First published in 1945, In Youth Is Pleasure recounts a summer in the life of 15-year-old Orvil Pym, who is holidaying with his father and brothers in a Kentish hotel, with little to do but explore the countryside and surrounding area.
‘I don’t understand what to do, how to live’: so says the 15-year-old Orvil – who, as a boy who glories and suffers in the agonies of adolescence, dissecting the teenage years with an acuity, stands as a clear (marvelously British) ancestor of The Catcher In The Rye’s Holden Caulfield.
A delicate coming-of-age novel, shot through with humour, In Youth Is Pleasure, has long achieved cult status, and earned admirers ranging from Alan Bennett to William Burroughs, Edith Sitwell to John Waters. ‘Maybe there is no better novel in the world that is Denton Welch’s In Youth Is Pleasure,’ wrote Waters. ‘Just holding it my hands… is enough to make illiteracy a worse crime than hunger.’
Denton Welch's three novels - Maiden Voyage, In Youth Is Pleasure, and A Voice Through A Cloud - are the launch titles in Galley Beggar Press's Digital Classics range. Through Galley Beggar Digital Classics we aim to offer a vibrant and eclectic collection of twentieth and twenty-first voices, ranging from the traditional to the experimental, all united by two things - their current unavailability in digital form, and (above all else) their extraordinary quality.
This brand new, first-ever digital edition of In Youth Is Pleasure is accompanied by an introduction by the journalist and writer Steve Finbow - and we hope you enjoy.