These two novels (published in 1932 and 1951) introduced a rare and unusual talent.Cheerful Weather for the Wedding describes a country wedding in Dorset -- guests eat and drink, a rejected suitor wanders around, the bride fortifies herself with rum and everybody pays tribute to the institution of marriage. As John Russell remarks, it is pure comedy, 'dealt in a particularThese two novels (published in 1932 and 1951) introduced a rare and unusual talent.Cheerful Weather for the Wedding describes a country wedding in Dorset -- guests eat and drink, a rejected suitor wanders around, the bride fortifies herself with rum and everybody pays tribute to the institution of marriage. As John Russell remarks, it is pure comedy, 'dealt in a particular airy and translucent manner'; and David Garnett concludes that 'this is a very small book but a very perfect one, revealing a rich sense of humour and a very great literary and dramatic skill'.First published as The Man on the Pier, An Integrated Man is 'an historical novel: one which brings back to life a whole complex of vanished ways, vanished attitudes, vanished amenities and, some would say, vanished scruples' (John Russell). In it Ned falls in love with Aaron's wife and finally resists the temptation to stay with her alone. He knew that 'it couldn't be done' to a friend....
|Title||:||Cheerful Weather for the Wedding; and An Integrated Man|
|Number of Pages||:||263 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Cheerful Weather for the Wedding; and An Integrated Man Reviews
The first one, incredibly delightful. It’s a very short novel, collecting only the day Dolly gets married: How she gets ready and drinks rum alone in her room whilst the guests start arriving, her mother arranges things, and her ex-lover awaits for her. It’s beautiful and sad, very bittersweet.I read this when I was sick, and I’m pretty sure many of the nuances of the story-telling got lost on me—I’ll read it again in the future, that’s for sure. Strachey makes a great job of being ironic and even a little bit cynical without being judgemental. She describes the scene, the characters, how they all deal with each other, and specially how Joseph and Dolly deal with their feelings, without telling you what to make of it: that’s your job. And also Joseph’s, when he explodes and delivers his short soliloquy at the end (brilliant, if you ask me—and Luke Treadaway’s delivery at the recent film adaptation is also worth watching).The novella feels very real, not particularly tragic or happy, just like life—the lovers are not willing to give up anything for love, they are not i na fairy tale—it’s all very matter-of-factly.The two stories had in common the analysis of the human character, its hypocrisies and clichés, prejudices and general egotism, but always from a distance.An Integrated Man is about a middle-aged unmarried man, very happy with his life and his persona in general. He spends time with his best friend and his wife, and his business partner, and they discuss art, politics, philosophy. But it’s really amusing to see how they all, this group of intellectual and articulate people, don’t really care a lot about what they talk about: the important thing is to have an opinion and discuss it intelligently. It all changes when the new wife of his business partner—incidentally named Marina, which is a name I’m not very used to find in Literature in English—arrives. She’s younger, and prettier, and much more passionate than any of them. Also a little bit naive and silly sometimes, but the main character falls in love with her nonetheless. The story shifts then to the sufferings and delusions of Ned, who loves (or, more specifically lusts after) his friend’s wife. Is it she, and her apparent indifference, what prevent anything from happening? What if she acted differently? Is he strong enough to think about the consequences of his acts, and act upon them?
These two short novels were a revelation to me, having not heard of either them or the author until I saw a trailer for the film version of Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. They both painted a delightfully charming, old-fashioned, and quintessentially English picture of days gone by. I greatly enjoyed the first one, which was an exquisitely crafted work full of understated humour. The whole short work of eight chapters takes place in the course of a few hours on the day of Dolly’s Thatcham’s wedding. A comic presence is provided by a pet tortoise, which no one seems to notice was a gift from a rejected suitor, yet gets in the way and creates tension in much the same way as said suitor does on the day of the wedding. Although not up to the same standard, An Integrated Man proved to have moments of great beauty as well. A particularly inspiring passage occurs when Ned Moon is sitting on the cliffs above the sea, and Strachey uses the image of the light reflecting over the sea and the rising waves as a metaphor for life, worthy of Virginia Woolf at her finest. The climax and dénouement that follows is utterly devastating, and is a masterpiece of dramatic tension between all the main characters.
This book (An Integrated Man) fits neatly into the shelf which houses my favourite books. Set against a scorching English summer holiday, where daily an inevitable storm threatens, the book shares the atmosphere and tension of L.P. Hartley's The Go-Between. The country house swelters as the heat between Ned and Marina builds and the other characters, unaware, blunder on through the mundane social conventions of dinners, the regatta and a children's birthday party. The children, in both this and the companion novella Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, foreshadow Susan Hill's Hooper and Kingshaw (I'm The King of the Castle) with their apparently innocent, but, to us, embarrassing and thoughtless, interaction among themselves and with adults. Most strikingly, I cannot help but see Ishiguro's Stevens (in The Remains of the Day) as the literary descendant of Ned Moon. Both are, at the end, the man on the pier (the original title of this book) and both struggle with the repression of their passion in the name of dignity and doing the right thing.
A witty book with almost satirical sense of humor. It describes a comfortable British middle class life where trivial things matter and any inconvenience will be treated with denial. Even if one realizes its frivolity, it is difficult to get out of it once you are a part of it.
This review is for An Integrated Man not Cheerful Weather for the Wedding which I adored.I liked An Integrated Man and the writing is excellent and the author has such a keen eye for detail and capturing the moment. However, I felt she dragged out the tale and I found myself wanting her "wrap it up" which explains the three star rating. Read Cheerful Weather first!