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Freedom from her family?,
This review is from: A Thousand Pardons (Paperback)
This doesn’t sound like a barrel of fun, but it’s actually delightful in a lot of ways. Ben’s marriage is failing badly as he suffers a kind of crisis of existential angst and ends up on the end of a nasty blow-back as a result of picking the wrong woman to pursue. While he is signed into an institution and then has to do 28 days in prison, his wife Helen accepts the inevitable, picks herself up, sells the house and gets herself a job in a PR company, from where she is head-hunted to a much larger company because of her natural good sense and flair at turning bad publicity into – if not good, then far less damaging publicity.
When she is given tickets for a premier starring Hamilton Barth she can scarcely believe her luck. They had a teenaged fling long before he became a movie star, and when she and her daughter Sarah (who is adopted) attend the premier, they meet again, although Hamilton himself doesn’t seem to remember much about Helen.
Hamilton slips his minders at the end of the evening and ends up on a week-long binge about which he can remember almost nothing. Except the vague feeling that he has done something irredeemable, and indeed, things look bad, though all he has to go on is a lot of blood on a motel bed and a missing woman. It is to Helen he turns for help in unravelling the mystery of Hamilton’s lost week.
These alarming circumstances are treated quite lightly, but not by Helen. What has Hamilton done? Why has Ben bought back their old house? Why is Sarah so relieved that her boyfriend has been arrested – and quite frankly, what the hell is going on? This is a marvellously entertaining novel. There is one loose end that is never tied up, but maybe Hamilton deserves a small sword of Damocles forever dangling? A treat from start to finish with a graciously ambiguous ending.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Jun 2014 06:15:26 BDT
Stanley Crowe says:
Hello again, Eileen. I'm glad you enjoyed this, which I read at a friend's recommendation about a year ago when it first came out in the States. What the hell is going on? An interesting mixture, I think, of satire and the kind of comedy where the end depends on grace -- like some of Shakespeare's? My review, if you're interested, is one of the earlier ones. Cheers, Sc
In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jun 2014 00:58:43 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
Hello Stanley - I am going through your reviews - very interested in classical music - no great shakes at evaluating as my musical education was non-existent. I started with Mozart, love his music, but I have no idea of where to go next. Maybe Bruch?
Posted on 9 Jul 2014 13:52:57 BDT
Wynne Kelly says:
I'm glad you enjoyed this as much as I did. I recently read another book by him and it was very disappointing - The Privileges.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2014 13:50:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2014 13:51:44 BDT
Eileen Shaw says:
Oh I quite enjoyed The Privileges.
Just as an aside, I am running out of really good literary books to read - turning in desperation to crime novels, though not from preference. The proliferation of crime novels seems unstoppable. Time I had a look at what you've been reading recently.
Another aside - have you read The Grotesque by Patrick McGrath? It's a very dark, very naughty, marvellously and blackly funny book, I absolutely loved it. I understand his later books are a bit more serious. I am going to try one at some point.Probably Dr Haggard's Disease.
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