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The Enemy of the Good [Paperback]

Michael Arditti
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
Price: 8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Feb 2010
The Glanvilles are an extraordinary family. Edwin is a retired bishop who has lost his faith. Marta, a child of the Warsaw Ghetto, is a controversial anthropologist. Their son, Clement, is a celebrated gay painter traumatised by the death of his twin. Their daughter, Susannah, is a music publicist recovering from an affair with a convicted murderer. Over three remarkable years, the family goes through a sequence of events that causes it to reassess its deepest values and closest relationships.

'Our best chronicler of the rewards and pitfalls of present day faith.' - Philip Pullman
'A total page-turner.' - Kate Saunders, Literary Review
'A powerful, hearfelt novel.' - Tim Teenan, The Times
'His best to date...You could truly say all human life was here.' - A.N. Wilson, Reader's Digest
'A writer with quite exceptional gifts.' - Paul Burston, Time Out

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The Enemy of the Good + Easter + Jubilate
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  • Easter 5.69
  • Jubilate 5.83

Product details

  • Paperback: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Books (4 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906413622
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906413620
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 289,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Arditti is a novelist, short story writer and critic. His novels are The Celibate (1993), Pagan and her Parents - Pagan's Father in the USA (1996), Easter (2000), Unity (2005), A Sea Change (2006), The Enemy of the Good (2009), Jubilate (2011) and The Breath of Night (2013). His short story collection, Good Clean Fun was published in 2004. He was awarded a Harold Hyam Wingate scholarship in 2000, a Royal Literary Fund fellowship in 2001, an Oppenheim-John Downes memorial award in 2003, and Arts Council awards in 2004 and 2007. He was the Leverhulme artist in residence at the Freud museum in 2008. His novels have been short- and long-listed for several literary awards and Easter won the inaugural Waterstone's Mardi Gras award. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary DLitt by the University of Chester.

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Arditti has written for The Times, the Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Independent, Sunday Express and the Evening Standard. His novel Easter won the first Mardi Gras and Waterstone's Book Award, was short-listed for the Creative Freedom Award and long-listed for the Costa Novel of the Year Award.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enemy of the Good 17 May 2009
By Rosie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"The Enemy of the Good" is a truly brilliant and satisfying novel and I am very sad that I have reached the end of the book. I got totally involved with the lives of the Granville family and in particular with Clement with whom I felt real empathy. Michael Arditti has cleverly balanced thorny theological problems and the dynamics of relationships. The combination of all this has produced a very insightful and thought provoking read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arditti Just Gets Better! 12 July 2009
If you thought nothing could top Michael Arditti's 'Easter', you have a treat in store. 'The Enemy of The Good' is a wonderful, life-affirming novel that takes you on a roller-coaster ride through England as it is today. When so many modern novelists retreat into the past, Arditti dares to confront the world around him. Eccentric but completely credible characters like: Clement the gay painter, Susannah the music P.R., Carla the Buddhist stained-glass window artist, Rafik the Algerian asylum seeker, Marta the Jewish anthropologist, Edwin the radical Bishop and Karen the Pagan romantic, struggle with a host of life-and-death dilemmas. Arditti's writing is touching, true, humorous, and wise. I was gripped from chapter one and honestly never wanted it to end. I would recommend this wonderful book to anyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enemy of the Good 17 May 2009
This is a really exciting read! There are so many strands to the complicated - yet easy to follow - plot and you truly felt that you had learnt something by the end of it and something that you could take away and think about and discuss with your friends. Theological themes are not usually my thing, but I had read previous books by Michael Arditti and I felt confident that I'd be able to manage this. The Enemy of the Good is certainly his best book yet and I recommend it to anybody who is interested in any number of different aspects of society today.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars review of The Enemy of the Good 15 May 2009
I was happy to discover a novel that entertains and as well as illuminates. Michael Arditti's novel The Enemy of the Good successfully relates a family saga which is a microcosm of modern society relevant to today's issues; the search for faith and meaning, the problems associated with it, the value of religion and how it impacts on the individual, the sexual integrity of the individual, all presented here with a passionate zeal. It is a page-turner novel that does not short-change or compromise on any of those issues.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enemy of the Good? The Best! 26 May 2009
By Sadsack
I wanted to post my review last week but, finding only unalloyed praise for Michael Arditti's latest book, I did not want to be just another five-star fan. However, it looks as if I'd have to wait a long time for a lull in the acclaim as the five stars just kept on coming and I could no longer wait to share with others my enthusiasm for this book.
Other reviewers have said this more eloquently than I could but I'd still like to add, quite simply, that 'The Enemy of the Good' has everything you could want from a novel: it tells a fascinating story in beautifully crafted prose, it instructs and educates in the gentlest possible way, it surprises and excites without stretching credulity and, finally, it stays in the mind long after the last page has been read.
I have recommended this book to very many people already and have done so without the slightest doubt that they will love it too. If you are interested in any aspect of life in the 21st century, you will appreciate Arditti's intelligent descriptions and discussions and you, too, will find yourself recommending it to your friends.
I learnt that it was Voltaire who said that the enemy of the good is the best. Well, this is the best.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
You might expect a novel about faith, extremism, liberalism, euthansia and hard-won redemption to be either depressing or inacessible.

