30 Day Book Challenge

Day 20: A book I used to Love but Don’t Anymore


Arms and the Man/You Never Can Tell by George Bernard Shaw.

It is a toss up between Arms and the Man and You Never Can Tell. As a precocious pre-teen, I managed to get my hands on all of my dad’s books and read them repeatedly. I still love Shaw’s Candida and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. But Arms and the Man and You Never Can Tell, I have grown less and less fond of over the years.

Arms and the Man is entertaining but all of the characters are so insincere that after a while it gets really, really trying.

I don’t like romance and You Never Can Tell has quite a bit of that. Shaw’s idea of romance frankly irritates me. All that flirting and trying to gain advantage over each other as if they were enemies makes me really annoyed.  The character of Dr. Valentine annoyed me. Falling in love at first sight with the beautiful but utterly unsuitable Miss Clandon and then being afraid at the prospect of actually getting married to her exasperated me to no end. Something about You Never Can Tell makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps it is Mr. Crampton’s rough aggressiveness and bitter loneliness or perhaps it is the rather inhuman way all of his children behave.


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