S into are laughable in cringe worthy ways The petty
fights and arguments among the residents contribute lighter comic momentsHowever an unmistakable streak of malevolence can be detected in a and arguments among the residents contribute lighter comic momentsHowever an unmistakable streak of malevolence can be detected in a of the residents including Mr Bird himself which lent this story a disturbing edge The residents perceive Mr Bird as a indly father figure yet the omniscient narrator let on that Mr Bird was laughing when he was making out his will A subtle cruelty underlies Mr Bird s decisions as he nows full well the conseuences that will befall the residents In fact they continue to feel the stronghold of his presence and pay the price
"Of His Audacious Plan With "his audacious plan with to The Boarding House I marveled at Trevor s revelation of the impulses that drive human behavior It was discomf Set in a South London suburb in 1964 the novel is an ensemble piece focusing on the lives and concerns of the residents of Mr Bird s boarding house the sort of traditional establishment that is fast going out of fashion due to the rise in bedsits and flat shares At first Mr Bird s tenants appear to be a disparate bunch each person possessing their own individual characteristics and personality traits However it soon becomes clear that they are all solitary figures mostly flawed or inadeuate in some way at risk of being seen as misfits or outcasts from the realms of normal societyTo read the rest of my review please click here A collection of oddballs and misfits in a mid 20th century boarding house might bring Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont or At the Jerusalem to mind but whereas Ms Taylor can let rip a bit of flatulence and expose uietly cruel social s Mr Trevor s world is disturbing in a existential way For William Wagner Bird appears as a limping daemonic demiurge a Prometheus who has called forth this set of preposterous creatures created them for his own rather suspect pleasure and then having decided that the whole idea was a terrible mistake gifts his creation to two lesser gods in order to guarantee its destruction Studdy is a scandalous wannabe conman and Nurse Clock is no less of a ruthless schemer even if she believes herself to be caring and tender Neither of them are serviceable as Lord and Lady of this domain and in combination they are toxic Fire comes as a blessed releaseAnd the whole thing is absolutely hilarious Whenever I read William Trevor s novels and stories I m never uite able to forget the presence of the author Sometimes I can visualise him deciding what to include in a scenario other times I imagine him deciding what to leave out but he s always somewhere on the edge of my vision tweaking the props of what I m reading I enjoy his mild and nostalgia inducing presence very muchIn this book he faded out of my vision almost completely his name on the cover the only reminder that I was reading a William Trevor novel That and the era the story was set in the 1970s and the fact that the characters are steeped in the strong tea of an earlier time as his characters often areSo even as I was missing William Trevor s indly presence I was aware that there was someone tweaking the props of this story all the same Little by little I began to imagine that it was Mr Bird even though he s not the narrator but only one of the characters The narrator is one of those nameless third person omniscient narrators usually a stand in for the author but the narrative voice sounded so much like Mr Bird that the two became indistinguishable for me The fact that Mr Bird dies on the first page only made me convinced that he was the narrator and that he was telling the story from his newly acuired omniscient position in the afterlife I ve often found the notion of an omniscient narrator a little mysterious in any case Such a narrator sometimes has personal opinions but at the same time can see right into characters s minds Mr Bird embodied all that puzzling uality I imagined him hovering over the boarding house residents watching their public and private moments and even allowing himself to be seen on odd occasions as a fluttering presence on the edge of a character s visionBut he was than just a fluttering presence It gradually emerges that Mr Bird carefully selected each of the characters who were to play out this boarding house story after he d left it odd as that might seem Yes Mr Bird as the owner of the boarding house of the title hand picked the residents who make up the cast of characters and according to a particular design of his own The few other incidental characters in the story are literally plucked out of the telephone directory by one of Mr Bird s boarding house residents who likes writing anonymous letters He of course was selected for just such nefarious skills So the characters chosen by Mr Bird and subliminally worked on via his words and actions while he was alive gain an extra measure of freedom now that he s no longer around to tweak their emotions with his mild but manipulative comments What will they do with this free will they have been granted Well not as much as they might hope or you might expect The script you see was written in advance by Mr Bir. Kely to cause the greatest amount of trouble and the whole enterprise goes up in smokeWilliam Trevor's dark comedy reminiscent of Evelyn Waugh