Results of the Man Booker Prize in the year 1978.
The sea: turbulent and leaden, transparent and opaque, magician and mother…
When Charles Arrowby, over sixty, a demi god of the theatre—director, playwright and actor—retires from his glittering London world in order to “abjure magic and become a hermit”, it is to the sea that he turns. He hopes at least to escape from “the woman”—but unexpectedly meets one whom he loved long ago. His buddhist cousin, James, also arrives. he is menaced by a monster from the deep. Charles finds his ‘solitude’ peopled by the drama of his own fantasies and obsessions.
In 1959 Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to open a bookshop—the only bookshop—in the seaside town of Hardborough. By making a success of a business so impractical, she invites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers. By daring to enlarge her neighbors’ lives, she crosses Mrs. Gamart, the local arts doyenne. Florence’s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn’t always a town that wants one.
In this hilarious, outrageous and wickedly funny story of Jake and his lost libido, Kingsley Amis does not pull any punches, but takes some well-aimed swipes at the crankier fringes of psychotherapy and at sex—1970s style.