May 11th, 2011


Some Reading

Miss Hargreaves, Frank Baker. Two silly young men invent a character and then find that they have summoned her up from who knows where and she enters their lives, complete in every detail they have imagined. This is a very odd book which can’t decide whether it’s a horror story or a comedy. Parts of it, especially the conversations between Henry and Norman, are amusing in a Jerome K Jerome-ish way and Norman’s father is a really funny character. I certainly wouldn’t call it ‘hilarious’ as one reviewer has done, mainly because it tries and fails to make supernatural happenings funny (Noel Coward succeeded in Blithe Spirit). At one point ‘Miss Hargreaves’ says to Norman, ‘where would I be without the life you put into me’ and I shuddered. The oddest thing about the book is that the cathedral, the close and the choir all play a very important part in Norman’s life yet he seems to have no genuine Christian belief. How could he, given the way he behaves?
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