Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul, by H. G. Wells

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C. Scribner, 1905 - 479 pages

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User Review  - DanielSTJ - LibraryThing

This social novel started out well enough, but soon began to drag and fall by the wayside. The premise was intriguing, and there seemed to be a good set-up, but then the novel did not deliver what was ... Read full review

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User Review  - lisahistory - LibraryThing

A wonderful tale of a not-very-bright, not-very-advantaged young man who gets caught up in the world of wealth and good manners. The basis of the musical Half a Sixpence. Read full review

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Page 56 - Not to covet nor desire other men's goods ; but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my duty in that state of life, unto which it shall please God to call me.
Page 53 - Kipps would lie awake, all others in the dormitory asleep and snoring, and think dismally of the outlook Minton pictured. Dimly he perceived the thing that had happened to him — how the great stupid machine of retail trade had caught his life into its wheels, a vast irresistible force which he had neither strength of will nor knowledge to escape.
Page 231 - You'll soon be swelled too big to speak to a poor mechanic like me." Kipps was unprepared for the unpleasant truth; that the path of social advancement is and must be strewn with broken friendships. This first protrusion of that fact caused a painful confusion in his mind. It was speedily to protrude in a far more serious fashion in relation to the "hands" from the Emporium, and Chitterlow.
Page 335 - Dunciad, like some fat, proud flunkey, like pride, like indolence, like all that is darkening and heavy and obstructive in life. It is matter and darkness, it is the anti-soul, it is the ruling power of this land, Stupidity.
Page 45 - ... lengths, and saw dwindle and pass away out into that mysterious happy world in which the customer dwells. Kipps hurried from piling linen tablecloths, that were collectively as heavy as lead, to eat off oilcloth in a gas-lit dining-room underground; and beneath his overcoat, spare undershirt, and three newspapers he dreamt of combing endless blankets. So he had at least the chance of learning the beginnings of philosophy.
Page 46 - After this there were terrible exercises, at first almost despairfully difficult: certain sorts of goods that came in folded had to be rolled upon rollers, and for the most part refused absolutely to be rolled, at any rate by Kipps; and certain other sorts of goods that came from the wholesalers rolled had to be measured and folded, which folding makes young apprentices wish they were dead. All of it, too, quite avoidable trouble, you know, that is not avoided because of the cheapness of the genteeler...
Page 83 - After that there were times when Kipps had that pleasant sense that comes of attracting interest. He was a mute, inglorious Dickens, or at any rate something of that sort, and they were all taking him at that. The discovery of this indefinable "something...
Page 335 - But for that monster they might not be groping among false ideas and hurt one another so sorely; but for that, the glowing promise of childhood and youth might have had a happier fruition, thought might have awakened in them to meet the thought of the world, the quickening sunshine of literature pierced to the substance of their souls, their lives might not have been divorced, as now they are divorced, from the apprehension of beauty that we favoured ones are given — the vision of the Grail that...
Page 305 - ... Joyous, exorbitant music it was from the gigantic nursery of the Future, bearing the hearer along upon its torrential succession of sounds, as if he was in a cask on Niagara. Whiroo! Yah and have at you! The strenuous Life! Yaha! Stop! A Reprieve! A Reprieve! No! Bang! Bump! Everybody looked round, conversation ceased and gave place to gestures. The friend of Lady Jane became terribly agitated. "Can't it be stopped?" she vociferated, pointing a gloved finger and saying something to the waiter...
Page 44 - Kipps to dice and game, they made him over, body and soul, to Mr. Shalford for seven long years, the crucial years of his life. In return there were vague stipulations about teaching the whole art and mystery of the trade to him, but as there was no penalty attached to negligence, Mr. Shalford, being a sound practical business man, considered this a mere rhetorical flourish, and set himself assiduously to get as much out of Kipps and to put as little into him as he could in the seven years of their...

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