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Travels with My Aunt

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  7,564 Ratings  ·  590 Reviews
Henry Pulling's life since his retirement from the bank has been spent in the tranquil cultivation of daliahs, with no more excitement than the local carol service, or the occasional chat with the Major next door. But when he meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in 50 years at his mother's funeral, his quiet existence is at an end.

Persuaded by the wily
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Audio Cassette, BBC Radio Collection, 3 pages
Published 1997 by BBC Audiobooks (first published 1969)
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jul 06, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of British Lit.
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Petra Eggs
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
Jul 11, 2014 Rowena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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Vit Babenco
Aug 20, 2016 Vit Babenco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“…and in any case I have a weakness for funerals. People are generally seen at their best on these occasions, serious and sober, and optimistic on the subject of personal immortality.”
Graham Greene has at once won my attention with his subtle irony – for me it is the best kind of wit.
Protagonist and narrator, Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager is a very timorous and highly introvertive man.
This is the boy: “Too many books by too many authors can be confusing, like too many shirts and suits. I
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Mariel
Sep 13, 2011 Mariel rated it liked it  ·  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
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umberto
Dec 22, 2016 umberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Since some years ago I’ve tried to read this seemingly readable “Travels With My Aunt” but it’s a pity I could read no more than 8-10 pages and left it on its stack, more than once. So last month I decided to read it hoping to enjoy this fiction like his six ones, I’ve found his ‘intoxicating entertainment’ (GR synopsis) amazing and worth spending my time. Like I said somewhere, I started by reading its brief synopsis as an essential overview as well as the one from Wikipedia at https://en.wikip ...more
Chrissie
Definitely funny.....but maybe too funny? Do you know what I mean?

Of course I chuckled at lines like these:


"You will never persuade a mouse that a black cat is lucky." (chapter 5)

or

"I had such a good memory.......once!" (chapter 6)

or

"I have never planned anything illegal in my life! How could I plan anything of the kind, when I have never read any of the laws and have no idea what they are?!" (chapter 7)

or

"A little honest thieving hurts no one." And then, "It was all very harmless and gave emp
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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
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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
Teresa
Sep 06, 2011 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Anatoly
May 04, 2016 Anatoly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Well, this one did not work for me at all. I can understand it`s appeal to other readers but I never really got hooked and I can`t really put my finger on the reason why.
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Leah
'Tis better to travel hopefully...

When middle-aged Henry Pulling attends the cremation of his mother, he meets his mother's sister, Aunt Augusta, a woman he knows only from old family photographs. It seems Aunt Augusta was something of the black sheep of the family, her distinctly racy and unconventional lifestyle making her unwelcome. But Henry finds himself drawn towards her, her frank stories of a life full of incident providing a contrast to his own rather dull and lonely existence as a reti
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Paul
Apr 28, 2014 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2015
Henry Pulling is just a little bit dull. He has taken early retirement from the bank, where he was manager, he has never married, and leads a quiet and uninteresting life pottering in the garden and tending his dahlias. At his mother’s funeral he meets her sister, Augusta, again for the first time in 50 years, and she tells him that the lady he considered to be his mother was actually not. He travels back to her home and meets Wordsworth, a man from Sierra Leone and who is his Aunt’s confident a ...more
Philip
Aug 20, 2008 Philip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Greg
Nov 20, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Travels With My Aunt

