant chapters in the novel. The characters were great--this is an example of how if you can write great characters, a reader will stay loyal to your novel out of a pure desire to follow them for hundreds of pages. But the plot was sort of lacking (I skipped entire chapters out of impatience with the slow ...more
Philip
Henry Pulling is a recently retired bank manager. He was offered an arrangement after many years of devoted service when his bank was taken over by another. He is looking forward to spending more time with the dahlias that are his pride and joy, and also rubbing shoulders with his former customers in Southwood, an unremarkable London suburb that seems to be populated entirely by retired officers from the armed forces. He mentions Omo quite a lot and is vaguely embarrassed by the fact that he sha ...more
Carl Brush
A total departure from all others in the current list of Greenies I’ve been reading. It’s a, strangely believe it, comedy. And damned good. “I met my Aunt Augusta for the first time at my mother’s funeral” is the opener. Thus saith Henry Pulling, recently retired bank officer, dahlia cultivator, and all around stuffed shirt prude. Aunt Augusta, on the other hand, is a rip-snorting high liver with a criminal past and (as it turns out) future with a joie de vivre Henry can only dream of.

The main
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Avital
This was my first Graham Greene's novel. Oh, the ashes. Anything funnier? I laughed so much with the wild aunt and her nerd nephew, I couldn't wait to read his other comedies. Naturally, I was disappointed with his following books, which goes to show how subjective is each reading. Anyway, I'm over it now, and loving his books.
Corwin
This was a lot of fun and was a thoughtful portrayal of a man awakening to himself in middle age out of a dreary, gray clockwork life that he hadn't known before was unsatisfying because he had no basis for comparison until an irreverent whirlwind of an aunt plucked him out of the dahlias and onto the Orient Express in an adventure that culminated in his finding himself a continent away and in another life. It wasn't a ham-handed moral tale; while it was witty there was a brooding quality to it ...more
Rebecca Huston
I was very happy with this one, as middle aged banker Harry Pullings is yanked out of his dull, complacent retirement by his Aunt Augusta. Forced to travel with her across Europe and eventually Paraguay, he finds a world full of adventure and absurdity with all sorts of strange encounters, and shameless manipulation by dear Auntie. Overall, this gets five stars from me. Recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/review/Travel...
BrokenTune
Nov 18, 2014 BrokenTune rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BrokenTune by: Petra X
I laughed out loud so many times reading this book.

It is sublime and it is subversive, and the dialogue between Aunt Augusta and Henry actually reminds me of some conversations I have had with my great-uncle, whose stories have influenced me in a similar way that Henry has been affected by his Aunt – except, of course, that neither of has been involved in smuggling, founding religious groups, or “the stage”... well, at least not that I know of. I should give him a ring again soon.

Having read Th
...more
Mike
Travels With My Aunt is the story of Henry Pulling, a mild-mannered retired banker even suppose grumpy in a way, leading a quiet life growing dahlias.

He’s never been far from his Southwood, England home. When he is at his mother’s funeral he is reacquainted with his Aunt Augusta, and finds out what an eccentric and outrageous lady she and what changes she's about to bring to his tired little life.

Because of his Aunt, Henry finds himself involved in a series of exotic international adventures.

Tr
...more
Charlotte
Written with the humanity typical of Greene, this is a story of a relationship between two highly contrasting personalities. One a staid ex-bank manager who's favourite pastime is taking care of his dahlias and the other an elderly lady (the aunt of the title) who wants to continue grabbing life by its horns and thereby living with the maximum excitement. Their travels take them to countries which contrast with the English staidness so encapsulated in the bankers character, but where the aunt fl ...more
Becky
Ugh. I was so utterly bored by this book that I wanted so badly to abandon it. But I forced myself to continue, even though I skimmed big chunks of it.

It just seemed like nothing was happening. And the things that DID happen annoyed me. Seriously, the "manservant" of the aunt you JUST met put marijuana in the urn containing your just-that-day-fresh mother's ashes, and that's just that? And then, when the police come to claim the urn for testing, they'll just need a tiny pinch so that they can t
...more
Gabriel Ward
This was my sixth journey into Greeneland. All the usual characteristics of Greene's stories are here: spies, governments, a good strong drink, danger, and prisons to name a few. One of the things I enjoy about Greene is that he manages to weave an entertaining story while also be quite literary as well, and this book is no different. He presents two opposing ways of living life through the two main characters Henry Pulling and his aunt Augusta. One is to live a quiet life of solitude, contentme ...more
J
It's going to be hard for me not to go on about this: it was excellent and profound and hilarious in a way that I'd hoped for, but not really expected. Aunt Augusta is sort of like Auntie Mame turned up to 11, but super filthy. She is pretty excellent. It's a humane book in that it lays bare human behavior with a kind of raw compassion. There are parts of the story that just barely skirt ugliness, and the motives and behaviors of some of the characters are hard to live with. In a way, it's a ver ...more
Andie
I've just reread this book for the first time in probably 40 years and had forgotten how truly funny it is and what a change from most of the other things that Graham Greene wrote. Here there is no Catholic guilt, nor is there the nasty overtones (or undertones as the case may be) of the cold war. Instead we have a paen to silliness and a send-up of the typical characters who appear in Greene's more serious works - Most notably James O'Toole of the CIA.

