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Concluding (British Literature) Paperback – October 1, 2000

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Green's 1948 novel won high praise from the likes of Anthony Burgess and John Updike. The obtuse plot offers up an odd string of characters and events at a girls' school when two of the students go missing.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"That Green is completely master of his material is proved by Concluding...which has been acclaimed as his masterpiece. From the point of view of pure technique the claim is just. It is a marvellously well written book"
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Product Details

  • Series: British Literature
  • Paperback: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 1st Dalkey Archive ed edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564782530
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564782533
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,503,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Henry Green's Concluding is an extraordinary novel. Remarkably idiosyncratic, it is a work that may not appeal to everybody equally. Green humorously, and tragically, presents the common misunderstandings that language and our private emotions provoke. Although natural beauty and light's dazzling improvisations illuminate the novel, the recurrent theme of what is secret, underground and buried offers a disturbing and unsettling contrast. Passions bloom abruptly through the dryness and formality of a community stifled by Rules and Directives. A striking example of Green's powers is the lunch episode in which the manipulative Principal Miss Edge feels a missing girl's corpse is buried underneath the azaleas and rhododendrons behind her table. This book deserves to be read and reread.
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Format: Paperback
another brilliant beauty by green, this one more enigmatic and mysterious than NOTHING or DOTING. set in a sort of training school for girls, the story circles around the disappearance of two girls; the cross-purposes between the school's two principals and a mr. rock who lives in a cottage on the school grounds; and also between mr. rock's daughter recovering from a breakdown and her romance with one of the school's instructors. all in the shadow of an impending school dance. what green nails as always is the way people speak and totally misunderstand each other, all the while creating a seamless setting with his lyrical, idiosyncratic prose. you end up feeling like you understand a little more the inexplicable dance of life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was surprisingly hard to put down. It is a glimpse into the hearts and minds of a whole array of characters who live or work at and around a private academy of the future, as the future was imagined in the 1940s.
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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised that no one has commented in depth about this unusual novel; in particular that it's obviously a comedy, though a very dark one. As with any comedy, the characters are archetypes and grossly exaggerated bufoons, such as in the *Comedia del Arte.* The story opens with Mr. Rock, who functions as a sort of *Il Dottore,* who is typically erudite and has made a famous discovery. (We never do learn what Mr. Rock's boon to science is.) There are the *Innamorati,* Elizabeth and Sebastian, who are overly-dramatic and selfish lovers. And above all there are the *Pantalones,* the repulsive characters of Miss Baker and Miss Edge, who are obsessed with retaining their power and position while suppressing all expression of humanity in their charges, rebellious adolescent girls. Also typical of the *Comedia del Arte* is that there's a great deal of deceit happening, as everyone tries to evade or misrepresent the truth.

Despite the exaggerated characters, the novel has a clever, fast-paced story, and it reads like a quaint English murder mystery. Two girls are missing. Are they dead? Have they tried to escape this institution of suppression? Wouldn't you?

I would like to read a cogent analysis of what "Concluding" really means. What's it's point? The book was written at the dawn of the British welfare state, and throughout the novel the State looms ominously. Mr. Rock expects the State to provide for him and honor his great accomplishment. Ms. Edge and Ms. Baker try and manipulate the State to secure their hold on power, but they are ignored.

Tension builds until a letter arrives from the State Council which has decided, without consulting any of the characters, to turn this girls school, a grotto of wormy innocence, into a pig farm.
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