Goodbye Mr Chips // Book Review

Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton


Author: James Hilton was an English novelist and Hollywood Screenwriter of the early 1900s. His most famous works include Goodbye Mr Chips (1934) and Lost Horizons (1933).

Rating: *****


I have been meaning to read this short (120 pages) story for the last two years,  ever since I discovered the Martin Clunes adaption of Goodbye Mr Chips was in fact an adaption!

The story is short and incredibly fast-paced, as it is such a tiny book, yet it still makes you want to cry as you gain emotional attachments to the main character: Mr Chipping aka Mr Chips.

Mr Chips is an old schoolmaster whose life revolves around his old school Brookfield: an upper class boarding school for young men. The story spans from the 1870s to the 1930s, accounting for Mr Chips life in-between.

It tells of his arrival at the school as an under-rated teacher with a lack of grip over discipline all the way to his death as the most loved and charming teacher the school ever had. It is a charming and beautifully written novella of one life.

Its length, however, may allow the reader to immerse themselves in Mr Chips’s story for a whole hour or so but it also hinders the emotional effect slightly as sad moments hit you like a ton of bricks but then disappear into the next chapter. It is cleverly done, however, with snippets of realistic memories just dropping into the narration as Mr Chips recalls past students whose descendants now visit for tea.

The emotional side of this novella are gripping and easy to digest, if a little jarring at first, but it is beautiful novella. Great for a little break in-between TBR’s. I would highly recommend it.

Happy Reading Folks.


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