Barbara Pym Fan Club discussion

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message 1: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveg) I'm wondering if anyone here has ever gotten a man in their life (brother, husband, boyfriend, father etc.) to read a Barbara Pym novel? If so, did he enjoy it? My husband just started reading Excellent Women!


message 2: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 19 comments I have never even bothered to try!! lol Honestly, most of the men I know don't read very much. And if they do, it usually science fiction!!


message 3: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveg) Ugh! Science fiction?! I bet there's not much drinking of Ovaltine on the planet of Xyrtog in the year 3798!


message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 19 comments I sincerely doubt it!!!! lol And probably no vicars or spinsters!! Or jumble sales or elegance.


message 5: by Jelena (new)

Jelena | 14 comments There may be men in the world who enjoy reading Pym (I would love to think so, anyway), but I don't see her as being appealing to most men. For one thing, her novels are a bit hard on men, presenting them as preoccupied and needy at best, and vain and ridiculous at worst.


message 6: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveg) My husband enjoyed Excellent Women, a lot. He's an eclectic and voracious reader. He bought me a jar of European formula Ovaltine as a joke/present! I just finished Crampton Hodnet. It's always a little sad when you exit Pym's little world and have to face a Monday morning in the real one!


message 7: by Jelena (new)

Jelena | 14 comments Very nice to hear that he enjoyed it! I do agree that it's always sad to exit Pym's little world, but rereading helps (and I do it as needed), and so does Ovaltine! :)


message 8: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 19 comments Eve wrote: "My husband enjoyed Excellent Women, a lot. He's an eclectic and voracious reader. He bought me a jar of European formula Ovaltine as a joke/present! I just finished Crampton Hodnet. It's always a l..."

I completely agree!! I reread some over my vacation a few weeks ago, and I was so caught up that it was seriously hard getting back into the hectic and very blah day to day routine. I would much rather have the quiet village life!! :)


message 9: by Jelena (new)

Jelena | 14 comments I sometimes think it would be so wonderful to live like a Pym character, but then I remind myself that's a very particular time and place. (And not that great in some ways.) It would be pretty ridiculous to attempt to create a Pym Land a la Austenland! So, I try to find Pymesque elements in the life I live. Not easy, but it makes me happy when I do.


message 10: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 19 comments I agree with that. I like having a bit of Pym in my life.


message 11: by Tfnolan (new)

Tfnolan | 2 comments I'm male and have read all her books, and reread them in times of trouble. The Pym world is gone, but I carry with me her appreciation for human foibles, described in respectful but humorous ways. Men come across as vain and ineffectual. I think it is in "Less Than Angels" where ? Catherine notices than one man is " becoming all Easter Island" or something like that. Her later books show a more cynical darker side, I think because of her waning sales and publishers not accepting manuscripts. Time for a warm milky drink!!


message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill Graff | 2 comments Pym is one of my very favorite authors. So funny and insightful, and with a deep understanding of loneliness and life. I adore her.


message 13: by Thomas (new)

Thomas (thomasathogglestock) | 3 comments As a gay man, I often consider myself an honorary woman. Although like an honorary Ph.D., that doesn't confer a huge amount of real insight. But I do prefer women novelists. Last year at the Pym Society conference I was surprised at how many straight men were there.


message 14: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveg) I wonder if a man saying, "Excuse me, have you ever read Barbara Pym?" could work as a pick-up line? Can someone try it and let me know?


message 15: by Eve (new)

Eve (eveg) Or, "Care to go back to my place for a warm cup of Ovaltine?"


message 16: by Jelena (new)

Jelena | 14 comments Fascinating. As a pick up line--no. It seems antithetical to the spirit of Pym. But share a cup of Ovaltine, or afernoon tea? Absolutely. If sincere.


message 17: by Tfnolan (new)

Tfnolan | 2 comments "Ah, the apes of Africa"


message 18: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie McCarthy | 14 comments Male and female he created them... gets me every time.


message 19: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Hazelwood | 1 comments Does anyone know if there are any type of audiobooks of Barbara Pym's books available anywhere? I love her books and have read each at least twice! It would be so soothing to be able to listen to them in the car or on a walk. I've checked many places but the only place I saw a few was on Amazon's Audible UK. Unfortunately, I am in the U.S. and was "not allowed" by Amazon to purchase on Amazon UK even though I am a Member of Prime. Hoping so much someone can help!


message 20: by Diane (new)

Diane Eve wrote: "I wonder if a man saying, "Excuse me, have you ever read Barbara Pym?" could work as a pick-up line? Can someone try it and let me know?"
I don't think Barbara Pym would work as a pick up line. 999 out of 1000 women today would say, "Read who?"


message 21: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 19 comments Diane wrote: "Eve wrote: "I wonder if a man saying, "Excuse me, have you ever read Barbara Pym?" could work as a pick-up line? Can someone try it and let me know?"
I don't think Barbara Pym would work as a pick ..."


That is such a shame!


message 22: by Eliza (new)

Eliza | 2 comments Kelly wrote: "Does anyone know if there are any type of audiobooks of Barbara Pym's books available anywhere? I love her books and have read each at least twice! It would be so soothing to be able to listen to t..."

That's frustrating! I am also a US member of Audible and would love to listen to Barbara Pym. I listened to one of her books on an old book on tape from the library and she was wonderful read aloud. It seems silly that Audible would have them but not make them available to everyone.


message 23: by Mary (new)

Mary Twitchell | 3 comments It's a copyright problem. Apparently the Pym copyright holders won't allow this use in the US.


message 24: by Eliza (new)

Eliza | 2 comments Shoot! I guess that explains it but . . . too bad. Thanks for the info.


message 25: by Nick (new)

Nick Harrison | 1 comments I'm another man who reads Pym. I introduced her books to my now 39 year old daughter, so we're both big fans. A couple of Christmases ago she gave me a book from Barbara Pym's library with her name in it. I posted the picture on the Pym FB page.


message 26: by Louise (new)

Louise Culmer | 12 comments My brother tried one of her books once but didn't care for it. this surprised me a bit as i would have thought she was the kind of author he might enjoy, but no. i was also rather surprised to read that Alan Bennet doesn't like her - again i would hqve thought her the kind of writer he would enjoy.


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