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The Four Beauties

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  53 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The Four Beauties was the author's last novella collection, and contains a comic piece, a South Seas adventure, a semi-autobiographical remembrance of a young reporter and his loves, and an exploration of a love triangle. The stories are: The Simple Life, The Four Beauties, The Chords of Youth and The White Wind.
Alternate cover edition; 014003420X
Paperback, 153 pages
Published July 1st 1974 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1968)
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The Four Beauties is another slim collection of short stories by H.E. Bates which was originally published in 1968. It contains four medium-length stories of about 30-40 pages each: The Simple Life, The Four Beauties, The Chords of Youth and The White Wind. The first two stories are probably more typical Bates stories, both in setting and style, whereas The Chords of Youth is almost like a Saki story and The White Wind a bit of a South Seas adventure.

The main characters in The Simple Life are t
Helen McClory
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: novellarama
Each story is quite different so hard to give a rating - I liked the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf vibe the first story, 'The Simple Life' had. Likewise the dreamy qualities of The Four Beauties. The Chords of Youth is kind of a caper, and the last one 'The White Wind' had some parts that were okay, but was mostly Hemingway-esq (so not at all to my tastes, and a wee bit racist to boot. People aren't yellow, Bates! Also stop talking about how fat and how thin folk are, nobody cares).

Worth it for
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've always really enjoyed the stories in this collection, it was probably the first selection of Bates' short stories I read about twenty years ago and I've read it a few times since. I have always enjoyed the first two stories, The Simple Life and The Four Beauties far more enjoyable, being more typical of what you would expect from the author.
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The edition I bought at a 2nd-hand book fair is actually a collection of H.E.Bates's short fictions. Among four stories I like "Four Beauties" and "The Simple Life" the best. They are entertaining stories, and the writing is sensually beautiful about femininity. Besides that, I don't find there is much more worth of exploring.
Brandon Alan
The Simple Life - 3
The Four Beauties - 4
The Chords of Youth - 2
The White Wind - 2.5
Peter Jones
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very good stories - he writes so well! The Four Beauties itself is a great story but due to modern attitudes today of a slightly disreputable (sexist?) nature but that apart a fine story.
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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
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“All that sultry May evening I danced physically with Christie, but in spirit with Tina. That special duality of the Davenports, of being able to haunt in absence, was so manifestly strong that several times I only saved myself by the sheerest miracle from calling the girl in the pale primrose dress by the wrong name.” 0 likes
“In his left hand he was holding aloft the German flag; with his right he was shaking hands in smiling effusion with a bald-headed man whose face looked like a pot of lard that has boiled over and eventually congealed in white, flabby, unhealthy drifts and folds.” 0 likes
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