Read The Rock Pool by Cyril Connolly Peter Quennell Online


A classic novel, first published in 1936, now back in print. In this engaging satire of the British upper class, a smug young literary man from Oxford joins an international group of artists and writers on the French Riviera, intending to study them as if they were aquatic organisms in a pool--with unexpected results....

Title : The Rock Pool
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780892550593
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 140 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rock Pool Reviews

  • Paul
    2018-08-29 17:06

    An interesting novel with some rather unlikeable characters (especially the protagonist). It is set in the south of France in the 1930s in the fictional Trou-sur-mer (based on Cagnes). Living there are a bunch of disparate and rather bohemian characters of varying nationalities. They are all fairly dissolute and for the time it was considered shocking. It was initially published in France in 1936 because no publisher in England would touch it. It was not published in Britain until 1947. What was so shocking? Extreme violence? No. Explicit sex? No.What was so shocking were the descriptions of lesbians and gay men as functioning members of society and living openly with human strengths and weaknesses. This was unacceptable to the English publishers who looked at it in the 1930s. The Narrator, Naylor was a particular type of Englishman, public school and Oxbridge, a little money, no real occupation and no real purpose. He is also rather unpleasant. He sees Trou-sur-mere as a rock pool whose inhabitants he can study. Inevitably he becomes part of the "pool" and the story charts his decline.Connolly took his characters from real life and in the early 1930s he and his wife had lived and travelled in the south of France. The origin for the Naylor character was apparently killed in the war flying for the RAF. Racasse, the artist, survived and Connolly had a picture of Connolly and his wife painted by the artist the character is based on. The Rock Pool is basically an attack on the English social system and charts the downfall of some of the "bright young things" of the late 20s. Naylor is a passive character and Peter Quennell has likened him to Frederic in Flaubert's Sentimental Education.There are some marvellous comic moments and the middle class Englishman is shown up for what he is. There is also the sense of of something coming to an end, no more innocence. A brief book, an easy read and well written. However, given its quality I am surprised it is so little known.

  • Paulo Santos
    2018-09-07 18:50

    This is a nice book, probably one I would have liked better had I read it some 20 years ago. All that bohemian approach to the meaninglessness of life appealed to me much more in my youth. Even so, I agree it' well written, and the final chapters are really good and redeem the more or less tepid previous part (if it had ended some 40 pages before, I would rated only a 3 star). Interesting, but I think somewhat dated.

  • Colin
    2018-09-18 13:58

    This one feels very precisely dated: the main character has a horror of all things middle class and is thrown into a weird bohemian village where everyone's hopping into bed with everyone else but nothing gets described and even the nods and winks got it rejected by respectable publishers. I think a social historian could plot its position on the graph of changing attitudes to within about 3 months. I enjoyed the first chapter, got annoyed with it and then felt a sudden warmth for the hero in the last ten pages.

  • Danny Rhodes
    2018-08-31 18:01

    Read this while holidaying in the Med which helped me to appreciate the heat and languid lifestyle Naylor experiences. Some impressive observations, the most memorable being '...the clumsy capitalist world that exalts money-making and poisons leisure, that supresses talent, starves its artists...and encourages only the vulgarity of competition'. All the more poignant a novel for the postcript which preceeds its telling...

  • Karyn
    2018-08-25 15:04

    Edgar Naylor is holidaying alone in the south of France, and hops off the bus in the town of Trou-sur-Mer. It had been an artist's colony in the 1920s, a magnet for expatriate Americans, and Naylor conceives the idea of writing about it, thinking of it as an archeological excavation, Cnossus-sur-Mer. He has literary ambitions, but weak ones. Read more

  • Catrien Deys
    2018-09-21 13:05

    The bad (re)print made this less of a joy than the content is worth. This is still a very contemporary novel and a really good read. s it really about a lost era?

  • Fiona MacDonald
    2018-08-23 17:02

    Increasingly unenjoyable excuse for literature. I made it to the end without much pleasure.