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The Three Clerks Paperback – Large Print, Oct 11 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 620 pages
  • Publisher: BiblioLife; large type edition edition (Oct. 11 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426499892
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426499890
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 24.2 x 18.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)


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By mcerner on Sept. 22 2003
Format: Paperback
I've been reading Trollope's works, and coming across the Three Clerks, thought it might be as interesting and as exciting as the novels I had already read. Not so. Generally, Trollope takes his time at the beginning of his books, setting up characters, situations, locations -- so for about one hundred pages or less, you have a rather slow-paced, dull introduction. Then the suspense tends to emerge and the books become difficult to put down until the very satisfying (in most cases) ending. However, The Three Clerks lacks suspense. Partly, this is due to Trollope's negligence in fleshing out his characters; otherwise, it is the result of concentrating on his exposition on the civil service and less on his characters and their private situations. The book becomes Dickensian in some respects, and Dickens isn't exactly known for clarity or excitement. There being no suspense about the characters, and in fact no great interest in any of them, the book is more of an endurance test to read than a pleasure.
One problem could be that Trollope tries to handle too many characters. The Three Clerks of the title are Harry Norman, his best friend and eventually worst enemy Alaric Tudor (who steals his promotion and then his lady-love), and Alaric's cousin, the dissipated and indebted Charley Tudor. Of these young men, Harry Norman in his innocence, having much to learn about the ways of men, women and the world, would have been the most interesting to pursue, but Trollope concentrates on Alaric and his ambitions which eventually get him into a courtroom and jail -- though with a surprisingly light sentence for a man who swindles a client's fortune. The young men are matched to three young women, the Woodward sisters.
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Format: Paperback
Trollope covers broad range of life in this wonderfully amusing tale of three very diverse clerks and the career paths they take in Victorian England. He depicts them with depth and sympathy and you can't help feeling sorry for the plights their own follies bring upon them. Trollope knew the life he wrote about from his own eventful and long remembered career as a postal worker! Romance and vivid scene painting combine with social comentary to make Three Clerks a classic worth reading for pleasure as well as for the cultural history education it offers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
9 to 5 Victorian Style April 3 2000
By Bookreader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Trollope covers broad range of life in this wonderfully amusing tale of three very diverse clerks and the career paths they take in Victorian England. He depicts them with depth and sympathy and you can't help feeling sorry for the plights their own follies bring upon them. Trollope knew the life he wrote about from his own eventful and long remembered career as a postal worker! Romance and vivid scene painting combine with social comentary to make Three Clerks a classic worth reading for pleasure as well as for the cultural history education it offers.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Dull Sept. 22 2003
By mcerner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been reading Trollope's works, and coming across the Three Clerks, thought it might be as interesting and as exciting as the novels I had already read. Not so. Generally, Trollope takes his time at the beginning of his books, setting up characters, situations, locations -- so for about one hundred pages or less, you have a rather slow-paced, dull introduction. Then the suspense tends to emerge and the books become difficult to put down until the very satisfying (in most cases) ending. However, The Three Clerks lacks suspense. Partly, this is due to Trollope's negligence in fleshing out his characters; otherwise, it is the result of concentrating on his exposition on the civil service and less on his characters and their private situations. The book becomes Dickensian in some respects, and Dickens isn't exactly known for clarity or excitement. There being no suspense about the characters, and in fact no great interest in any of them, the book is more of an endurance test to read than a pleasure.
One problem could be that Trollope tries to handle too many characters. The Three Clerks of the title are Harry Norman, his best friend and eventually worst enemy Alaric Tudor (who steals his promotion and then his lady-love), and Alaric's cousin, the dissipated and indebted Charley Tudor. Of these young men, Harry Norman in his innocence, having much to learn about the ways of men, women and the world, would have been the most interesting to pursue, but Trollope concentrates on Alaric and his ambitions which eventually get him into a courtroom and jail -- though with a surprisingly light sentence for a man who swindles a client's fortune. The young men are matched to three young women, the Woodward sisters. Gertrude, the eldest, is cold-hearted and ambitious, and though Harry Norman loves her greatly, makes a heartless but intellectual decision to unite herself with Alaric, whose ambition she admires. She pays the price for this, but she does so in the typical female role, always viewing her husband as something near to a god, never blaming him for his failings and his crimes, and standing by her man through the trials that will follow for her and her children. Gertrude, like Alaric, gets her comeuppance, but she is also symbolic of the dependent woman of her time and often of our times, sticking to a man through all insult because the world has convinced her that not only can she not stand on her own, but she deserves no better than to be the support of a man whose ethics and behaviors are questionable. Linda, Gertrude's younger sister, who is loved and romanced but then dumped by Alaric, who cold-heartedly and ambitiously wants the oldest daughter rather than the one he professes to love, is like Harry Norman an interesting character who should have been explored but who gets little mention in the pages of the book. She is superceded by her baby sister, Katie, who falls for the useless rogue Charley and thus falls into an hysterical wasting-away that is so annoying that you almost wish . . . Well, never mind what you wish, but all six of these characters are dissatisfying and foolish, victims of their era and their stations in life. Add to that, we have Mrs. Woodward, mother to the three women, who is very nice but ineffectual and though having the opportunity to succeed, succumbs to being helpless without a man to take care of her. She is of no benefit to her daughters and actually far too negligent in her mothering of them, leading to the disasters and potential disasters in the book. Lesser characters include Undecimus Scott, the villian who leads Alaric astray, who is not as evil as he is expected to be but merely manipulative and conniving, essentially a bore. There is also Uncle Bat, a retired sea captain who makes a home with the Woodwards and generally drinks himself into a stupor. Or members of the civil service who both support or compete with Harry and Alaric in their rise in their careers. Everything ends well for Harry, at least, and Linda -- two good people get their just reward. Charley Tudor turns into a Trollope himself, writing stories for the literary magazines of his day, although the author reproduces his stories within the context of the book, which introduces just another method of dulling the pace and the action of the novel itself. Plenty of pages here to skim or skip, the book could have been half the size but still have retained the essence of the story -- on the other hand, if the author had only developed his characters and followed the important ones more closely, we could have had a finer novel of psychological and moral import.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
another great Trollope Dec 25 2009
By Lucy D. Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like Jane Austen, you'll like Anthony Trollope, and this one is hard to find at libraries--though one of the author's own favorites. I think it was John Updike who said he envied Trollope his way of putting real life "under glass" to convey every detail of his characters and their world.
Good for experienced Trollope readers, tough going otherwise. July 9 2014
By Jalon Q. Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you have read Trollope, you know what you are in for.

A great story, complete immersion in a fascinating time period, and a book riddled with frustrating rabbit holes the author goes down. Pages of moral asides addressed directly to the reader and constant breaks in pace to analyze a character's exact motives.

If you can put up with the writing, you are treated to a contemplative stroll through a good story. It's like a steak - something to be approached at a measured pace.

Towards the end you keep reading, determined that having invested as much time as you have, you'll see this thing to the end! It is time well spent.

The story traces the fortunes of three clerks in a fascinating record of the middle class of England, their various romances and relations, and their day to day working life.

The book offers a wealth of little insights of the day such as "all-rounder collars", early stock speculation, and the perception of Australian colony.
Can't beat Anthony as a writer. April 18 2013
By Ange - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Characters: Alaric Tudor and Harry Norman and Charlie Tudor. Shows how people can be corrupted and shows how people behavior can be changed for good and bad. Also shows how politicians can become corrupt.

Enjoyed the author explaining things directly to me. Fun.

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