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Poor George: A Novel

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Poor George gives us George Mecklin, a restless, soft-spoken teacher at a private school in Manhattan. Depressed by his life of vague moral purpose, George discovers a local adolescent named Ernest breaking into his house. Rather than hand the boy over to the police, as his nagging wife insists, George instead decides to tutor him. His life consequently implodes. Filled wi ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published February 17th 2001 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published February 2001)
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Done already? I keep looking for more - cuz I'm hungry for more - what can I say, I'm greedy for a good book to read and this one flew by too quickly. This is a beauty of a book. A man’s life implodes as a series of incidents that — in spite of his best intentions — become his undoing; good grief, poor George can’t do anything right to save his life. Agitated and disconcerting; darkly funny, and pitifully sad, it’s a book paved with gritty reality – Paula Fox writes in an elegant manner that is ...more
Justin Evans
I loved the first few pages of this, and then... meh. Ambivalent I guess. Fox can write beautifully, although a tad too florally for my taste. But the real problem here is the 'mysterious stranger interrupts otherwise banal existence' plot device, see also Greene's 'Travels with my Aunt,' combined with completely opaque psychological motivations in almost every character, with the exception of George's sister, Lila. That, combined with the feeling that conversations from a Pynchon novel are inex ...more
Paula Fox is a master of fiction. Her stories are full of subtle deception's of suburban banality and urban decay. This book was written in the late sixties and is about a group of upper-middle class New Yorkers. The story focuses on George a teacher at a private school who is trapped in a loveless suburban marriage. He is surrounded by vacuous people passing through an equally banal existence. Everything is thrown off kilter by a teenage outsider who Georges attempts to take under his wing.

A subtle but effective glimpse into suburban ennui in a time before that subject matter has become almost a separate genre. It felt vaguely British to me due to some of the phrases used but perhaps that's more evidence of how our language has changed since the book was written. The female characters are especiallly well drawn and the unpredicatabitly of the clashes between character and what the aftermath will (or won't) be is continually unsettling and realistic.
"I don't see how you can count on co-operation from the government if you intend to instruct students in how to destroy it," said George. Adrift with the fevered cheerfulness brought on by gulping down two glasses of wine, he swept the air with his arms. "Come on, all of you! You know there aren't consequences from being against anything! My God! You take a swing at the system, and you find your arm slowly waving around, part of the composition."
Brent Legault
Elegantly worded.
reprinted... Originally published in 1967 but has a modern "read" to it. Paula Fox is known for her juvenile literature, but this is great adult fiction!!
More lovely prose about bleak interior landscapes from Paula Fox.
Mar 15, 2009 Seán rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
I am so old.
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Paula Fox is an American author of novels for adults and children and two memoirs. Her novel The Slave Dancer (1973) received the Newbery Medal in 1974; and in 1978, she was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. More recently, A Portrait of Ivan won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 2008.

A teenage marriage produced a daughter, Linda, in 1944. However, given the tumultuous relationship wit
More about Paula Fox...
The Slave Dancer Desperate Characters One-Eyed Cat Borrowed Finery: A Memoir Monkey Island

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