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When the fire starts, it gets out of hand quickly and soon envelopes the other shops in the street. He finally flees the store to go and rescue an old woman who lives upstairs in the shop across the street, and then watches the other buildings go up in flames. His adventures along the way take up most of the rest of the book. The whole point of the novel was to show the reader the effects of the caste system in England at the time and the smothering effect it had on people.
There was hope — though not necessarily the best way out as proposed in this novel. This is not great literature, but it is a good read. Adrian Praetzellis did a fine job narrating but unfortunately, his voice and pacing weren't for me.
I found it hard to focus on especially in the car and often ended up having to reread portions in the Kindle edition to find out what happened. Jan 10, Speranza rated it did not like it Shelves: Polly is a good character on paper, but that is where he remains; he never really jumps out of the pages and comes to life, not even after faking his own death. Guess this means he never had to fake anything in the end. Aug 21, Mel rated it it was amazing Shelves: When I was very young I used to think that working in a shop would be the best job you could have.
I think it was the idea of being surrounded by all the things that normally you wouldn't be able to buy, being able to go into those areas marked "private" and to be a step away from being part of the general public. I remember when I grandmother started working at a Christian book shop and I was so jealous.
I remember it was so exciting going into the shop when it was closed and sitting and lookin When I was very young I used to think that working in a shop would be the best job you could have.
I remember it was so exciting going into the shop when it was closed and sitting and looking at all the erasers and pens she had. When I started working I had several jobs working in shops and soon un-romanticized the idea for me. The history of Mr. Polly again holds with the idea that being a shopkeeper is not all that it's cracked up to be. While being one of the most respected of HG Wellls' novels I found it a little disappointing at first.
I found it hard to get into the colloquial spellings, mispronunciations and ridiculous words made up by the main character. I did enjoy reading about his younger years, but once he grew up and his father died, and was trying to get married I felt a bit at a loss. Reading books about unlikeable characters with no sympathies and interesting lives is not what I've come to expect from Mr.
However just as I was about to despair Mr. Polly went on a book buying spree and suddenly I found my sympathies returning.
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Then the book got very good as he planned to commit suicide and burn down his shop as his means of escape. Then the book became a very interesting look at how one can step back from society and just do what you want rather than what you have too. In the end I found the message enjoyable and uplifting. It was great to see a character pull themselves up and discover inner strength.
The book was very good at pointing out the stereotypes and misconceptions about them. Though not some of my favorite writing from HG Wells, I think I much prefer his style when he writes in the first person. In the end I found I enjoyed it quite a bit. Dec 05, Kusaimamekirai rated it really liked it Shelves: Not because of any action in the narrative, there is precious little of that until the last 50 or so pages, but more how my feelings about Mr. Polly shifted throughout the story. We first meet him as he finishes an unappetising meal from what we can gather is a quite unappealing wife.
Polly goes outside and just starts moaning to himself about how his life has come to this sorry state of affairs. As Polly himself readily admits, life has always been something that just happens to him. Anything of note has just snuck up on him by chance and by sheer force of not wanting to exert any energy one way or the other, just accepts it.
As someone with a tendency to want to lay about just reading all day like Polly does, I could sympathise but still, he takes it to a whole new level of apathy. He makes some shockingly bad choices I suppose any choice was a step up for him that turn out to somehow be not so bad after all, depending on your perspective. In the end I almost came to respect and like this character. Overall, I loved Wells writing here. Polly and the people around him speak in a slang that is difficult to follow at times but you eventually get used to, and even like.
Polly in particular loves to make up his own nonsense words, for lack of anything else to do with his time, and peppers his conversations with them. Which to be fair is actual English apparently, but still The book has its flaws but looking at it in rectrospectatiousness, it was definitely a lot of fun. May 13, Manda rated it it was amazing. This book was written years ago. Why hadn't I heard of this book before I randomly picked it off the library shelf? Why is it not on all kinds of lists? The style is deceptively simple but the ideas expressed are universal.
Polly is not unique to any one era, he isn't terribly fashionable. That's why he has not dated. He is just as relevent now as he was years ago.
May 31, Peter rated it liked it. Mr Polly is everyman; at least in his searching for direction or meaning in life he is. He is any middle aged, middle class, middle England-er who has ticked all the right boxes as far as society is concerned and yet still gotten nowhere; financially invested, unhappily married and physically over the hill. But, he is also a thinker, a dreamer and a chaser after unrealised ideals.
Inadequate, in that he is unable to fully express himself yet not inarticulate, rudderless yet not without aims and Mr Polly is everyman; at least in his searching for direction or meaning in life he is. Inadequate, in that he is unable to fully express himself yet not inarticulate, rudderless yet not without aims and clueless but not uneducated. This book covers the same territory as George Orwell's 'Coming up for Air', a novel roughly contemporary with it. In this tale when our hero comes to his senses and finds himself in a middle aged rut, he plans his death, wriggles free from the expectancies of life's strangle hold and finds contentment in non conformity.
