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The Unbearable Bassington (English Edition) [Format Kindle]


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From AudioFile

Comus Bassington is the irresponsible and ungrateful focus of his corner of British society. Circa 1900, what can be done with him--besides ship him to the Colonies, where he can no longer embarrass his mother or break the hearts of girls who ought to marry sensibly? Saki's social chaffing is gentle, revealing kernels of sympathy for all his superficial and misguided characters. As narrator, Joyce gives the right touch of class and has, besides, a gift for sketching a complete vocal characterization in a single sentence. This period piece is slow-paced, almost a ramble at times. But its subtle delights should please lovers of British social satirists from Austen to Wodehouse. S.P. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Présentation de l'éditeur

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 245 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 88 pages
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004UJ816C
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°8.286 des titres gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 gratuits dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  12 commentaires
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A life of quiet desperation 31 octobre 2012
Par Donatien - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
How fascinating these times must have been ! I am thinking of the period stretching from 1870 to 1914. Fascinating, of course, for the 20% or so of the population who lived between well and very well. For the poor, the times are never fascinating.
Here, I am choosing 1912 and the publication of Saki's "The unbearable Bassington". At first, I thought it had been written in the 1930s. The man was ahead of his time.
You could say it's a biography, rather than a novel. The young Comus Bassington is extremely good-looking, charming and articulate. His mother adores him. The feeling is not returned because he is also selfish, insensitive and irresponsible. He destroys everything he touches and antagonises all those who would be ready to like or love him. In the end, he detroys himself. He is as condemned to fail as is Orestes in Euripides' tragedy. Like all of us, Comus is his own worst enemy.
So is his mother whose irrational attraction for "objets d'art" and beautiful furniture can never compensate for her lack of human warmth.
So is his best friend, a pale copy of Comus himself, but rather dull and down to earth.
So is the wealthy young lady they are both courting. She plumbs for the dull one. Given the choice between these two, she makes the right choice. Comus would undoubtedly have dilapidated her fortune. Disappointed by her conventional, dreary marriage, she enjoys a one-night stand with a Russian captain. We can't help feeling that he will be followed by many.
In self-exile, Comus chooses to commit suicide in a slow, masochistic fashion. He lets himself die.
The style is wonderful ; very light and a tad precious to start with, more sober towards the end. The "novel" starts with a succession of incisive, pityless portraits of the " le tout Londres", at times reminiscent of La Bruyère's Caractères. The plot - if you can call it that - underlines the quiet desperation of those who, in the eyes of "ordinary" people should have everything it takes to be happy.
The mixture of elegance and sadless is unforgettable.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good peek at Edwardian England 11 mai 2004
Par C. K. Whitsett - Publié sur Amazon.com
The Unbearable Bassington centers on Francesca Bassington, a woman obsessed with protecting her possessions, and her son Comus, a wise-cracking, irresponsible, and shallow young man who simultaneously charms and offends everyone with whom he comes in contact. Francesca has affection for her son, but wishes he could be remade as a responsible member of society, especially where such responsibility can lead to Francesca's continued well-being. Comus, however, manages both purposely and accidentally to thwart his mother's wishes, and in the end is sent into exile in Africa, where it is hoped he will make a career. Secondary characters abound, most notably Courtney Youghal, a mediocre but flashy politician with whom Comus has a shallow friendship, and who becomes Comus's rival for the hand of the wealthy Elaine de Frey. Francesca disapproves of Courtney, yet it is clear she wishes that her son were more like him. Ironically, although Comus's main shortcoming seems that he's an idler, he is no more so than his mother and her circle. It seems more to the point to say that Comus doesn't idle in the proper way.
Most of the book is a setup for the last few chapters, which deal with Comus's exile, and which are poignant in the best sense of the word. Essentially, Comus is doomed by his own nature, which will not allow him, as an adult, to fit into the society in which he was raised. I take strong issue with the idea, put forth by the previous reviewer, that Comus is Dorian Gray-like. The comparison is absurd. Comus is merely a puckish boy who doesn't fit, and so is sent away to be forgotten.
The book is a fairly complex study of human motivation, although it is somewhat undercut by Saki's need to clutter the text with political and cultural details that detract from its basic themes. Also present are Saki's ubiquitious bons mots which, while charming in his short stories, become tiresome as the book goes on. This carping aside, it is an insightful look at middle-class England in the waning days of the empire, just prior to the outbreak of World War I.
I think it's also something for us to read today, when perhaps our children aren't "achieving" as we think they should. That's why I reread it, and I'm glad I did.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Little-known masterpiece 31 mars 2000
Par Joseph W. Smith III - Publié sur Amazon.com
Yes, Saki was one of the world's great short-story writers. Too bad so few know of this obscure full-length novel that displays every bit as much brilliance as the tales -- if not more. Concerns Comus Bassington, a worthless, Dorian Gray-like libertine living around the turn of the century, and the gradual dissolution of his life. Biting satire of materialism, written with vigor and beauty; a short of Bernard Shaw by way of Oscar Wilde (incidentally, the novel contains a mockery of Shaw, in the character of a playwright named Sherard Blaw!). Ardent readers are urged to find this gem and enjoy every minute of it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Saki's only novel. A poignant portrait of squandered promise. 30 janvier 2013
Par deus_ex_libris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Saki was one of A. A. Milne's favourites, and this speaks volumes for his quality & is enough reason alone for you to pick him up. There's a rather lovely Edwardian sensibility to his work although with the benefit of history, the clouds of the Great War loom on the horizon of several of the short stories. Well worth keeping on your Kindle to repeatedly dip into.The "Folio Society" editions of his work are very well made, often available 2nd-hand via Amazon & are fine additions to any library.
(NB This review is appended to other public domain Saki works)
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Slow story but great dialogue 29 octobre 2012
Par Kelly Crigger - Publié sur Amazon.com
I realize this was first written in the early 20th Century and the style is completely different, but in today's "get-to-the-point" instant gratification world this book takes a long time to develop. Each chapter starts with lengthy scene-setting prose or character descriptions that are sometimes irrelevant to the story. The meat of the book comes in bits and pieces and doesn't flow forward very well. On the flip side, this is an incredible look into 19th Century England that does an incredible job of taking you back to the days when chivalry and chauvinism ruled and the love interest of one man could turn an entire town on its head. The dialogue is extraordinary and the one-liners are insightful and poignant. My favorite line had to be "Few people talk as brilliantly to impress a friend as they do to depress an enemy." Look for me to steal that one in my own book!
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