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Charley Is My Darling

A novel by

Charlie Is My Darling has many of the elements featured in Mr. Johnson, with a different setting and just as dramatic an ending. Charley is a young London evacuee in the English countryside during WWII. Like Mr. Johnson, Charley has an uncanny ability to live in the moment without it ever occurring to him that there could be consequences. Like Mr. Johnson, he has great affection for (in Charlie's case) a girl about his age. And, these characteristics combined with Charlie's interest in drawing (pornographic sketches, mostly, of dubious skill), link him, too, to Gulley Jimson, the protagonist of The Horse's Mouth, obsessed with every blank surface he comes across. All three are scoundrels, and Charley could have been the child that Gulley grew up to be.

A charming and deceptively naive story. There's a bit of a nice backdrop to it all (wartime evacuees) against which modest but potentially ominous tale of juvenile delinquency unfolds. Cary's sympathies are with the gang, and he is at pains to emphasize their innocence, even as they brutalize one another and their caretakers, who are shown to be as bemused and tentative (perhaps again due to the larger circumstance?) as their charges and challengers.

Highly recommended. Like The Moonlight, Charlie Is My Darling may well be a gateway book to Cary's other work.

Used availability for Joyce Cary's Charley Is My Darling

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Hardback Editions

December 1951 : UK Hardback
Title: Charley is My Darling
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 0-7181-0061-1 / 978-0-7181-0061-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Michael Joseph Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2009 : UK Paperback
Title: Charley is My Darling
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 0-571-25383-0 / 978-0-571-25383-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

October 1990 : UK Paperback
Title: Charley is My Darling
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 0-7474-0688-X / 978-0-7474-0688-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Cardinal Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1968 : UK Paperback
Title: Charley is My Darling (English library)
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 0-08-012931-5 / 978-0-08-012931-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

1963 : USA Mass Market Paperback
Title: Charley is My Darling
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 0-451-02277-7 / 978-0-451-02277-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Signet
Availability: Amazon UK   

Audio Editions

July 1993 : UK Audio Cassette
Title: Charley is My Darling: Complete & Unabridged
Author(s): Joyce Cary
ISBN: 1-85695-655-5 / 978-1-85695-655-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Isis Audio Books
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

January 2016 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: Charley Is My Darling
Author(s): Joyce Cary
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   

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