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Crome Yellow

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  6,405 ratings  ·  517 reviews
On vacation from school, Denis goes to stay at Crome, an English country house inhabited by several of Huxley's most outlandish characters--from Mr. Barbecue-Smith, who writes 1,500 publishable words an hour by "getting in touch" with his "subconscious," to Henry Wimbush, who is obsessed with writing the definitive "History of Crome." Denis's stay proves to be a disaster a ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 10th 2004 by Dover Publications (first published 1921)
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The Usual If you want more of the same, then yes; Crome Yellow is a very different beast and is driven much more by characters and humour than by ideas. If, on …moreIf you want more of the same, then yes; Crome Yellow is a very different beast and is driven much more by characters and humour than by ideas. If, on the other hand, you like Huxley for the clarity of his prose, and you aren't too fussed about plot then by all means give it a go - pay attention to Mr Scogan as you'll find some of his pronouncements oddly familiar. (less)

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Having only read Huxley's Brave New World, I was surprised at how different Crome Yellow was. I had to check the cover to make sure this was indeed a Huxley novel. It is his first novel, published in 1921, a full decade before Brave New World. Crome Yellow is a satire on English country manors, and a parody in particular of Garsington Manor, owned by Lady Ottoline Morrell. Garsington was a haven for a group of writers that inclided Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, and others. Cromes fictional ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jonfaith by: Jim
Words - I wonder if you can realize how much I love them. You are too much preoccupied with mere things and ideas and people to understand the full beauty of words. Your mind is not a literary mind.

Goodreads is but a sea of possibilities, rife with points of contact albeit drifting and bobbing. Too often I don't hear the calls across the foamy expanses. It is with relief and gratitude that I thank Jim Paris for suggesting this novel.
Crome Yellow is Huxley's first novel.
It has wit and snark.
Sara G
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of British manor lit, British satire
I had never read any of Huxley's novels other than Brave New World, and was surprised to find that his first novel, Crome Yellow, is quite far from a sci-fi novel, being instead of the species of British manor satires that seem to make up about half of the novels in the English language. Not only this, but the back of the book says that even less happens than is normal in these novels. That didn't exactly sound like what I wanted to read on a weekend night, but it was already in my hand so I cra ...more
Sadly, this book has not withstood the test of time.
May 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: overrated
A country house weekend, but like Island, the plot, such as it is, just seems an excuse to contrive situations for various cardboard characters to pontificate about life, philosophy, culture etc, rather than the driving force.

Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Every fan of Fitzgerald and Waugh.
Recommended to Rosianna by: Celia J
Shelves: favourite-books
My friend Celia is a huge Huxley fan, so some time ago I bought a copy of Crome Yellow but never really had an awful lot of time to read it. Last week, I dove in, and absolutely adore it. It's the Great Gatsby of the United Kingdom, a novel entrenched in 1920s high society lifestyles, of dinner parties and estates. Huxley focuses most directly on Denis, a struggling poet who cannot quite grasp the art of writing something up to par, nor can he win the heart of the young lady he has fallen for.

Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread, short-fiction
I have not read this book for 41 years. Reading it today was an altogether different experience inasmuch as all that changes my life has undergone during the intervening decades. Written in 1921, Crome Yellow is frequently described as a satire on English country house gatherings of intellectuals. In actuality, it is much more.

We see the events unfolding through the eyes of the young dilettante poet Dennis Stone, who is hopelessly in love with Anne Wimbush, daughter of the hosts. His feelings ar
classic reverie
Years ago before I knew about Goodreads, I had heard about Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and soon read and enjoyed that dystopian novel. After joining Goodreads, I noticed that Huxley had many other books besides his classic novel, of course he must have but the beauty of Goodreads is all is here with a search of an author. I decided on reading "Crome Yellow" and "Mortal Coils" now because I had bought this Kindle edition years ago and thought it was time to see more of Huxley's writing. This ...more
Vit Babenco
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crome Yellow is a chronicle of a party – it seems nothing happens but actually there is a battle of different intellectual conceits. The novel is a paragon of erudition and a trove of knowledge and concepts.
“Consider, for example, the case of Luther and Erasmus. There was Erasmus, a man of reason if ever there was one. People listened to him at first – a new virtuoso performing on that elegant and resourceful instrument, the intellect; they even admired and venerated him. But did he move them to
Matthew Appleton
6th book of 2020.

