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A Little of What You Fancy

(The Pop Larkin Chronicles #5)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  23 reviews
'Teetotal!' Ma said. 'It's a libel. He'll never live it down. He'll never be able to hold his head up again. Whatever will people think? What's he going to say when anybody asks him to have one?' ' 'No,' 'said Dr Conner. 'You'll have to strap him down,' Ma said. 'You'll have to put the handcuffs on.' And so after a mild heart-attack - caused by rather too much of what you ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published 1970 by Joseph
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Mar 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've read the earlier books in the Pop Larkin series and went on a hunt for this one (found it in the lovely ramshackle secondhand bookshop, Badger Books in Worthing)for purely escapist reasons. It delivered in bucketloads - bucketloads of champagne, brandy, roast chicken, rare beef, and jellies as wobbly as Ma Larkin. Not a lot happens but what do you want to happen when you can bask in the Kent sunshine in the glorious tumble of the Larkins'immodestly blooming garden. Perfick.
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
This just doesn't have the cheerful exuberance of the other books in the series.
Camilla Tilly
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
This is the final novel of the Pop Larkin series and to me this book was a great disappointment. I realise that Herbert E Bates was almost 70 years old when he wrote this book. He had seen two World Wars and had fought in the second one of the two. He had seen an old England disappear where the privileged classes had to leave their country homes and sell them to nouveau rich from London. The upper classes walking around in rags and not being able to make ends meet. He had seen old traditions fly ...more
Mark Farley
In the final and longest of the Darling Buds of May, Pop takes a turn for the worst and uncharacteristically spends most of this time laid up in bed with some sort of heart problem, whilst the rest of the cast take centre stage. Pop soon rouses though when the future of the modern world attempts to uproot the Larkins forever.

The Pop Larkin Chronicles are the quintessential feel good, detached country-bound romp. Well known by the popular tv series starring David Jason and introducing a young Ca
Mar 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
my rating would be just over 3 stars i think - definitely not as good as the previous ones in the series but this final novel in the pop larkin series of stories is still a nice easy read is all of HE Bates novels.
however unlike the others where the stories revolve around a lead character (and family) who is full of the joys of living, this time around a heart attack has grounded pop larkin and he is generally depressed if not melancholic in mood for most of the story.
the ending which suddenly i
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without Improvement are the roads of Genius"' (Penguin, 1985, p.171).

Humorously written with aplomb, Bates's foray into the comic world of the Larkins takes a grave turn in this, the last of his Larkin Saga. Perhaps the first and last of the five-book series are the best - but I shall have to re-read the previous, because I got so much out of this outing.

Known for his beautiful evocation of both a nostalgic English countryside where hamlet
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, fiction, kindle
Another good read (and the final one) in the Larkin chronicles.

This one feels less joyful than the previous ones though - mainly because this starts out with Pop suffering a heart attack (probably brought on by years of excessive food and drink consumption - you can tell these books weren't written in today's "health and safety" conscious days!) and then confined to bed whilst he recovers.

As the previous books have been full of Pop's lust for life, the contrast in this one where he feels despon
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Arnab Chaudhuri
Jun 13, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Pop Larkins is back … but not quite as one may have expected. It is not the usual Pop Larking that can be seen in the Pop Larkins series. The Pop Larkins chronicles has been always been about the rollicking country life. The rural setting and its casual lifestyle had always captivated me.

The Chronicle was very much characterized by a very humorous and with a carefree kind of attitude but in this last part Pop's illness and inability to indulge in his favorite pleasures have obviously dampen that
Sarah Tummey
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Written 7 years after the previous book, it looks like the author had a bit of memory loss, because Ma and Pop’s grandson doesn’t get a mention. I liked the main story - Pop’s heart attack, and their solution for getting him back to himself. With all that’s going on with Brexit at the moment, it was funny reading this.

Overall, I didn’t like it as much as the other books in the series. Didn’t seem to have as much of a story, and as for Primrose and Mr Candy, I much preferred the TV version where
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet down

What can I say after reading these books one after the other with great joy I was shocked at how let down I felt by this last book . Not one word rang true to people in the book . I felt the people had change in this book from the others as well as the time (years had no idea what year it was meant to be )
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
The 5th part of HE Bates' stories of Pop Larking and his family. It retains all the charms of the earlier stories though the sub plot with Mr Candy was a little risque. Somehow along the road I realized I haven't read the fourth story/book Oh! To be in England.
Emma Dargue
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a little different to the other Larkin Novels as for the most part its not as jovial as the previous four books in the series. However if it is oldy worldy England you are looking for then this is your book.
Peter Thornton
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
5th volume of Larkin chronicles and much more racy and explicit than earlier volumes. The book ends in a wonderfully intoxicating sexy bucolic romp that the man from the ministry simply doesn't get. Why would anyone want to save a junk yard?
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually read this series many years ago, after the TV adaptation was shown in the US. Worth reading just for the descriptions of the food, drink and flowers!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A calming often very funny read.

Now that we are all dealing with so much in our lives I have delved into vintage books! I am actually rather bereft that I have read the last.of the Larkin family. H.E.Bates writes about the countryside so beautifully throne can smell the flowers, envisage the colours and the business of his junk yard. Cheeky characters, of course some of the literature you have to ignore because it was written in a different era but just a lovely, no Perfick read to soothe the so
Martin Genet
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if Bates work is still popular today but I highly recommend this last book in the Larkin series. Bates was a consummate writer and his prose is skilfully composed. His short stories about English country life are superb. The book has a slightly disconsolate tone in areas but overall it is still as entertaining as the previous books in the series. It has a cerebral quality to it and there are some delicious quotes from William Blake which would serve as a useful introduction to his w ...more
Michael Wilton
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humour
After developing a heart problem, Pop had to live with the dismal news that alcohol in whatever shape or form was forbidden and the shock wave ended up with Miss Pilcher being taken home from the pub in a wheelbarrow. More shocks were to come until Pop rallied his friends to stop the last piece of England falling prey to developers. As usual a rattling good yarn with all the usual ingredients to be expected in a Larkin special.
I mean obviously this wasn't going to be as good as the others as a lot of it is about a man struggling with being near death, but you've got to love the rich, rich love of England and the countryside. Pop Larkin is a character for all time. And the new intrusion of English nationalist pride and bureaucratic folderol and imposition of the 60s into the life of the Larkins was fun and refreshing. A real treat to read in what have been very dark days.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finishing off the series

Was quite slow going on this one. Wasn't as fun as the previous books a feeling like they had run out of ideas
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing the Larkin theme of relaxation and oneness. Very Wodehouseesque.
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
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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)
  • Oh! to be in England (The Pop Larkin Chronicles #4)
  • The Pop Larkin Chronicles

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