Maybe he is the first anti-hero of Modern English literature? Half way through the book Mr Wells, who makes no attempt to remain invisible but rather voices opinions intermittently throughout the narrative, tells of a certain educated somebody of high standing, in Highbury, wearing a golden pince-nez. The opinions of this certain person regarding the state of the nation and Britain's shortcomings as guardian and educator of her citizens are twice quoted, including the following: One must conclude that Mr Polly, a character who personifies the failings of the nation according to the mystery commentator, is a vehicle for Mr Wells' own ideas on the matter and as such this novel would seem to be a retort to the opinions voiced as well as a meditation on the meaning of life for such a person.
Mr Wells was a social commentator and wrote prolifically as a vehicle for his pseudo prophetic imaginings and fears for the future of British society, re: Why should this book be any different? So what then,is Mr Wells trying to tell us? Whilst this book touches on seemingly universal themes i. It carries a definite sense of time and place and should be interpreted then, at least to some degree, within it's historical context. Maybe the word universal is ill chosen, but what I'm trying to say is that, despite it's Englishness, this novel's subject might well resonate within all North Atlantic or 'Western' cultures.
Maybe the questions here answered are posed by an exclusively modern, western phenomenon. In the aforementioned 'Coming Up for Air', Orwell's rhetorical answer to a mid life crisis was a dismissal; aspirations are for the young, chasing the past is an illusion.
His hero admitted defeat, grew up and returned, humbled and feeling foolish to his old life; as someone returning to a well fitting but worn out suit. Well's answer cuts the other way and champions idealism and an ordinary brand of heroism. His hero achieves his ideals, if only in an unexpected manner.
Maybe it simply reminds us that there is always hope, that contentment is to be found in the most unlikeliest places and a hero isn't always that heroic, or rather that heroism is a much misrepresented quality lying latent in many everyday people. I think I prefer the latter but he may just be reflecting that life begins at forty! Sep 03, Jonathan rated it really liked it Shelves: The History of Mr Polly , a novel by H. Wells, is a book that I've been meaning to read since I was at school and so, as I'm trying to read books that I've been meaning to read for ages and books that I physically own, I felt that it was high time I got round to reading it.
I knew that it was about a man that becomes so tired with life that he decides to set fire to his shop and kill himself. But I'd thought that that happened near the beginning of the book, instead it appears quite late i The History of Mr Polly , a novel by H. But I'd thought that that happened near the beginning of the book, instead it appears quite late in the novel. Mr Polly is a brilliantly humorous character by Wells, a character who blunders through life, with no real aim or ambition. He has a limited education, but he enjoys reading even if he feels he doesn't grasp everything but he enjoys playing with words and ends up making up words of his own, much to the confusion of others.
There are some great comic moments, my favourite is probably where he accidently marries the wrong girl but is too timid to extricate himself from the mistake. Standing at the altar he ponders matters: At the back of his mind he was speculating whether flight at this eleventh hour would be criminal or merely reprehensible bad taste.
A murmur from the nudgers announced the arrival of the bridal party. Needless to say that his marriage is not a happy one.
The History Of Mr Polly
He is unsatisfied with his little haberdashery shop and ends up making enemies of all his neighbours. This is when he decides to burn down his shop with himself inside, but even this he bungles and instead becomes a bit of a local hero. I won't say much about the end but I was impressed with how the story developed from this point, Wells really surprised me with how he continued this story. Near the end of the book Mr Polly becomes quite reflective and tries to explain his life to another character: And it doesn't happen.
And it doesn't matter. One starts with ideas that things are good and things are bad—and it hasn't much relation to what is good and what is bad. I've always been the skeptaceous sort, and it's always seemed rot to me to pretend we know good from evil. It's just what I've never done. No Adam's apple stuck in my throat, ma'am.
I don't own to it. Apr 06, Cynthia rated it liked it Shelves: I've never liked Wells. This is the first of his books I've been able to force myself to finish. My friends, no doubt smarter and more learned than me, told me the book contained social commentary, that Wells was a socialist with an agenda of showing the superiority of that type of system.
Polly seems to wander around with no aim, his past, with a dead mother and an emotionally absent father provides no support and he stumbles into his future with no c I've never liked Wells. Polly seems to wander around with no aim, his past, with a dead mother and an emotionally absent father provides no support and he stumbles into his future with no clear goal in mind. He puts one foot in front of the other. He's also cantankerous, not easy in his relations with others.
This causes him no end of troubles but that provides much of the the humor. Through a small inheritance he's able to set up shop and marry but he puts no effort into either shop or wife. He prefers to read all day in his lonely shop and pick fights with first one neighbor and then the next until he's alienated all of them. Is this where socialism comes in?