I read Brave New World a few years ago and have been meaning to read his earlier works, his social satires which I heard are very different. That they are. Almost unrecognisable - these are humorous, well-written (as BNW is) and mundane books. By mundane I mean without any utopias or dystopias or drugs.

There are however some eccentric characters, all in a house together. The property of Crome. One thing I will warn, there is a lot of dialogue in this. And not always back and for
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1900-1950, reviewed
Crome Yellow (1921) was Huxley’s first novel, written when he was around twenty-seven, four years older than the protagonist, the young poet (or would-be poet), Denis Stone. It’s a curious piece, and distinctly underplotted, with the loose narrative of Denis’s stay at a country house, Crome, serving as a frame on which to hang various philosophical monologues. That sounds like a criticism, but in fact this is a breezy and enjoyable read. Malcolm Bradbury, in his introduction to the edition I rea ...more
Marius van Blerck
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is Huxley's first published work, written in his mid-twenties, just after the First World War. He had spent some time living at Garsington Manor (the model for Crome), home of Lady Ottoline Morrell. Huxley had been disqualified from active duty in the war due to a period of near-blindness, but as his eyesight recovered, he studied English Literature at Oxford, and had a stint at teaching at Eton.

On the surface, the book is a light comedy, in the Country House genre. In this role alone it is
To me, the name Aldous Huxley has always been synonymous with "one-hit wonder". I had been required to read his famous Brave New World in high school and subsequently had never heard of him again, so when I encountered another book by him -- and one with such an intriguing title (why not Chrome Yellow?, I wondered) -- curiosity got the best of me. Well, I'm glad it did! I found the book to be just as intriguing as its title -- unique and difficult to pigeonhole.

Huxley assembled a group of eccen
3.5★ I may up this to 4 stars -- I want to see how it lasts in my memory. This is a satire or comedy of manners so there is not much action. Various people are gathered at a country house for a visit which gives Huxley a chance to show us different types of 'bright young things' (this was published in the early 1920s). I found much to amuse me but it rarely made me laugh out loud.

One character I found particularly funny was the local vicar, Mr. Bodiham: "He preached with fury, with passion, an i
Reading Badger
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Just before I started writing this review, I googled Crome Yellow and found out that it was Huxley’s first novel. Let’s say I haven’t planned on giving it a stellar review. I still don’t, but at least it has an excuse now.
So, to get to the point, I was very bored while reading it. Simply because nothing really happens in this book. A young writer, Denis, is invited to stay during the summer at an estate. The estate’s name is Crome.

Read the full review:

I g
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
An author's first novel is often semi-autobiographical, and Huxley's "Crome Yellow" is no exception. Drawing from his experiences at Garsington Manor and his time with the Bloomsbury set, Huxley satirizes and caricatures the British world fresh from The Great War and heady with a world of possibilities, including another potential global conflagration that could destroy humanity.

Huxley's range of male characters read like spokes on a wheel of his own personality. Early in the novel Huxley's main
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This was the author's first novel, published in 1921 when he was just twenty-seven years old. The setting is in a country-house called Crome and there's very little that goes on here by way of plot, just a series of mini escapades and mildly thought-provoking and sometimes witty dialogues among its guests, one of whom intones:

