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Travels with My Aunt (1969)

de Graham Greene

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3,264572,947 (3.86)204
Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his old aunt for the first time in over 50 years. She persuades him to travel with her. Through his aunt, a veteran of Europe's hotel bedrooms, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.
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Inglês (54)  Hebraico (1)  Holandês (1)  Todos os idiomas (56)
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Graham Greene divided his works into two categories -- serious fiction, and entertainments. This is definitely one of the latter. It tells the story of Henry Pulling, a very dull retired bank manager, who is pulled out of his suburban torpor into the orbit of his Aunt Augusta. His aunt is neither dull nor suburban. She is a lady with many men and a good deal of chicanery in her past, and, indeed, in her current activities. Together, this oddly matched pair set off on a series of trips which range further and further from England and English respectability, I didn't fall in love with this book the way I did with another of Greene's entertainments -- "Our Man in Havana". The structure is a little imbalanced, and the characters aren't always easy to like. But Greene's prose makes reading fun, and the book is indeed entertaining. ( )
  annbury | Nov 7, 2020 |
Gentle laughs on nearly every page.
Published in 1969 so that the British manners, of which fun is poked, are dated, but still recognisable as those of my parents. ( )
  CarltonC | Apr 12, 2020 |
Henry Pulling is just a little bit dull. He has taken early retirement from the bank, where he was manager, he has never married, and leads a quiet and uninteresting life pottering in the garden and tending his dahlias. At his mother’s funeral he meets her sister, Augusta, again for the first time in 50 years, and she tells him that the lady he considered to be his mother was actually not. He travels back to her home and meets Wordsworth, a man from Sierra Leone and who is his Aunt’s confident and lover, after several drink he returns home. Soon after the police come round asking to see what is in the urn, he explains it is his mothers ashes, but they take it from him for sampling.

His aunt persuades him to join her on a trip to Brighton, as she feels that he needs to travel more, something that a psychic predicts will happen as well. Turns out that the urn with his mothers ashes had drugs added, probably by Wordsworth, who has now disappeared. Henry decides to join his aunt on a trip to Paris, and then onto Istanbul on the Orient Express. The journey is relatively uneventful, but Henry does meet a young lady called Tolley who he develops a friendship with. Very soon after they arrive in Istanbul, they are both approached by the police and questioned. Henery is starting to learn that he Aunt is not always the conventional type, and seems to have had many dodgy dealings and associations. They are soon deported back to the UK.

Back in the UK, Henry returns to his dahlias, but it now doesn’t have the same appeal. The police are asking more question about his aunt too, and one of her former associates, but she has vanished of the face of the earth. Until one day he receives a letter asking him to come to South America, so he sets off to join her once again.

It was quite an enjoyable read. Green has managed to blend a mystery story with travel, a dash of thriller with a healthy dollop of classic British farce. The characters are not particularly deep, but you do see Henry develop from the staid, and serious bank manager to a free spirited man. It was very readable too; Green has a way of pacing the story so you don’t get bored. It was a touch predictable, but entertaining nonetheless.
( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
I enjoyed this one; it didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting. It’s my first Graham Greene, so I didn’t really know much about his style, but I should probably have guessed that the characters would be more complex than they appear on the surface.

“I was sunk deep in my middle age..... ‘I have been happy,’ I said, ‘but I have been so bored for so long.’”

Lost a point for the ending, though. Too Lolita-ish. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
I'd be pretty easy, not to mention tempting, to classify "Travels With My Aunt" as a novel about the comic collision of British middle-class conformity (Henry Pulling) and British eccentricity (Aunt Augusta). It's also one of those novels drawn from that period in late sixties or early seventies in which people who'd been heretofore immersed in utterly unadventurous British culture were forced to reckon with new, strange cultural youth movements (Tooley). The passage of time seems to weigh heavily on Greene in this one: not only is much of the book about Henry Pulling's evolving relationship with his long-dead father, but the Europe he seems around him also seems to be transforming in unpredictable ways. The Orient Express is a ghost of its past self, while the Europe he sees from his train window is full of both bucolic scenes and new radio towers and apartment blocks. Currency restrictions still seem to be in place, though.

You could call it one of Greene's "entertainments," except that a fair amount of evil lurks around the novel's edges. It's not just that Aunt Augusta has a colorfully shady past, it's that her whims might have taken her into the orbit of some historically unpleasant people. Meanwhile Henry gets involved in businesses he wouldn't have touched as a bank manager in a comfortable London neighborhood, and his former potential paramour slowly gets used to a new way of looking at racial relations after she moves to South Africa. There's a part of me that thinks that "Travels With My Aunt" has something to say about how easy it is to slide into moral hazard when one escapes the cultural confines of a comfortable, well-regulated British existence. By the novel's end, Aunt Augusta is nicely settled and Henry has settled into a sort of peaceful retirement that he never expected. This book may not be as light as it seems, but I think it represents a pleasant blend of Greene's lighter and heavier themes. ( )
2 vote TheAmpersand | Sep 7, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 56 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This marvelous line firmly establishes the mood of the book, which is unmistakably the work of the author whom the French call "Grim Grin."......
The book unmistakably turns its back on the Orphic preoccupations with the hereafter that characterized Greene's Catholic novels, and wholeheartedly embraces a Bacchic emphasis on the here and now. It is a remarkable change of emphasis to have made, and one which seems to deny the very works on which the novelist's reputation is conventionally supposed to rest. Greene makes the point with great wit, but it is clearly intended no less seriously for not being made with solemnity.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarNY Times, Richard Boston (Jul 12, 1970)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (27 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Graham Greeneautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Felsenreich, MariaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Polak, Hans W.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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I met my Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than half a century at my mother's funeral.
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Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his old aunt for the first time in over 50 years. She persuades him to travel with her. Through his aunt, a veteran of Europe's hotel bedrooms, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.

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