Dual mysteries revealed in The Green Hat

As its subtitle implies, Michael Arlen’s The Green Hat: A Romance for a Few People is an unconventional novel.

The story is told by an unidentified writer who meets and has sex with Iris Storm, the twin sister of Gerald Marsh, the drunk who lives above his flat.


The Green Hat: A Romance for a Few People by Michael Arlen

Robin Clark, 1991 (paper), 244 pages. 1925 bestseller #5.  My Grade B.


"The Green Hat" cover shows woman in green hat driving autoThrough mutual acquaintances narrator hears of, and occasionally sees, Iris afterwards.

He manages to piece together her story, discover why Iris and her brother were estranged, why Gerald drank, why Iris, so fastidious about most things, was careless about sex.

The mystery-romance is under-laid by the mystery of the narrator. When readers first meet him, he’s what used to be called precious: affected, pretentious, full of self-importance.

As he gets interested in untangling the Iris Storm mystery, he has no time to maintain the persona.

Readers see the narrator maturing as he watches Iris maturing.

Behind both is the childish, 1920’s overindulgence of young people who survived World War I.

Arlen has no great truths to tell, but his technique alone is worth seeing.

 © 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni

Advertisements

Published by

Linda Aragoni

I'm passionate about helping people learn through the medium of nonfiction writing. Although I occasionally have an idea of my own, I mostly build education tools by recycling and repurposing other folks' ideas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s