Mr. Polly has spent 15 dismal years as a respectable shopkeeper. His life has little to offer but more tedium and poverty, so he settles on the idea of suicide and plans a fire that will destroy him. But in the mayhem that ensues he forgets to kill himself and finds instead a whole new world just waiting for him.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Fans of H.G. Wells's famous, genre-spawning science fiction novels may be startled to read his less-remembered but once bestselling The History of Mr. Polly. Its comically romping narrative voice is worlds away from the stern, melancholy tone of The Time Machine. Wells won fame for his apocalyptic, preachy books about the history of the future, but this history is strictly, as Mr. Polly would put it in his creatively cracked version of English, a series of "little accidentulous misadventures."
Mr. Alfred Polly is a dyspeptic, miserably married shopkeeper in what he terms that "Beastly Silly Wheeze of a hole!"--Fishbourne, England. He is inclined to spark arguments and slapstick calamity wherever he goes. Education was lost on him: when he left school at 14, "his mind was in much the same state that you would be in, dear reader, if you were operated upon for appendicitis by a well-meaning, boldly enterprising, but rather overworked and underpaid butcher boy, who was superseded towards the climax of the operation by a left-handed clerk of high principles but intemperate habits... the operators had left, so to speak, all their sponges and ligatures in the mangled confusion." Still, Polly's mind burns with eccentric genius, and his thwarted romantic heart beats him senseless. His despair results in the most amusing suicide attempt this side of Lisa Alther's novel Kinflicks. We won't spoil the surprise by saying precisely how his scheme misfires--and beware: the introduction gives it away. Note that you can't expect Polly to do anything right, and of course he'll become an inadvertent hero to the whole town. Then he promptly vanishes for further misadventure.
Many critics compare Mr. Polly's broad social satire to Dickens, but it smacks of Mark Twain and the dialect humor of Finley Peter Dunne's Mr. Dooley too. "I think it is one of my good books," Wells opined. What makes it so is Polly's heroic incompetence, his subversion of Edwardian propriety, and his bewildered unawareness that he is a revolutionary. --Tim AppeloFrom the Publisher:
Founded in 1906 by J.M. Dent, the Everyman Library has always tried to make the best books ever written available to the greatest number of people at the lowest possible price. Unique editorial features that help Everyman Paperback Classics stand out from the crowd include: a leading scholar or literary critic's introduction to the text, a biography of the author, a chronology of her or his life and times, a historical selection of criticism, and a concise plot summary. All books published since 1993 have also been completely restyled: all type has been reset, to offer a clarity and ease of reading unique among editions of the classics; a vibrant, full-color cover design now complements these great texts with beautiful contemporary works of art. But the best feature must be Everyman's uniquely low price. Each Everyman title offers these extensive materials at a price that competes with the most inexpensive editions on the market-but Everyman Paperbacks have durable binding, quality paper, and the highest editorial and scholarly standards.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Audio, U.S.A., 1997. AUDIO CASSETTE. Book Condition: Very Good. 2 AUDIO CASSETTES NEW IN THE SHRINK WRAP! Brand new AUDIO CASSETTES. Just a bit of shelf wear. Enjoy this AUDIO CASSETTE performance GIFT QUALITY for your home and library. Audio Book. Bookseller Inventory # 200200140217168
Book Description Penguin Audiobooks, London, United Kingdom, 1997. Audio Cassette. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Q4 - 2 near fine cassettes in a very good cover/case that has some scratches and rubbing, light discoloration and shelf wear. All the tapes have been listened completely and all the tapes are good. Abridged. Approx. 3 hours. Read by Clive Swift. H.G. Wells's delightful story of an ordinary fellow escaping from his humdrum existence is as fresh today as when it was first published. Bookseller Inventory # EC6989BB