Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “May We Borrow Your Husband?: And Other Comedies of the Sexual Life” as Want to Read:
May We Borrow Your Husband?: And Other Comedies of the Sexual Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

May We Borrow Your Husband?: And Other Comedies of the Sexual Life

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  427 ratings  ·  37 reviews

Affairs, obsessions, grand passions and tiny ardours course through twelve poignant and wryly humorous stories of sexual love. In the title story, author William Harris is in Antibes finishing his first attempt at historical biography, but he becomes more interested in the antics of two homosexual interior decorators. From the macabre of "The Over-night Bag" to the comedy

Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 2nd 1990 by Penguin Books (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about May We Borrow Your Husband?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about May We Borrow Your Husband?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 715)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Hard to rate short story collections, specially when they are all from one author. You have to find a middle ground. The middle ground here is between 3 and 4 stars. 3 and a half stars

It was my first Greene experience and proved that he surely knows how to tell a story and make you enjoy and think. Despite the title it's not very sexual with today's standards . In some points it reminded me of some scenes from Woody Allen's movies, no surprise if it's been an inspiration to Allen.

Stories are
Graham Greene gets a bad rap among those who haven't actually read many of his books, as he tends to be viewed as an author of thrillers--the Robert Ludlum of his day, perhaps. But every time I read one of his books, I re-realize how unfair this is. Sure, he can write a good thriller, but he was also an amazing literary author. May We Borrow Your Husband & Other Comedies of the Sexual Life is a great compilation of short stories about relationships, mostly gone horribly, horribly wrong. Cons ...more
It sounds naïve, but I think Graham Greene really was never as good with the comedic as he was with the bitter and bizarre. The stories in this collection are okay, but in a lot of them o was confused by what tone he was going for- is "Dr. Crombie" meant as a comic elaboration on the cliche "masturbation causes [insert disease of choice]," or a glance back at the past when lung cancer was only on the periphery of medical paranoia, or some simple coming-of-age set against a portrait of a fallen m ...more
Mid 20th century "Comedies of the Sexual Life" by an Englishman. I've been dragged to enough community theater to loathe "English sex farce". So I was leery. But the book was on my shelf so it was getting read, at least some of it.

The title sucked me right in. The narrator of that story is an late middle-aged English ex-pat writer living on the French Rivera writing about people he met there. Somerset Maugham covered that ground really well and often. Greene does it a bit better than Maugham.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I generally enjoy Graham Greene's novels, although it normally takes a few chapters for me to warm up to them. In this case, a collection of unrelated short stories, I never had the chance to do that. Some of the stories were very good, some were poor and some were hard to understand, so I'm not sure if they were good or not.
This collection of Greene’s short stories promises to cover “comedies of the sexual life”, and it delivers on that with the author’s usual twist of brilliance. Despite the title, there’s nothing necessarily scandalous here, and definitely not in the era of Page 3 girls. A memorable scene involves a wife who says to her husband that planes make her feel erotic; he replies that it “must be the vibration.”

Greene used to categorise his work as either a serious novel or as an ‘entertainment‘ – not on
Koen Kop
This book is one of my favorites because it contains the most beautiful love-story I ever read: "Two Gentle People". Has many other great stories as well.
Wendy Greenberg
Love Greene's writing - so sparing yet so evocative. Stories end by make you stop and think - rather than just get neatly tied up. Episodic snatches of its many forms - from "gay" Antibes to an 1890s drinking den. Such lightness of touch.
Wanted to edit the multiple uses of the same adjective in one of the stories - maybe it was repeated for emphasis but repeating "gimlet" didn't enhance the story for me!
George Ilsley
I'm calling this "gay" because the title story (the longest in the collection) and a few others have gay characters. Of course, we don't see these characters from inside, only from the POV of others (ie, someone refers to "those nancies").

