The Grim Smile of the Five Towns

The Grim Smile of the Five Towns


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The Grim Smile of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett







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The Grim Smile of the Five Towns


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Book Excerpt

t amount to very much.

These were nearly the last words that Ella spoke to Horace that afternoon. The introduction was made, and Sidney slipped into the party as comfortably as he slipped into everything, like a candle slipping into a socket. But nevertheless Ella talked no more. She just stared at Sidney, and listened to him. Horace was proud that Sidney had made such an impression on her; he was glad that she showed no aversion to Sidney, because, in the event of Horace's marriage, where would Sidney live, if not with Horace and Horace's wife? Still, he could have wished that Ella would continue to display her conversational powers.

Presently, Sidney lighted a cigarette. He was of those young men whose delicate mouths seem to have been fashioned for the nice conduct of a cigarette. And he had a way of blowing out the smoke that secretly ravished every feminine beholder. Horace still held to his boyhood's principles; but he envied Sidney a little.

At the conclusion of the festivity these two women n

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A wonderful collection of short stories by one of my favourite authors.
The stories involve the deeds and misdeeds of the inhabitants of five contiguous towns - Turnhill, Bursley, Hanbridge, Knype, and Longshaw, based on real villages in the Potteries, Staffordshire, England, around the turn of the twentieth century. The stories dwell on relatively minor events in the lives of the inhabitants but the author manages to maintain the momentum and interest in each story. The characters are all nice, warm, cuddly individuals, people that you would not mind spending an evening with. The author's gentle humour I find very amusing, particularly the exchange of dialogue between the characters. You will find yourself unconsciously smiling whilst reading the stories, and I don't think it will be a grim smile!

I love Arnold Bennett's prose style. Reading his books is like luxuriating in a nice hot bath - you feel warm, relaxed and good all over! I cannot recommend this author highly enough.