I’ve arrived at page 373 of Priestley's tome, and the racial name calling and stereotyping is so frequent that it is difficult to see these references as simply of their time (my edition was first published in 1929). Racial stereotyping is not the only stereotype. Jess Oakroyd, a working class character leaves the West Yorkshire town of Bruddersford to to escape an oppressive and lonely life in the mill town. But, he is no Joe Lambton. Jess’s deference, low self esteem, and timid nature make it difficult to root for him after 300 pages. He is robbed and harassed due to mistaken identity and his response is to carry on as an unfunny Norman Wisdom (Norman displayed fight as well as humour). The Good Companions is turning out to be a disappointment. But I’ll soldier on to the end.
I caught the 1954 film ‘An Inspector Calls’ with Alistair Sim on TCM, and although ‘stagey’ and a little predictable, it kept me gripped. I suspect I’ll have to re-read ‘Postscripts’. ‘Journey Down a Rainbow’ along with excerpts from ‘Margin Released’ to remind myself of the subtle, insightful and progressive writer J.B. later proved to be.