I usually rail against stories which suffer from the "undisclosed first person narrator syndrome". This collection is almost completely infected with the syndrome, yet somehow does not suffer from it. Perhaps it is a host. The reader imports knowledge of who th
Linda Blake
Little volume of clever short stories with mostly gay characters. Some character studies, some are funny, and one is macabre. The British slang terms and French phrases were sometimes difficult for me. A nice read.
I really do like Graham Green and need to read more. This, returning to Scottish rain after five weeks of sun and wind "from Cape Cod to the Pacific Palisades" (LITERALLY, for me, although that is lifted straight from the text of "Cheap in August") is just SO apt, though it was published 40 years ago:

"Suddenly it was autumn when they arrived back in London--if not winter already, for there was ice in the rain falling on the tarmac, and they had quite forgotten how early the lights came on at hom
some of the stories, like the invisible japanese gentlemen, have stuck with me for years. and some memorable turns of phrase like in the title story.
Siempre me ha gustado el humor inglés, habré leído Tres hombres y una barca tres o cuatro veces. Aquí no lo he encontrado. Los relatos se leen agradablemente y se olvidan inmediatamente.
Alex Sarll
At times, the main pleasure here is the slightly cruel one of seeing a great writer cope outside his era - though even then, even if all his gays are either Kenneth Williams or American hardbodies, Greene always has enough core understanding of humanity never to lapse into the pettish Littlejohnisms of the later Evelyn Waugh. But elsewhere, as in the closing 'Two Gentle People', the hard-won experience and the sense of chances passed is heartbreaking.
it definately wasn't what i expected but i took it on a trip and it served it's purpose. i was actually interested in these stories which i wouldn't usually be into. i am into "the weirder the better" kinda books. when i bought this one i thought it would fit that category to a T. it was a different kind of book that i'd never encountered. i really enjoyed it. considering the language and the time period it was a rather raunchy little book :)
Juan Pinilla
An interesting well written collection of short stories related to desire, sex and love some years back in the French Antibes. Good writing, good summer reading.
(3.4/5.0) Some great stories-- the title piece and those with psycho ex girlfriends come to mind; the rest aren't so great; they're all a little obvious. Recommended for fans of old, incredibly British men reflecting on their lives with melancholy.
... And Other Comedies of the Sexual Life. The word Comedies seems to me to be misplaced, unless it is intended to be ironic. I enjoyed this book but would have felt misled if I'd actually believed it to be a light and amusing book. The stories were very poignant and some were quite moving. Some were even funny, but it is not a "funny" book.
Darrell Yarborough
I am a big fan of Graham Greene's novels. Sadly, I cannot say the same for the short stories in this collection. I kept waiting for any story to come to a profound conclusion, but it never happened.
graham greene is the boss applesauce. this story is basically 'lost in translation' both of which had a lot of personal relevance to me at the time i read this. i'd recommend any of his short stories, but this is the best in my opinion.
Greene isn't really known for short stories, but this is a nice little collection. They are neither as comedic nor as sexy as advertised, but these poignant or wry stories are well worth reading for the Greene fan.
I had not read any of Greene's short fiction before this book. These stories are as advertised, except that the "comedies" of the title seems to be meant sardonically.
I enjoyed these shorts quite a bit except for The Overnight Bag, as I was lost on what was really happening. If someone can explain it to me that would be awesome.
Della Scott
Sep 13, 2012 Della Scott marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
The only reason I gave it 2 stars is that most of the stores are depressing.....and I just wasn't up for depressing. They're clever though!
This is a collection of short stories. I liked The Overnight Bag, which reads like a joke. The title story was almost too homophobic to get through.
The other side I love about Greene is his dry, poignant humour found in these stories about sex and relationships.
A good collection, rather unremarkable except for the pig. I won't give away about the pig. Good light reading.
7 out of 10. Very entertaining stories! I'll definitely be trying some of his other books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 23 24 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Design for Living
  • An Accidental Man
  • Collected Stories
  • Pink Samurai: Love, Marriage & Sex in Contemporary Japan
  • From the Diary of a Snail
  • Sexaholics
  • The Harrad Experiment
  • The Sensuous Woman
  • Bliss & Other Stories
  • O: The Intimate History of the Orgasm
  • Lélia
  • No Time for Sergeants
  • Mrs Craddock
  • The Desert of Love
  • In Between the Sheets
  • Golf Dreams: Writings on Golf
  • Gone
  • Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platonov (Penguin Classics)
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 about Graham Greene...
The Quiet American The End of the Affair The Power and the Glory The Heart of the Matter Our Man in Havana

Share This Book

“Old age saves us from the realization of a great many fears.” 3 likes
“What is cowardice in the young is wisdom in the old, but all the same one can be ashamed of wisdom.” 3 likes
More quotes…