Saturday, March 29, 2014

Good-Bye, Mr. Chips

Book Review

I couldn't resist picking this up in the library. The only logic I have to offer for this action is simply having heard of it.

That's right.

I've heard of it.

I haven't even heard if it is especially good or not. Just heard of it.

And heard that is has been around a long time. Maybe there is a reason for that.

Only one way to find out.

Good-Bye, Mr. Chips

This is certainly considered a classic. Apparently this was very well received, right from the beginning. 

This is a concise little novel about a teacher at an English boys' school. We get just the briefest sketch of this man, throughout his adult life, yet it is rich in its portrayal. A simple fellow, this man leads a simple life, yet reaps deep, personal rewards. He finds a home and a family in this school and there he becomes the school. The icon. The essence. The embodiment.

And he is satisfied.

Yes, this book is old. Yes, it was written in another time. Yes, it was written in an old style. And it is written with British terms, unfamiliar terms. I still don't know what call-over is. 

I even learned new word, doyen

doyen - noun - the most respected or prominent person in a particular field.

It is always good to learn new words. But I did find a bit frustrating to not understand my own native language. Terms I have not been exposed to or know.

This is a quick read and is, most interestingly, a complete novel, despite its brevity. That is an achievement. How does one craft such a complete story with so few words? That takes talent. 

If you understand British school terminology, you may find this easier to read. In any case, it is quick and complete. Nicely, enjoyably brief.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome your thoughtful comments.