"That's the test for the literary mind, the feeling of magic, the sense that words have power. The technical, verbal part of literature is simply a development of magic. Wo
Crome Yellow is a wonderful collection of characters (or maybe caricatures)from the Bloomsbury group era. Huxley's first novel, while a bit chunky here and there, is a fun read for anyone who loves the wit and eccentricity of the times.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious with an edge of sadness.
Shawn Mooney (Shawn The Book Maniac)
My favorite writer Barbara Pym’s favorite novel. After a few dreadful pages, I’ve concluded Barbara and I don’t see eye to eye on this one. Bailed early.
Jun 10, 2014 rated it liked it
“Of course,” Mr. scogan groaned, “I’ll describe the plot for you. Little Percy, the hero, was never good at games, but he was always clever. He passes through the usual public school and the usual university and comes to London, where he lives among the artists. He is bowed down with melancholy thought; he carries the whole weight of the universe upon his shoulders. He writes a ‘novel of dazzling brilliance"; he dabbles delicately in Amour and disappears, at the end of the book, into the luminou ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-novel
Having only read "Brave New World" (50 years back), I didn't know what to expect with this wisp of a novel. Turns out this is just a bit of fun, but so clever and observant that it deserves to be in the minor canon. Crome Yellow is sort of an updated Midsummer Night's Dream, a comedy masquerading as tragedy. To use Hollywood speak - think Monty Python meets Evelyn Waugh.
James K
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novels like Brave New World, 1984, The Handmaid's Tale and Fahrenheit 451 always seemed to me to be a double-edged knife blade. Their importance in opening many people to the door of science-fiction cannot be questioned. Any discussion of dystopian literature would be empty without their totalitarian omnipresence whilst any mention of the authors, regardless of context, will invariably bring the conversation back onto their one dystopian novel - again and again. It seems to many people these nov ...more
May 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
Several of my friends read Crome Yellow when I was in high school. Since I had been less than thrilled with Huxley's more famous Brave New World, I passed on the novel. Recently seeing the book on our local library shelf, I opted to check it out. Maybe I simply hadn't been ready for Huxley in high school (though Albert Camus and Franz Kafka seemed accessible enough).

Crome Yellow reminds me of an English country house mystery without the mystery. The cast of characters is bizarre, including: the
Nabilah Firdaus
I’m pleasantly suprised at how much I’m loving this book given the story was pretty uneventful. It gives us a glimpse of meeting between a number of characters at Crome, an English country house owned by Henry Wimbush and his exotic wife, Priscilla.

For such a small book, I’m again suprised at how well developed the characters were in this book. The shy and naive Denis, the wise and history-loving Mr. Wimbush, the strange Priscilla, the playful Anne and the intellectual Mr Scogan - all these peop
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A million stories within one story, nothing happens and everything happens, unrequited love, what we think others think of us vs. what everyone else actually thinks. Isn't this just exactly what life is like?
Ronald Morton
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dalkey-archive
Along this particular stretch of line no express had ever passed. All the trains – the few that there were – stopped at all the stations. Denis knew the names of those stations by heart. Bole, Tritton, Spavin Delawarr, Knipswich for Timpany, West Bowlby, and, finally, Camlet-on-the-Water. Camlet was where he always got out, leaving the train to creep indolently onward, goodness only knew whither, into the green heart of England.
So begins Huxley’s Crome Yellow, the first novel he ever published.
Wiebke (1book1review)
In the beginning of the book I thought that I've read this story before. It just reminded me of various other books and films about a group of people that get together for a few days and talk about nothing and everything.

But then I realized how unfair I was to Huxley, he wrote this book in 1921, earlier than most the other adaptions I've consumed of this format and that made me appreciate this much more.

Storywise nothing much happens, you get to know the characters and their personalities their
Nov 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Written when he was twenty-seven, Huxley's first novel is a cursory exploration into many of the thematic elements that would later mark his literary ouevre (existentialism, mysticism, modernism, etc). Set in early twentieth century England, on the manorial Crome estate, this scathing satire of wealth, aristocracy, and effete intellectualism is both a vivid character study and a commentary on excessive morality. Never at a loss for wit, Huxley crafts the remarkable tale of three wordsmiths brou ...more
Stephanie "Jedigal"
I downloaded this ages ago to my Kindle, along with many other titles from the "1001" list, and by the time I happened to select it, I had entirely forgotten what it was about. Given that my impression of Huxley is formed primarily by Brave New World, this was an interesting surprise. One note - the writing is smoooooth. Jane Austen feel, but without a plot. More like a series of consecutive anecdotes. The light way in which Huxley makes fun of the early 1900's English gentry is outstanding. It ...more
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Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. He spent the latter part of his life in the United States, living in Los Angeles from 1937 until his death in 1963. Best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays, he also published short stories, poetry, travel writing, and film stories and scripts. Through his novels and es ...more

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