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Monthly Reads > August 2016 Read Hugh Walpole

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message 1: by Canavan (new)

Canavan | 0 comments It’s been a little quiet in here lately. Does anyone plan on reading this month’s selection? I hope to start dipping into it, but won’t be able to start until the end of the week. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that while I know of Hugh Walpole by reputation, I haven’t read much by him. I re-read “The Tarn” earlier this year, but that might be it.


Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1401 comments I've finished the first three stories. Quite enjoyable so far, but more conventional and old-fashioned than my favorite Aickman or M.R. James pieces.

(I've been called by a friend "the pickiest fan of weird fiction" he knows, so be warned.)


message 3: by Canavan (new)

Canavan | 0 comments Bill wrote (in part):

I've finished the first three stories. Quite enjoyable so far, but more conventional and old-fashioned than my favorite Aickman or M.R. James pieces.

That was my impression from reading “The Tarn”. The story almost had the feel of something written in the late 19th century. (By the way, I earlier said I last read that story a few months ago; looking just now at my reading notes, I discover it was actually three years ago.)


message 4: by Canavan (new)

Canavan | 0 comments Randolph wrote (in part):

Hugh Walpole was not out but was a famously Gay writer.

I wouldn’t imagine anyone in the Britain of that era was really “out”. Don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that practicing homosexuality was still illegal.


message 5: by Bill (last edited Aug 01, 2016 02:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1401 comments Canavan wrote: "Don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that practicing homosexuality was still illegal. "

According to Hugh Walpole's wikipedia page, homosexuality was still illegal then. (A little more gossip too.)

For awhile, I was getting him confused with Horace Walpole, who wrote The Castle of Otranto. Turns out Horace was an ancestor of Hugh's, probably also gay. Well.


message 6: by Bill (last edited Aug 04, 2016 11:49PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1401 comments So how is everyone doing? I jumped in here because you guys were brave enough for Alectryomancer and Livia Llewellyn's Furnace. Walpole's pieces are airy trifles, in comparison.

"A Carnation for an Old Man" is a pretty classic "crusty English travel in Spain" tale. "Tarnhelm" is enjoyable, and at least makes an attempt at not over-explaining the happenings. Can Uncle Constance be any more gay? Ahem.


Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1401 comments "Mr. Oddy" is an odd-y and charming little fable. I didn't see that last line coming; did anyone?


message 8: by Canavan (new)

Canavan | 0 comments A bit behind schedule; I finished the first two stories in the Walpole collection over lunch today. I found them well executed, but neither really impressed. (view spoiler)

Just some quick thoughts off the top of my head.

“The Whistle” ✭✭✭
“The Silver Mask” ✭✭✭½


message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve O'rourke | 47 comments Randolph wrote: "...He appeared in one film, the 1935 Hollywood adaptation of David Copperfield, the one that starred noted comedian W.C. Fields as Mr. Micawber...."

Do you mean he appeared on screen in the film? If so, which character did he play? (That film is a favorite of mine; W.C. Fields' reaction when he realizes he's taken on Uriah Heep's (sp?) manner of speaking is priceless!


message 10: by Bill (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bill Hsu (billhsu) | 1401 comments I'm done. I found most of the stories quite entertaining, but more than a little old-fashioned. And quite a few "bromance moments", as if Walpole was trying to make some personal statements about his homosexuality.


message 11: by Tony (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tony | 53 comments Well, I'm late to the party as usual, but I'm reading this now. Some random thoughts: The strange/supernatural elements are pretty slender. The dialogue is very mannered (perhaps upper-middle-class English people really did speak like this?). The theme of longed-for male friendship can be occasionally touching.


Poonam | 3 comments Just picked this up and finished the first story, The Whistle. It has sweet elements to it with a sad ending.


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