Armadillo and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
  • RRP: £8.99
  • You Save: £1.80 (20%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10.
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Armadillo has been added to your Basket
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Armadillo Paperback – 26 Oct 2009


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£7.19
£3.21 £0.01
£7.19 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. In stock. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Armadillo + The Blue Afternoon + Brazzaville Beach
Price For All Three: £21.57

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (26 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141044187
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141044187
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,894 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Boyd is the author of ten novels, including A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Any Human Heart, winner of the Prix Jean Monnet; Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year, the Yorkshire Post Novel of the Year and a Richard & Judy selection, and most recently, the bestselling Ordinary Thunderstorms.

(Photo credit: Eamonn McCabe)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Lorimer Black may suffer from a serious sleep disorder and an obsession with the labyrinths of the British class system, but Armadillo's peculiar protagonist is the star insurance adjuster of London's Fortress Sure PLC, unaffectionately known as "the Fort". At the very start of William Boyd's noirish 7th novel, however, things take a decided swerve for the worse. On a bleak January morning one of his cases has apparently chosen to kill himself rather than talk: "Mr. Dupree was simultaneously the first dead person he had encountered in his life, his first suicide and his first hanged man and Lorimer found this congruence of firsts deceptively troubling."

Soon our hero, who himself has a lot to hide, finds himself threatened by a dodgy type whose loss he has adjusted way down and embroiled with the beautiful married actress Flavia Malinverno. "People who've lost something, they call on you to adjust it, make the loss less hard to bear? As if their lives are broken in some way and they call on you to fix it," Flavia dippily wonders. Lorimer also has his car torched and instantly goes from an object of affection to one of deep suspicion at the Fort. Then there is another case, the small matter of the rock star who may or may not be faking the Devil he says is sitting on his left shoulder.

Needless to say, Lorimer is "becoming fed up with this role of fall guy for other people's woes." Boyd adds a deep layer of psychological heft and a lighter level of humour to this thinking-person's thriller by exploring Lorimer's manifold personal and social fears. This is a man who desperately collects ancient helmets even though he knows they offer only "the illusion of protection." Another of Armadillo's many pleasures: its dose of delicious argot. Should Lorimer "oil" the apparent perpetrator of the Fedora Palace arson before he's oiled himself? Or perhaps he just needs to "put the frighteners" on him. Boyd definitely puts the frighteners on his readers more than once in this cinematically seedy and dazzling literary display. --Kerry Fried, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'As entertaining and as thought-provoking as anything Boyd has ever written' Daily Telegraph 'Marvellously paced and ingeniously plotted. A real page-turner' - Andrew Motion, Observer 'Armadillo doesn't miss a trick. It has depth and resonance which will make you want to read it again... zinging readability' - Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday 'A joy to read: east to get into, addictively plotted and beautifully written' - James Delingpole, Daily Mail 'As entertaining as anything he has written... brisk farce and dialogue that can be finger-licking good' - David Profumo, Spectator

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
This is unlike any of William Boyd's other novels, or indeed any other novels that I have read. Almost the opposite of The New Confessions, it describes only a few weeks. It presents a man, with very little reference to his past, that you must learn about from his interaction with others and his, sometimes absurd, actions. I feel like I've met Lorimer Black and I really fancy Flavia. You become submersed in his world until you're unsure of you're own identity. Less of a thriller or a comedy than an intimate, naked portrayal of a small portion of a man's life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
Armadillo is a shining achievement - one of Boyd's best books. It concerns Milomre Blocj (who has renamed himself Lorimer Black), of Eastern European gypsy extraction. The youngest son of a large family, he was born and works in London as an insurance loss adjuster. This is a dark comedy of the metropolis and the golden mile - dark deeds, business disasters, murky violence and threats around every corner.

Boyd's fluid style and sharp perceptions are at their best in this brilliantly constructed, acutely funny, yet melancholy book. Several themes run through this book - flowers, antique helmets, routes around and across London, trashed cars, and insomnia. The character of Lorimer is brilliantly drawn - impressionable, intelligent, clever yet also periodically naïve - he is a very likeable protagonist. His boss Hogg is a classic tough man; his amour Flavia is a mercurial, maddening beauty; his friends and family are deftly created and sustained. I've read this book twice now, a thing I rarely do with any book, and I enjoyed it even more the second time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Aug 2001
Format: Paperback
Armadillo by William Boyd
a pastiche of the mystery/thriller/crime works of confection we are bombarded with on the shelves of every bookstore. It seems at first that we will be treated to a slow and conventional unravelling of a suicide, an insurance fraud, and other gritty episodes, and that these mundane layers will peel back to suck our hero unwittingly into a seedy underworld of crime that thrives alongside our respectable city professions (surely not!). But actually this teasingly never transpires. This is a good old-fashioned character study and all the better for it. Although these plot episodes serve a purpose - to bring our hero, down on his luck, to his knees, in order that he may change and rise from the ashes (yes, he has to be himself; a hundred thousand therapists applaud) - Boyd must surely be making a point about the fiction industry: here is a book that will sell because of inconsequential devices which, had they been absent, would not have dented the book's literary worth, but sure as hell would've dented its gross product.
And its message is a wonderful message. Think for yourself, and trust your conclusions; and sod society. Milo, of Eastern European extraction, has always strived to fit in. This information is not imparted clumsily - Milo is a confident and successful businessman; the very epitome, in fact, of what success is considered to be in our society. In this role, though, he finds himself colluding, merely by his presence, in all sorts of ubiquitous undesirable elements - sexism, nepotism, classism, etc. He narrates all the way through, and, until the end, almost never passes judgement, yet we, the reader, gain a sense of his disgust at these things despite his passivity and impassivity. This is indeed skilled writing...
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By talmine on 5 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is about a man called Lorimer Black of eastern European origin, the youngest son of a family who moved to London post WW2, three generations living in Fulham. He is the only university graduate. He had chosen a Scottish University so as to get as far away from his family as possible. His roguish brothers run a successful mini-cab business, specialising in profitable runs to airports. He himself enters the insurance business, eventually becoming a loss adjuster.

To properly understand the plot of the story it is worth consulting cila.co.uk the website of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters. This explains the role of a loss adjuster in insurance claims: essentially to check its validity, e.g., in the case of a fire that there is no question of arson.

The fees of the loss adjuster are normally paid by the insurance company in question, but claimants can appoint one at their own expense if they wish to. The CILA says that all its members should abide by the Institute's code of conduct, but that if you are worried about the 'loyalty' of the company's man then perhaps you should appoint your own if the claim exceeds ten grand.

The current story follows the protagonist Lorimer for just a few weeks of his professional life. All you will learn about this man is through his INTERACTION (conversation and activities) with others; his boss and his colleagues, his family and friends, and sexual partners. He also keeps a diary of sorts. He also suffers from sleep deprivations which may shed some light on the man.

Never having read a story written in this way I found it rather heavy going at first, but you get used to it and eventually it becomes a page turner. I can't say I "thoroughly enjoyed" it
however, unlike the last Boyd novel I read, "Restless".
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback