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Buried Alive: a Tale of These Days

Arnold Bennett

Book Overview: 

The hero is Mr Priam Farll, a painter of considerable ability. He is, however, extremely shy – so shy that when his valet, Henry Leek, dies suddenly, the doctor believes the dead man to be Priam Farll and the live man the valet. The artist does not try to disabuse him. After the funeral (in Westminster Abbey), Priam Farll marries a widow and lives a happy life until the loss of his wife’s money means he has to take up painting again. A connoisseur of art recognizes his style but thinks the paintings are by an imposter. He makes a fortune by buying his works through a small dealer and selling them in America as genuine. Meanwhile Priam Farll refuses through his obstinate shyness to prove his own identity.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Mrs. Challice, he must openly label himself as Henry Leek. He had lost Mrs. Challice; there was no address on her letter; he only knew that she lived at or near Putney, and the sole hope of finding her again lay in the fact that she had the Selwood Terrace address. He wanted to find her again; he desired that ardently, if merely to explain to her that their separation was due to a sudden caprice of his hat, and that he had searched for her everywhere in the mine, anxiously, desperately. She would surely not imagine that he had slipped away from her on purpose? No! And yet, if incapable of such an enormity, why had she not waited for him on one of the platforms? However, he hoped for the best. The best was a telegram; the second-best a letter. On receipt of which he would fly to her to explain.... And besides, he wanted to see her--simply. Her answer to his suggestion of a music-hall, and the tone of it, had impressed him. And her remark, "I do feel so sorry for you all the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Muy divertido y al mismo muy crítico del mundo del arte y de la sociedad londinense de aquel tiempo. Lo disfruté muchísimo.

A comic gem. A perfectly contained story. It's a crime Arnold Bennett is not better known. Also read "The Old Wives' Tale'

Historia divertida, amena, con ese típico y tópico humor inglés que uno no termina de saber si es gracioso o puñetera la gracia que tiene... La flema británica, que se suele decir.
Una historia no exenta de crítica social, a la importancia que tiene el dinero, al mundo del arte, al periodismo sen...more

La novela me ha parecido poco más que un divertimento, una comedia amable, en ocasiones inverosímil, pero nadie dice que las comedias no puedan serlo, con la que pasar un rato agradable. Eso sí, en mi caso, que venía de leer a Guimarães Rosa, ha sido como, tras haber escuchado a Wayne Shorter, oí...more

Funniest satirical book I have read in ages. It tells the story of Priam Farll the greatest painter England ever produced. He also is painfully shy and relies on his dodgy valet for everything so when he dies and Priam takes his identity there begins a series of comic escapades. Priam watches his...more

La curiosa historia de cómo una mentirijilla de nada que no hace daño a nadie se hace una bola muy grande hasta que explota en toda la cara del protagonista. ¡Pa' habernos matao Priam!

Una novela corta, con ese humor inglés irónico y ligeramente absurdo que caracteriza a Bennett. Una delicia.

In 1923-24, Arnold Bennett and Virginia Woolf engaged in a literary debate on the modern novel. Poor Bennett fared no better than in his earlier exchange with George Bernard Shaw on the nature of dramaturgy. In her 1924 essay, "Mr, Bennett and Mrs. Brown," Woolf did not recoil at Bennett's critic...more

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