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Less Than Angels
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
29 posts | 17 read | 24 to read
This classic novel holds the mirror up to human nature and the battle between the sexes as it explores the love lives of a group of anthropologists Catherine Oliphant writes for women s magazines and lives comfortably with anthropologist Tom Mallow although she s starting to wonder if they ll ever get married. Then Tom drops his bombshell: He s leaving her for nineteen-year-old student Deirdre Swan. Though stunned by Tom s betrayal, Catherine quickly becomes fascinated by another anthropologist, Alaric Lydgate, a reclusive eccentric recently returned from Africa. As Catherine starts to weigh her options she gradually realizes who she is and what she really wants.With its lively cast of characters, "Less Than Angels" is an incisive social satire that opens a window onto the insular world of academia. It s also a poignant and playful riff on the messy mating habits of humans and the traits that separate us from our anthropological forebears far fewer than we may imagine."
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AnneCecilie
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Pickpick

Centered around a group of anthropologists, it‘s students and their friends and family. This is the same snarky Pym that I met in “Excellent Women” and I loved it.

The two sisters competing over who is the most religious was just too much.

#BookSpin October @TheAromaofBooks
#1955 #192025 @Librarybelle

julieclair Stacked! I love Barbara Pym, and haven't read this one yet. 4mo
jlhammar One of the Pyms I own, but haven‘t read yet. Looking forward to it! 4mo
Librarybelle Sounds good! 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 4mo
CarolynM ❤️ 4mo
58 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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CarolynM
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Thank you for the rec to read this one next @Ruthiella it felt like a companion piece to Excellent Women. Although I think Mildred would be a little shocked by Catherine, I suspect they would be friends. And Tom (the cad!) was, in many ways, the anti- Evered Bone. I don't know why I hadn't read Pym years ago. It won't be long till I read another one.

Ruthiella I agree that Catherine and Mildred would get along. If you can, read No Fond Return of Love next because it has the tiniest follow up to Less Than Angels. I want some clever to write a nonfiction book showing all the links between the books. (edited) 1y
CarolynM @Ruthiella I don't have that one, I will have to go searching in the second hand bookshops 🙂 1y
LeahBergen I did Anthropology in university and the common room in this one (and the blathering students) reminded me so much of those days. 🤣 1y
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CarolynM @LeahBergen It felt quite a lot like a campus novel to me so I can see how it would bring back those days! 1y
Cathythoughts I enjoyed this one too 👍🏻❤️ 1y
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Lcsmcat
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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I basically sat out here all day and read this charming little novel. Pym is like a post-war Austen and a perfect vacation read. #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

Deblovestoread Lovely view! 1y
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
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Lcsmcat
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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A quiet morning, watching the sun rise over the ocean and starting my #bookspin for October. What better way to start a #vacation. @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Sounds perfect!! 😍 1y
LeahBergen Pym! ❤️❤️ 1y
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Moray_Reads
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Pickpick

Ah, Barbara Pym. What can you say except that it's funny, sharply observed with that air of tenderness that make them so readable. Less than angels is all of these, with its gently absurd characters and their complex relationships. Perfect for cosying up in a holiday cottage in the Isle of Mull while the rain pours down. #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

LeahBergen I recently read this one, too. All of the back-and-forth in the Anthropology department reminded me so much of the Anthropology lounge back in my own uni days. 😆😆 I loved it. 2y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!! I really need to read a Pym. She's been on my list forever!! 2y
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LeahBergen
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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The ‘currently reading‘ stack.

I always find (when reading several books at a time) that my ‘sweet spot‘ is one non-fiction, one vintage children‘s, and one adult fiction.

