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The Card

The Card


The Card

ratings:
4/5 (6 ratings)
Length:
1 hour
Released:
Jan 10, 2008
ISBN:
9780194210782
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Every town should have a 'card' - someone who gets talked about, someone who does mad and wonderful things, someone who makes you laugh. Bursley in the Five Towns has a 'card': Edward Henry Machin (Denry for short). Denry begins life in a poor little house where the rent is twenty-three pence a week. But before he's thirty, he's made a lot of money, and had more adventures than you and I have had hot dinners. The town of Bursley never stops talking about him. Whatever will young Denry do next?
Released:
Jan 10, 2008
ISBN:
9780194210782
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


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What people think about The Card

4.2
6 ratings / 6 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    A fun and humorous book about a young man, born poor, who by a series of ludicrous yet surprisingly effective schemes moves up the social and financial ladder to mayor of the town.
  • (5/5)
    Edward Henry Machin,generally known as Denry, makes a name for himself as an eccentric,or card. Living as he does in Bursley,one of the Five Towns,he first makes a name for himself by wangling a ticket for himself and two others to the Countess of Chell's Ball. From then on nothing can stop him in his various exploits,including starting a 'thrift club' with thousands of subscribers and running trips out of Llandudno to visit a wreck. He finally becomes very rich and manages to get himself made Mayor of the town,where he started out as a lowly clerk.The thing is,that out of an ordinary story of an ordinary life,Bennett has written a wonderfully funny book,and one which I cannot commend enough.
  • (4/5)
    Right in my wheelhouse, clever dialogue and set in Victorian England.
  • (4/5)
    When I first saw the 1952 film version of this rags-to-riches comedy, I jumped to the conclusion that the slapstick scenes with runaway furniture vans and excitable mules must all have been added by the film-makers to ginger the story up a bit, but it turns out they're all there in the book. Even though it was written and published three years before Sir Alec Guinness first saw the smoke in Maida Vale, you can't help feeling that Bennett's famously shrewd business eye had already spotted the possibilities of the new medium and that he wrote his book with the film rights in mind. The paradox that underpins the story is Bennett's observation that while ambition and success are normally unforgivable crimes against good taste in Staffordshire, you can get away with almost anything if you are prepared to play the fool and make yourself ridiculous from time to time. Public figures like Richard Branson and Boris Johnson still exploit this principle shamelessly today (shamelessly is, of course, the only way you can do it...). Not just in Staffordshire: the well-known Berlusconi Effect is based on the same basic understanding.Bennett was rather despised by contemporaries for the huge amount of money he was able to make out of literature. This book, in which he clearly encourages the reader to look for autobiographical elements, may have been designed to defuse that criticism. In the very first sentence, he establishes that Denry shares his own birthday, 27 May 1867 (it's also well-known that Bennett started out as a solicitor's clerk and rent collector). The last sentence, in which someone comments that Denry is "identified with the great cause of cheering us all up", seems to be a strong hint to the reader that this identification goes for Mr Bennett too. On this occasion, at least, it seems to hold good...
  • (3/5)
    This is a story of a man. His name is Denry. When he was young he was not so rich, but after he got new job his life changed. His business is very unigue. His way is win and win.Not only he but also his partneres or his customeres can get money. His business goes very well and he became very rich. Now we know that we have few resource on the earth. If we keep being salfish we can't live longer. So we have to think much carefully about every living on the Earth. Is it just a story made by someone? No! we can learn from Denry's way.
  • (5/5)
    A hilarious and affectionate account of the life of a supreme opportunist, charting his rise from exceptionally humble origin to becoming Mayor of the Five Towns.Edward Henry ("Denry") Machin scored his first coup on the mo0rning before his exam for a scholarship, seizing the opportunity to amend the end of year score in his report card. From that point on his career as opportunist was assured, and Bennett chronicles his rise (and occasional reverse) with great clarity and humour.As ever, Bennett's portrayal of the Five Towns (clearly modelled on the six towns that eventually metamorphosed into Stoke On Trent) is pellucid, and never wholly subject to rose-tinted lenses, and he gives us a fantastic insight into the prevailing mores of the late nineteenth/early twentieth century in a bustling industrial town.Humorous throughout. the episode of the rivalry between the two local newspapers is especially engaging. Denry Machin is one of the great characters from that period, and deserves to be far better know than he is.