Mr Finchley Takes the Road
Book 3 of the classic trilogy of humorous rural adventures through pre-war England
Mr Finchley takes a fancy to a horse-drawn caravan that he sees for sale, but his new wife does not relish the prospect of a caravan journey so she goes to visit her brother, while he sets out to explore the countryside and go house-hunting.
While learning to handle the horse and the caravan, he encounters a variety of eccentrics and country characters, and several unsuitable houses. It gradually emerges that the caravan contains a secret, and Mr Finchley finds himself in real trouble – until his wife comes to the rescue.
This gentle comedy trilogy was a runaway bestseller on first publication in the 1930s and retains a timeless appeal today. It has been dramatized twice for BBC Radio, with the 1990 series regularly repeated.
What people are saying about the Mr Finchley series:
‘Wonderful character from a kinder slower England between the wars.’
‘An overlooked gem. An innocent picaresque novel set in an arcadian version of mid 20th century England. The literary equivalent of naive painting, it narrates the adventures of a respectable upper middle-aged man who takes retirement.’
‘An antidote to the rush of the early 21st century.’
‘A thoroughly enjoyable stroll through a vanished England with some lovable characters. Don’t expect modern, fashionable agonisings, here there is good, evil, and understanding. A lovely reminiscent wallow of a read.’
‘Gentle well told simple story, full of pleasant surprises, and a mild mannered believable hero. Loved it to bits.’
‘So gentle, it hurts.’
‘There is a freshness about the writing which is charming and that disarms criticism. Don’t expect any great profundities, a gripping plot or inter-character tensions – these books are of the world of Billy Bunter and William Brown – but do expect a very well-written and enjoyable romp through early twentieth-century England in the company of an engaging protagonist.’
‘A delightful story of a man who finds himself jolted out of his comfort zone and taken on a journey beyond his wildest imaginings.’
‘Another lovely book detailing the adventures of Mr Finchley in altogether far too short a series. Full of humour and a book I was sorry to finish as I wanted it to go on and on.’
‘Highly recommended for anyone seeking an entertaining amusing read.’
‘A delight to be transported to an England I never knew despite growing up in the 1950s and to experience the countryside through the sharp eyes of the author who obviously had a great love of all things rural.’
‘Quite delightful, with an atmosphere of quiet contentment and humour that cannot fail to charm … The longer we travel with Mr Finchley, the better we come to love him. He makes us share his bread and cheese, and beer and pipe. His delight at the beauties of the countryside and his mild astonishment at the strange ways of men are infectious.’ Daily Telegraph
‘His gift of story-telling is obviously innate. Rarely does one come on so satisfying an amalgam of plot, characterisation and good writing.’ Punch
‘A paean to the beauties of the English countryside and the lovable oddities of the English character… [Mr Finchley] runs into one astonishing situation after another, sticking gamely to his resolve that he must take things as they come and accept them.’ New York Times
‘What counts for most in the story, as it did for Mr Finchley, is his mounting pleasure in vagabondage and the English scene.’ The Times
‘There is such a gentle humour in the book … Mr Finchley is the ideal Englishman.’ Daily Sketch