A Kind of Loving, by Stan Barstow

Vic Brown is a young man working as a draftsman, with a promising future ahead of him, when he falls for Ingrid, who is some kind of secretary in the same company. She succumbs to his charms but then he finds he's not so sure if he wants her or not.

I'd been meaning to read this for a while, assuming it was going to be in the Room at the Top and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning mould, and it was news of Barstow's death that prompted me to order it from the library.

It definitely belongs with those books, although I don't think it's quite as good. I think it may not have aged so well: I'm sure that when it came out it may well have seemed pretty daring and radical but it has lost that edge now I think.

What was quite good was Vic's talking about his own feelings as he blows hot and cold over Ingrid: when he can't have her, he's mad about her; after they've been together he can't wait to be away from her. But he's very honest (to himself anyway) about this, and doesn't like himself very much for it (this is like Joe Lampton).

This was a good book, just not as good as Room at the Top. I see from Wikipedia that there are two more books about Vic Brown, so I will give the next one a go - that may be a bit of a risky thing to do given the disappointment that was Life at the Top was, but maybe it'll be even better (Birthday was very good after all).

Completed : 12-Aug-2011

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