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message 1: by Nigeyb (last edited Feb 04, 2014 02:38AM) (new)

Nigeyb J.B. Priestley





As cheerfully escapist for today's readers as it was for readers when it first came out in 1929. The Times (on The Good Companions)

Priestley was a grand writer...we should still listen to him, before time runs out...I am extremely pleased an effort is being made to re-kindle interest in this great writer. Beryl Bainbridge


The first thing to say is that J.B. Priestley is not a favourite author. I've yet to read my first book by J.B. Priestley however I feel that the time is coming. Although not particularly fashionable now, in his day (slap bang in the middle of the BYT era) he was a best-selling author and extremely popular with the reading public and for that reason he deserves his own thread here on BYT. I did a search and could only find one reference to him in all the BYT posts. Completely and utterly out of fashion then.

So who was he? Here's a biography from a J.B. Priestley website.

One of my online chums makes the connection between J.B. Priestley and Patrick Hamilton stating "J.B. Priestley's The Good Companions evokes a lot of Patrick Hamilton for me." J.B. Priestley also wrote the introduction to Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square as you probably already know.

I will probably start with The Good Companions. I am tempted to nominate it for a BYT group read. From what I can discern by reading about The Good Companions is that it probably shares quite a bit in common with the wonderful London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins. Both being long, sprawling and very enjoyable, books that cover a few years in the lives of an eclectic group of ordinary people. I find I am increasingly drawn to novels about ordinary people. The rich and famous are all well and good but I am discovering more insights and interests in the lives most of us can more readily relate to. It probably explains my enduring fascination with Patrick Hamilton and a host of other associated authors. On a related theme, I am thoroughly enjoying The L-Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks - but that's another story for another day.

The Good Companions written in 1929 (in Deal, Kent), focuses on the trials and tribulations of a concert party in England between World War 1 and World War 2. It is arguably J.B. Priestley's most famous novel, and the work which established him as a national figure. It won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was adapted twice into film. The amount of five star reviews on Amazon and GoodReads augers very well too.

So let's talk J.B. Priestley. What do you think of him? What have you read? What books would you recommend? Is The Good Companions as good as it looks?


message 2: by Nigeyb (last edited Feb 04, 2014 02:57AM) (new)

Nigeyb I've just come across this little beauty...


Great Lives programme (BBC 4 Radio) on JB Priestley on the BBC iplayer

Listening now - very enjoyable and informative. Here's the skinny....

Barry Cryer nods to his Yorkshire roots in choosing J.B. Priestley, the Bradford born author of The Good Companions and An Inspector Calls. Barry knew JB for the last ten years of his life, and fondly recalls visiting a man he loved with two members of Monty Python. Other memories include a trip to the Cafe Royal, and thoughts on Priestley's notorious love of women.

Martin Wainwright, northern editor of the Guardian, presenter of last year's radio documentary about the Postscripts, also brings to life a prolific writer nearly killed in World War One. Some say he wrote so much to avoid the memories of that war.

Recorded in front of an audience at the Arnolfini in Bristol, the programme includes colourful clips of J.B. Priestley and also Priestley's son, Tom. The only discordant note is raised by presenter Matthew Parris: "It's awfully watchable, awfully readable ... but where's the magic ? Is Priestley really very good?"



message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Ooh great link, Nigeyb. Have you seen there's also one on Nancy Mitford?

Anyway, back to J.B.Priestley - I have read The Good Companions, but many years ago, so I'd be happy to have it as a group read. I remember it as being a lovely book, the sort that fills you with a warm glow and that you don't want to finish. But that's about all, I don't remember any of the plot.


message 4: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Thanks Sarah. I've listened to half the programme and really enjoyed it. I will listen to the rest later today.

Thanks for your hazy memories of The Good Companions. Most readers' reviews I've read concur with your "warm glow" response too. I think it would make a lovely BYT fiction choice. Most of the reviews are incredibly positive. I'll probably nominate it for April and we'll see what happens.

And yes, I did notice there was a Nancy Mitford Great Lives episode too. I'd not come across the programme before but it's a great concept and I will be listening to the Nancy Mitford episode too. Isn't life wonderful?


