One thought on “Fielding Gray”

  1. Between having seen the TV series (even if it is considered something of a travesty), and knowing it falls apart towards the end, I've concluded I'll probably never get around to A Dance to the Music of Time - but I have always been intrigued by its disreputable cousin, Alms for Oblivion. Read the first paragraph of Raven's entry and you'll have some idea of why. And I decided to start it here - chronologically the first book. Is that wise? Would I recommend that people first visit Narnia with [...]

  2. Set in an unnamed boys' public school in the months following Germany's surrender in May 1945, Fielding Gray appears to be highly autobiographical, as, like his eponymous protagonist, Raven was expelled from such a school (Charterhouse) for homosexual activities despite similar scholastic and cricketing prowess. He also had a understandably loathed father. 17-year-old golden schoolboy hero Fielding conceives lustful and vaguely romantic feelings for "not clever" and "not handsome" Christopher Ro [...]

  3. So far, this was the best of the "Alms for Oblivion cycle, probably because it's the most autobiographic.I should say here, that I'm not reading the "Alms for Oblivion" cycle according to its internal chronology, but in the order they were written. Though in this fashion, the cycle is not a linear story, the dips and reverses in time add depth to the characters, and certainly make the plots of the individual novels more interesting. For two novels, they've been alluding to catastrophic events in [...]

  4. Set in 1945, this is a story of what happens when the acceptaed school boy flirtations and crushes develop into something stronger and less accepted. Fielding, an upper level student at an all boy school, is attracted to a younger student. He pursues him, seduces him, but isn't ready when the younger boy wants to continue the relationship over the term break. An unhappy home life convinces Fielding that is is good to be wanted, despite warnings from other classmates that he's wrong to encourage [...]

  5. Simon Raven's "Alms for Oblivion" series is one of the most original, sexy, intriguing sagas you'll ever read. Based upon a quotation from Shakespeare's "Troilus and Cressida", the series describes how the norms, taboos and values of the British upper classes have become increasingly irrelevant and dangerous in the post WWII world. Raven has little sentiment in his writings most of his large cast of characters are self-serving, cynical, amoral, sleazy and uncaring, and some of them border on the [...]

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