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My Uncle Silas

(Uncle Silas Series #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  116 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In his preface to ‘My Uncle Silas’, Bates says that the character of Silas and a number of the stories in this volume are firmly based on real events in the life of Joseph Betts, husband of the author’s great aunt Mary Ann. Bates characterizes Silas as "the original Adam, rich and lusty and robust" and "a protest against the Puritanical poison in the English blood,” and he ...more
ebook, 154 pages
Published 1958 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published October 1939)
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 ·  116 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Jan 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I'd love to give it 4,5 stars...but that's 5.

Anyway, it is a delightful collections of stories about old rascal Silas who drinks with the best of them, curses with the best of them, tricks everybody and basically tries everything to be what he is - a lovable old rascal.

The stories are told from his great-nephew's view who is more or less constantly visiting Silas and is told many a tale. By the way of this, the stories also paint the picture of happy rural life in
Tim Hicks
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Bates ... H.E. Bates ... ah, perfick! The Darling Buds of May chappie. You may recall the TV series that captured an era quite well, or the book that did it even better.

This set of stories, published in 1939, captures a different rural life, rascally Uncle Silas. But it also contains some elegant descriptive language, and an underlying story of the bond between Silas and his housekeeper. It's based on a real character who lived 184x-193x. What a refreshing change it is to get away from lords
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very well written - bucolic tales of a simpler time. Uncle Silas was a rogue, a character. His antics are lovingly detailed in these stories. I enjoyed reading this. However, Silas is a drunk and a rascal. He's crazy. He's a cad. His behavior isn't what we'd tolerate today - reading about him is one thing, I don't think I'd have been able to tolerate him back then either. This belongs to that special class of story that sees alcoholism as funny - "look at the funny man falling down, staggering ...more
Robert Hepple
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1939, My Uncle Silas is a collection of 14 short stories about the rural reprobate of the title. These very short stories were originally published individually in magazine form in approximately the 5 years preceding their inclusion in the collection. The stories are well written, combining a terrific blend of humour and poignancy in the short time it takes to read them. Very enjoyable.
Michelle Le Grand
Apr 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love these stories and the world that Uncle Silas inhabited. Read this book and you will be transported back to those days in the country.
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any one
My boss lent me this book and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. My Uncle Silas is a funny, heart-warming gem of a book. Each chapter is a short story. Particularly enjoyable chapters were the shooting party and the story of the lady who is unwittingly given cold "whiskey" tea! Had me in stitches! I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an enjoyable read that will keep you laughing.
Aug 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
These stories are beautifully crafted, evocative tales about the English countryside and an old scamp, the sort of fellow we all recognize. Just do not, do not watch the BBC series starring Albert Finney, which gave the stories a treacly Hallmark Channel glow of lost innocence and merry olden days.
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thought this was lovely, especially the first few stories which are immaculately told with perfect prose that I would die to be able to produce. The invocation of a time gone, a quieter, slower time, is blissfully done and yet the characters are all as modern as we are, with the same desires and fears. Such sublime writing.
Apr 20, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Bettie
Shelves: audio-books, classics
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Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have seen the video of the series with Albert Finney, so was interested in the Uncle Silas stories. They are wonderful and not exactly like the series. What a great character.
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: BBC7 listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Laura
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be so funny and enjoyable. Give it a go.
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have reread this many times: it is beautifully written. My all-time favourite book.
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Herbert Ernest Bates, CBE is widely recognised as one of the finest short story writers of his generation, with more than 20 story collections published in his lifetime. It should not be overlooked, however, that he also wrote some outstanding novels, starting with The Two Sisters through to A Moment in Time, with such works as Love For Lydia, Fair Stood the Wind for France and The Scarlet Sword ...more

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Uncle Silas Series (2 books)
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