maricar's Reviews > Good-Bye, Mr. Chips

Good-Bye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton
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's review
Apr 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics

Loved this charming story.

I found myself envying Mr. Chips his life. Though he lived in very tumultuous times, almost everything back then was simpler; there were less demands in one’s day-to-day affairs. And one can actually enjoy and savor the rest of one’s afternoon sipping tea while looking out over the window to the idyllic scene of kids bicycling along the street. The pace is not like today’s hectic one, wherein just thinking of what one still has to do for the rest of the day is exhausting in itself.

The persona of Chips is also very likeable. More than a mentor, he exuded that aura of an ‘endearing’ grandpa that has a bottomless reserve of anecdotes and jokes, which he never tires of churning out for anyone who cares to hear. Someone whom a student can pay a visit at home for the undemanding pleasure of a relaxing afternoon.

From personal experience, I haven’t encountered any professor who invested that much effort in getting to know his/her students beyond the walls of the classroom, who delighted in being able to remember the student’s names beyond the school grounds. Of course, it may simply be due the nature of the teacher-student dynamics back then.

And for that, I grew more envious. (Though, of course, females were regarded back then in a more unfavorable light…so…)

In any case, this short story of a life lived comfortably in the simplest of terms, with all its highs and lows, is truly touching. My favorite bit was his stoicism in proceeding with his Latin class while an air-raid was occurring above-ground, succeeding in subduing the fears of his students, and even making them laugh, by shifting their attention to the reference of Germanic campaigns in the chronicles of Caesar in Gaul.

And then there's the curious fact that I was surprised at how the ending nearly pushed me to tears.

An easy ‘reading’ story by Hilton, and the message is just as modest. But the lesson is undoubtedly a timeless one: if you’ll only get to live one life, live it by being humble, with a brimming font for laughter and contentment for the simplest of things. In the end, you will be the richer for it.
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05/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Christina (new)

Christina I 100% agree with your comment. Such a quiet humor (it is not easy to get it, because nowadays the humor is so different), such pleasure in little things.
In fact, I cried at the end of the story.

KnowledgeGeek A wonderful review of one of my favorite old movies. When I learned, just today, while reading an autobiography on Paul Harvey ( that this beloved movie was first a book, naturally I immediately looked it up here on goodreads. Can't wait to read it!

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