An Academic uestion PDF/EPUB ✓ An Academic eBook

An Academic uestion PDF/EPUB ✓ An Academic eBook

An Academic uestion ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☆ An Academic uestion Author Barbara Pym – Yearning for some excitement and looking after her husband's best interest of course Caroline Grimstone steals her dying friend's memoirs setting in motion a series of academic and amorous rivalries t Yearning for some excitement and looking after her husband's best interest of course Caroline Grimstone steals her dying friend's memoirs setting in motion a series of academic and amorous rivalries that throw a placid college community into a hilariously muddled uproar.

  • Paperback
  • 182 pages
  • An Academic uestion
  • Barbara Pym
  • English
  • 10 June 2016
  • 9780452259966

About the Author: Barbara Pym

After studying English at St Hilda's College Oxford Barbara Pym served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II From to she published novels but her th was declined by the publisher due to a change in the reading public's tastesThe turning point for Pym came with a famous article in the Times Literary Supplement in which two prominent names Lord David Cecil a.

10 thoughts on “An Academic uestion

  1. Fiona MacDonald Fiona MacDonald says:

    Finished in one sitting Another wonderful trip into Barbara Pym's cosy i think she says the word cosy about 20 times This time we follow Caro and her husband Alan a junior lecturer at the local University who is desperate to sort out a disagreement with his soon to retire professor regarding some source material that is kept in a box in an old people's home Caro is dragged into this mess haphazardly as she volunteers to go to read to the old folks at the home whilst also discovering her husband is having an affair with a younger woman and confiding in her a sexual friend Coco Pym is just a wonderful writer she is so bright witty and perceptive and this is my third book of hers that I've picked up and chuckled all the way through

  2. Wealhtheow Wealhtheow says:

    This was edited together from two of her drafts and Pym apparently never considered it ready for publication It should have stayed buried as it is the worst Pym I have ever read What sets Pym like Austen apart from her contemporaries is not just the razor sharp social commentary and witty phrasing but also the underlying sympathy Even when she has torn a hole through hypocrisies there is still an understanding of how those betrayals came about This story has found many clever ways to cut deeply into the consciousnesses of academics but instead of empathy there is only cruelty There is not a single sympathetic character in the whole novel and it put me in a bad mood

  3. Thomas Thomas says:

    For me every Barbara Pym book starts with 5 stars This is not my favorite Pym but still delightful

  4. Tania Tania says:

    Whisky drinking academics rather than sherry with the vicar but otherwise typical Barbara Pym

  5. Ali Ali says:

    Written mainly in the early 1970’s An Academic uestion was put together posthumously by Barbara Pym’s biographer and friend Hazel Holt Maybe because of the way it was essentially compiled by someone else – from Barbara Pym’s drafts and notes the novel has a very different feel to it The novel has a light bright freshness to it and I actually enjoyed it a lot – but it is possibly the least Pymish of her novels Certainly this novel is rooted in academia than the Anglican Church where so many others books are rooted set among the various inhabitants of a small unnamed University town although I felt it must be Bath“Just as our green Triumph Herald was no longer uite big enough so the position of lecturer did not give him all the scope he needed He knew that he was looked on as able and promising but he was like a card in a game of patience his moves blocked by cards of higher suit The one most in his way was Crispin Maynard and although Alan could not of course hope to get his chair when he retired he felt that once Crispin had gone his own upward path to progress would be easier My mother much addicted to patience Alan’s mother never had time would so often wail in a despairing tone ‘But I can’t get the two – there’s a Black king in the way” which exactly expressed Alan’s feelings”Caro Grimstone a sometimes bored faculty wife married to the dull slightly ambitious Alan becomes an unwitting accomplice in her husband’s machinations when she volunteers to read to an elderly man in a care home The Reverend Stillingfleet has a manuscript – well known about in academic circles – hidden in a box in his room at the nursing home he has so far not allowed anyone to see it As the Stillingfleet papers concern the very subject that ethno historian Alan Grimstone is interested – he takes the opportunity to accompany Caro on one of her visits so he can help himself to the manuscript Alan intends to use Stillingfleet‘s work in a paper he himself is writing Alan is tremendously excited about the paper and what it might mean for him Caro is instantly a little uneasy about her complicity in Alan’s theft – and later takes a part time library job in order to secrete the manuscript away with other Stillingfleet papers The data that Alan has access to gives him a huge advantage over his academic rivals and in the run up to his paper’s publication Alan finds he has to defend his position as his rivals start to suspect the origin of his information “Dolly had remained single though she had always given me to understand that her life had not been without love But now in her sixties she had grown away from human beings and only kept in touch with her former lovers for practical and material advantages; she was moved by the sight of a hedgehog’s little leg raised to scratch itself than by any memory of a past love These same hedgehogs were one of the reasons Dolly never went away The habit of staying at home had its origin she told me in a uarrel with a neighbour who had refused to put food out for the hedgehogs during Dolly’s absence”An Academic uestion is set in a modern world than many of her earlier novels The world in which these characters exist feels real and although definitely less Pymish there are still examples of Pym’s wit the absurdities of life which Barbara Pym always highlights so beautifully The meshing of the modern world and the Pymish world is slightly uneasy to some Pym fans perhaps there is an extra marital affaire; talk of abortion alongside the petty jealousies of academics an elderly woman who keeps hedgehogs and the endless uestion of what to wear to dinner parties I always love Pym’s characters – and in An Academic uestion there several characters of a Pymish bent to enjoy – including the wonderful Sister Dew – who we first meet in An Unsuitable Attachment and Dolly – the keeper of hedgehogs and Caro’s friend Coco and his mother kitty Dolly’s sister constantly reminiscing about their days on “the island” – in the Caribbean from where they originally come An Academic uestion is an enjoyable novel the difference in tone – it feels lighter as well as modern – surely makes it interesting enough to Pym fans – however it is an enjoyable novel too I really liked the gentle ending of this novel the feeling of things carrying on –in a seasonal kind of way – not unlike an academic year I suppose