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth It certainly is!


message 6: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb That Great Lives episode is great and really revealing. Here's a few J.B. Priestley nuggets...


- He was the best selling UK author of the 1930s (Daphne du Maurier was second highest, and both were critically reviled)

- He was very changed by WW1 having been shelled and gassed on the Western Front. He came back determined to avoid a life of grey conformity and transformed himself into a best selling author

- He was an important founder member of CND

- His radio broadcasts were enormously popular and people would recognise his voice whenever he went into a bar

- He turned down a seat in the House Of Lords because of Labour's policy in Vietnam

- He was a lifelong socialist (although also very money orientated too)

- He loved to have a good grumble

- Time (and nostalgia) are a constant theme in his work

- He delighted in life

All in all a very enjoyable listen and one I recommend.


message 7: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Listened to the Great Lives programme this morning - very enjoyable!
I think J.B.Priestley would be good to read as a contrast to the likes of Evelyn Waugh.


message 8: by Nigeyb (last edited Feb 05, 2014 03:00AM) (new)

Nigeyb ^ Thanks Sarah. I agree! On both counts.

I think it's interesting that J.B. Priestley was annoyed that, for all his massive success, he didn't get more critical acclaim - being routinely dismissed by the likes of Virginia Woolf etc. Whilst the Woolfs et al were doubtless jealous of his remarkable commercial success. Isn't that so like humans? Always hankering for the things we haven't got, rather than being satisfied with what we have got.


message 9: by Ruth (new)

Ruth I've listened to the Nancy Mitford episode of Great Lives now - again very enjoyable, but completely different to the J.B.Priestley episode.

There's lots of episodes available so I'll be working through the ones that take my fancy. This morning's choice was Viv Stanshall, late of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Completely out of the period of this group, of course, but a fascinating character.


message 10: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ I'm looking forward to the Nancy Mitford episode very much.

Viv Stanshall was an inspired choice for today's selection. A fascinating and amusing character.


message 11: by Pink (new)

Pink I hadn't heard of him until my daughter studied An Inspector Calls last year for part of her English A level. I'd certainly be interested to give one of his other books a try.


message 12: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Great news Pink. I'll probably nominate one for our next BYT group book read.


message 13: by Nigeyb (last edited Feb 23, 2014 08:44AM) (new)

Nigeyb If I hadn't been so keen to share in a group read of Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, then I would have nominated The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley which I am almost as keen to read.

I am fascinated by writers who were massively popular in their day but have, for one reason or another, lost their allure to the reading public. Imagine my delight whilst perusing the BBC Radio 4 Extra schedules (which has a wealth of great stuff by the way) to discover a three part dramatisation of this very book.

I will be recording all three. Part one is on iPlayer now...

JB Priestley - The Good Companions (BBC Radio 4 extra) on BBC iPlayer

I also recently came across this article by BYT favourite D.J. Taylor (of "Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940" fame)...

It was J.B. Priestley's misfortune – a lasting, personal misfortune – to achieve vast commercial success at a time when the whole concept of commercial success was being called sharply into question. The literary 1920s were an age in which the matter of a writer's cultural affiliations loomed very large, a time when gangs of vers libre poets and outraged traditionalists skirmished through the pages of the weekly reviews and the word "middlebrow" became a term of abuse. With his titanic sales –The Good Companions proved so popular in 1929 that fleets of lorries had to be engaged to distribute it – Priestley (1894-1984) was always going to be a target for this sort of snootiness: what was really remarkable, as the 1930s wore on, was his emergence as a kind of all-purpose intellectual hate-figure, a byword for everything that was wrong with the contemporary novel and, by extension, the literary scene that authenticated it.

The contempt in which Priestley was held by some of his fellow-writers can sometime seem rather startling. Virginia Woolf bracketed him with Arnold Bennett as "the tradesman of letters". The young Graham Greene caricatured him in Stamboul Train (1931) as the bluff, pipe-smoking popular novelist Mr Savory, and was threatened with a libel writ. George Orwell, alarmed by his influence on other novelists, noted of Patrick Hamilton's Priestley-haunted Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky(1935) that Hamilton "has set out … to write a novel about 'real life', but with the Priestleyan assumption that 'real life' means lower-middle-class life in a large town and that if you have packed into your novel, say, fifty-three descriptions of tea in a Lyons Corner House, you have done the trick." Anthony Powell not only put Priestley into his novels as a malign cultural signifier (in From a View to a Death half-witted Jasper Fosdick tries to impress a girl by offering to lend her the family copy of The Good Companions) but was still, half a century later, stuffing his diaries with references to the "stupefying banality" of Priestley's mind and his complete unsuitability for a Westminster Abbey memorial.