What‘s your ideal stack? 😊

Ruthiella I loved Less Than Angels! 😍 I usually have a number of books going at once and just have to make sure that they are distinct enough from each other, whether by genre or subject matter, etc. 2y
LeahBergen Same! I definitely have to make sure that I don‘t read two vintage children‘s books at the same time (as I tend to choose books of very similar subject matter 🙄). @Ruthiella (edited) 2y
Cathythoughts I recently read Less Than Angels .. really enjoyed 👍🏻. I only ever read 1 book at a time , but influenced by Litsy I‘ve branched out lately & have maybe 3 books on the go ... & yes maybe one historical & one more modern / or at least different genres.. a hardback , a kindle book ( for bed & lights out ) , an audio for walking... I‘m finding my way. It‘s fun 👍🏻😁 2y
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Simona Almost always my pairing is nonfiction as audiobooks, and literary fiction as ebook/print. 2y
TrishB I only ever read one book at a time! 2y
CarolynM I almost always have a romance going on the kindle as a bedtime book, as well as whatever one or two hard copy books I've got going - mostly fiction but sometimes something factual. 2y
youneverarrived I generally have a non-fiction and fiction book on the go (one on kindle and one in print) plus an audiobook. Works for me 👍 2y
MsMelissa I have no idea what my ideal stack would look like. 🤔 2y
Dogearedcopy Someone once told me that you should always have a fiction, a non-fiction and, a biography going at the same time. (I‘ve always wondered why they made a distinction between NF & bio!) Anyway, my current ideal is a play, a romance and, a wild card choice in audio. A movie based on a book usually makes the mix too! 🙂 2y
MaureenMc I generally have one fiction and one nonfiction going at the same time. Lately, I‘ve found I can‘t have more than 2 at a time, as it just seems like it takes forever to finish them. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
JenniferP One fiction and one nonfiction. I sometimes add a third long term read (think a big classic like Proust, Don Quixote, a Trollope series). 2y
KVanRead What a lovely stack💕 Mine would be one non-fiction, one lit classic, and one contemporary novel. 2y
charl08 As many as I can get my hands on. #nobookishselfcontrol #toomanybooks 2y
britt_brooke Beautiful stack! For me - one physical book, one ebook, one audio. It can be a mix of genres, but at least one needs to be nonfiction. 2y
ValerieAndBooks My reading mix is usually one or two big chunkster ( if it's two -- one of each of non fiction and fiction), one or two micro-histories, and a quick fiction read! At least 3 going at a time. 2y
LeahBergen @ValerieAndBooks I need to crack into another history chunkster soon. 👍 2y
Suet624 I basically can only read one book at a time. 😳 2y
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Cathythoughts
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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This was my second Pym ... I preferred Excellent Women... but this was very good too , witty & amusing. & sad too I will read more Pym in the future.

For #Booked2021 #MustacheonCover

LeahBergen I think you‘ll like Some Tame Gazelle and Jane and Prudence. 😊 2y
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen Thanks! I‘ll look them up ... I value your suggestions ❤️ 2y
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Cathythoughts
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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There‘s my man on the far left sporting a beard and #mustacheoncover #Booked2021 #Winter ...hoping to start later today ... they are all on the wine ! I might join them later 😁

TrishB It‘s Friday ❤️ I‘ll definitely be joining them later! 2y
Cathythoughts @TrishB Happy Friday Trish ... ❤️ 2y
TrishB You too Cathy ♥️ have to try and break the week up some how! 2y
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rockpools Pretty photo - and excellent plan!! 2y
Cathythoughts @TrishB by ‘might‘ I mean, ‘ definitely‘ ! 😂 2y
Cathythoughts @rockpools Thanks! I hope it‘s good 🤞🏻 2y
Lcsmcat Barbara Pym is a good choice for Friday. ❤️ 2y
Cathythoughts @Lcsmcat I think so too 😁❤️ 2y
LeahBergen I have this one waiting on my shelves! 👍🏻 2y
Ruthiella My second favorite Pym (so far). Favorite is Excellent Women. 😀 2y
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen I failed to start today ... ( well , one paragraph & it was good ... tomorrow 🤞🏻 2y
Cathythoughts @Ruthiella oh that‘s good to hear 👍🏻❤️ 2y
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Jess_Read_This
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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“Catherine often wondered whether anthropologists became so absorbed in studying the ways of strange societies that they forgot what was the usual thing in their own (p. 21)”

Who knew the lives of anthropologists could be so interesting? Catherine is a marvelous outside observer to group as she is tossed by one for a younger student. The British wit, stoicism, and wry observations are perfection.

#currentlyreading #pym #anglophile #booklover

LeahBergen Pym! ❤️❤️ 3y
Jess_Read_This @LeahBergen I adore her. This one is nice but it I enjoyed Excellent Women a bit better. I think I‘m going to try Jane and Prudence after this too. ❤️ 3y
62 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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HardcoverHearts
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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After being a sobbing mess when I finished the last book, my husband begged me to choose a lighter book next or take a break. 😂 I have to agree. Time for a palate cleanser. I have been slowly reading this on my kindle and enjoying it, so I will turn to knocking this out tonight before bed. I do love a comedy of manners and this is more amusing than I expected. My heart needs a rest so it‘s a good option.

