Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Travels with My Aunt, by Graham Greene

Book 55

Last year, Writers' Theatre did a play based on Travels with My Aunt.  It was awesome, so I kept an eye out for the book.

Also awesome.  The premise is a retired bank manager - dullest man ever - meets his aunt for the first time and she pulls him into her crazy, crazy world.  It is one of those stories where the straight man is dragged into some goofy action and only realizes later that he had a really good time.

The play does a good job of keeping the action lively, but what the novel brings out is how quickly our hero, Henry, realizes that he hasn't really lived.  It comes out subtly, a line or two at a time.  One example is when Aunt Augusta has gone abroad without him and he says:

"Perhaps it was to prove the reality of my existence that I began a letter to Miss Keane."

The lady that he has tiptoed around for years.

Sometimes the plot gets a bit contrived, but it is a whole lot of fun.  I want to be Aunt Augusta when I grow up.

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