Henry Pulling is a mild mannered retired ba
...more
Mauro
A book that made me come to terms with Graham Greene.
There is a very thin line between those authors that hide behind their characters to voice their world vision and those whose literature is an excuse for sheer proselytism.
Graham G., truth be told, walks upon that line and very rarely steps on the proselytism side.
But I figured, readind Travels wMA, that maybe I only think so because he is a very good writer (in the sense that he can create ambiance and has a very strong authorial voice, thou
...more
Martha Koskina
Είναι το δεύτερο βιβλίο του Γκ. Γκρην που διάβασα και περίμενα όταν το άρχιζα πως θα ήταν στο κλιμα του Τέλους μιας σχέσης. Έπεσα πολύ έξω. Είναι ενα βιβλίο θεότρελο, αστείο και ενδιαφέρον, που αν δε σε σπρώξει στο να κάνεις αλλαγές στη ζωή σου, σίγουρα θα σε κάνει να αναλογιστείς τις επιλογές σου. Πέρασα πολύ ωραία με αυτό το βιβλίο και το συνιστώ ανεπιφύλακτα!
Henna Paakkonen-Alvim
Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, led a boring life on his own, taking care of his dahlias in his garden. He had once met a lady whom he fancied in secret, but she moved abroad without him ever managed to have found the courage to tell her... The highlight of Mr.Pulling´s day was to make jam and to water his flowers...

The minute Henry met his 83 year-old aunt Augusta at his mother´s funeral, his boring life changed and on the same night he was faced with police officers who thought his aun
...more
Angela
“Travels With my Aunt” is an absolute gem , with not a superfluous word to be found in the whole book. Lighter in content than much of Greene’s work, it is still thought provoking and challenging.
Henry Pulling, a late middle-aged , retired bank manager seems blinkered to the fact that his existence is dull - that in fact, he is imprisoned by the safety and monotony of his life. However, when he meets his 75 year old Aunt Augusta, we gradually realise, as Henry does, that life does not have to r
...more
Anna
Graham Greene has a style to him that will inevitably catch you and keep you glued to the pages. The political and diplomatic background information he infiltrates can only be that accurate due to his experience as a secret agent in west Africa. The nuances and anecdotes are the salt and pepper of this brilliant travel journal.
He creates characters so vivid that the moment you set down the book the world around you seems grey and lifeless. You travel with his aunt and Henry at the same time, enj
...more
Harsha Priolkar
Travels With My Aunt is the story of Henry, a retired banker and his aunt Augusta, who in her seventies is much more ‘alive’ than most people in their twenties! They meet after an entire lifetime at Henry’s mother’s funeral and from that instant, he finds himself, inexplicably and imperceptibly drawn to this woman who is both a blood-relative and complete stranger. Worse – she is everything that he is not and although he pities her initially and offers his companionship grudgingly, even condesce ...more
Roy
My wife was going to the library to get some books, and I suggested she root around the shelves for a Graham Greene novel or two. I had it in my head that she would come back with a book about international crime, smugglers, the CIA and dictators. I got what I was looking for in Travels With My Aunt, sort of.

It’s a great testament to a writer who can leave his area of renown and still write a very strong novel. In Travels With My Aunt, Greene shelves the espionage game for a comedy about a rathe
...more
April
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bev Hankins
What can I say about a book that begins with a funeral and the ashes of the recently departed being jumbled up with a stash of pot? One of my good friends (upon reading my post about this challenge & my proposed reading list) suggested that I start with this one. He said that I would enjoy it. He was absolutely right. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp which takes a boring, middle-aged man through an adventure of self-discovery with his rather risque Aunt Augusta. The book is totally worth it ju ...more
Rauf
The Aunt, Augusta Bertram, was duplicitious and manipulative.
The Nephew and Narrator, a middle-aged man whose only love in life was cultivating and nurturing his dahlias, Henry Pulling, was a character you often find in a Graham Greene novel. Self-obsessed, kind of clueless, sexually-frustrated; not knowing and realizing that he was being dragged into a some kind of conspiracy until something bad happened, or almost happened.

This was not a light-hearted novel, even though there were a few attemp
...more
Laura Rittenhouse
Henry, a rather conservative, retired banker sees his long lost septuagenarian aunt at his mother's funeral. His Aunt Augusta is anything but conservative which he discovers within moments of meeting her. At Augusta’s whim, a force Henry is powerless to ignore, this odd couple take a simple trip through Europe. This short experience introduces Henry to the pitfalls and excitement of living life on the fringes of legality, an everyday occurrence for Augusta.

At the end of their brief trip Henry re
...more
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2533
Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Ca
...more
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“Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival; we require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling.” 53 likes
“One's life is more formed, I sometimes think, by books than by human beings: it is out of books one learns about love and pain at second hand. Even if we have the happy chance to fall in love, it is because we have been conditioned by what we have read, and if I had never known love at all, perhaps it was because my father's library had not contained the right books.” 48 likes
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