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Bradley Pearson, author of three critically acclaimed but unsuccessful novels, has finally left his dull job as an Inspector of Taxes, but predatory friends and relations dash his hopes of a peaceful retirement. He is tormented by his melancholic sister, who has decided to come live with him; his ex-wife, who has infuriating hopes of redeeming their past; and his friend and rival, Arnold Baffin, a deplorably successful author of commercial fiction. The action includes marital cross-purposes, seduction, suicide, abduction, romantic idylls, murder, and due process of law. Bradley tries to escape from it all but fails, leading to a violent climax and altered perspectives.
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.
Sacred and profane love are related opposites; the one enjoyed renders the other necessary, so that the ever-unsatisfied heart swings constantly to and fro.
Many years ago, one of their number writes a political book. Time passes and their opinions about the book change. The theft of a wife further embroils the situation. Moral indignation must be separated from political disagreement.
Edward Baltram is overwhelmed with guilt. His nasty little prank has gone horribly wrong: He has fed his closest friend a sandwich laced with a hallucinogenic drug and the young man has fallen out of a window to his death. Edward searches for redemption through a reunion with his famous father, the reclusive painter Jesse Baltram.
Funny and compelling, The Good Apprentice is at once a supremely sophisticated entertainment and an inquiry into the spiritual crises that afflict the modern world.
Bruno is nearly ninety. Obsessed with his past and a passion for spiders, he is the centre of a complex web of relationships involving his estranged son Miles; Danby, his hapless son-in-law; Danby’s mistress, Adelaide; and her twin cousins, the vengeful Will and the mischievous, sinister Nigel.
This richly peopled novel revolves around a happily married couple, Kate and Octavian, and deals with love in its many aspects. The resonant sub-plot involves murder and black magic as the novel leads us through stress and terror to a joyous conclusion.