A Far Country by Winston ChurchillYet another book wherein I note that if there were half stars on this website Id use a half star. Call this 4.5 stars. With that said . . .
Ive always been somewhat curious about Churchills books. Here we have a guy who was a best-selling author, a former military man, and something of a failed politician at the turn of the century (the 20th century). At one point in time, everything he released seemed to end up on the best-seller lists. And, at one point in time, no one would confuse him for that guy who would later become Prime Minister of Great Britain during the second world war. If anything, they would see a book by that Churchill and wonder if the American Churchill had written it. Then the American Churchill retired from public life in 1919, had one unsuccessful book appear in roughly 1940 and became completely overshadowed by Sir Winston Churchill. But enough of the reasons why I was interested, more on the book itself.
A Far Country has an oddly modern feel to it. Men and women struggling with transition, the changing nature of marriage, the changing nature of power, economics, politics. If this book hadnt been written around 1915, but was only set in 1915, Id have some vague feeling that it was too modern. Im trying to think of exceptions to the modern feel, and the only thing I can think of would be the somewhat limited use of cars at the time, and in the book.
A man grows up in an upper-middle class household. Maybe even upper class. There seemed to be the idea in Hughs mind, the main fella in the book, that his father hadnt been as rich as he actually turned out to be. But no matter, for all intents and purposes, Hugh was born in a leading family, in the higher class of a city. The city is never named, though I got the impression it was a mid-western city. Not sure if it was supposed to be St. Louis or not, but I was thinking of St. Louis as I was reading the book, mostly because Churchill himself was from there.
Got distracted there. Right, so, man grows up in a leading family, father and mother deeply religious, father a high-class and much respected lawyer, mother a housewife. Has many friends. Some of which from the lower classes. One particular female seems to hang around him, and there was some indication that she rather fancied him. And eventually they . . . went their separate ways during then after high school due to misunderstandings.
Hugh had the potential to be the best student in school, but didnt see any reason to push himself, so he just coasted. To the point that his father got him an opportunity to have a good job in business, instead of sending him to college. This both woke Hugh up, and lead to the misunderstandings that lead him and Nancy to part from each other. Not wanting to be other, Hugh pushed himself and got into Harvard.
Estranged from religion, for the most part, and from love, also for the most part (due to the split from Nancy), Hugh went for power. Paths kept coming up, opportunities that would have lead one way or another and he always seemed to chose the one that went a particular direction. A direction that eventually lead to him being a lawyer. A corporate lawyer. A very powerful man.
Quite interesting book. With much talk about the economics, politics, religion, and people of the time. Paths that might have been taken. Paths that should be taken in the future. Shortly after the mid-point in the book, the story turned heavily into Nancy-Hugh stuff. A turn that lead me to skimming. That section was important to the overall story, but could probably have been reduced from 20% of the book down to . . . oh, 10%. Or less. Enough to have its impact. But not so much that it would lead to skimming.
Well, Ive read at least one book by the two fellas named Winston Churchill who were living at roughly the same time. Both, based on the several books Ive read by Sir Winston S. Churchill (Winston S. Churchill being what he himself put on his books, after noticing the other Winston Churchill publishing books, the S not being a middle name but a part of his last name, Spencer-Churchill), and the one book by this Winston Churchill, Id say that both are worthwhile reads. And enjoyable in their own ways. Though one mostly wrote fiction (this Churchill here), while the other mostly wrote non-fiction (that other Churchill).
Far Country - Winston Churchill - Published 1900 onward - Talking Book - English - 4/12
A Far Country by Winston Churchill, First Edition
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E-mail a link to this book. This is a story of the career of Hugh Paret from youth to manhood. The phrase "a far country" is from the Biblical parable of the prodigal son who takes everything he is given and runs off to fulfill his own desires. Paret leaves Great Britain where he grew up and travels to America with his worldly goods while gathering up and refining other more useful talents which provide him the greater wealth of honor and a standard of excellence. Once in the New World he attends Harvard, graduates, is admitted to the bar and joins a firm of corporate lawyers, the first of their kind. He is introduced to new people, different customs, and various adventures when he enters the world of big business as it announces the awakening of social ethics.
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A Far Country book. Read 5 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Hugh Paret, corporate lawyer on American eastern seabord, narrates his.
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