Jim Grimsley's Reviews > In Chancery

In Chancery by John Galsworthy
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it was ok

In the case of the first book, The Man of Property, I was less certain of my reaction to the novel due to having seen the most recent television adaptation; any freshness in the story was lost, so my reaction to the novel was dependent on the writing and to the parts of the novel that were not included in the series. My reading of In Chancery was more of a chore, and I believe it likely that I would have felt the same level of disappointment with the book regardless of prior knowledge. While one's understanding of the characters deepens to a degree, it is a small degree. Irene remains an enigma, a ghost; Soames remains dangerously possessive of her; young Jolyon remains lukewarmish; and the rest of the family has a thin, unrepresented quality. The younger generation were appealing in their youth but only in a Forsytish way - to borrow Galsworthy's ploy - and what happens within the novel is constricted by the narrowness of the people themselves. The cast of characters is too large for depth or exploration. They change a little, their drama feels deflated, and the book feels like a repetition of nineteenth century novels about manners and class. The writing is exactly as one expects, having read the first volume. I can't tell whether this is actually a second novel in a series or the weak middle of a very long single work. In comparing this work to Joyce, or Woolf, or Mansfield, or James, or Dreiser ... well, those comparisons are unfair, really. Galsworthy is surely trying to break new ground here, but his spade is not up to the task.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 21, 2020 – Shelved

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