12 Feb

Chatto and Windus 1920
Classic Reprint/Forgotten Books 2012
Soft cover 293 pages

This book, were it in its original state would be cost prohibitive to a mere mortal such as I. Fortunately, Forgotten Books publishes books of a historical nature. And, has reproduced this scarce antiquarian book as close to the original publication as possible, including flaws. Originally published in 1920, this is Nichols’ first book. It’s about Paul Trevelyan’s tryst throughout his public school years, and the friends he makes along the way. The storyline reads like a journal, although it is not.

I was quite satisfied to pleasantly move quietly along through the pages, when I noticed something rather extraordinary. Nichols was quietly slipping himself in behind the words. Brushing the pages with a broad stroke of a subtle shade in order to minimize his own importance. But it wasn’t until Nichols began to address his audience, that the awareness in what I was reading got my full attention. What manner of literary rule is this? I thought.

Nichols’ first attempt as published author is innovative. Although, I’m almost quite certain he would have preferred the term, ‘ground-breaking’. His jolly good sense of British humor and skillful manipulation of words is evident, even as early as this, his first book. This is a decent heartwarming story. An excellent beginning to a literary life well lived.




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