Buried Alive: A Tale of These Days – Arnold Bennett (1908)

book2012It’s been a long while since I have leisurely browsed the library shelves, and so I happened to wander over to the B section just to see what was there on offer. I came across a few copies of Arnold Bennett’s writing, and since I really enjoyed “The Wives’ Tale” a while back, I saw this one and checked it out. It was an older book edition, it had yellowing pages and the font was perfect so if it ended up being a good story to boot, then it was win-win-win. 🙂

Bennett was a prolific writer and wrote everything from novels to self-help so there is a lot to choose from (on-line). The pickings at our library were slim, but not everyone is quite the fan of writers such as Bennett and I get that. I was not familiar with this title, but felt comfortable checking it out after reading the jacket, and so I settled down one rare rainy Saturday last weekend for a good read. The Superhero was out of town, it was cool and damp, and there were no pressing items on the to-do list. It was pretty much a “perfect read for a perfect time” type of situation which ended up being…perfect! Ha.

Written as satire, Buried Alive is a shortish novel that focuses on Priam Farll, a world famous painter who is very shy and happiest out of the limelight. When Henry Leek, the painter’s valet, dies unexpectedly, Priam seizes the opportunity to change identities with his unknown (and now dead) assistant and retreat to a much valued quiet life. At first, it was just an impulsive lark to do so, but as time continues and events start to get more complicated, the story picks up speed.

This is a quick read and a light-hearted novel focusing on the old standby of mistaken identity, dead bodies and turnkey moments in someone’s life. And yet, trite as that may sound, this was also a great read – it’s not a demanding narrative, but if you’re just looking for a solidly good read that’s hard to put down, then you’ll be happy with Buried Alive. It’s not deep; it’s not provocative; it’s not packed with lots of big words, but it is an enjoyable way to spend some time.

Proof that it really rained water from the sky last week or so...

Proof that it really rained water from the sky last week or so…

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