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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Pickpick

I'm reading Pym's novels in sequence and this, her fourth, a tale of anthropologists and their loved ones in 1950s English suburbia, didn't grab me nearly as much as the first three. Not at first. But at a certain point Pym set her character Catherine, a nonconforming romance novelist, aflame: I was suddenly gobsmacked, wondering just how far the blaze might carry us.

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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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I shall never admit just how deeply this has been true for me at various points in my so-called adult life! 😂😂

#QuoteOfTheDay

BestDogDad Perfect. This is me the two or three times annually I return to my hometown. 6y
LeahBergen Oh! That reminds me ... I forgot to show you my " Drunk Pym-ing" haul. ? 6y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen I'm all 👂👂👂👂! 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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rubyslippersreads Love this! I have to read some Barbara Pym. 6y
saresmoore I'm just trying to imagine this. Dark robes and collars? 6y
shawnmooney @saresmoore The ecclesiastical garment under discussion here is the alb, which google informs me is the white robe worn underneath all the fancy stuff. 6y
saresmoore @shawnmooney That certainly sounds more suited to a garden. I ♥️ Google. 6y
Suet624 I think anything of color hanging on a clothesline above deep green grass and under a brilliant blue sky is sublime. 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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saresmoore You find the best sentences, Shawn! This is so alive. 6y
batsy This makes me think of Downton Abbey 😂 A chauffeur who tries to hide his socialist tendencies. 6y
saresmoore @batsy True! Haha! 6y
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shawnmooney @saresmoore @batsy True dat! But I try to blot out my hate-trauma of having watched most of Downton. 6y
saresmoore @shawnmooney Hahaha! I quit after one season. 6y
batsy @saresmoore Heh, I found myself hate-watching out of habit and quit after the chauffeur-marrying daughter died. Sorry to have re-lived the trauma @shawnmooney 😂 6y
Suet624 @batsy I had no one to talk to when that daughter died. I was stunned. Just ruined the show for me. She was my favorite character. 6y
batsy @Suet624 I wish I had known you then! Because I was only watching it for her. 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Don't tell anyone, but this might end up being my epitaph! 💜

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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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It doesn't get any more Pymian than this. 💜❤️

saresmoore Wow, I didn't know I could stack something so fast! 6y
shawnmooney @saresmoore If there were such a feature, I'd AUTO-STACK every new book you post about! 😘 6y
saresmoore Except for the weird postmodern horror/thrillers I read for challenges. 🙃 6y
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shawnmooney @saresmoore Maybe even some of those! 6y
LeahBergen Oh no ... this wasn't one that I ordered when I was "drunk Pyming". ? 6y
shawnmooney @LeahBergen I guess the title hit a little too close to home? 😂😂😘😘 6y
LeahBergen Maybe that's it!! 😄 6y
28 likes1 stack add7 comments
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Megabooks 🤣🤣 6y
ReadingEnvy I would think a housewife would know the lemon trick!! 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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saresmoore That portrait is perfect! 6y
shawnmooney @saresmoore I aim to please! I am sure I'm not alone when I confess to having gone into some Sara-withdrawal these past few days - glad to see you back! 😘😍😘😍 6y
saresmoore Well, shucks! ♥️♥️ 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Am I the only bookish introvert who can identify 250% with this? 😂

Suet624 I giggled when I read this and said "I'm with you!!!" 6y
NovelGirl82 🙋 6y
KellyMuser Sounds familiar. 🤓 6y
saresmoore Oh, yes. Haha! 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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MamaGina Not enough time to go down every rabbit hole, Alice!🐰 6y
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shawnmooney
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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saresmoore Hahahaha! 6y
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ampersunder
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym
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Love Barbara Pym so much. I read this one years ago and I can't believe how much of it I remember. (Granted, there's some overlap & similarities with her other books.) Great writing, great characters, brilliant insights into the human condition.

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ampersunder
Less Than Angels | Barbara Pym

"Curiosity has its pains as well as its pleasures, and the bitterest of its pains must surely be the inability to follow up everything to its conclusion."