Classic English Literature. · Misc. Historical Fiction. · Short Stories

Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton

“I shall try to remember those older faces of yours, but it’s just possible I shan’t be able to–and then some day you’ll see me somewhere and I shan’t recognize you and you’ll say to yourself, ‘The old boy doesn’t remember me.’…But I do remember you–as you are now. That’s the point. In my mind you never grow up at all.” 

I watched the 1939 film adaptation of this before I read this book. This book is also quite short. It was more like a novella, and I read it in an hour, hence the reason for two blogposts in a day.

This book was good but quite disjointed in a narrative sense because it really does read like memory. It is quite stagnant, plotwise, but still does not lose any of its power to make you laugh and / or make you emotional. There is more emphasis on him as an older, wiser teacher than as a younger new teacher fresh from university. Even so, he comes into the world in the middle of the 19th century and leaves it as a second war looms.

I am trying to avoid writing a comparison between the book and the film, so I will not. But Chips certainly stood as a symbol of constancy in a forever changing world. A very adorable little book. I highly recommend it.

MY RATING: **** / *****

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