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We Think the World of You by J. R. Ackerley
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We Think the World of You (original 1960; edition 1980)

by J. R. Ackerley

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245346,947 (3.65)20
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Title:We Think the World of You
Authors:J. R. Ackerley
Info:The Bodley Head Ltd (1980), Edition: New impression, Hardcover, 160 pages
Collections:ALL FICTION READ-OWNED & UNOWNED, Your library- read
Rating:****
Tags:wh smith award, read in 2013, *GB literature, 1960s, 20th century literature, MUM-LENT

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We Think The World of You by J. R. Ackerley (1960)

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This tightly-written novel is Frank's story of his younger working class male lover (imprisoned for housebreaking when the story begins in London), the lover's family (wife, children, parents) and an Alsatian dog who drives the action. Yes, the dog, anthropomorphized, is the real protagonist. She is beautiful, loving, jealous and oh so willful. Originally the property of the young lover, and looked after during his imprisonment by his mom and stepfather, Frank becomes enamored of the dog and plots to gain her, which he does, and loses the lover.

Although fiction, the book takes much nourishment from its author's life. J. R. Ackerley was a minor figure in twentieth century British letters: the editor of the BBC magazine, "The Listener." Like Frank, he was gay, unmarried and found sexual fulfillment with young, working class lads. The greatest love of Ackerley's life, however, became his dog, who gets a book to herself in Ackerley's small oeuvre - "My Dog Tulip."

Ackerley's sexual escapades provided him no lasting relationships, he tells us in his posthumously published memoir, "My Father and Myself." He found such friendship with his dog. His memoir says his dog years "were the happiest of my life." Fictionalized, the dog years seem somewhat sadder. Frank says, "Advancing age has only intensified her jealousy. I have lost all my old friends, they fear her and look at me with pity or contempt. We live entirely alone. Unless with her I can never go away. I can scarcely call my soul my own. Not that I am complaining, oh no, yet sometimes as we sit and my mind wanders back to the past, to my youthful ambtions and the freedom and independence I used to enjoy, I wonder what in the world happened to me and how it all came about . . . but that leads me into deep waters, too deep for fathoming. It leads me into the darkness of my own mind."

The power of the book is the absolute believability of the love between man and dog, which is trenchantly described.
  bbrad | Sep 21, 2010 |
This powerful short novel, with its extraordinary mixture of acute social realism and dark fantasy, was described by J. R. Ackerley himself as "a fairy tale for adults." Frank, the narrator, is a middle-aged civil servant, intelligent, acerbic, self-righteous, angry. He is in love with Johnny, a young, married, working-class man with a sweetly easy-going nature. When Johnny is sent to prison for committing a petty theft, Frank gets caught up in a struggle with Johnny's wife and parents for access to him. Their struggle finds a strange focus in Johnny's dog—a beautiful but neglected German shepherd named Evie. And it is she, in the end, who becomes the improbable and undeniable guardian of Frank's inner world. - from nyreview of books
  stuckinabigbook | Aug 3, 2007 |
The novelization of his love for Tulip, which is much better than the more factual book. This novel contains the kind of drama that was absent from the memoir, and is also in many ways more forthright. It made me like My Dog Tulip more than I did when I originally read it. ( )
  OmieWise | Dec 18, 2005 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. R. Ackerleyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Furbank, P.N.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my sister Nancy, with love and gratitude.
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Johnny wept when I was taken down to visit him.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0940322269, Paperback)

This powerful short novel, with its extraordinary mixture of acute social realism and dark fantasy, was described by J. R. Ackerley himself as "a fairy tale for adults." Frank, the narrator, is a middle-aged civil servant, intelligent, acerbic, self-righteous, angry. He is in love with Johnny, a young, married, working-class man with a sweetly easy-going nature. When Johnny is sent to prison for committing a petty theft, Frank gets caught up in a struggle with Johnny's wife and parents for access to him. Their struggle finds a strange focus in Johnny's dog—a beautiful but neglected German shepherd named Evie. And it is she, in the end, who becomes the improbable and undeniable guardian of Frank's inner world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:36 -0400)

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 0940322269, 1590173953

Voland Edizioni

An edition of this book was published by Voland Edizioni.

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