Tony and Susan Paperback – 1 Jul 2011
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`A superb and thrilling novel... extraordinary' --Ian McEwan
`A perfect literary puzzle, an irresistible tale about marriage and murder, both thrilling and moving' --Scott Turow
About the Author
Austin M. Wright was born in New York in 1922. He was a novelist and academic. He lived with his wife and daughters in Cincinnati, and died in 2003 at the age of eighty.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not the sort of book that would usually appeal to me - modern, a book within a book format and the manuscript a taut psychological drama with cops involved. However, I really, really liked this book. Enjoy is not quite the right word as it isn't a happy or funny book. It is just so well observed, it raises questions about how we all live our lives and how split second choices , the things we hide and our deeds change things forever. I found I really (like Susan with the manuscript) looked forward to finding time to read this book and tried to read it "at the right time", so that I could give it my attention and a good wadge of time.
This edition of the book is very nicely presented - slightly wider paperback on very nice thick papaer and good large font. Great for me as I have started to have trouble reading very small print up close.
Excellent book - so sad it went unrecognised.
My hopes were raised by the cover quotation from no lesser writer than Saul Bellow who describes Tony and Susan as being "marvellously written". In parts it is but equally, in parts we get "When that young Susan on Edward's bed saw Arnold Morrow's alarming penis suddenly come into view with swollen purpose, she heard a gong in her head. She heard another soon after, when she decided to let it in" which to my mind puts it in the running for that bad sex writing award that gets dished out every year.
Ultimately, it's not a bad book. Certainly interesting in parts, particularly in its deeper considerations of how we read books and, in part what books mean to their writers. But does it warrant the praise heaped on it by the publishers who have republished it after the initial failure of the book to make any headway describing it as "the most astounding lost masterpiece of American fiction since Revolutionary Road"? That's a big claim, and one that it doesn't, for me, deliver on.
I won't go into the story line as it has a good synopsis as well as lots of varied reviews but it definitely wasn't a classic for me.
I'm not sure even, whether downloading a sample would be of help, because the beginning starts off exceptionally well but for me it goes downhill, probably around the middle, and I only carried on reading in the hope it would pick up. The book within a book didn't work and I found myself becoming bored with Susan's reading excepts, but of course these where crucial to the plot so I had to read them. I found reading it at bedtime soon had me feeling tired (so some good there)!
For me, although the Tony and Susan relationship was thought provoking, the book would have been a very good thriller without it.
Somewhat to her surprise she finds that what he has written is compelling and she finds herself totally drawn in to it. This starts to make her reappraise what she thought about Edward and his writing. And the story he has written is terrific - very frightening and with real insights into what it is to be civilised and be up against raw brutality. Other reviewers have commented on some bad writing within this part but I think this is cleverly done. It is a manuscript (Edward wants Susan's opinion of it), it hasn't been proof read or edited and I think this adds to the 'reality' of Susan reading it.
I am a writer and this book contains many interesting insights into the process of not only writing but being in the position of being asked to comment about others' writing. I was sad to read that it is only now being lauded in the way it deserves, some time after the author's death.
It strikes me that this would be a really good book for a book group to read as there are so many questions that need to be answered. I would have given it five stars but I wasn't fully convinced by the ending. But I will definitely read it again because it is well worth reading and I highly recommend it. Very original.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very boring book. I only managed to read a third of it.
Susan is irrelevant in the story as all she does is read the book, make herself a drink and read the book again. Read more
Tony and Susan are separated by genre, because Tony is fiction and Susan is real. Though of course all of them are fiction, really. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Eileen Shaw
Recommend this a really good read and a very unusual concept. Of a novel within a novel a great idea.Published 13 months ago by Neysha Blue
This book started well but I found it dragging and turgid. The character of Susan was unimaginative and malleable. Read morePublished 14 months ago by fizz boot
Those responsible for the publisher's blurb on the book cover seem to have only read the first 80 pages of this book because that part is well written and the tension puts the... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Marmaduke Gentle
I feel a bit let down by this book. It was given some very positive reviews from writers I respect and had been compared to The Road. It shouldn't have been. Read morePublished 15 months ago by LaM
I read this book because it is on a list of my sister's favourite books. She died last year and I am working my way through her favourite books. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Karey Lucas-Hughes
A very enjoyable book, clearly and effectively written. Rather like JM Coetzee’s Disgrace (1999) or Ian McEwan’s Saturday (2005), both of which it predates, in that it deals with... Read morePublished on 10 Feb. 2014 by J. J. Ward