All this was, and is, horribly unfair – there were far more plausible candidates for highbrow disdain in the 30s than the author of English Journey – and yet, as nearly always happens when the intelligentsia takes against a particular behemoth of the book clubs, a certain amount of the mud has stuck. Nearly 30 years after his death, although Priestley's plays are regularly revived and there remains a folk memory of his considerable impact as a war-time broadcaster, his novels are usually regarded as the quaintest of period curios: sprawling, sentimental, and the forerunner of every postwar metropolitan bestseller, from Norman Collins's London Belongs to Me (1945) to RF Delderfield's The Avenue Goes to War (1964). Priestley's own verdict, in his 1962 memoir Margin Released, was that he was a victim of straightforward snobbery, that fixed English idea, as he put it, "that anything widely popular must necessarily be bad. Criticism … borrowed 'bestseller' from the book trade, where it means what it says and nothing more, and made it pejorative."


Read the rest of the article by clicking below...

Though the literati viewed him with contempt, the author of Angel Pavement was extraordinarily successful in his day. It's our loss if his novels are all but forgotten now, writes DJ Taylor

I think D.J. Taylor makes some great points in addition to referencing some of my favourite books and writers and he convinces me to give J.B. Priestley a chance. I'll be nominating one of his works very soon.


message 14: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Thanks for the link to the BBC dramatisation, I hadn't spotted that one. I wish they would leave them on iPlayer for a bit longer than seven days though!


message 15: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ Thanks Sarah - yes, they do take them off a bit too quickly for my liking. I have a bit of software that enables me to record them - so I try and do that, and then listen to them on my iPod when it's convenient.


message 16: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb

Coincidentally, as I was ordering my copy of In Search Of London by H.V. Morton for Greg's "hot read/small reads" discussing thread, I got a recommendation for English Journey by J.B. Priestley - as you may have noticed I am becoming quite intrigued by J.B. Priestley. It appears he may have been ploughing a similar furrow to our man H.V. Morton for this particular book..

In 1934, J.B. Priestley described his journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country, to the North East and Newcastle, to Norwich and home. In capturing and describing an English landscape and people hitherto unseen in literature of its kind, he influenced the thinking and attitudes of an entire generation and helped formulate a public consensus for change that led to the formation of the welfare state. Insightful, profound, humorous and moving, "English Journey" captures J.B. Priestley's deep love of his native country and tells us so much about the human condition and the nature of Englishness.

The fully illustrated edition published in 2012 by Great Northern Books contains a contemporary perspective from Stuart Maconie, an introduction by Priestley's son, Tom, and a perceptive contributuion from Lee Hanson, editor of the Rediscovering Priestley series for Great Northern Books.


There's a copy in my library. Joy is unconfined!


message 17: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Nigeyb wrote: "There's a copy in my library. Joy is unconfined! "




I now have, in my hands, a copy of English Journey by J.B. Priestley...

This new special edition of this timeless classic featuring a contemporary perspective from broadcaster and best selling author of Pies and Predjudice, Stuart Maconie.

In 1934, JB Priestley published an account of his journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country, to the North East and Newcastle, to Norwich and home. In capturing and describing an English landscape and people hitherto unseen in literature of its kind, he influenced the thinking and attitudes of an entire generation and helped formulate a public consensus for change that led to the formation of the welfare state.

Prophetic, profound, humorous and as relevant today as it was nearly 80 years ago, English Journey expresses Priestley's deep love of his native country and teaches us much about the human condition and the nature of Englishness.


Here's the thing, this edition, with the original text, is illustrated with over 80 modern and archive photos. It's a really beautiful thing and the sort of loving treatment that some of H.V. Morton's work would really benefit from too.

Not only that, the praise lavished on it, is very fulsome...

