Pigeon Pie

Pigeon Pie British high society spy stories and goofy religious cults are all gently mocked in this inventive stylish satire When the highly imaginative Lady Sophia Garfield discovers a nest of very real Germ

  • Title: Pigeon Pie
  • Author: Nancy Mitford
  • ISBN: 9780786706334
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Paperback
  • British high society, spy stories, and goofy religious cults are all gently mocked in this inventive, stylish satire When the highly imaginative Lady Sophia Garfield discovers a nest of very real German spies in her home, nobody believes her With her maid murdered and her beloved bulldog held hostage, she sets out alone to gain proof and, with time out for tea at the RitBritish high society, spy stories, and goofy religious cults are all gently mocked in this inventive, stylish satire When the highly imaginative Lady Sophia Garfield discovers a nest of very real German spies in her home, nobody believes her With her maid murdered and her beloved bulldog held hostage, she sets out alone to gain proof and, with time out for tea at the Ritz, save Britain.

    One thought on “Pigeon Pie”

    1. The story is ridiculous. Another early book by Mitford reflecting what she knows about life - everyone who counts is an aristocrat and lives in houses so big they don't know who else is living there! It's all about German spies and American spies and British counterspies in WWII.People hide in cupboards, are disposed of down main drains (blocks them) and belong to religious cults that seem to have no purpose. Nothing in the book is believable and for the first two thirds, it's too farcical to be [...]

    2. PIGEON PIE. (1940). Nancy Mitford. ****.Here is a tremendous send up of espionage novels and those English novels dealing with class differences. Our heroine is Sophia Garfield, a supposedly modern woman in pre-war England. When the war begins, she needs to find some job to contribute to the war effort. She decides that she will go into intelligence and help root out the German spies that she is sure surrounds her. Her cover is in one of the clinics, where wounded people will be brought when the [...]

    3. Nancy Mitford must be the first author I read who manages to make a novel set in World War II funny. [The war is of course not something one would or want to laugh about but the book was written in its very early days, and as Mitford writes in her intro “was an early and important casualty of the real war which was then (1940) beginning”.] Sophia Garfield is our U heroine, rather indolent, but happy in her life. When war is declared in August 1939, she volunteers for work and finds herself a [...]

    4. This was a delightful read; I can't understand why I haven't heard of this book before. This actually manages is both a satire and funny at the same time--rather delightful and witty.

    5. I was amused by this light hearted satire, especially considering it was written at the beginning of WWII without the knowledge of the damage and human suffering that was to be the result. It would have made for interesting dinner conversations provided the Mitford sisters were still on speaking terms.

    6. (3.5 stars)In this quick satire, the author mocks the attempts of the British upper classes to take part in the war effort (World War II). Lady Sophia, of course, would like to be a beautiful female spy, as would all her friends. Olga, her catty “friend” is already claiming to be one. As usual in her books, the main characters are married and each has a lover. The social circle includes all of these plus the lover’s friends and associates, if they are acceptable. Sophia’s lover is Rudolp [...]

    7. Sophia rang up her enemy. Olga Gogothsky (nee Baby Bagg) had been her enemy since they were both aged ten. It was an intimate enmity which gave Sophia more pleasure than most friendships; she made sacrifices upon its altar and fanned the flames with assiduity. -Nancy Mitford, Pigeon Pie. Nancy Mitford's light comedy, Pigeon Pie, is an irreverent novel about the British upper class at the very outset of World War II. Mitford's heroine, Lady Sophia Garfield, has led a charmed life. Her marriage to [...]

    8. I adore books like this - light, but not trivial. It made me smile a lot and laugh out loud several times. Like the heroine, whatever the poltics of the serious person I am talking to, I am often accused of being too flippant, and belonging to the other side. If the following extract doesn't amuse you, then you won't like Nancy Mitford.' poor cousinsfallen into Bolshevik hands. You know what that meant in Russia - they were given over to their peasantry to do as they liked with.' Olga gave a tre [...]

    9. middling 3s -- amusing, but nothing brilliantnancy mitford's satire of the Bright Young(-ish) Things coming to terms with World War II is a mishmash of funny and trite, verging on witty. the plot carefully balances on the (often horrible) choices of her very recognizable main character, fairly successfully moving things forward at a satisfying clip -- so i'd say mitford's mechanics had improved satisfactorily by this point in her writing career. every word positively drips with satire, but it of [...]

    10. From Mitford, to World War II spies, and now back to Mitford doing World War II spies. I know which ones I preferredIt's another one of her early novels, so another riotous romp in the vein of Christmas Pudding than her better known, more structured and knowing novels like Love in a Cold Climate.This is no bad thing as it's ripping read, populated by brilliantly larger-than-life characters, including the wonderfully understated heroine Lady Sophia, who seems to stumble from dinner at the Ritz, t [...]

    11. 18 AUG 2014 - Mr Tony's review brought Pigeon Pie to my attention. The book sounds super. Here is his great review: /review/show

    12. Lacks the appeal of the 'Hons', but has a stylishly drawn central character and the period feel of a section of society not often depicted against th.e backdrop of war

    13. The Mitford Sisters really do put the Kardashians into perspective. Who really cares about those blank-faced and dead-eyed K-obsessed women living out their lives on Twitter and Instagram - the Mitfords were doing the whole celebrity thing a half century beforehand and they even managed to keep their clothes on. When I was studying my 1940s module at university, a girl in my tutorial group got very irate (her face turned red) when we refused to agree with her that the Mitfords had been the most [...]

