A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
The story kicks off in a London gentleman’s club. Our narrator, Formalyn, is the newest member and he’s not quite comfortable enough to squash the attentions of a corpulent blowhard named Pyecraft. Over and over again Pyecraft corners Formalyn and subjects him to boring, blubbering conversation. And what’s Pyecraft’s unending topic of choice? His own enormous weight.
Pyecraft, however, is more than just a windbag. He has reason to believe Formalyn can help him get fit. He’s not wrong either. He does lose weight, lots of it, and in the most extraordinary way.
I think “The Truth About Pyecraft” is still a surprising story 111 years after it was first published in The Strand. I doubt you’ll expect it to end up where it does. It’s Victorian/Edwardian atmosphere is everything you could want from a Wells story, and it’s characters will live on in your imagination. But “The Truth About Pyecraft” is also a testament to H.G. Wells enduring sense of humor. If you don’t normally think of Wells as charming and funny then here’s your introduction.
Review by Matthew