The finest book ever written about England and the English

Priestley never wrote better

A masterpiece

It does look like another great travel book from our era.

The introduction by the always readable and interesting Stuart Maconie made me chuckle too...

If, as a writer, J.B. Priestley had just been brilliant, humane, elegant, virile, intelligent, witty and technically dazzling, he'd be arguably considered the pre-eminent British literary talent of his age. Sadly from him though, he also laboured beneath the crushing burden of being accessible, engaging, crystal clear and enormously popular. The mandarins of the metropolitan elite like their 'provincial' voices to stay just that if possible, or at least to have the decency to be faintly troubled and attractively doomed, like say D.H. Lawrence or John Lennon, rather than rich, successful, boundlessly gifted and ordered like J.B. Priestley or Paul McCartney. The riches and success must have been some consolation.

Classic stuff eh?


message 18: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Nigeyb wrote: "If I hadn't been so keen to share in a group read of Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, then I would have nominated The Good Companions by J.B. Priestley which I am almost as keen to read. "

Will you still read the book after listening to the dramatisation, Nigeyb? I listened to the first half of Part One this morning and loved it! I'm really keen to read the book now, and other J.B.Priestley books.


message 19: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ Absolutely Sarah. I find the dramatisations just whet my appetite for the book. It was the same with Sword of Honour - I loved the BBC Radio 4 dramatisation and that set me up perfectly for the book itself.

I'm so pleased you are similarly enthused at the prospect of reading some J.B. Priestley - I have the sense that his books are going to be an absolute joy. If we can't convince other BYTers to join us then we can do a hot read or two together!


message 20: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Nigeyb wrote: " If we can't convince other BYTers to join us then we can do a hot read or two together! "
Count me in :-)


message 21: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ Hurrah.


That's great news Sarah.

I will prioritise my listen to the dramatisation of The Good Companions in readiness.


message 22: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I've listened to half an hour of the BBC radio dramatisation of The Good Companions so far. What a complete delight it is too. I am loving it. The BBC really do know how to create absorbing radio versions of literature.

The three central protagonists of The Good Companions are each making me grin from ear to ear. I can already see why this book was so hugely popular when it was published.

I also think I might well start reading English Journey next, having just finished the very satisfying More Lives Than One: A Biography of Hans Fallada.


message 23: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Nigeyb wrote: "The three central protagonists of The Good Companions are each making me grin from ear to ear."

That was just the reaction I had!

It also made me want to go off on adventure...for about five minutes, then I thought 'no, I think I'll read the book instead' preferably curled up on a sofa wearing a large woolly jumper and drinking a cup of tea (or even a glass of red wine). It's just so warm and inviting a story isn't it!

I've ordered it from the local library - can't wait.


message 24: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ Hurrah (again)!


I didn't get the fleeting longing for adventure - however tea or wine on the sofa in regulation large wooly jumper (and optional lounge pants) sounds like the perfect combination.

Sadly, my library does not have a copy so I will probably splash out £6 for a kindle edition. It will be a lovely treat when I get to it.


message 25: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Only half an hour or so of the BBC radio dramatisation of The Good Companions to go. An absolute delight. Saturated in sentiment but that's what I was expecting and it works perfectly.

Not sure how such a big book was reduced to three, one hour episodes. I look forward to finding out though.

Jess Oakroyd, Susie Dean and Inigo Jollifan are like old friends now.


message 26: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Nigeyb wrote: "Only half an hour or so of the BBC radio dramatisation of The Good Companions to go. An absolute delight. Saturated in sentiment but that's what I was expecting and it works perfectly..."
I was wondering about that! Hoping it means there's a lot more detail to read in the book.


message 27: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb I think it probably does Sarah.

When I read Sword Of Honour having listened to a BBC radio dramatisation, I was delighted to discover lots of additional detail in the book. In fact, listening to the dramatisation set me up perfectly for reading that book. I hope the same will apply in this instance.


message 28: by Nigeyb (last edited Feb 28, 2014 01:51AM) (new)

Nigeyb I've now completed the three part BBC radio dramatisation of The Good Companions.


So farewell Jess Oakroyd, Susie Dean and Inigo Jollifan. Magical stuff.

