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The Rock Pool: A Novel
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The Rock Pool: A Novel

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
A classic novel, first published in 1936, now back in print.

In this engaging satire of the British upper class, a smug young literary man from Oxford joins an international group of artists and writers on the French Riviera, intending to study them as if they were aquatic organisms in a pool—with unexpected results.
Paperback, 140 pages
Published June 30th 1999 by Persea (first published 1947)
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Tender Is the Night by F. Scott FitzgeraldHotel Pastis by Peter MayleThe Hotel Riviera by Elizabeth AdlerThe Rock Pool by Cyril ConnollyThe Bay of Angels by Anita Brookner
The Riviera
4th out of 57 books — 11 voters
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. SebaldLabyrinths by Jorge Luis BorgesJourney to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand CélineLast Evenings on Earth by Roberto BolañoThe Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
Best New Directions Books
176th out of 213 books — 125 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 15, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-novels
An interesting novel with some rather unlikeable characters (especially the protagonist). It is set in the south of France in the 1930s in the fictional Trou-sur-mer (based on Cagnes). Living there are a bunch of disparate and rather bohemian characters of varying nationalities. They are all fairly dissolute and for the time it was considered shocking. It was initially published in France in 1936 because no publisher in England would touch it. It was not published in Britain until 1947. What was ...more
Aug 02, 2016 Fiona rated it it was ok
Increasingly unenjoyable excuse for literature. I made it to the end without much pleasure.
Dec 11, 2013 Colin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one feels very precisely dated: the main character has a horror of all things middle class and is thrown into a weird bohemian village where everyone's hopping into bed with everyone else but nothing gets described and even the nods and winks got it rejected by respectable publishers. I think a social historian could plot its position on the graph of changing attitudes to within about 3 months.
I enjoyed the first chapter, got annoyed with it and then felt a sudden warmth for the hero in th
Apr 14, 2011 Karyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edgar Naylor is holidaying alone in the south of France, and hops off the bus in the town of Trou-sur-Mer. It had been an artist's colony in the 1920s, a magnet for expatriate Americans, and Naylor conceives the idea of writing about it, thinking of it as an archeological excavation, Cnossus-sur-Mer. He has literary ambitions, but weak ones. Read more
Danny Rhodes
Jul 31, 2012 Danny Rhodes rated it really liked it
Read this while holidaying in the Med which helped me to appreciate the heat and languid lifestyle Naylor experiences. Some impressive observations, the most memorable being '...the clumsy capitalist world that exalts money-making and poisons leisure, that supresses talent, starves its artists...and encourages only the vulgarity of competition'.

All the more poignant a novel for the postcript which preceeds its telling...
Catrien Deys
Dec 10, 2015 Catrien Deys rated it liked it
The bad (re)print made this less of a joy than the content is worth. This is still a very contemporary novel and a really good read. s it really about a lost era?
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Cyril Connolly was born in Coventry, Warwickshire in 1903. Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford he was a regular contributor to the New Statesman in the 1930s.

Connolly also co-edited Horizon (1939-41) with Stephen Spender and later was literary editor of the The Observer. Books by Connolly include the novel, The Rock Pool (1938), the autobiographical, Enemies of Promise (1938) and The Unq
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