Some Tame Gazelle

Some Tame Gazelle

by Barbara Pym


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A novel of two sisters in postwar England that lets you “step into the Jane Austen–like lives of Harriet and Belinda Bede” ( The Christian Science Monitor ).

Belinda and Harriet Bede live together in a small English village. Shy, sensible Belinda has been secretly in love with Henry Hoccleve—the poetry-spouting, married archdeacon of their church—for thirty years. Belinda’s much more confident, forthright younger sister Harriet, meanwhile, is ardently pursued by Count Ricardo Bianco. Although she has turned down every marriageable man who proposes, Harriet still welcomes any new curate with dinner parties and flirtatious conversation. And one of the newest arrivals, the reverend Edgar Donne, has everyone talking.
A warm, affectionate depiction of a postwar English village, Some Tame Gazelle perfectly captures the quotidian details that make up everyday life. With its vibrant supporting cast, it’s also a poignant story of unrequited love. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480408098
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 374,903
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Barbara Pym (1913–1980) was a bestselling and award-winning English novelist. Her first book, Some Tame Gazelle (1950), launched her career as a writer beloved for her social comedies of class and manners. Pym is the only author to be named twice in a Times Literary Supplement list of “the most underrated novelists of the century.” She produced thirteen novels, the last three published posthumously. Her 1977 novel Quartet in Autumn was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.      


·       Readers of twentieth-century literary fiction
·       Fans of English domestic dramas
·       Jane Austen fans looking for more contemporary reads

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Some Tame Gazelle 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
patience_crabstick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my all-time favorites. Have read at least five times.
Miro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree with previous reviews that Barbara Pym's novel follows a "Pride and Prejudice" theme but with more subtlety and very fine observation. After finishing the book I felt that I knew these people and their village (or at least the "society" part of it) and thankfully (as with Jane Austen) the writer isn't troubled by the modern egalitarian obligation. Servants open and shut doors and cook the meals without becoming central characters.
thorold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Re-reading Barbara Pym is another of those pleasures that one feels one should ration out: I'm not sure why I allowed myself this one, but it's almost a year since the spell in hospital that was my excuse for the last re-reading session.This one, of course, is Pym's first published novel, and like Crampton Hodnet it has a largely circular form: curates are treated as a renewable resource, and the main characters are in much the same situation at the end of the book as they were at the beginning. As so often in Pym, the central theme is the pleasure of having someone to love, contrasted with the inconvenience that would result if one were obliged to live with the person one loves. The story is presented in a setting that is positively Jane Austenish in its compression (Belinda and Harriet's house, the vicarage, the church, and an occasional glimpse at the village street in between). It's conceptually difficult fitting the book into a time-slot — possibly why some people describe it as "timeless". Pym originally completed it in 1935, but failed to find a publisher at the time, then revised it after the war and finally got Jonathan Cape to publish it in 1950. However, the book as originally conceived is also in part a projection of herself and her friends into an imagined future twenty or thirty years hence. What is clear is that we aren't supposed to read it as though it's set in 1950. Middle-class ladies of a certain age still employ servants, overseas travel is freely possible, Carlsbad is still called Carlsbad, Africa is still firmly colonial, and there is no hint of economic crisis and rationing. In fact, the characters talk so incessantly about food and clothes that one feels the book could only have been written during a time of hunger and shortages. All this is rather reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse's books of the same period. The depressing modern world is something that has no place in escapist literature.On the other hand, we encounter the curate's underwear in the first sentence of the book, there are all sorts of jokes about people being offended by the mention of lavatories, and the "reinforced" corsets Harriet is sewing are forever being stuffed under sofa cushions when unexpected visitors arrive. There are characters who may (or may not) be gay. We are constantly being teased with the possibility of impropriety lurking below the surface of village life. If Pym is playing for the role of new Jane Austen here, it is with her tongue firmly in her cheek.
bookwoman247 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a gentle comedy of manners which takes place in an English village sometime during the first half of the Twentieth Century. It features two spinster sisters, curates, a rather sour, dour archeacon, a bishop, tea, cakes, church bazaars, knitting, and many more of the trappings you'd expect in to find in a gentle comedy of manners. This book has been compared to Jane Austen's work. I can see that on the surface, but in the end, I don't think it really lives up to that billing. To be fair, can anything really live up to an original?I enjoyed this, and am glad I read it. There were many passages that made me smile. I wouldn't say, though, that I was terribly impressed.
karensaville on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was chosen because the author was described as one of the most under-rated novellists of a generation and my book club felt like we had been missing out on something. I'm afraid that none of us agreed. We all found it to be a book about nothing, we ploughed on relentlessly hoping it would get better but it didn't. I know it was meant to be about a provincial life where much is made of nothing and that that is the point of it but it was still a boring read. I thought that many of the characters were very unbelievable and I do not agree that she is like a modern day Jane Austen. Not for me or my club!
catmama3 More than 1 year ago
The reviews listed have nothing to do with the book. However, the book is very good. Barbara Pym is a delightful author and writes of life in small Engish villages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author dud not die of old age. She died of boredom for writing this book.