An enthralling novel about a deeply flawed, and at times infuriating, man who is better able to deal with books than people. But nonetheless we find ourselves willing him to find the redemption that he is looking for.
A comic character study and a look behind the scenes of academic life – with all of its flaws and wonders.
“A compelling portrait of a not-very-likeable man striving to live the life of the mind while obsessing over his baser impulses.”
– Kirkus Reviews
Roy Musgrave is a man married to his books and research – in fact he likes books more than he likes people. But a long-distance telephone call from a distressed woman turns everything upside down. The woman is Nadia Benbouzid, a Tunisian girl, his former mistress whom he has not heard from in years. Leaving his wife and his teaching job he retreats for several weeks to Tunisia, living undercover as a tourist, vainly trying to re-establish his relationship with Nadia.
Upon leaving Tunisia, the itinerant scholar finds himself estranged from his second wife, Midge, to whom he now scarcely speaks. He takes comfort in the arms of her elder sister Rose, and more chastely with Christine, her teenage daughter whom he idolises.
But can this deeply flawed man of letters give up his pretentions and live in the real world?
About the Author
David James is a writer of novels, scholarly essays, book reviews and articles of literary criticism. At Birkbeck College he was awarded a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship to further his work in Victorian Studies. This led to a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Maine. He later took a Linguistics degree at Leeds University, worked on linguistic research in Morocco and became a language teacher in Saudi Arabia before retiring to his writing. His other books include Charles Dickens and the Night Visitors and The Confessions of Becky Sharp. He lives in Surrey, UK.
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