I've had to pause reading English Journey by J.B. Priestley for a week or so, as I could not renew my copy of The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War by Lara Feigel, so now need to read that first.

Anyway, and I know it's early days, but I'm very impressed with my first foray into the world of J.B. Priestley. He's another great BYT era writer and should be better remembered in my view.


message 29: by Nigeyb (last edited Mar 01, 2014 03:24AM) (new)

Nigeyb As a postscript to my references to the three part BBC radio dramatisation of The Good Companions, and nothing to do with either J.B. Priestley, or the BYT era, I will be following up the wonderful experience of The Good Companions with...

....a series of five plays based on the novels by Patricia Highsmith about the suave and amoral Tom Ripley: The Complete Ripley Novels. I have only read The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I thought was brilliant, so look forward to listening to the further adventures of a truly great literary anti-hero. And, to make the whole thing even more enticing, Tom Ripley is played by the excellent Ian Hart. Bring it on.

Here's all the episodes you can hear on iPlayer..
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ht...

Only three days left to hear the first one though.


message 30: by Greg (new)

Greg | 330 comments At the library I found Plays Three by J.B. Priestley. inc. Music At Night: The Long Mirror: Ever Since Paradise. The back cover synopsis - 'All three plays were written between 1938 and 1940. It was a very creative time for him, but interrupted by the war. There are elements of his continuing interest in Time in each of them.'


message 31: by Nigeyb (last edited Mar 03, 2014 12:20AM) (new)

Nigeyb ^ Wonderful Greg. Thanks for the update.


Please report back with your reactions to the plays.


message 32: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb The J.B. Priestley continues. I have now finished "English Journey".


Here's my review..

It was Victor Gollancz who commissioned two pieces of English travel writing from two gifted but very different writers. One was "The Road to Wigan Pier" by George Orwell, the other was "English Journey".

"English Journey" is subtitled...

"English journey being a rambling but truthful account of what one man saw and heard and felt and thought during a journey through England during the autumn of the year 1933 by J.B. Priestley."

...which sums it up very succinctly.

In 1934, J.B. Priestley published this account of a journey through England from Southampton to the Black Country, to the North East and Newcastle, to Norwich and then back to his home in Highgate, London. His account is very personal and idiosyncratic, and in it he muses on how towns and regions have changed, their history, amusing pen pictures of those he encounters, and all of this is enhanced by a large side order of realism and hard-nosed opinion. The book was a best seller when it was published and apparently had an influence on public attitudes to poverty and welfare, and the eventual formation of the welfare state.

The book also makes a fascinating companion piece to "In Search Of England" by H.V. Morton, which was published a few years earlier, and was another enormously successful English travelogue, however one that provides a far more romantic version of England, an England untroubled by poverty and the depression. Like H.V. Morton's book, "English Journey" has never been out of print.

"English Journey" is a fascinating account, and the edition I read, published by Great Northern Books, is also illustrated with over 80 modern and archive photos. It's a really beautiful book and one I heartily recommend.

The introduction by the always readable and interesting Stuart Maconie made me chuckle too...

"If, as a writer, J.B. Priestley had just been brilliant, humane, elegant, virile, intelligent, witty and technically dazzling, he'd be arguably considered the pre-eminent British literary talent of his age. Sadly from him though, he also laboured beneath the crushing burden of being accessible, engaging, crystal clear and enormously popular. The mandarins of the metropolitan elite like their 'provincial' voices to stay just that if possible, or at least to have the decency to be faintly troubled and attractively doomed, like say D.H. Lawrence or John Lennon, rather than rich, successful, boundlessly gifted and ordered like J.B. Priestley or Paul McCartney. The riches and success must have been some consolation."

I shall be reading more of J.B. Priestley's work.


message 33: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 39 comments Interesting that you compare English Journey to In Search Of England. Both very good books (though I found Morton's anti-American prejudice a bit much). But yes, Morton's got rose-tinted spectacles on. Despite his avuncular tone, Priestley never wore those.