and Muriel Spark was his second novel. Delightful little novel from very early in Trevor s career 1965 Unexpectedly funny yet still with Trevor s usual lonely sadness Also surprising is Trevor s effective use of a third person omniscient narrator with the perspective changing from character to character sometimes even within the same paragraph In most of the Trevor fiction I ve read he focuses on a single character But THE BOARDING HOUSE is about community specifically the tiny community of the boarding house and this form of narration creates almost a chorus of voices that really brings out the characters idiosyncratic personalities and tells the story extremely well Mr Bird the landlord of the boarding house dies and the scene is set to tell the personal stories of the collection of oddball characters who lodge there all of them selected by Mr Bird over the years I didn t find this a very satisfying read I m a huge fan of William Trevor but this is a very early work I find it hard to believe that the person who wrote this book also wrote The Story of Lucy Gault It s well enough written but it s too wordy for me Too full of unnecessary conversations that might have worked well as a play but not as a novel I only read it through to the end because it s WT I m glad I The Man Without a Face know and love his later beautifully written books because if this was the first I d read I d go no further I spent the entirety of the reading of this book wondering whoor whatis Mr Bird Mr Bird is the owner of the Boarding House of the title who greets us immediately on page one with this I am dying He does not mean sometime down the road No Mr Bird dies then and there from the feet up he tells the nurse But that is not uite the end of Mr Bird who leaves a will two of the residents of the Boarding House will inherit it comically disparate enough to move the plot forward entertainingly the rest of the residents may be tenants for life their exodus only voluntary When Mr Bird had written his will and had read it over he became aware that he was laughing He heard the sound for some time a minute or a minute and a uarter and then he recognized its source and wondered why he was laughing like that such a uiet slurping sound like the lapping of waterInterlude Note the precision of the time of laughing just above a minute or a minute and a uarter Trevor does this a specificity of time all through the novel one resident must face the officer of punctuality every morning entering his work another character times barmen to the second after ordering drinks Hell one character is named Nurse Clock No I don tnow what that all means I add it here as a public service hoping someone smarter than
me a large enough pool can figure it out End InterludeMr Bird very carefully verya large enough pool can figure it out End InterludeMr Bird very carefully very selected the residents Without itemizing here let s just say they are all just a bit off Individual peccadilloes aside though what links them is their solitary nature Yet they are not solitary in the Boarding HouseMr Bird continues to be a presence in the execution of his will in somewhat spectral appearances in truly delightful uick biographies he penned
"Of The Residents And In "the residents and in such as his greeting to new itchen help a woman who entered the Boarding House in a rush to pee You must stay here you will like it In this old boarding house no one had told the unvarnished truth for the last fifteen yearsOne resident confused identifies Mr Bird as the founder of heaven and hell on earth Another says that he is a man of infinite subtle cruelty So if Mr Bird is a god you could see where I was going he is not a benevolent one I built that I might destroy he is alleged to have said But he is not a terrible frightful god I don t think It doesn t matter if I m wrong because I m the reader and I see Mr Bird as a fractious god a stinker a god Gary Larsen might have drawn back in the day Postlude I first found William Trevor s writings fourteen years ago and I ve been reading him ever since but mostly his later works Just because they ve been readily at hand But I found this just recently in a used bookstore in Seattle a mere twenty minute walk from my granddaughter It was hiding darkly on a bottom shelf indeed it took two trips for me to see it It was remaindered a few nicks to the cover but it has turned out to be everything I love about a book it made me laugh it made me think it entertained the hell out of me it has a rarity about it it is brilliantly imagined it made me hide for pockets of time it lies in my hands like a gift from an old man who just died it will edge itself out of the space I put it in on the shelf or I will think so it makes me think I could do something similar it will linger teaching me otherwise and serendipitously I read it with a friend End Postlude This is one of Trevor s earliest novels his third 1965 It s almost as if Trevor was still finding his stride I ll call it a black comedyEight people live in a run down London rooming house They have been hand picked by the owner because of their loneliness The founder of the boarding house seems genuinely sympathetic to lonely people he has no family himself and. William Bird has always taken in boarders who are on the fringes of society the petty conman the immigrant who's never been able to fit in the blustering officer who really doesn't.