  6. Jay Moran Jay Moran says:

    I have heard nothing but adoration and praise for Barbara Pym and every time I came across one of the novels I would pick them up without any real hesitation I want to preface this by saying that this hasn't soured my view of Pym or put me off reading any of her work I think I just chose the wrong book to start with Out of the three books I own of hers An Academic uestion seemed the most interesting to me A bored unhappy faculty wife begins reading to a blind elderly anthropologist in a nursing home and her husband uses this to steal his very secret papers research that can advance his reputation as well as dispute the work of a fellow colleague who he is in competition withI was hooked by this blurb; I was desperate to read it and so when the time came around to read a Pym novel this was the one I picked up Alarm bells started to tinkle once I read the introduction Kate Saunders which stated that Pym had written two versions of this book in first person which she abandoned mid way for being 'too cosy' and in third which seemed to lose its charm An Academic uestion was published post humously and is acknowledged as being not one of her finest worksThe novel was just very brisk to me I didn't feel engaged with any of the characters even though some showed some flair and eccentricity offering moments of charm and humour The theft of the papers happened approximately three to five chapters in and nothing was really said of it There were no real emotions in the characters about what they had done and the tension of returning the manuscript was meek with barely any pulse The comedy wasn't really there for me either and this may be because this is my first Pym readI do want to return to this book after I've read some of her other works because maybe I will appreciate it a lot then but for now I found this very underwhelming and I didn't particularly enjoy reading it

  7. Anmiryam Anmiryam says:

    A slight though pointed romp that highlights the snobbery classicism petty rivalries and sexism of British academia in the 1960s Caro is a highly intelligent well educated woman who has married an up and coming lecturer at a provincial university though who would really say that a former technical college is truly a university? Restless bored with her life her marriage and the narrow scope of opportunities available we follow Caro through a fateful six months that provide her with a different if only a bit perspective on life This was my first Barbara Pym novel though I have been aware of her work since the early '80s and it whetted my appetite to tackle her widely praised work Altogether a thought provoking and enjoyable short novel

  8. Chimene Bateman Chimene Bateman says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book due to its great character vignettes and its mocking portrayal of the pompousness of academia On the other hand the story seemed to peter out a little rather than coming to a satisfying conclusion I presume this is because the published novel as we have it is an editor's compilation of multiple drafts and notes by Pym the novel wasn't published during Pym's lifetime Still well worth the read

  9. Hannah Hannah says:

    This book was humorous and poked fun at the world of academia a little bit It felt different than Pym's other books since the main character was younger cynical and not involved with the church I liked this one and am really coming to enjoy Pym's work

  10. Lil& Lil& says:

    35 stars

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