Posted by George Simmers

My Fellow Devils (1951) by L.P. Hartley

Book review by George S: At twenty-eight years old, Margaret Pennyfather is a model upright citizen. Unmarried, she looks after her father, does much local charitable and committee work, and is the youngest person on the local bench of magistrates. In this role she has come across crime and wickedness, but sees it as a … Continue reading

Showboat (1926) by Edna Ferber

Book review by George S: Sorry, but this won’t be an entirely objective review, because I didn’t so much read this book as wallow in it. Over the years I have seen three good stage productions of the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein Showboat, as well as the 1936 and 1951 films. Reading the novel (the first … Continue reading

Pal Joey (1940) by John O’Hara

Book Review by George S: Pal Joey began in the late 1930s as a series of short pieces in the New Yorker. Each of them was a letter from ‘your Pal Joey’ to a former associate, now a successful band-leader in New York. Joey is a singer (‘the poor man’s Crosby’ he calls himself at … Continue reading

The White Company (1892) by Arthur Conan Doyle

Book review by George Simmers: In 1891, at the same time that the first Sherlock Holmes short stories were appearing each month in the Strand Magazine, Doyle’s The White Company was being serialised in the Cornhill Magazine, a rather more staid and traditional publication. Sherlock Holmes made Doyle famous and made him money, but The … Continue reading

Captain Bulldog Drummond (1946) by Gerard Fairlie

Book Review by George Simmers: In 1937 Herman Cyril McNeile who, as ‘Sapper’ had written the Bulldog Drummond thrillers, died. His friend Gerard Fairlie, who had collaborated with him on the novelisation of a Drummond film script (The series of Drummond movies were very popular in the 1930s) took over the profitable franchise. Captain Bulldog … Continue reading

Bulldog Drummond (1920) by ‘Sapper’

Book Review by Jane Varley: This is the novel in which Hugh Drummond D.S.O., M.C. demobbed British officer bored with peace – and the reader – first encounter the international collection of crooks who plan to stage a coup in Great Britain and other capitalist countries and install a Bolshevist regime in order to gain … Continue reading

The Shuttle (1907) by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Book review by George Simmers: When my daughter was young I used to read to her regularly, and when she was ten or eleven we both greatly enjoyed the children’s books of Frances Hodgson Burnet. The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Editha’s Burglar. Wonderful stories. Frances Hodgson Burnet. was born in Manchester, … Continue reading

The Heat of the Day (1948) by Elizabeth Bowen

Book Review by George Simmers: The Heat of the Day is a novel set in 1942. The central character is Stella, whose lover, Robert had been wounded at Dunkirk. He now seems to be working in Whitehall. One day a mysterious man called Harrison comes to Stella’s flat and tells her that Robert is passing … Continue reading