    14. God, the main protagonist annoys me to death. I got an audiobook and listened to it - for a long, long time it was such a boring book, listing some trivia I was not interested in. Blah blah, unfaithful husband, blah blah tolerant wife, blah blah some frenemy and the full frenemy biography, blah. Then, it picked up somewhat with a murder, and stuff (won't tell you, don't want to spoil it for you, if you decide to read or t listen to this bore). And then I started really get annoyed with the femal [...]

    15. Written during the first few months of the second world war – the tone of Pigeon Pie is tongue-in-cheek and satirical. Mitford could not then have known the terrible catastrophic toll the war would take. Britain was in the throes of what came to be known as the phoney war. In a note added to the beginning of this novel in 1951 – Nancy Mitford urges readers of the second edition to remember that the novel was written before Christmas 1939, published on the 6th May 1940 it was…“an early an [...]

    16. "It's in all the British papers -- Germany has invaded Poland, war has begun -- and it could cause the comfortably situated Lady Sophia Garfield some inconvenience, especially when her doddery but celebrated godfather, England's bewigged and beloved King of Song, disappears, her "German maid suffers a ghastly demise, and her pampered French bulldog is apparently taken hostage. Then there's that house guest at the Garfields' London residence who keeps a pigeon as a pet. Convinced that she's harbo [...]

    17. Pigeon Pie is a silly little spy saga and satire of society by Nancy Mitford set at the beginning of World War II. The heroine is a frivolous society matron who realizes that her husband has introduced Nazi spies into her household. The novel is funny, especially the character of a faux Russian aristocrat, but it is not as good as the novels Mitford is more famous for, Love in a Cold Climate and In Pursuit of Love.See my complete review here:whatmeread.wordpress/tag/p

    18. I have read/re-read all eight of Nancy Mitford's books in chronological order (in the Penguin Kindle complete novels edition, which has a good introduction by India Knight).It's a good way of seeing how her style and skill developed through a long life of writing. Nancy Mitford is like a 20th Century Jane Austen: a witty observer of her own part of society, who manages to define it for us who read her now. She does quite a difficult thing in this one: creating a heroine who is not intellectual b [...]

    19. This book was published right at the beginning of World War 2 - in 1939. It's set in the time of the 'phoney' war when nothing much seemed to be happening and people were just practicing first aid and air raid warnings. Lady Sophia is a young married socialite who volunteers at a first aid post. Her upper class friends are all pretending that they have far more important war work to do - such as spying. But it's Sophia who finds herself involved in the real thing. This is silly in a PG Wodehouse [...]

    20. This is such a funny book. I loved it. Unfortunately I couldn't read it on public transport as the copy a friend lent me was a very old Penguin paperback edition that had swastikas all over the cover! Someone could very easily have got the wrong idea.The reason for the swastika artwork, in case you were wondering, is that this is a farce featuring German and British spies in 1939. Unlike her sisters, Unity and Diana, Nancy had no fascist sympathies.

    21. Much as I love Nancy Mitford's later books, I almost gave up on this one after 50 pages. The plot certainly has zest, and the fact that she was able to write a jeu d'esprit such as this in the opening year of World War II provides an interesting insight on Britain's national mood at the time. But the writing is not yet assured, and the jokes are not as good, as in her post-war novels - so although she was 35 when she wrote it, I would bracket it under 'Juvenilia'.

    22. Bizarre, but funny. Nancy Mitford's second novel is…a spy story. About Germans in England during the "Phony War" period. You've never heard of it, because she had the misfortune to publish it in May, 1940, just as Hitler was rolling up France. Suddenly, the book was anything but funny. It fizzled at the time. But it's actually quite cute, 65 years later.

    23. Didn't really enjoy this. Lots of 'jokes' about the war that are quite distasteful now. I know Nancy regretted this and the foreword is explanatory. Story was slightly fun when it got started, but characters under-developed.

    24. This would make a hilarious BBC production - very Upper Crust and all. Did make me want to find more of her books and read them, remembering the time at which they were written. Parts of this were quite funny (Agony 22)

    25. This may be Nancy's most farcical novel. It's easy to picture it being staged, with people just missing the action(s) they most need to clarify the situation. There are a couple scenes involving Morse Code which are sidesplitting. And Sophia absolutely has to be a wide-eyed blond.

    26. The wonderfully witless adventures of Lady Sophia Garfield (hopeful spy) in the first few weeks of WWII in London. Not Nancy Mitfords best. She describes it herself as "one of the first casualties of the war".

    27. A fun read! A comical WWII spy story written right before WWII started. Very British humor. Reminded me of an Audrey Hepburn spy movie. Loved it.Note to Self: My paperback edition is not on here. It's a Capuchin Classics with an almost Gilded Age looking party photo as front cover.

    28. I've never before read a WWII spoof and was not at first sure I could get behind it. As the novel progressed, grew more and more silly, I enjoyed it; however, I think it best that a farce err on the side of being shorter. The novel could have used good trim.

    29. A short book that slips into a soft spy story toward the end. Mitford wrote this before Britain fully entered the war, so it reads a bit like an alternative history. Not her best work, but still a fun read.

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