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This is Barbara Pym's early masterwork. The limitations, triviality and superficiality of the lives described may be disconcerting at first. But perhaps we don't notice our own limitations. But every speech reveals people's self deceptions. The social nuances are spot-on. And what I have always found very moving in this book is that here is an eminently respectable, indeed conservative, lady in the 1950s who finds absolutely no difficulty in relating to gay men as completely unproblematic. I find it an endlessly amusing and fascinating book. More for lovers of Jane Austen than lovers of Charlotte Bronte or Ian Fleming.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I didn't find this as funny as Some Tame Gazelle, which I loved. I also found it a lot more dated, for some odd reason.
It wasn't my favourite narration either. Wilmet seemed unnecessarily squeaky - and she didn't have to be, because Mary wasn't - while the male voices sounded a little artificially deep to me.
This could be just me - don't hesitate to give it a try.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I read this book 35 years ago and liked it. But it is FAR superior as an audio book. Patience Tomlinson is brilliant. Barbara Pym constantly mocks her narrator, and this is more evident in Ms Tomlinson's cool, upper-crust tones. Well done. Miss Pym would be pleased.