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Summary

Mr Polly is an ordinary middle-aged man who is tired of his wife's nagging and his dreary job as a gentleman's outfitter in a small town. Faced with the threat of bankruptcy, he concludes that the only way to escape his frustrating existence is by burning his shop to the ground and killing himself. Unexpected events, however, conspire at the last moment to lead the bewildered Mr Polly to a bright new future - after he saves a life, fakes his death, and escapes to a world of heroism, hope, and ultimate happiness.

Public Domain (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The History of Mr Polly

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Character-led novel of escaping a hopeless life

Not at all what I was expecting, but I'm glad I chose this audiobook nonetheless. It's a fairly gentle tale of one man's experience of letting life pass him by, how he finally attempts to change his circumstances, and the aftermath of this attempt. Wells is a classic author for good reason and his characterisations are very real throughout. I found this book particularly relevant for my life right now, albeit not quite so drastically, and this added to my enjoyment of the novel.

11 people found this helpful

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Charming tale.

Beautifully crafted story, gently amusing and professionally read. Well drawn characters and a charming tale.

6 people found this helpful

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delightful in every way

loved it from beginning to end. beautifully read. funny in parts. sorry when it finished.

3 people found this helpful

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very enjoyable

Highly recommended. Very funny made me laugh out loud. Narrator made it come to life.

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joy

I can see where the idea of the rise and fall of Reginald Perrin came from. The narration was superb and very engaging. A delightful light heart story. There's probably a little of the Mr Polly in all of us.

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Joyous

The philosophy of Mr Polly - a gentle tale, well told. The narration matched the narrative perfectly. Loved it all!

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A rather refined sort of comedy

A story of a man, just like another, full of the life’s vicissitudes giving way to contemplation and reflection. Written in a masterful manner, blending elegance and humor.

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  • John S.
  • 26-09-13

I kept going for the narration

Paul Shelley is one if those "I could listen to him read the phone book" narrators as far as I'm concerned, and a good thing, too, as the story itself never got any traction. I've read other reviews that there's lots of humor here; I think I laughed once, perhaps twice. Also, there's mention of a theme of redemption, or not giving up when things seem hopeless. Well, that's true in a sense, but not really as far as I'm concerned, as Polly's ability to "start over" came through less-than-honest means. As far as what to expect specifically, the first part of the story opens with a miserable protagonist at middle age, and then flashes back to his childhood and youth, not as grim as David Copperfield's, but I saw echoes of that novel in it. Once we return to the starting point, Polly contemplates doing himself in, that plan goes awry, with him leaving his unhappy home to seek new adventures. Ho Hum.

3 people found this helpful