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Bright Day

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Gregory Dawson, a middle-aged and disillusioned writer, is holed up in a Cornish hotel working on a film script he must finish. A chance encounter with an old acquaintance in the bar sends him back to the England of 1913, when he was just eighteen and longed to enter the seemingly magical world of the glamorous Alington family and its three lovely daughters. Replaying the ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Valancourt Books (first published 1946)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  131 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Mike Robbins
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
J. B. Priestley’s Bright Day is a thoughtful portrait of 1913, recalled 30 years later by a man in middle age. Although now rediscovered and republished, the book, like many of Priestley’s, was forgotten for years, and I should not have known of it had I not found an ancient copy some 20 years ago in a secondhand bookshop in the Middle East, and bought it purely because I had little to read. It was a lucky accident, to the extent that I have read it again it two or three times since. This is one ...more
Laura
Jan 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Classical Serial:
Disillusioned scriptwriter Gregory Dawson is staying at a hotel in Cornwall, finishing a script. A chance encounter in the bar sends him back to the lost world of his youth before the slaughter of the First World War when he was a 18-year old in Bruddersford, Yorkshire: Through rediscovering his past Dawson realises where his life took a wrong turn and where he must make amends if he is to start afresh. There is a glow of magic in poignant rediscovery.
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Mel
My goodness, another slow read! Two weeks for a novel. I really am slipping!

But I did thoroughly enjoy this one. I've decided this year to try and read all the old Priestly I can find. I came across this one, as a lovely penguin paperback from 1946 in the local oxfam. It's front cover and back cover both fell off as I was reading it. But better to red it and have it fall apart than sitting on the shelf unread.

This was quite magical, in the way that Alan Moore was magical. The main character was
...more
Kath
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read. A good story, set in Bruddersford again and flitting backwards and forwards in time. Priestley was obviously very taken with performing and show business as the first of his novels that I read was about a theatre group, The Good Companions. This one was about the film industry and also writing. The main character works in a wool merchants in his early years, writing articles for newspapers. He eventually has a very successful career as a film script writer and the decisions t ...more
Valeria
Jun 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books which I have ever read. The story depicted here is moving and also realistic. The book was written immediately after The Second World War and reflections of Pristley about the British war generation are breathtaking from the historical point of view.
Bettie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carey Combe
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favourite of his so far. Autobiographical it may be but it could so easily apply to us all.
Margaret
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written, wonderful story full of honestly drawn characters. This is how it should be done.
Smiley
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, england
Having misunderstood the author as V.S. Pritchett, I decided to have this 60th anniversary edition to read since I have never read him before. In fact, it’s first published in 1946, the year after the end of World War II so its narrative has revealed aftermath accounts of those key characters in Bruddersford and England more than six decades ago. Therefore, I think there would be a few reasons why we should try reading this reprinted novel recommended by Dame Judi Dench, Michael Billington, Alan ...more
Elaine Jack
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joni
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young orphan is sent to live with a distant Aunt and Uncle in the Yorkshire countryside before WWI. Gregory is shy, reserved and lonely. He is given a job in a wool factory and begins to make friends and to publish some writings. The Alington family befriends him and invites him into their inner circle of family, food and music. The Great War changes all of their relationships and the world forever. As the adult protagonist remembers his time in Bruddersford, he makes some life affirming chang ...more
Neil
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book. Just after the second world war a middle aged man, now a scriptwriter and producer looks back at his life before the first world war when as a young man he worked in the wool trade. There is feeling of impending doom throughout his reminiscences leading eventually to a tragedy and we see how this has affected his life up until the present and how he eventually finds some closure.
John Eliot
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having never read Priestley before, I just happened to pick this off my library shelf. I love An Inspector Calls, and Bright Day lives up to that. I can only imagine that Sillitoe read this before writing Saturday Night etc..though Bright Day is far more middle/upper class. But it tells the same truths about people. A wonderful book and author and I shall be reading many more by him.
Nick
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A late gem from an author who is unfashionable these days. Almost as compelling as "Lost Empires" this book juggles time-frames with ease and looks into the dark heart of human beings
Christine
BBC Classic Serial

Disillusioned scriptwriter Gregory Dawson is staying at a hotel in Cornwall, finishing a script. A chance encounter in the bar sends him back to the lost world of his youth before the slaughter of the First World War when he was a 18-year old in Bruddersford, Yorkshire: Through rediscovering his past Dawson realises where his life took a wrong turn and where he must make amends if he is to start afresh. There is a glow of magic in poignant rediscovery.
TrumanCoyote
The first 3/4 of this book is an absolute masterpiece (up there with The Go-Between, which it more than slightly resembles). Unfortunately though the last 50 pages pretty much tanks the thing, taking the proceedings in a very goofy, Hollywoodish direction indeed.
Ricky
Jan 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite J.B Priestly novels it’s funny and is also thoughtful. It looks back on family life and to a time when things were more innocent. It weaves a wonderful interesting story into a well though out completion.
Chris Watson
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended long ago by my father: a very beautiful, subtle book. I told me a lot about his that he recommended it...
Elizabeth
Oct 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I understand it is somewhat autobiographical - i am recognizing some of the themes i loved in Delight.
Russell James
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At his best, Priestley was a splendid writer - and in this book he is at his best. A film script-writer working on his latest script in Cornwall recognises another guest and remembers an old love affair and the Alingtons and Nixeys who he knew just after the previous war (WW1). Exceptionally 'real' (you could believe this was autobiographical) and deeply involving apart perhaps from the end, which is very much in the immediate post-war mood of 1946.
ReadingwhileWalking
A wonderful portrait of a
Bradford, 1912-14, in the Golden Years before the Great War. Lent a sense of poignancy through being told from the perspective of a middle aged screenwriter who started out as a clerk in a Bradford wool factory. Over-reliant on coincidence but a cracking read!
Spurnlad
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Got to love that JB. Great slice of pre and post-WW1 life
Jim Puskas
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: place-and-time
To some extent, I view Priestly as a sort of early 20th Century successor to Dickens. There are similarities of style and subject matter. Notable is Priestly's instantly engaging faculty for depicting the numerous "rum characters" that tended to populate his works, reflecting the uniquely British love for eccentrics.
"There was Mr. Peckel, who was enormously stout, had a high, whinnying voice, could perform astonishingly good conjuring tricks, and was terrified of his wife, who was tiny but fier
...more
Steven
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
Disillusioned scriptwriter Gregory Dawson is staying at a hotel in Cornwall, finishing a script. A chance encounter in the bar sends him back to the lost world of his youth before the slaughter of the First World War when he was a 18-year old in Bruddersford, Yorkshire: Through rediscovering his past Dawson realizes where his life took a wrong turn and where he must make amends if he is to start afresh. There is a glow of magic in poignant rediscovery.
Magda Żmijan
rated it liked it
Feb 14, 2015
Gabrielle Watts
rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2015
Digger4445
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2015
Russell Fox
rated it it was amazing
Jun 28, 2018
Alan Mackay
rated it it was amazing
Feb 15, 2014
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John Boynton Priestley, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Bradford in September 1894, and after schooling he worked for a time in the local wool trade. Following the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Priestley joined the British Army, and was sent to France --in 1915 taking part in the Battle of Loos. After being wounded in 1917 Priestley returned to England for six months; then, after going ...more