Aunt Augusta (Miss Bertram)
Henry Pulling (Mr. Pullen)
Wordsworth (Zachary)
Sir Alfred Keene
Miss Barbara Keene (Sir Alfred's daughter)
Detective-Sergeant John Sparrow
Hatty
Jo (bookmaker, Henry's uncle)
Angelica (Henry's mother)
Mr. Visconti
Major Charge (Henry's neighbour)
Tooley. Lucinda O'Toole (teenage girl on the Istanbul Train) James O'Toole's daughter
General Abdul
Colonel Hakim
Miss Dorothy Patterson (Dolly)
Monsieur Dambreuse
Curren
Richard Pulling (Henry's father)
Charles Pottifer
De
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Avital
Jul 13, 2007 Avital rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
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.
Lisa
The other night at dinner I told a friend I was reading a book that I thought she would like. When I told her it was Graham Greene's Travels with my Aunt she was ebullient, while our other friend said, "I will never read another book by THAT man." The three of us had all read Journeys without Maps together. My fellow G. G. fan declared she must, just must read The Quiet American. I backed her up with acclaim for The Heart of the Matter, which I said was my favorite. When I started thinking thoug ...more
Carl R.
May 06, 2012 Carl R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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Malia
Sep 14, 2013 Malia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2015
Slightly disappointing ending, but overall a lovely, thoughtful story.
Roberto
Dec 06, 2016 Roberto rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Lezione con la zia

A volte accade qualcosa nella nostra vita che improvvisamente la divide in "prima" e "dopo".
Per il protagonista di questo romanzo, Henry, già pensionato "nella mente", che conduce una vita monotona e in solitudine e che si occupa solo delle sue dalie in giardino, l'evento che scuote la sua esistenza è l'incontro con la vulcanica zia Augusta, settantacinquenne.

La zia è capace di grandi passioni, a differenza di Henry. È acuta, spiritosa, anticonformista, libertina, generosa. Non
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BrokenTune
Jul 07, 2013 BrokenTune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to BrokenTune by: Petra Eggs
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
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Becky
Jul 26, 2011 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs
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
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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...
Jessica
Mar 13, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The 2 stars are very generous. This book started out fairly interesting, then it just became dragging and neverending and turned out to be not-that-interesting. I only finished it out of sheer will.
Realini
Jul 07, 2014 Realini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Travels With My Aunt by Graham Greene

You will be terribly amused by this hilarious novel, which reads like a crime story because it is actually a thriller.
We are travelling to Paris, Bourgogne, Bulgaria- with a wine as bad as the water- Istanbul, Katmandu (there is just a postcard from there and a character reaches Nepal), Buenos Aires and even Asuncion.
There are border crossings where our personages smoke…pot.
The urn where ashes had been placed is emptied and used for…narcotics.
In Turkey, the h
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Paula Vince
Mar 08, 2015 Paula Vince rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of my 2015 Reading Challenge for the category, 'A Book that came out the year you were Born.'

Henry Pulling is a middle-aged bachelor enjoying his early retirement and growing dahlias. He dislikes the unexpected and thrives on routine. It's clear that he's meant to come across as a bit stodgy and tame. (If the story was set now, Henry might turn out to be a computer game nerd, considered cool by many.) He meets his Aunt Augusta at his mother's funeral, for the first time
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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
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Charlotte
Feb 24, 2009 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
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
Kirsty
I am a very lucky human. My mother procured the gorgeous Folio Society edition of Graham Greene's Travels With My Aunt in a raffle, actually swapping her original prize with this one just for me. (Three cheers for Mums!) I have wanted to read it for ages, despite not being that well acquainted with Greene's work. (I mean, I've read Our Man in Havana, and watched Brighton Rock, but that's about it). For some reason, I was under the impression that Travels With My Aunt was a non-fiction account, w ...more
Ci
Jun 21, 2016 Ci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read-books
Septuagenarian Augusta is a reckless, amoral, and dangerous relative, far more insistent and vital than the politely eccentric Uncle Fred of P.G.Wodehouse.

The author and most readers considered this book a mere “entertainment” instead of a proper novel, because it is hilariously funny, and wickedly so. Anyone can get some good laugh out of this maddening farcical drama of an early retired strait-laced bank-manager Henry dragged around dangerously by his aged aunt. But that hilarity is fun-house
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Daren
This was probably the most amusing of the Graham Greene novels I have read.

The blurb says "Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at what he supposes is his mother's funeral.
Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay... through Aunt Augusta, a veteran of Europe's hotel bedrooms, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight societ
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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
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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.” 70 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.” 53 likes
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