After reading Snobs, which was delightful, I almost didn't read this book because of the reviews. Am I so glad that I still decided to tried it.
The book was emotionally moving - not that that recommends it - as it deftly portrays the nuanced and misunderstood history of a pivotal event. Even though it made me cry at the end, I loved this book.
What an amazing person the writer must be to understand and elucidate such subtle complexities of the past with the misunderstandings and poor outcomes they can create. It is a book that reinforces old proverbs about not judging people because you probably don't know what they've been through and about kindness trumping social backgrounds. With all of the overbearing and false didactical themes that clog and rob enjoyment of today's novels, it is refreshing to read a compelling work of fiction with honest motifs. This is a book not to be missed!
The story line made me reflect on how things have changed since college. It is a great reminder that things are not always as they seem. I would love to read other books by this author.
The observations and emotional reactions in this book were so unusually perceptive I found myself thinking about them for a long time afterwards. In very few words Julian Fellowes was able to create fully-realized personalities so clearly in my mind's eye. His insights about women were especially striking, I'm surprised that a man could be capable of seeing so much. On a basic level, this book is about meeting up with friends again after many years. Each time the narrator began privately mused about the differences between the young friend he remembered and the old friend standing in front of him, I braced myself for cruelty. But instead the assessments were considerate and thought provoking. It actually made me feel better about getting older somehow.
Audio junkie, caffiene addict, anglophile & a bit of a wino.
Glittering, Tempestuous, Sad
OH probably the main character. He was so hapless. He couldn't catch a break. Made my heart break for him a bit.
The dinner scene in Portugal - because you'd be hearing about it all book and it finally came out!
An insider's view of how the British upper class live and commune. Almost like spying - wonderful.
As with any wonderful audible book, I forget the narrator and become lost in the story.
As a devotee to everything British, I appreciated the perspective and detailed views on just about everything (food, dress, etiquette).
I'd owned this book for more than a year before I finally listened and it was one of those books you could doze off while listening to and not really mind. Much of what other reviewers have said I agree with, that it can be a bit repetitive, sometimes snobbish, but I thought he wound up the story in a very satisfying way. As the title suggests, the narrator acknowledges his own limitations while exposing those of others, which is endearing (see Salman Rushdie's Joseph Anton for just the opposite). I'd say read over all the reviews and decide if it suits you, then don't expect too much and you may enjoy it!
I would rank Past Imperfect about midway. It had an interesting story and I loved the behind the scenes look at that period in Britain, but the subject matter is an anomalie for me since my current reading focus is Fantasy books.
One of the most memorable scenes for me was when Damien Baxter passed away. The narrator had learned more of Damien's background story by then, which made his last words more poignant.
The same scene.
Villain or Victim - who is the real Damien Baxter?