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Oh! to be in England

(The Pop Larkin Chronicles #4)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  411 ratings  ·  32 reviews
With a letter announcing the imminent arrival of Madame Dupont, Pop and Ma Larkin learn that little Oscar and Blenheim - are to be christened. Pop, who needs no excuse to open a few bottles and host the perfick party, rushes out and buys a fun fair to celebrate. But there are one or two gatecrashers even Pop hadn't counted on turning up.
'Oh To Be In England' was the fourth
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published November 30th 2006 by Penguin Books Ltd. (first published 1963)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  411 ratings  ·  32 reviews


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Tania
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Easy, pleasant reads for these times.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Much better than the previous two installments. Mariette and Ma each have a baby to christen, but when the local padre discovers none of the little Larkins has been properly "churched", it turns into a family affair. Mlle Dupont is called over from France to stand godmother to little Oscar, and Primrose falls for the vicar, convinced he is a man of mystery--and he is, rather.

A light read, good for the heat wave we've been having. What someone called "potato chip" fiction--you munch it down quick
...more
An Odd1
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
"Oh! to be in England" by H.E. Bates refers to the eternal blissful "perfick" "beloved countryside, its nightingales and blackbirds, bluebells and primroses, haytime and high summer" p126 of Pa Syd Larkin, wealthy benevolent junkyard dealer, inventor and bestower of powerful cocktails, and equally-affectionate, generously-proportioned Ma. Their brood of early maturing belles are: Mariette married to Mr Charlton, poetic Primrose Violet Anemone Iris Magonia Narcissa 14 set on East End visiting par ...more
Camilla Tilly
Bates uses his fantastic language in this fourth novel about Pop Larkin and his eccentric family in the Kentish countryside. It has it's funny moments thanks to his extraordinary word choices and descriptions of things. But unfortunately the storyline in this fourth book is much weaker than the previous ones.
It's a sentimental ode to an England that is disappearing. In a way the book resembles his short story collections more than a novel since he this time does not have a real thread throughout
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Silverymoonlady
Apr 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Much of this book is missing?!

Prey tell? How am I to delight in this next instalment of the Larkins when the first blasted page of each chapter is missing?!
June Louise
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
This is one book in a series featuring the madcap antics of the Larkin family. In this tale, Mariette and Charley are getting their baby son, Blenheim, christened; and Ma and Pop Larkin think it would be a good time to get their youngest child, Oscar, christened at the same time. In fact, why just Oscar? None of the Larkin children have been christened, so Pop asks the locum vicar (Mr Candy) to do a "wholesale christening" on all 7 of the Larkin children.

There are several storylines within the
...more
Mark Farley
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
In the fourth book of The Darling Buds of May series, the erstwhile Pop and Ma throw parties for an eight child christening and the opening in of the new swimming pool, while getting upto the usual shenanigans and japes.

The Pop Larkin Chronicles are the quintessential feel good detached, countryside romp. Well known by the popular tv series starring David Jason and introducing a young Catherine Zeta Jones to the world, this series of novellas set in rural Kent depict a time of post-war relief,
...more
Mark
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction, kindle
Another good read in the Larkin chronicles - the main event taking place in this book is the visit of Mme Dupont from France (as encountered in the second book when they went and stayed at her guest house) where she discovers that the residence of her "English milord" is not quite as palatial as she pictured in her dreams. This also coincides with the christening of the two youngest (Pop and Ma's child and Charley and Mariette's child) which then turns into a major event when they decide to chri ...more
Stig
Jul 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had forgotten I had this book, but found it on my shelves when I was looking for something to read on my daily commute to the salt mines. I probably bought it just because of the wonderful title, and I am glad I did as this was a delightful read about a very unconventional family.

To make things even better, it turns out that it is part of a series, so there are more books about the Larkins to look out for. And even an old TV series if I'm not mistaken...
Bob Hartley
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's funny that the eccentric are patriotic in this, since that's a pairing still fresh in the English way of thinking. I went to Canada and loads of houses had the flag outside and I found it completely backwards. We barely celebrate St George's day.