By the first page of 'The Enemy of the Good' you will be persuaded that it can be the opposite; lifting and riveting. Indeed once you have read the first page it probably wont be long until you get to the last page, so gripping as it is.

There are few books about faith, fiction and non-fiction, that do not seek to convert the reader, even if just to a tolerant liberalism. This novel gives you the charcters and their lives, complete with the difficulties, ecstasies and contradictions, and then leaves you to make up your own mind- It is a strategy that ensures this novel lingers not only in the memory but also in the heart.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the enemy of the good - a great read! 21 May 2009
This is not normally the type of book I read, but now that I have I'm so glad I ventured into a new genre! It is a fascinating portrayal of life within an eclectic family whose individuals are all interesting in their own ways. It was a real page turner - and almost by default I learnt much about issues to which I hadn't been exposed to in the past - particularly Hasidic Judaism. It also proved to be quite a personal journey for me, as I have struggled with what my beliefs are, feeling that there is a God, but not being able to identify with any one belief system, and lamenting how so many in the world use religion to further their own aims. But above all it was the complex stories of the Granvilles that really grabbed me, and although the strands of their lives did seem to come together in the end, once I'd finished the book I was left wanting to know what happens to them next - a true sign of a good read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force
Michael Arditti does it again - a superb book overflowing with everything that matters in life: love, death, dying, hope, redemption, grace, living with each other, art, politics,... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Fleur Dorrell
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story.
I am not a reviewer but I found this story extraordinary with the different situations and the points of view of the characters. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Wells
2.0 out of 5 stars Reading Group Verdict
We all read The Enemy Of The Good and discussed it at our monthly meeting yesterday. Nobody enjoyed it! Read more
Published 6 months ago by CJ
4.0 out of 5 stars definitely worth a read
This was the first book by Michael Arditti that I had read, and I was attracted by the positive reviews reporting his excellent writing style. Read more
Published 6 months ago by tangerina
1.0 out of 5 stars Not good
I did not enjoy this book. I think it would only be of interest to someone with significant doubts and concerns over religion. Read more
Published 7 months ago by lawrence
4.0 out of 5 stars The Enemy of the Good
The first time I've read a Michael Arditti book. Very enjoyable. Unusual themes of family relationships
belief in God and euthanasia. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Annie Lowing
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, brilliant, interesting.
I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't normally be drawn to a book that had any discussion of religion in it, but this was fascinating. I felt that I learnt a lot after reading it. Read more
Published 7 months ago by missjeff
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware ye the five stars
I read this on the strength of the almost unanimous 5 star rating, however unless you have more than a passing interest in the comparative merits of various religious faiths and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by philp
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, humane and inspiring
Michael Arditti has created three very different characters in this novel, yet each perspective is imbued with such precision, care and compassion. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Daniel Fulvio
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensely gripping
It gave me a better understanding of a man's feelings and yet nothing offensive in the discriptions of the sexual activity. Read more
Published 11 months ago by .mcmahon
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