Then he finally goes too far and creates a catastrophe but for once makes it work for himself. He leaves shop and wife and finds, eventually, a place he feels he belongs, where he can relax and watch sunsets, feel content. But the best part of the book and what made it worthwhile for was the slapstick comedy. Jun 28, Leslie rated it really liked it Shelves: Not uncommonly, at a certain point in their lives, people look up from their daily tasks and ask themselves something like, "How the hell did I get here? How did I end up in this place in my life, with this partner or with no partner, with these children or with no children, with this job or with no job?
This isn't what I intended at all. And where on earth to to go when or if you get out of it is the next.
Wells takes us first along the path that took him from the time "when two people had thought Mr Polly the most wonderful and adorable thing in the world" to this moment on the stile as an aging, fat, unhealthy, unhappy, soon-to-be-bankrupt shopkeeper, then from that moment of recognition through his rather surprising, wish-fulfilling response.
I read it a few times many years ago - so one of my favourites then. From long past the other side of 40 Mr Polly's age half way through the book when his history finishes and the actual narrative resumes and about the age of Mr Wells when he wrote it this is a really miserable and uncomfortable read.
Enjoyable once Alfred Polly starts his adventures. Very strongly based inside Mr Polly's consciousness - the only other characters that have anything going on inside their head at all are his you I read it a few times many years ago - so one of my favourites then. Very strongly based inside Mr Polly's consciousness - the only other characters that have anything going on inside their head at all are his youthful friend Parsons, and Jim, the potential nemesis of the Pot Inn - no one else has any internal life.
On the surface quite a simple tale - but the more you think about it the more complex it becomes.
The History of Mr Polly by H.G. Wells | efycymepodor.tk
Nov 14, S. Nikolova rated it liked it Shelves: The last third of the book is what moved it from a one-star to a three-star read for me. The beginning two thirds left me quite annoyed with the main character, Mr. Polly, who is the kind of passive person that lets life happen to him. It was no surprise to me that he ended up having the expected mid-life crisis after realizing that his existence was not at all what he wanted out of life.
What followed this realization was a suicide attempt, an arson, and a series of events that were as engrossi The last third of the book is what moved it from a one-star to a three-star read for me. What followed this realization was a suicide attempt, an arson, and a series of events that were as engrossing as funny. Just keep reading on Jun 19, Michael rated it it was amazing. I did this book for 0 level GCSE. I loved it then and it has stayed with me.
Despite all the deeply spiritual and worthy books I have read since I think this one had more influence on my life. A young man out in the countryside on his bike enjoying a sense of freedom having inherited a little money and then quickly getting stuck into a loveless marriage and a job that slowly kills him as Radiohead would say. Desperate measures lead to an unexpected chance to rebuild his life and for him to I did this book for 0 level GCSE. Desperate measures lead to an unexpected chance to rebuild his life and for him to face his demons and to flourish again. I read it again some years ago and it was still brilliant.
The first half was pretty dry. Polly then realized his life wasn't what he wanted and lit a fire under himself. The remainder of the book was for me insightful, funny and really very good. At first, I thought it was a book for the thrift store. It is a copy with spots, but otherwise in great shape. It will stay with me now.
Dec 29, Brittney rated it did not like it Shelves: Absolutely hated this book. This is a book that's meant to act as social commentary, but unless you are intimately familiar with the time period or own a time machine wink wink nudge nudge the references don't make any sense and you will most likely miss them. In other words, this does not stand the test of time. Dec 07, Pink rated it liked it. Hmm, I rated this 3 stars almost 3 months ago, which sounds fair, but it isn't really a book that will make my favourites list. Worth a read, especially to compare to Wells other more well known science fiction, but otherwise I could probably have skipped it.
Apr 06, Tim Davies rated it liked it. Very slow pace for the first half, but kept me interested with its witty style. The action in the second half was great! Feb 07, Enrique Del Castillo rated it it was amazing.
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Polly' by H. Wells 44 17 Sep 17, Week 39 - The History of Mr. Wells 6 18 Jun 17, In , Herbert George H. Wells was born to a working class family in Kent, England. Young Wells received a spotty education, interrupted by several illnesses and family difficulties, and became a draper's apprentice as a teenager. The headmaster of Midhurst Grammar School, where he had spent a year, arranged for him to return as an "usher," or student teacher. Wells earned a government schol In , Herbert George H.
Wells earned a government scholarship in , to study biology under Thomas Henry Huxley at the Normal School of Science. Wells earned his bachelor of science and doctor of science degrees at the University of London. After marrying his cousin, Isabel, Wells began to supplement his teaching salary with short stories and freelance articles, then books, including The Time Machine , The Island of Dr. Wells created a mild scandal when he divorced his cousin to marry one of his best students, Amy Catherine Robbins. Although his second marriage was lasting and produced two sons, Wells was an unabashed advocate of free as opposed to "indiscriminate" love.
He continued to openly have extra-marital liaisons, most famously with Margaret Sanger , and a ten-year relationship with the author Rebecca West , who had one of his two out-of-wedlock children.