Saw some of the punchlines coming, including the very last line, but it was written years ago and humour seems to have got more profound since so I can't fault it. It's a farce with the quality of a Tom Sharpe novel, God's honesty.
Nancy
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just loved it! Slim little paperback and incredibly fun! Now I have to get the author's other books because this is the middle of a series. I cannot wait to see how things pan out with Primrose and that poor Vicar Mr. Candy. A cast of true characters without ever being a caricature. Because we have allmet most of these personality types. Taken alone they can be annoying or fun. Taken all together is a screwball classic laugh out loud book!
Juliana Jura
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
The first book that I have ever read about the larkin family. Brilliant!!!! The next is on order and I've bought the DVD set to watch!!! I think the fact that it had Catherine Zita Jones cast as one of the Larkin daughters put me off the entire series. Got that one wrong! A thoroughly readable romp! can't wait to read the next.
Felicity
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-challenge
If you know of the Larkin family, you’ll love this book! If you don’t know the Larkin family, read it and discover what you have been missing! There are so many great characters, it’s set in a delightful pre-technology time when family values were the thing and the Larkins did it, had it and shared it with one and all. Perfick!
Peri
Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Re-read all 5 Larkin books in as many days - what a joy to sit in the spring sunshine and revisit these old friends. They have such a feel good factor - bliss or maybe perfick!

I know corny - but I couldn't resist.
Tom
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable novella. Makes me look forward to the summer months and drinking outside on a warm night. Word of warning, I wouldn't attempt to make any of the drinks Pa Larkin concocts since you'd likely be on your back in a very short time!
Sarah Tummey
This was my favourite of the books that was televised. The scene in the buggy always makes me smile, when Pop is teaching Mademoiselle to sing “I’ve got a Loverly Bunch of Coconuts” ... Try to imagine that sung with a French accent. https://youtu.be/jSio9yaU1Rc ...more
Fiona
Jun 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Another lovely easy read. Interesting that this book was divided into a couple of different story lines/episodes in the TV version.
Deb
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reread - read it back in the '80s or 90s.
Tracy
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another fun and easy read while at the same time there is that clever capturing of the social structure of the day and the 'rules are not for us' attitude embedded into the characters and story.
Emma Dargue
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
good little novella in the darling buds of may series but nothing amazing. however really liked the rev candy and primrose storyline.
Tracy
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great

Each of these books has had me gripped from start to finish. Couldn't be more prick if it tried .
Sharon Zink
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Not sure what being in England has to do with anything. This is a humorous story about a family of rednecks. It could be a mix between P.G. Wodehouse and Huckleberry Finn and possibly Tobacco Road.
Andrew
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A rather disappointing 4th book in the series, based principally around the Larkins' 7 children - including the married Mariette and the budding Primrose, who has a passion for the new young parson - being christened, with an unsavoury major sub-plot of trouble from two Teddy boys whose rowdiness and threats at Pop's friend Fruity Pears' small fairground in the back garden of a pub causes Pop, Miss Pilchester and the Brigadier to be called as witnesses at court - neither of which themes is inter ...more
Cherry
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
This instalment didn’t seem to have the same charm as the first two although avoided being as offensive as the third in the series.
I certainly enjoyed reading the long elaborate names of the Larkin children for their christening.
I’ll still go on to read the fifth (and last) book, because even when they are wildly inappropriate they still manage to have an irresistible coziness.
James Homer
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous books

If ever you feel low I recommend rereading the Larkin books.
There are no other books that could be as uplifting as these.
How many times have I read them? Can't remember. Perfick❤️
Michael Wilton
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
If you've ever wondered how crazy a christening could end up - read this without delay. You will not be disappointed. Another of Pop Larkin's rollicking tales.
Dianne
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another lovely tale

What I would do to visit the Larkin abode! Such a lovely story with some good giggles. Would recommend to all
Webcowgirl
Apr 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Hmm. Some giggles. Some.
Andy Cumming
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
– Really dated set of 5 books written in the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. The first one was for my book club, but I just kept going and read them all. It was a famous TV series in the 90’s. It’s kind of like when I watched the Sopranos, at first you quite like the loveable rogue’s but as you get to know them you like them less and less. The book is full of lecherous old men with young girls, underage sex, excessive drinking, tax evasion, gluttony, sexism and racism. I would not recommend unless you want t ...more
M.J.
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tons of fun, as I've come to expect from this series.
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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 e ...more

Other books in the series

The Pop Larkin Chronicles (6 books)
  • The Darling Buds of May
  • A Breath of French Air
  • When the Green Woods Laugh (The Pop Larkin Chronicles #3)
  • A Little of What You Fancy
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