Review: The History of Mr Polly- H.G Wells


This was the companion book to Warm Vellum Books’ October choice for me (the other was The Darling Buds of May) and it’s definitely an interesting one.

I’ve never read any H.G. Wells before, so I had no preconceptions of what this might be like. It’d be overstating it to say that I enjoyed it; for quite a small book, it was a bit of a slog. It probably didn’t help that the typeface was tiny.

The book itself does as it says- it tells the story of a man who is a bit of an Everyman. Most of his life is spent muddling through, with one or two extraordinary incidences (a fire he sets himself ends with Mr Polly being hailed as a hero; he later fights off a scallywag with a range of ever-increasingly bizarre methods) and he often questions what he’s doing with his life.

I found it quite interesting that a lot of the novel was based on Wells’ own early life, but I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. Polly himself is a pompous ass for most of the book and he makes up words in that way that some people who think they’re cleverer than they often are do. It took a while to get used to! Not my favourite book of the year!

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