A Month in the Country – J. L. Carr

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A Month in the Country was short listed for the Booker Prize in 1980.

My penguin modern classic copy is only 85 pages long, so this was a very quick read. The book is set just after the First World War, and describes the month Tom Birkin spent in rural Yorkshire one summer. Tom was traumatised by his experiences in the war, and so retreats to the country to enjoy the peace and quiet. He spends his time uncovering a medieval painting on the church wall, and making many friends in the village.

The writing was beautiful, and I enjoyed it initially, but after a while I need more than this in a book. I became bored of the quaintness – it was all too ordinary for me. Perhaps I’d feel differently if  I was 30 years older, but reminiscing about one perfect summer, in which not much happens was a bit too dull for me, so I’m off to read something a bit more exciting! 

I read this for Cornflower’s book group, and everyone else seemed to enjoy it much more than me. You can see their opinions here.

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5 Comments

  1. Beth F says:

    Nice review. I have to be in the mood for this type of book. Sounds interesting enough and short enough that I might look into it. I saw on Cornflower’s site that it might have been a movie. I might check that our on NetFlix.

  2. Jackie says:

    Yes, it was released on DVD in 2004, starring Colin Firth and Kenneth Branagh. It’s really rare though (£35 a copy on Amazon UK at the moment)

    I’d love to hear what you think of it, if you do manage to watch it.

  3. Simon S says:

    This book was going to be a definate read for me until I realised how much I would be paying for a book that short… is that wrong? If I ever see it second hand I may give it a go though!

  4. Jackie says:

    Simon – yes it really is that short! I don’t really think about how much the book costs per page, it is how much enjoyment you get from it. I don’t think this one is worth the money – perhaps you could get it from the library?

    What do you do with all the books you’ve read? I sell mine, so I don’t mind paying for them, as I get most of the money back anyway.

  5. Simon S says:

    If I like it I keep it, if someone else I know will like it then they can have it then charity really which with the amount of books that arrive and I go through is a bit silly really as could probably do quiet well if I sold them. I am mor of a giver though in general.

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