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Tony Grist

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Beginning Barchester Towers [Apr. 13th, 2015|09:36 am]
Tony Grist
I can see why people get so fond of Trollope. He's a good companion. It's as if the two of you were ensconced in capacious arm chairs and yarning across the fire at the club. He's more of a presence in his books than most authors are, talking about his characters as if they're people he knows, confessing his ignorance of procedures he can't be bothered to research and treating you to personal grumbles about this and that. He affects toryism and conventional wisdom, but really he's entirely worldly and unshockable and- far from being partisan- is mainly amused by the funny little power-plays and antagonisms with which people choose to fill up their time on earth.  I read him as a teen and thought him frightfully dull, but that was because most of what he was saying was going right over my head. I can't think of another writer who is so entirely grown-up.

I'm glad to have found him. I was running out of things to read and he produced something like 40 books. If I don't get weary of him he should keep me going for ages.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: huskyteer
2015-04-13 12:03 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to give these a try. I've always loved the description (in Henrietta's War, one of my favourite comfort reads) of the narrator's husband 'looking up with a serene Trollope-ish expression on his face' when interrupted reading Barchester Towers.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-04-13 12:23 pm (UTC)
That's nice.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2015-04-13 12:38 pm (UTC)
You're reading Barchester Towers before The Warden? No no no no no! Please stop immediately and pick up The Warden. I picked up the complete novels of Trollope for my Kindle, either free or for some pittance such as $1.99, and I turn to them when I need comfort reads.

There's also a rather wonderful BBC adaptation, done in the 1980s, with Donald Pleasaunce, Nigel Hawthorne, Geraldine McEwan...and a young Alan Rickman as the loathsome Obadiah Slope.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-04-13 01:46 pm (UTC)
I'll read the Warden later. I'm not bothered by sequence.
My mother had Barchester Towers on her shelf. And Dr Thorne. But nothing else. I know a great second-hand bookshop in Eastbourne and at the first opportunity I mean to run down there and stock up.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2015-04-13 02:22 pm (UTC)
And do look for the BBC series. Donald Pleasaunce does a wonderful interpretation of Harding playing air cello when agitated.

Edited at 2015-04-13 02:22 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2015-04-13 05:32 pm (UTC)
I remember that being on, but I didn't watch it.

One of my earliest memories of the theatre is seeing Pleasance in an Anouilh play. I don't think I understood what was going on- but I retain a strong impression of Pleasance in character as a ratty little puritan.
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