For what it's worth, I once wrote a piece comparing Priestley to J. K. Rowling. There was a reason for this! If interested, it's here. http://mikerobbinsnyc.blogspot.com/20...


message 34: by Val (new)

Val I'm not sure whether Morton's rose-tinted spectacles are his own or whether he assumes his readership wear them. Priestley was the gentle and acceptable face of socialism in the UK, but I'm not sure how he would have been regarded in the more confrontational US of the time.


message 35: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 39 comments Could be right about Morton, yes. To quote Max Hastings: "He brought to his books the qualities of an outstanding Beaverbrook journalist of his period: masterly understanding of public taste, deployed in a moral void."

I loved In Search of England when I read it in my late teens, nearly 40 years ago. Very disappointing to find out what a ghastly man he was. Thank goodness for Priestley.


message 36: by Lori (new)

Lori | 73 comments I'm currently reading Delight by J B Priestley. This is a series of short essays about the little things in life in which Priestley found delight. The prologue says that he wrote it because everyone had this idea that he was incredibly grumpy, and he was sometimes (he dedicates his book to his family from "the old monster") but there were lots of things he enjoyed and this book is his way of showing people that.

There's no way I can describe it other than 'delightful' - it's just a lovely read. His delights include 'Trying new blends of tobacco', 'Frightening Civil Servants', the sound of a football match, the Marx brothers and all sorts of other things. It's the perfect book to dip into after a hard day at work, or in fact any time when you just need a little bit of quality writing to perk up the day.

Sadly I think it's out of print now.


message 37: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 39 comments Lori wrote: "I'm currently reading Delight by J B Priestley. This is a series of short essays about the little things in life in which Priestley found delight. The prologue says that he wrote it ..."

I didn't know about Delight and it's gone straight onto my to-read list - thanks Lori. And I am delighted to report that its both back in print, and available for Kindle.


message 38: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ It does indeed sound a..er...delight. I too plan to partake.


message 39: by Lori (new)

Lori | 73 comments Mike - where did you find it in print? My copy is from the library and I would love one of my own.


message 40: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Lori wrote: "Mike - where did you find it in print? My copy is from the library and I would love one of my own."


I've just ordered a copy.

Great Northern Books published an anniversary edition in 2009. It's out of stock on their website...

http://www.gnbooks.co.uk/product/deli...

However I ordered a used copy for £0.01 + £2.80 postage...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Delight-J-B-P...


message 41: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 39 comments Lori wrote: "Mike - where did you find it in print? My copy is from the library and I would love one of my own."

I found it on US Amazon but it looks like it is available in the UK too, although the Kindle edition seems to be a little more expensive!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_n...


message 42: by Lori (new)

Lori | 73 comments Ah marvellous - thanks chaps! The Great Northern edition is the one I'm reading and it's a really nice version.


message 43: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Did anyone watch An Inspector Calls on BBC1 last Sunday? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02z80kq We recorded it and watched last night - a very powerful drama.

Written in 1945 but set in 1912, the issues it raises are still very relevant today.


message 44: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb ^ No I didn't but I will try and catch it on demand - thanks so much Ruth


message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori | 73 comments I did! I studied it at school so knew the plot, but the television really brought home the drama of it. I didn't fully appreciate just how hard the family had made Eva's life by their actions. I thought David Thewlis was excellent as the Inspector - very sinister. As you say Ruth, the issues it raises are extremely relevant today.


message 46: by Roisin (new)

Roisin | 729 comments Saw the stage version many, many years ago. Very good!


message 47: by Nigeyb (last edited Sep 21, 2015 05:43AM) (new)

Nigeyb ^ Just watched An Inspector Calls - superb stuff isn't it?


J.B. Priestley's play might be set over 100 years ago, in 1912, but the messages and sentiments – about social responsibility and a shared humanity – remain important and relevant.

Great adaptation and a stunning cast


message 48: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb Nigeyb wrote: "^ Just watched An Inspector Calls - superb stuff isn't it?"


Forgot to say - thanks Roisin, Lori, Ally and especially Ruth for highlighting it and inspiring me to watch it


message 49: by Roisin (new)

Roisin | 729 comments Me too! Good adaption and David Thewlis is a good creepy, commanding inspector. Though when I saw the play, I don't think you see who the young woman is and at the end the house tilts. Very dramatic! Very good!


message 50: by Roisin (new)

Roisin | 729 comments Oh you are correct Nigeyb, very now, the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. In light of current events the play sends shivers down my spine still.


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