Quartet in Autumn (Bello) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Quartet in Autumn Paperback – Sep 2000


See all 20 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, Sep 2000
Audio Cassette
"Please retry"

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Moyer Bell Ltd (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559212780
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559212786
  • Product Dimensions: 38.9 x 20.1 x 11.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Amazon

Quartet in Autumn is one of the books Pym wrote during the 15 years when no one would publish her, and perhaps the same kind of balance between hopelessness and inner strength helped shape this novel's story about four friends in an office nearing the age of retirement. They are people who have lived unspectacularly, but who have conjured a sense of themselves from the quartet's unity. Things start to change when two of them retire. Pym maps this ordinary strangeness of life with her particular genius for brilliant psychological insight and quiet humor that never strains for effect. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

When the Times Literary Supplement asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the past 75 years, only one was mentioned twice: Barbara Pym. Barbara Pym wrote nine novels, including An Unsuitable Attachment, Quartet in Autumn and The Sweet Dove Died. She died in 1980.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By AllNightReader on Feb. 2 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the darkest of Pym's books, written when she was older and perhaps, wiser. It doesn't have the funny, frivolous tone of the earlier works. The writing is spare and to the point. It describes the lonliness and lack of connectedness of four office workers about to retire; most of them without family or close relatives. Most of them are socially disfunctional, and at at least one of them, is actually mentally ill (Marcia). There is a disturbing undertone of loss and failure, yet it is also a story of human dignity and survival. These people are survivors in spite of all that happens to them. There is commentary here about the social service network and how it fails people, the failure of the Church to help meaningfully (Father Gellibrand) and the distance between friends. At the end there is a modest sense that these people will do the best they can with the circumstances they find themselves in, and we wish them well. Pym had survived cancer and a stroke before she wrote this and I think her experiences contributed profoundly to this book.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Paperback
What happens to people as they grow older in a society that does not value the elderly? This is the critical question Barbara Pym addresses in her novel, Quartet in Autumn. She takes us into the lives of four aging co-workers on the brink of retirement; they are no longer of use to anyone and their department will be phased out as soon as they leave the company. Marcia, Letty, Edwin, and Norman are all alone, without friends or relatives to care for them in their later lives. Each of them is terribly lonely, yet they are too stubborn and ashamed to turn to one another for friendship.
The novel is moving, and sometimes downright scary. Indeed, Pym shows us that such a fate could easily belong to anyone in today's society. She makes it readily apparent that the resources and aid available to the elderly are insufficient. Few people truly care what happens to those who are no longer of any great use to the modern world. It is a bleak prospect, and this book serves as an important warning. The book is also hopeful, however. Ultimately the main characters do manage to reach out to one another, and this is heartwarming. It shows us the value in cultivating relationships with others.
I read Quartet in Autumn for a women's studies course, and while it is not particularly exciting or enthralling, it is quite thought-provoking. It's an easy, short read (roughly 200 pages), and uses plain, to-the-point language. Pym really pares it down to the issues at hand and throws in no extraneous fluff. I would recommend this work to just about anyone (regardless of age - it's message is equally important to the old and young alike). It raises awareness of a very important, yet seldom looked at aspect of the social world of today.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Catherine Weaver on March 15 2001
Format: Paperback
Every Barbara Pym novel is excellent. And, from most of them, you know what to expect: spinsters and curates and cakes and jumble sales.
But this one is about four people, old, and getting older, each one, in their own way. And this one is not just excellent: it is amazing.
The arch gaze which Pym usually trained on comfortable, mundane, church society, is, in Quartet, focused upon eccentricity: the growing manifestation of uniqueness which signifies old age. With a sensitivity which is unusual in the literature of any age, let alone that of this century, Pym follows the meanderings of her protagonists' minds,through their every day activities. Gradually, she derives an astounding narrative about the development of individual perspectives as they are colored by time.
It's a slow novel, a careful one, and one which turns Barbara Pym's penchant for wry insight into a sympathetic tribute to the human psyche.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Trixie on Aug. 15 2000
Format: Paperback
Although one of her most acclaimed, QUARTET IN AUTUMN is my least favorite of Barbara Pym's major novels. It is spare and muted in tone, and its humor is very subdued.
QUARTET IN AUTUMN is a study of the courage required of ordinary people when old age begins to take away all that gives life meaning--work, family, friends. It is therefore mainly concerned with questions of survival. Its four main characters are isolated and anonymous London office workers on the verge of retirement. Some manage to continue to find ways to make their lives possible, but the book is also unsparing about how bleak the alternatives are.
QUARTER IN AUTUMN is admirably disciplined and honest, but it is disquieting because it admits the possibility of only the merest survival.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
By Trixie on Aug. 15 2000
Format: Paperback
Although one of her most acclaimed, QUARTET IN AUTUMN is my least favorite of Barbara Pym's major novels. It is spare and muted in tone, and its humor is very subdued.
QUARTET IN AUTUMN is a study of the courage required of ordinary people when old age begins to take away all that gives life meaning--work, family, friends. It is therefore mainly concerned with questions of survival. Its four main characters are isolated and anonymous London office workers. Some manage to continue to find ways to make their lives possible, but the book is also unsparing about the bleaker alternatives.
The writing in QUARTER IN AUTUMN is disciplined and mature, but it is disquieting because it admits the possibility of only the merest survival.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most recent customer reviews



Feedback