We Think the World of You (New York Review Books Classics)
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We Think the World of You combines acute social realism and dark fantasy, and was described by J.R. Ackerley as “a fairy tale for adults.” Frank, the narrator, is a middle-aged civil servant, intelligent, acerbic, self-righteous, angry. He is in love with Johnny, a young, married, working-class man with a sweetly easygoing nature. When Johnny is sent to prison for committing a petty theft, Frank gets caught up in a struggle with Johnny’s wife and parents for access to him. Their struggle finds a strange focus in Johnny’s dog—a beautiful but neglected German shepherd named Evie. And it is she, in the end, who becomes the improbable and undeniable guardian of Frank’s inner world.
I want a word with you. When will you be writing to Johnny again? ” “I expect to see him early next week. ” “You quite live there. ” “I’ve applied for another visit on compassionate grounds. ” “No visits come my way, I notice. ” “I’ll tell him, Frank. ” “Tell him, tell him, do. But I’m glad you’re seeing him. I want to get a message to him. ” “Didn’t he write you? He said he was going to. ” “Yes, I had a letter. ” There was an expectant pause at the other end. “But you know all about that. ” Silence. Evie was watching me intently.
Ackerley; introduction by P. N. Furbank. p. cm. ISBN 0-940322-26-9 (paperback :alk. paper) ISBN 978-1-59017-395-4 (paperback: alk. paper) 1. German shepherd dog Fiction. 2. Dogs—Great Britain Fiction. I. Title. PR6001. C4W4 2000 823'. 912—dc 21 99-34916 ebook ISBN: 978-1-59017-525-5 v1. 0 For a complete list of books in the NYRB Classics series, visit www. nyrb. com or write to: Catalog Requests, NYRB, 435 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014 CONTENTS Biographical Notes Title Page Copyright and More Information Dedication INTRODUCTION WE THINK THE WORLD OF YOU INTRODUCTION Advancing age has only intensified her jealousy.
This is the first Christmas at home he ever missed. ” It was a mild, moist afternoon and, as the bus trundled along through the ugly, stricken landscape I thought sadly of the vanished days when, with the figure of Johnny standing at the end of it, this had seemed to me the most exciting journey in the world. Ah well, I could at any rate talk to Millie about him, and she always gave one a warm welcome. Warm indeed! I had forgotten the fug of the Winders’ winter kitchen. Millie and Tom were both in it, and baby Dickie enthroned on a high chair which Ida had kindly lent.
Millie’s balanced judgments were far from suiting me and, rash though it was to draw him out, his ejaculation seemed to open up more profitable fields. He munched on his pipe before delivering himself. “She’s sly. I sized ’er up first time I set eyes on ’er, didn’t I, mate? ” This was to Millie. “I always said she’d do Johnny no good. ” “Hear, hear! ” I applauded. “You never spoke a truer word, Tom. But what I can’t understand is Johnny’s own behavior. He was fed to the teeth not long ago with her infernal jealousy, and from the names he called her you’d have thought he positively hated her.
Besides what else might he not get up to, idling about among other idlers in the Fulham Rec.? Rows started. “The dog’s all you think of,” she would say. “You think more of her than you do of me and the children. ” “She ’as to ’ave a piss, don’t she? ” Johnny would retort in a voice of rage, and the flat would resound with argument and recrimination. But beneath it all, I noticed as time wore on, undercurrents of chaff were discernible. Yell at her as he did, red in the face with pumped-up indignation, Johnny was not wholly unsuited by Megan’s objections.