Henry Pulling met his aunt Augusta the first time in more than half a century at his mother's funeral. His
mother was approaching eighty-six when she died, and his aunt was some eleven or twelve years younger. He had retired from the bank two years before with an adequate pension and a silver handshake.
He had very few friends, although before his retirement he boasted a great many acquaintances.
Henry had never married, he had always lived quietly, and, apart from his interest in dahlias, he has no hobby. For those reasons he found myself agreeably excited by his mother's funeral.
In that occasion he began to understand why his parents had seen so little of Aunt Augusta. She had a temperament his
mother would not have liked. His mother was far from being a puritan, but she wanted everything to bed on or said at a suitable time.
His father had been dead for more than forty years. He was a building contractor of a lethargic disposition who used to take afternoon naps in all sorts of curious
places. This irritated his mother, who was an energetic woman.
He had always thought of them as reasonably
The last time his aunt Augusta saw Henry was at his baptism. She was not asked but she came. She thought that it depended n the fact she knew too much about both of them.
His aunt, Henry was to discover, had never been conditioned by anything at all, and she had no intention of explaining more than she had already done.
Augusta refused to marry his father, who was anxious to do the right thing. So her sister covered up for her by marrying him, as his father was not very strong-willed.
His aunt had obviously spent many years abroad and this had affected her character as well as her morality.
At first she travelled for her living and in addition to this, she had always been interested in human nature, especially the more imaginative sides of it.
She had a world of her own to which ay first, Henry thought he would have never been admitted.
So he told himself, if he had stayed with his dahlias and the ashes of his mother who
was not—if his aunt were to be believed— he would have been in is his real world.
But then, Henry felt a real affection for his aunt and he became very curious about her history.
So he decided to follow Augusta in her journey to Brighton, which was the first real journey he undertook in his aunt's company.
From that moment, his mode of life entirely changed and the pleasure of finding again his house and garden began to fade.
His eccentric aunt will take him around the world in an unstoppable whirlwind of adventures.
leggero, frizzante, simpatico, a tratti un pochino prevedibile, ma con un ottimo finale; insomma, una sorpresa!
this book has some real laugh out loud moments. while the characters seem to be almost of another England, I can associate the 2 main characters (Pullen and his aunt) with people from my own family. Yes the language, situations and actions seem very very dated, but then again here Greene wasnt writing about living in hip, swinging 60's London, but instead of characters in their middle/later years in times and places that were not really relevant to them. Instead we follow an elderly woman (with an apparent lively love life) and her nephew around the globe on her hunt for loves lost but never forgotten. Out of the story comes a series of vignettes relating to her history, his childhood, and opportunities for their lives going forward. The end strikes me as slightly bizarre (its one of the final senteneces not the plot that catches me off guard - I'd almost expected the long lost love to come swooping in to find him), but overall very enjoyable and a side of Greene I didnt know existed....Continua
Travels With My Aunt was my first visit to Greeneland, aged about 14, and in all honesty, we didn’t click. Aside from a desultory adolescent canter through Brighton Rock, I turned to other things, and didn’t try Greene again until my 40s.
And (of course), they’re brilliant. Our Man In Havana, The End Of The Affair, The Heart Of The Matter – sublime grown-up books. The Confidential Agent, England Made Me – mad 30s tales. I’ll read a Greene a year, so that there’s still plenty to look forward to. Now, however, it’s time to have another go at Travels With My Aunt, in which septuagenarian Aunt Augusta takes her retired bank manager nephew on a wild ride around the world’s hotspots....Continua
It seems to me that the old professional brothel system was far healthier than those exaggerated amateur distractions. But then an amateur always goes too far. An amateur is never in proper control of his art.