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The Old Man's Birthday

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Richmal Crompton's adult novels are an absolute delight and every bit as charming as her beloved Just William series. The Old Man's Birthday is both a nostalgic treat for fans of the gentler brand of interwar fiction, and a dry satire of British village life.

Matthew Rowston is turning 95. A lovable rogue approaching his dotage, he has very little time for the high moral s
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Published August 27th 2015 by Bello (Pan Macmillan) (first published 1936)
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4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  26 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Damaskcat
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Many people will at least have heard of the William books by Richmal Crompton; those stories about the irrepressible school boy who is always getting into trouble, in spite of his good intentions. Few people will also be aware that she wrote many novels for adults as well as the ever popular William books. This is the first one I've read and I enjoyed it.

It is about a family on the day of Matthew Rowston's ninety fifth birthday. He has upset many members of his family by inviting one of his gra
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Ali
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Old Man’s Birthday first published in 1936 is set in familiar Crompton territory – a large family, an English village, secrets and scandals and the exploration of personality flaws. Unashamedly cosy reading it was perfect for the busy tiring time I have been having.

The entire story (apart from various flashbacks) takes place on one day. It is the day of old Matthew Rowston’s 95th birthday. Matthew is quite definitely something of a lovable old rogue, although he can be a curmudgeonly old so
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Mandy
Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another wonderful book from Richmal Crompton. This time it’s the Royston family under her merciless microscope. It’s Matthew Royston’s 95th birthday and all the family have gathered for a celebratory meal. But before the meal takes place we meet each member of the family in turn and discover their weaknesses, their frailties, their goodness and their generosity. Perceptive, observant, compassionate – Crompton has a real knack for character analysis and this book, as well as being a social snapsh ...more
Miss M
Aug 08, 2015 marked it as books-i-own-to-read
Shelves: fiction_uk
'Adult' Richmal Crompton re-issues coming from Bello/Pan Macmillan August 27.
*excited*
^.^
Donna
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Royston wakes on the morning of his ninety-fifth birthday remembering his adventurous exploits and pondering the personalities of his many off-spring. This day bodes both good and bad for Matthew, as we see his and his descendants' lives unfold...all in one day.

Another beautiful slice-of-life word portrait painted by the prolific Richmal Crompton. If you love period dramas without the explicit, vulgar sentimentalities, then Crompton's novels are for you. I recently discovered her, and wh
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Gareth Evans
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who'd have thought it? Not only did Richmal Compton write the Just William series to provide Martin Jarvis with his finest hour, but also wrote a whole slew of adult fiction. If this example is anything to go by, there is a rich seam to be mined. Of its time but the fact that it contained open marriages and unmarried couples was a little bit of a surprise. It's very 'nice' in a good way. It reminds me of R C Sherriff at his best. Hugely enjoyable. It misses 5 stars because it becomes just a litt ...more
Michael
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable


A fine little human comedy. Well written, with a style that flows. I wish it had been slightly more fleshed out. England before the Second World War.
Sarah
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kobo
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Eileen Hall
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had not come across Richmal Crompton's adult stories before reading this!
It is a gentle story set in the interwar years when there is a birthday party planned.
The invitees add some spice and it is all very jolly and lighthearted.
Highly recommended.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest, unbiased review which I am very happy to give.
Chrystal
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved all the different characters that intersected with the Old Man's life. The only complaint I have (which isn't even much of a complaint), is that I couldn't keep all the characters straight, and the book was too short. If it was longer and therefore more space devoted to each character, I think they would have been easier to recall and place in the story. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much. 4.5 stars.
Valarie Smith
The strongest three-star rating I can give without actually making it four stars ...
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Richmal Crompton Lamburn was initially trained as a schoolmistress but later became a popular English writer, best known for her Just William series of books, humorous short stories, and to a lesser extent adult fiction books.

Crompton's fiction centres around family and social life, dwelling on the constraints that they place on individuals while also nurturing them. This is best seen in her depic
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