February 25, 2013

Reading: Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene

I just re-read Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene, which is by far his funniest novel, and one of my very favorites. I found this awesome hard-cover copy with faded violet dust jacket. I don't particularly like Violet, but, darlings, this is the perfect color for this book, don't you think? I clearly had to take a picture of my two most fabulous wintertime accessories with this fabulous book.

Anyway. Have you read Travels with My Aunt? You really ought to. Middle-aged, retired bank manager Henry Pulling meets his aunt, Augusta, at his mother's funeral. And then, a bit by chance, and a bit because of her manipulation, they travel together, Henry never quite believing Aunt Augusta's stories, but enchanted all the same. In some ways it's a coming of age story, which is funny to say since he is in his 50s. The humor is dark and wry. It's just fantastic. I'd quote from it, but I'm afraid so much of the humor depends on context. Just go read it, ok?

Ps. There's a movie! With Maggie Smith! Has anyone seen it?
Pps. Here's a feisty New York Times review from 1970.


  1. That's the edition I read, back in 1971. I was a sophomore in high school, why I read it I don't know, I had never read any Graham Greene before.

    But I loved it!

    Imagine what a shock Heart of the Matter was when I read it two years later. I thought he was a humorous writer.

    It's still one of my favorites.


  2. Oh my goodness. Can we please watch the movies of all the books we love--Housekeeping--the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie--Travels with my Aunt! I had no idea that there was a movie! With Maggie Smith!

  3. YES, Emily! YES! Come back to me, and we'll watch them all. (Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is basically perfect.)