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The White Monkey by John Galsworthy
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The White Monkey (1924)

by John Galsworthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Forsyte Chronicles (4), A Modern Comedy (1)

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Showing 5 of 5
Perhaps 3½ stars. Very well written as shown by the fact that Galsworthy managed to change my feelings about Soames from dislike bordering on hatred to sympathetic understanding in this first novel of "The Modern Comedy" but I missed the grand sweep of the family connections. This entry in The Forsyte Chronicles focuses almost exclusively on Soames & Fleur and a new couple called Bickett. Some of the other members of the Forsyte clan made fleeting appearances (such as June swooping in and enlightening Michael about Fleur's passion for her cousin Jon and then never appearing again). I hope that we see some more of the other branches of the family in the next installment! ( )
  leslie.98 | May 26, 2015 |
Brilliant! I can see why John Galsworthy was awarded the Nobel Prize and why his work is still in print. I found myself reading some passages over and over, reveling in the rich language and apt descriptions of people and society. An example, from Chapter Five:

And out of the corner of her eye she watched those two. The meetings between 'Old Mont' and 'Old Forsyte' - as she knew Bart called her father when speaking of him to Michael - always made her want to laugh, but she never knew quite why. Bart knew everything, but his knowledge was beautifully bound, strictly edited by a mind tethered to the 'eighteenth century'. Her father only knew what was of advantage to him, but the knowledge was unbound, and subject to no editorship. If he *was* late Victorian, he was not above profiting if necessary by even later periods. 'Old Mont' had faith in tradition; 'Old Forsyte' none. Fleur's acuteness had long perceived a difference which favoured her father. Yet 'Old Mont's' talk was so much more up-to-date, rapid, glancing, garrulous, redolent of precise information; and 'Old Forsyte's' was constricted, matter-of-fact. Really impossible to tell which of the two was the better museum specimen; and both so well-preserved! ( )
  pengvini | May 27, 2014 |
Not quite as compelling as the previous books. Just ok. ( )
  digitalmaven | Apr 25, 2014 |
The epic story of the Forsyte family continues into the 1920's with the focus on Fleur and her husband Michael Mont. Fleur, who is marrying Michael because she can't have her cousin Jon Forsyte, struggles with a marriage that is empty of love and a sense of purpose. Soames is caught in a banking scandal that throws him once more in the public eye. What is sadly missing from this story is anything about the Jolyon Forsyte side of the family. Jon is briefly mentioned in passing as now living in the United States, but the focus is really on Fleur and her father. What I found interesting is that in the past volumes of the Forsyte Saga, these 2 were the villains of the story for me. I found them despicable and really disliked the way they manipulated people. Although their personalities remain the same, they become much more complex and redeeming qualities arise in both of them. I actually found myself cheering for Soames in one part. A good story, but I miss Jon and Irene. I think they appear in later stories, so I'll read on. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
The White Monkey is the fourth novel in Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga. Soames is still with us, but he's getting on, and the story is moving more into the lives of Fleur and her husband, Michael Mont. Their marriage is threatened by a good friend's passion for Fleur, and Soames's financial stability is threatened by a bad decision made by the manager of the brokerage board upon which he sits. Galsworthy has brought in several lower class characters who are potentially more interesting than the extended Forsyte clan. Bickert, a clerk at Michael's publishing firm, is caught stealing books; he is selling them to provide for his young wife, Victorine, who is recovering from a serious bout of pneumonia. Their struggle to get by after his firing is more engaging than the Fleur's whining (although at several points I just wanted to whack Tony, who couldn't seem to get past his own pride to see how much his wife loved him). A second young clerk, Butterfield, is followed less closely; he is the one who broke to Soames evidence of the corruption of Mr. Elderson, the brokerage manager. Like Tony, he, too, is fired, but ironically, it's for his honesty.

While I enjoyed this novel, I don't find the younger set and their 'modern problems' to be as interesting as the old guard. Nevertheless, I will continue with the series. ( )
4 vote Cariola | Nov 10, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Galsworthy, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Case, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0755340884, Paperback)

Following her marriage to Michael Mont, Fleur Forsyte throws herself into the Roaring 20s with the rest of London and takes life as it comes. But her marriage is haunted by the ghost of a past love affair, and however vibrant Fleur appears, those closest to her sense her unhappiness. Michael, devoted to Fleur but not blind to her faults, is determined to stand by her through anything. Will their marriage last, and just how much can Michael forgive?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The fourth of the nine novels in The Forsyte Chronicles. In this new chapter, Fleur and Michael Mont begin to question their marriage when their good friend, author Wilfred Desert, can no longer contain his passion for Fleur. Fleur finds herself torn between her love for Michael and passion for Wilfred.… (more)

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