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Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself: Being the…
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Augustus Carp, Esq., By Himself: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good… (1924)

by Henry Howarth Bashford

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
While I could appreciate the humor of this satire of the pompous & self-righteous Carp men, this novel never made me laugh out loud though I did smile often. I'm glad that I read it but still prefer Jerome K. Jerome or P.G. Wodehouse. ( )
  leslie.98 | May 6, 2018 |
Thoroughly funny at a few moments, but mostly only mildly amusing. Doesn't quite live up to the hype in the introduction, alas. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 11, 2016 |
"Oh, sin", I cried, "sin - unbelievable sin in Greenwich Park", 24 October 2015

This review is from: Augustus Carp, Esq.: Being the Autobiography of a Really Good Man (Paperback)
One of the world's funniest books, narrated by the priggish, self-satisfied, unattractive Augustus - acutely aware of others' failings, but ever on the alert to use them to his own advantage.
Bashford's writing is superb, the language conveying such a vivid impression of the pompous character. Thus when his (equally pompous) father gets into an argument with their charwoman after dealing her son a blow ("dividing the integument of his forehead"), Augustus describes the woman's actions:
"I beheld Mrs O'Flaherty thrusting my father's head into her pail. It was a commodious pail, very nearly full with incompletely clean water, and containing in addition the saturate garment with which it was her habit to wash the linoleum."
Augustus proves singularly unpopular at school, both with the boys he reports and with the masters through his demeanour:
"When our form-master, a Mr Muglington, asked me if I knew the capital of Belgium, I replied that while I had not as yet enjoyed the opportunity of paying the town a personal visit, I had been credibly informed that it was known as Brussels, so indissolubly associated with the well-known brassica."
And meanwhile his proud, sternly Anglican father is - after a series of disagreements - transferring his worship from the Church of James the Less to that of James- the-Lesser-Still and ultimately James-the-Least-of-all. Mother is a poor cowed creature, her life spent serving her husband and son:
"After every such exhibition of pristine vigour, however, my father experienced an acute reaction, and for many weeks would become a martyr not only to neurasthenic indigestion but to digestive neurasthenia accompanied by flatulence of the severest order. For months on end, indeed, my mother would be obliged to sit by his bedside in case he should wake up and require abdominal kneading."
The author was Hon Physician to King George VI, and entertaining ailments pepper the work, from his friend Simeon Whey's stutter ("kck") to Charity and Understanding, but for whose "slight impediments in their noses the whole house would have been wrapped in the profoundest stillness."
In short, a hilarious book - much funnier than the better known "Diary of a Nobody" - and one I would recommend to all. ( )
  starbox | Oct 23, 2015 |
A splendid & hilarious take-off of religious pomposity & hypocrisy in the early 20th century. (But perhaps just as funny nowadays?) Written by none other than Sir Henry Howarth Bashford, Physician to King George VI. If you like George & Weedon Grossmith's "Diary of a Nobody", you'll enjoy Augustus Carp. It's is in the same vein - but far more cruel! ( )
  wjdonaldson | Aug 1, 2013 |
A comic novel for book group that actually made me laugh out loud a few times. ( )
  mari_reads | Jul 1, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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It is customary, I have noticed, in publishing an autobiography to preface it with some sort of apology.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140098577, Paperback)

It is customary, I have noticed, in publishing an autobiography to preface it with some sort of apology. But there are times, and surely the present is one of them, when to do so is manifestly unnecessary. In an age when every standard of decent conduct has either been torn down or is threatened with destruction; when every newspaper is daily reporting scenes of violence, divorce, and arson; when quite young girls smoke cigarettes and even, I am assured, sometimes cigars; when mature women, the mothers of unhappy children, enter the sea in one-piece bathing-costumes; and when married men, the heads of households, prefer the flicker of the cinematograph to the Athanasian Creed -- then it is obviously a task, not to be justifiably avoided, to place some higher example before the world. For some time -- I am now forty-seven -- I had been feeling this with increasing urgency. And when not only my wife and her four sisters, but the vicar of my parish, the Reverend Simeon Whey, approached me with the same suggestion, I felt that delay would amount to sin. That sin, by many persons, is now lightly regarded, I am, of course, only too well aware. That its very existence is denied by others is a fact equally familiar to me. But I am not one of them. On every ground I am an unflinching opponent of sin. I have continually rebuked it in others. I have strictly refrained from it in myself. And for that reason alone I have deemed it incumbent upon me to issue this volume.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:44 -0400)

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