Books · Read in 2022 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: Travels with my Aunt (Graham Greene)

This was a surprisingly fun listen!


Title: Travels with my Aunt
Author: Graham Greene
Tim Pigott-Smith
 Fiction / Modern Classic
First published: 1969
Edition: Audio & paperback, published by Penguin Books in 1971

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at what he supposes to be his mother’s funeral. Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay. Through Aunt Augusta, a veteran of Europe’s hotel bedrooms, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society: mixing with hippies, war criminals, CIA men; smoking pot, breaking all the currency regulations and eventually coming alive after a dull suburban life.


First line(s):

I met my aunt Augusta for the first time in more than half a century at my mother’s funeral.


This was my first book by this author, but it will definitely not be my last. There was something so lovely, yet intriguing about it. The story kept my attention all the way through and the narrator did a great job.

It’s a small story set all over the world as Henry follows his aunt. Although the conclusion to the story was quite obvious, I did not mind at all. I enjoyed the journey plenty enough.

I know Graham Greene has written much grittier books, and I have Brighton Rock on my shelves to try in the future, but this one really worked for me. I liked the writing a lot and it made me smile in places. The story is crazy without being over the top. It was just a joy.

There were a few things that were a little questionable, but nothing that bothered me an enormous amount considering when it was written.

I will definitely try more by this author. He was quite prolific, so I am sure he will have other novels I end up loving.

6 out of 7 stars

CAWPILE score: 8.4

  • Characters: 8
  • Atmosphere: 8
  • Writing Style: 9
  • Plot: 8.5
  • Intrigue: 8.5
  • Logic: 8
  • Enjoyment: 9

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