14 November, 2011
Riceyman Steps by Arnold Bennett (1923)
Bennett was immensely popular in the early 1900s in England, and because of this his staid, traditional style was mercilessly pilloried by the modernist movement. His reputation never really recovered. I could say that’s a shame but I wouldn't really mean it, for the years have not been kind to his writing. It feels dated and the class system pervades his writing in a rather patronising way giving it this odd, conservative reek. That said, he is a natural storyteller and Riceyman Steps is a sombre yet absorbing tale centreing on a miser of a man who runs a bookstore in London.