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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Some Tame Gazelle by Barbara Pym. New York, N.Y.: Dutton, 1983 (originally published in 1950). ISBN: 0525241787

English manners comedy involving clergymen and the women who love them, or would like to love them. The New York Times apparently reviewed something by Pym, and described it as “Jane Austen recreated, but funnier.” I wouldn’t call this book Jane Austen recreated by far, but it is in a similar style, I suppose. All of the action takes place in a small English village, and the primary protagonists are a couple of middle-aged spinsters whose primary occupation seems to be socializing with the local clergy.

It’s not entirely clear why so many Englishmen as depicted here seem to wait until their fifties to decide to take wives, but be that as it may, if you can suspend your sense of disbelief long enough, there is certainly plenty of genteel humor here for those who like this sort of thing. Which apparently I do, at least occasionally, or I wouldn’t have taken it up. Of course, the fact that I found it on the library discard shelf may have had something to do with it. My take: mildly entertaining light reading.

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