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review 2016-04-08 15:41
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary
The Horse's Mouth - Joyce Cary


Description: The Horse's Mouth, the third and most celebrated volume of Joyce Cary's First Trilogy, is perhaps the finest novel ever written about an artist. Its painter hero, the charming and larcenous Gulley Jimson, has an insatiable genius for creation and a no less remarkable appetite for destruction. Is he a great artist? a has-been? or an exhausted, drunken ne'er-do-well? He is without doubt a visionary, and as he criss-crosses London in search of money and inspiration the world as seen though his eyes appears with a newly outrageous and terrible beauty.

Opening:I was walking by the Thames.

After thumping down to earth with the second in the triptych, namely To Be A Pilgrim, I was put off Cary for a long while. Now I'm back and relishing the thought that this, The Horse's Mouth, is the best of them all. Gully Jimson's father was tentatively based on abstract artist Gerald Wilde. There is a Shepperton Studio film of this book starring Alec Guinness, unfortunately the full film is not available on youtube.

If you want to get that scholarship and go to Oxford and get into the Civil Service and be a great man and have two thousand pounds a year and a nice clean wife with hot and cold and a kid with real eyes that open and close and a garage for two cars and a savings book, you'll have to work your dinner time.

Well, I thought, here's another of the Jill's in the box. But no woman really gets old inside until she's dead or takes to bridge. Scratch the grandmother and you find the grandbaby giggling behind the nursery door at nothing at all. Nothing a man would understand.

4* Herself Surprised
2* To Be A Pilgrim
4* The Horse's Mouth

4* Mister Johnson
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review 2015-03-09 12:56
To Be a Pilgrim (The First Trilogy #2) by Joyce Cary, Brad Leithauser (Introduction)
To Be a Pilgrim - Joyce Cary,Brad Leithauser


Dedication: To my wife

Description: People lie to themselves and lie to each other, and the lies they tell become their lives. Tom Wilcher, the hero of the second volume of Joyce Cary's First Trilogy, has been at various times a political activist, a closefisted lawyer, a self-sacrificing brother, and a dirty old man. But as he faces death his unfulfilled spiritual yearnings are uppermost in his mind.

Opening: Last month I suffered a great misfortune in the loss of my housekeeper, Mrs Jimson. She was sent to prison for pawning some old trinkets which I had long forgotten.

Each part of the Triptych is complete in itself. This illustration is by Richard Adams and I love it!

The 'stars' of the triptych are Sara Monday, Tom Wilcher and Gulley Jimson and (from the back cover):

'The overlapping stories form a riotous and exhuberent trilogy, as well as a remarkable fictional experiment.'

To Be a Pilgrim mainly centres round an Victorian evangelical group of Benjamites, the leader being a certain Puggy Brown who has caught Tommy's willing sister Lucy and married her. If you remember in the Bible, the Benjamites were given leave to pluck women from their surrounding so that this tribe would not become extinct. So Lucy has to share her her man:

Adultery, sport in France. In England shame
Unless designed to glorify God's name.

These are Tommy's memories and those times have a bearing on his present time, which is just before WWII.

Wilcher shared so many traits with Scobie from Greene's The Heart of the Matter, which was my audio read at the same time I was reading this paperback. I ended up detesting Scobie and Wilcher was not likeable, we had already seen that from Sara's POV in the first book.

4* Herself Surprised
2.5* To Be A Pilgrim
TR The Horse's Mouth

4* Mister Johnson
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review 2013-09-20 00:00
Review: Home and Exile by Chinua Achebe
Home and Exile - Chinua Achebe

The three essays contained in this all too slim book are actually lectures that Achebe gave at Harvard University in 1998. The essays are interlinked and form a sustained argument from start to end. The theme of the argument is the book's title Home and Exile and this collection, which contains glimpses of his childhood, motivations on becoming a writer, and of his home and people, is considered his first autobiographical work. The lectures, in order of presentation, are ‘My Home Under Imperial Fire’, ‘The Empire Fights Back’ and ‘Today, the Balance of Stories’. Due to the nature of this collection, it would not make much sense to talk about each section separately.

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review 2012-09-03 00:00
Mister Johnson - Joyce Cary Film time: http://youtu.be/vADRHPoGjH4Screenplay by William Boyd.Why are you late?The clock is fast!The clock has stopped, Johnson.But it was fast when it stopped, sir.Not such a good quality on YouTube but fine enough for me.:O)===========================The young women of Fada, in Nigeria, are well known for beauty.That first sentence will throw you right off; time has shifted, along with the singing sands of the sahara, country borders, colonialism, chauvinism and wealth. Fada is in Chad, in that northern section known as Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti.
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review 2010-09-09 00:00
Herself Surprised - Joyce Cary,Brad Leithauser The judge, when he sent me to prison, said that I had behaved like a woman without any moral sense.Brilliant - the craic. 4.5*
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