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Summary

Orphaned at an early age, raised by his aunt and uncle, and apprenticed for seven years to a draper, Artie Kipps is stunned to discover upon reading a newspaper advertisement that he is the grandson of a wealthy gentleman - and the inheritor of his fortune. Thrown dramatically into the upper classes, he struggles desperately to learn the etiquette and rules of polite society. But as he soon discovers, becoming a 'true gentleman' is neither as easy nor as desirable as it at first appears.

©2012 H.G. Wells (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Kipps

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Good Social History

First, I thought the book very well narrated. The story isn't especially engrossing but it is an excellent source of social history. The book reminded me of Orwell's 'Coming Up for Air' in that it just ambles along and when you've finished you can't really put together what is was about. What is left however, as with Orwell, is both a sensory impression of that particular historical period and an acquaintance with some interesting characters. While I probably won't listen to it again I am drawn to listen to Wells' 'The History of Mr Polly'. Because of the gentle pace of the narrative, 'Kipps' is perfect bedside listening!

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Appealing

This is most certainly my type of novel.One can start reading and know very well that one will not come across anything salacious.The type of book that i would have borrowed from my local library about 75 years ago.Most probably i read it as a youngster, reading Kipps as Sam Kelly narrated the story has been very enjoyable indeed.An enjoyable listen for both young and the elderly.Thank you Audible.

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An excellent listen...

...especially if you've ever lived along the southeast coast of Kent.
An exercise in social history, an intriguing storyline of love found and lost and found again, financial security found, lost and refound...beautiful descriptions of Folkestone, Sandgate, Seabrook, Hythe, Dymchurch, the Romney Marsh, New Romney, Littlestone, Greatstone and down to Dungeness.
An insight into the minds of young people of the era, of the social etiquette, the types of social gatherings of the time, and the workings of department store life. The barriers and openings within the class system.
I read this many, many years ago, but enjoyed having it very nicely read to me by Sam Kelly. Thank you.
I shall listen to it again in a month or so, now that I am reminded of the whole story.

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Kipps

I read “Kipps” many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it then. More informative ,in many ways, of the lives of the “respectable” working class and the customs ,manners and speech of the late Victorian era than any history book ,we are introduced to Arthur ,a member of a large class of society , the retail worker, who hovered precariously between respectability and “low” society.
The ambitions, hopes,dreams and tribulations of Kipps and his fellow shop-workers are petty to the middle classes but very serious indeed to them
The tragic desire to improve , appear educated,and dress like their “superiors” in cheap versions of the fashions of the day, the hopeless never ending drudgery of the long working day , their invisibility to their “betters” , the contempt that had to borne is beautifully illustrated by Wells .
Kipps ,a poorly educated but thoroughly decent young man has his life turned upside down by the sudden inheritance of the then vast sum of £28000 which invested safely brings in a yearly income of around £1200 , an unimaginable sum to Kipps who is earning £30 per year.
Kipps’ painful awareness of his social position which money alone can not overcome makes it impossible for him to really enjoy his wealth and he stumbles through a minefield of social etiquette, snobbery and the strong class distinctions of the day. His self awareness is his worst enemy . He does not grasp that having a fortune gives him the freedom to merely be himself.
Wells, having been born into the same class as Kipps and being for a while a draper’s apprentice , writes with an insider’s knowledge of shop-work of the time and obviously has a great affection and sympathy for Kipps as he faces life’s vicissitudes.
The reader gives an excellent rendition of the story ,changing accents where necessary in the plot. I thoroughly recommend It.

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Awful narration

I really didn’t enjoy the narration on this book. The characters weren’t believable because of the poor narration. I returned it and downloaded another version which isn’t much better.

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  • Candy Sastri
  • 12-06-19

As described, a masterpiece!

Absolutely the best of books in a long time of listening. Narrator is perfect and brings the character of Kipps alive and thoroughly loved by listener. A real social commentary but so much more. One will never forget this story and how it is told. Wonderful!