William Trevor ☆ 2 Free downloadHe eeps a notebook on them which we learn about their
Backgrounds For Example OneFor example one reads I weep I think of Joseph Scribbin s life and the emptiness thereof Despite his attempts to provide these folks with the companionship of each other they are still lonely because in different ways they are seriously damaged people in a psychological sense Every night they sit in the lounge and their conversation never moves beyond talk of the communal meal or what s on the TV They never pry into each other s business they never visit each other s rooms they avoid personal uestions and after 10 or 15 years of acuaintance still address each other by some title Nurse Major Mr Miss The black comedy comes in through who these folks are One man who interrupts the TV viewing with his violent coughing fits is dying on his feet because he feared the thought of hospitals A middle aged Nigerian immigrant has been in love with a woman for years simply because she was Gone (Gone, kind to him at the immigration office He brings her flowers weekly and leaves them at her door while her roommates make excuses about where she is There s a man whose only pastime is listening to recordings of train engines annoying all the other tenants with the noise A woman clerk approaching middle age has never even had a man make a pass at her A small time con artist flimflams clerks and waitresses to get extra change back but he s also a black mailer and a stalker There s a nurse who seems to delight in giving old people shots and a former military officer who attends live porn shows In the first chapter the founder of what he calls his institution dies In his will leaves the boarding house jointly to two of the most unlikely characters Was this a cruel joke on his part or did he have something else in mind Trevor gives us good writing The drizzle freshened the short grass of the graveyard and toned down the lime of new headstones the clergyman blinked finding it difficult to respond with words there was a seediness about his clothes and about his face he had not led a dissolute life one would have guessed but somewhere in his life something had gone wrong Her face had lines not many but clearly the precursors of many Not a great Trevor but itept my interest and I thought it was a good readTop photo from lostwomynsspacecomBottom photo from whatpubcom I started to read William Trevor s books in the late 1990s and consider him as one of my favorite authors His fiction and short stories are eually good I joined GoodReads about 2 months ago and wanted to start to build up my librarybooks read here since I do enjoy reading I got the hardcover edition of this book Has a blurb by Evelyn Waugh on the back cover of the dustjacket for Mr Trevor s first book The Old Boys Jacket design by James and Ruth McCreaI gave it an A which is a 5 star rating per GoodReads Having enjoyed Miss Gomez and the Brethren I decided to try another of the author s uirkier works and wasn t disappointedAbrupt point of view switches took some getting used to but after that I just accepted them and was able to get into the book I could see where that might drive other readers bonkers In addition to going into the heads of all of the residents regularly there are also excerpts from the deceased owner s notes on eachOur UK friends as well as Global Britcom addicts might appreciate that I had the image of Nurse Gladys from Open All Hours in my head for the nurse character The Boarding House is the third novel William Trevor published in 1965 The craft of a master storyteller is evident in this unsettling novel Trevor cleverly juxtaposed sinister and comic elements in this story about eight residents in a rooming house after the death of its owner Mr BirdThe Boarding House is a rundown red brick building located in the south western suburbs of London built during Victorian times Mr Bird selects solitary spirits lonely folks like himself who have neither family nor personal ties A uirky crew of five men and three women spend evenings watching TV and drinking cocoa together This seems pretty cozy on the surface but lodged within the personal history of each character are eccentricities aspirations and insecurities that threaten their co existence Mr Bird dies when the novel begins and life at The Boarding House will never be the same again The Boarding House is willed to two dubious residents who hate each other s guts but are compelled to work together while straining to achieve their personal agendaAs the story unfolds an omniscient narrator takes us into the interior life of each resident and we become acuainted with their anxiety over the future of The Boarding House and its impact on them The strength of Trevor s writing lies in the insight he offers into the motivation of each resident his or her uniue preoccupation hopes and fears Their uests include a desire to be freed of the past to be loved or married to be successful in courtship to be sexually titillated to extort money to avoid harassment at work and to appear to be useful to others Some of the scrapes and faux pas the characters get themselve. Know what's what and the just plain lonely He's built a uniue place with a uniue atmosphere But then he realizes he's dying and he decides to leave the place to the two tenants li.