Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
Pages: 208
Publication Date: October 17, 2017


by Henry Green, introduction by Michael Gorra

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Doting, the last of Henry Green's novels, is, as its title would suggest, a story of aging and yearning in which a wife and a brash young woman run hilarious circles around a hapless hardworking civil servant suddenly seized by long dormant desire. Like its immediate predecessor Nothing, it stands out from the rest of his work in being composed almost entirely of dialogue, and in both books, Green's fascination with the extravagance, ambiguity, absurdity, and unintentional implications and consequences of everyday human communication leads to scenes that are as grimly funny as they are deeply sad.

gorra green


Mr. Green possesses perhaps the most accurate ear of any contemporary novelist.... Doting is a masterly exercise in technique.... It has some of the best moments of comedy Mr. Green has yet written.
The Times Literary Supplement

The formidable author...has set out to write a funny book in Doting, and he has succeeded.
—John Betjeman, The Daily Telegraph

Nothing and Doting...actually display something close to old-fashioned formal perfection.
—Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review

The sincere and almost religious conviction of the primacy of guilt in human relations is one of Green’s most fruitful sources of inspiration, and he forcefully develops it in Doting and Nothing, his last, great, and dismally underrated novels.
The New Criterion

A skillful intaglio of inconstancy which is pleasantly deft and devious.
Kirkus Reviews

And in their sheer absurdity Nothing and Doting are two of the funniest novels ever written, bringing to an almost abstract essence the humor that had always been woven through Green’s work.
The Atlantic